Education in the Audio Field


Hey all, Im just an amateur in sound. I work the system at my high school theatre and I'm occasionally hired to op the board for regional theatre musicals. I'v had a great time learning sound engineering and I think it's something I want to pursue as a career. My question for you all is this: What next? Im on the tail end of my Junior year and have been looking at various colleges, what kind of education is out there for sound? I realize there are different fields you can go into. I apologize in advanced if this is the wrong forum




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You have a few choices...

First you can go to a school for Theatre and focus in sound. I know UNCSA has a good program, I have worked with many of their alumni and they are very well trained.

Or, you can go into something like Music Production/Recording - basically studio work. You'll learn about audio and all that.

Or you can go the major in something different and do audio on the side. An audio company I once worked for was owned by a physics dude, and two electrical engineers. This was production audio, not theatre stuff strictly. But still they majored in relating fields and applied what they knew to making great audio.

I got a B.A. in theatre never once taking a sound class or anything (just wasn't offered at my school), but I started working for audio companies on the side and reading everything I could. 6 months out of school I found myself on a national broadway tour as their audio engineer. Just goes to show you don't need the formal audio education as long as you study up and have the will to work on your own to learn!


Another place to look is in the Mass Comm. department of schools if they aren't big enough to offer a dedicated theater program or an audio engineering program. They generally house the audio production, engineering, and broadcast aspects that you might be interested in. If you choose that, you can declare a minor in theater and get the exposure that way.

As a side note, I would suggest you follow muzicman's advice and in the meantime, try to get some exposure to the audio scene on the side. It's exactly what I did, got my degree in computer science, worked as a TD at a regional theater and took any side gig I could with big bands, rock groups, and all sorts of touring shows that would come through our venue. The exposure is great and it's a good way to learn the in's and out's of every kind of group/genre (good for marketing yourself as being proficient in all types of venues and productions other than just theaters/musical shows).

Edit: the side gigs may also be a useful tool if you still are trying to determine if sound is what you want to pursue in higher education or if it is a hobby that pays ;)

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