Education

Best Audio Production Degree Programs of 2022

Learn more about the top Audio Production programs, what to expect, job prospects, and how to choose the program that’s right for you.

Audio production is the process of creating and recording audio, typically for music, film, or video. Audio production degrees can prepare students for a variety of careers in audio production, including sound engineering, audio post-production, and sound design.

Audio production degrees offer a broad overview of audio production, covering topics such as sound engineering, audio post-production, and sound design. Students in audio production degree programs learn about the different aspects of creating and recording audio, and how to use audio to create a desired effect.

How to Choose the Right Audio Production Program

When choosing an audio production program, there are many factors to consider. The cost of the program, the location of the school, the length of the program, and the curriculum are all important factors.

The cost of the program is an important factor to consider. The tuition for audio production programs can vary greatly from school to school. You will also need to factor in the cost of books, supplies, and living expenses. If you are planning to attend a school out of state, you will need to factor in the cost of travel and living expenses.

The location of the school is also an important factor to consider. If you want to be close to family and friends, you will want to choose a school that is close to home. If you want to be in a big city with lots of internship and job opportunities, you will want to choose a school in a big city.

The length of the program is also an important factor to consider. Audio production programs can range from two years to four years. If you want to get your degree quickly, you will want to choose a two-year program. If you want to take your time and get more experience, you will want to choose a four-year program.

The curriculum is also an important factor to consider. You will want to make sure that the program you choose has the courses that you need to take in order to get the job you want after graduation.

Best Bachelor’s in Audio Production Programs

The best programs for Audio Production ranking is based on key statistics and student reviews using data from the U.S. Department of Education. Some of the metrics influencing how the rankings are determined include graduation rate, average salary for graduates, accreditation, retention rate, and cost.

Rank 1
University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI

The University of Michigan’s Bachelor of Science in Sound Engineering degree prepares students for careers in music technology and engineering. The curriculum includes coursework in math, physics, and engineering, as well as courses specific to sound engineering. Students also have the opportunity to participate in performance ensembles.

Rank 2
University of Illinois
Champaign, IL

The Bachelor of Arts in Music Technology from University of Illinois is a flexible degree program that focuses on audio production, recording, mixing, electro-acoustic composition techniques, interactive sound synthesis, and digital audio fluency. In order to be considered for acceptance into the program, students must interview with the Music Technology faculty and submit a portfolio of their music technology experiences.

Rank 3
California Lutheran University
Thousand Oaks, CA

The Bachelor of Arts in Music Production from California Lutheran University is a degree geared toward those interested in a career in music production. The program is located just outside of Los Angeles and Hollywood, giving students an immersive experience into the music industry. With small class sizes and a focus on hands-on learning, students will have the opportunity to learn from Grammy-winning audio engineers and gain access to state-of-the-art facilities. The program also provides students with opportunities to pursue internships and careers in the music industry.

Rank 4
Indiana University-Bloomington
Bloomington, IN

The Bachelor of Science in Audio Engineering and Sound Production from Indiana University-Bloomington is a multidisciplinary program that prepares students for careers in the entertainment industry. The program takes a hands-on approach, with students collaborating directly with faculty and other students on performances and projects. There are also opportunities to work in state-of-the-art studios and world-class performance venues.

Rank 5
American University
Washington, DC

The Bachelor of Arts in Audio Production from American University provides students with a solid foundation in audio production principles, and the courses cover topics such as digital signal theory, sound studio techniques, and production mixing. Students also have the opportunity to take advanced courses in audio technology and audio for visual media. The program culminates with a capstone course in audio technology.

Rank 6
Elon University
Elon, NC

The Bachelor of Arts in Music Production & Recording Arts degree from Elon University is designed for students who want to study the intersection of music and technology within the liberal arts. This includes disciplines such as songwriting, composing music for film and video games, audio engineering and music production, post-production audio, music business and entrepreneurship, and performing in commercial music genres.

Rank 7
Buena Vista University
Storm Lake, IA

The Bachelor of Arts in Music Production & Technology from Buena Vista University is a liberal arts degree that will help students develop the skills needed to thrive in the music industry. Students in the program will have the opportunity to create audio and video while working with live musicians in a variety of settings, including recording studios, live concerts, and major concert venues. The program also provides access to BVU’s radio and video studios, where students can hone their skills.

Rank 8
University of Oregon
Eugene, OR

The University of Oregon offers a Bachelor of Science in Music technology. This degree is focused on the creation of new types of musical content, and students will learn how to compose, perform, and create interactive musical environments. The curriculum is designed to balance the development of artistic and creative skills with the mastery of technical aspects of the discipline.

Rank 9
University of Central Missouri
Warrensburg, MO

The Bachelor of Music in Music Technology from University of Central Missouri is a degree that focuses on audio engineering, music production, computer science, and sonic creativity. The curriculum includes courses in audio engineering and production, live sound reinforcement, technology-based performance, audio for film/video/game, sound design, interactive computer music, composition, and acoustics.

Rank 10
University of Maryland-Baltimore County
Baltimore, MD

The Bachelor of Arts in Music Technology from University of Maryland-Baltimore County is a four-year program that prepares students for careers in the audio engineering field. The program provides a solid foundation in professional audio engineering, with courses covering topics such as acoustics, microphone placement, digital signal processing, ProTools, and surround sound recording. Students also have the opportunity to pursue individual research projects under faculty supervision, and gain experience in audio production in a professional work environment.

What to Expect From a Bachelor’s in Audio Production Program

Students in a bachelor’s in audio production program learn how to capture, edit, and mix audio for various purposes, such as music, movies, video games, and more. The degree typically takes four years to complete and requires around 120 credits.

Most programs include core coursework in audio production, along with classes in music theory, ear training, and sound design. Students also learn to use industry-standard software and equipment. In addition, many programs offer concentration options, such as music production, live sound, and post-production.

Internships are often required or strongly encouraged, as they provide students with the opportunity to gain real-world experience. Many programs also require a capstone project, which gives students the chance to showcase their skills and knowledge.

To succeed in a bachelor’s in audio production program, students should have strong technical skills and be able to work well independently and as part of a team. They should also be creative, detail-oriented, and organized.

Common Audio Production Courses

A degree in audio production will prepare students for a career in the music industry. The following is a list of classes that are typically taken for this degree.

Acoustics

This course covers the study of sound, its properties, and behavior in various environments. Topics include sound waves, wave properties, reflection, absorption, diffraction, interference, sound propagation, architectural acoustics, and psychoacoustics. Upon completion, students should be able to apply the principles of acoustics to the design of sound systems and sound-proofing methods.

Signal Processing

This course covers the theory and application of digital signal processing (DSP) to audio signals. Topics include the discrete-time Fourier transform (DTFT), the z-transform, digital filters, filter design, and DSP hardware. Emphasis is placed on the use of DSP to solve problems in audio signal processing, such as noise reduction, echo cancellation, and sound synthesis. Upon completion, students should be able to apply DSP methods to audio signals and understand the trade-offs involved in various design choices.

Audio Recording and Reproduction

This course covers the methods and techniques used to capture, edit, and mix audio for various applications. Topics include an introduction to digital audio workstations, recording devices and techniques, microphone types and selection, signal flow, equalization, compression, effects, and automation. Upon completion, students should be able to set up and operate a digital audio workstation, record and edit audio, and mix audio for various applications.

Post-Production Audio

This course covers the advanced techniques of post-production audio. Topics include noise reduction, dynamics processing, EQ, time-based effects, pitch correction, advanced automation, and working with stems. Students will also learn how to mix and master audio for a variety of media, including film, video, games, and music. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate advanced skills in post-production audio and apply them to a variety of audio projects.

Audio Production Techniques

This course covers the skills and techniques used in audio production. Topics include the use of microphones, mixing consoles, digital audio workstations, and outboard gear. Students will learn how to record, edit, and mix audio for a variety of applications. Upon completion, students should be able to set up and operate audio production equipment, record and edit audio, and mix audio for a variety of applications.

Career Options for Audio Production Graduates

Graduates of audio production programs work in a variety of industries, including music, film, television, and video games. They may also work in fields such as sound engineering and sound design.

Sound Engineer

Sound engineers are responsible for the technical aspects of a recording or live performance. They set up, operate, and maintain the equipment that picks up or amplifies sound. Sound engineers also work with sound designers to create the right soundscape for a movie, TV show, video game, or stage production. In a recording studio, the sound engineer is responsible for capturing the music on tape or digital files. In a live setting, the sound engineer is responsible for making sure the audience can hear the performers and that the sound is of good quality.

Recording Engineer

Recording engineers are responsible for capturing audio—usually music, but also dialogue for film and TV, sound effects for video games, and more—using a variety of equipment, including microphones, mixers, and digital audio workstations (DAWs). In the studio, they work with producers and artists to set up and test equipment, choose the right microphones, and mix different tracks together to create a final product. They also may be responsible for maintaining and repairing equipment. Recording engineers typically work in recording studios, but they may also travel to live venues to record concerts and other events.

Broadcast Technician

Broadcast technicians are responsible for the technical aspects of a television or radio broadcast. This can include setting up and operating audio and video equipment, as well as troubleshooting any problems that occur during a broadcast. Broadcast technicians typically work in studios or control rooms, but they may also travel to on-location shoots. In addition to their technical skills, broadcast technicians must be able to follow directions and work well under pressure.

Music Producer

Music producers work with artists and bands to create songs and albums. They are responsible for overseeing the recording process, working with engineers to achieve the desired sound, and coaching the artists to get the best possible performance. Producers may also be responsible for selecting the songs that will be recorded, and for managing the budget and schedule for the project. In some cases, producers also write or co-write songs.

Audio Post-Production Engineer

Audio post-production engineers work in studios to create and edit the audio for movies, TV shows, video games, and other forms of visual media. They use a variety of tools, including digital audio workstations (DAWs), to mix, edit, and master audio recordings. Audio post-production engineers typically have a bachelor’s degree in audio engineering or a related field, and many have years of experience working in audio production before moving into post-production.

Insights From an Audio Production Graduate

Jorge Deleon is an Audio Engineer at Sony Music. He has a bachelor’s degree in audio production from the Berklee College of Music. Jorge has over 10 years of experience in audio engineering and music production.

ClimbtheLadder: How did you make the most of your Audio Production degree program so that it prepared you for post-graduation jobs?

Jorge Deleon: I made the most of my audio production degree program by taking advantage of all the resources that were available to me. I took classes on music production, audio engineering, and music business. I also interned at a few different music studios. These experiences helped me to learn about the different aspects of the music industry and to network with people in the industry.

After graduation, I was able to get a job as an audio engineer at a music studio. I believe that my experiences and education prepared me well for this job.

ClimbtheLadder: What are the most rewarding aspects of your career? What are the most challenging aspects of your career?

Jorge Deleon: The most rewarding aspect of my career is being able to work with music on a daily basis. I get to work with some of the most talented musicians in the world and help them create the best possible product.

The most challenging aspect of my career is the fact that it is very competitive. There are a lot of people who want to be audio engineers, and only a limited number of positions. This can make it difficult to find work, especially when starting out.

ClimbtheLadder: Was there anything about your Audio Production program that you didn’t expect or anticipate?

Jorge Deleon: I didn’t expect the program to be as technical as it was. I thought it would be more creative. But the program was very technical, and it was a lot of work.

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