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Information on Master’s Degree Programs in Audio Production

Majors Overview July 2, 2015

The job of an audio producer is to combine music theory with mixing, mastering, and recording methods to create films, DVDs, videos, and CDs. There are various master’s degree programs in this field. The Master of Arts (M.A.) in Recording Arts or Recording is the most common.

Master’s Programs in Audio Production

Students enrolled in a Master of Arts (M.A.) program in Recording Arts learn advanced theoretical, technical, and musical skills aimed at furthering their careers in audio production. The length of programs varies between 12 and 24 months. The emphasis of some programs is on specific areas of study, including musical theory or acoustics. Coursework combines labs and lectures; many courses allow for hands-on experience. Many programs also include seminars. The preparation of a portfolio of work or thesis marks the culmination of the degree programs.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a bachelor’s degree, preferably in the recording arts. Some schools accept applicants with other majors, as long as those prospective students have prior experience in the field. Incoming students are expected to have a significant amount of technical knowledge before they can begin a program; such knowledge could include sound design, MIDI principles, and sound synthesis. Applicants for admission also need strong musical theory skills. Prerequisite material is typically a requirement before core coursework starts.

Coursework

Coursework is devised to impart advanced instruction on basic audio production concepts, including technical components and recording techniques. Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:

•Acoustics
•Recording systems
•Audio post-production
•Audio production
•Legal issues
•Music production
•MIDI techniques

Career Choices

Program graduates can pursue a wide array of career options; they can choose from possible job titles such as:

•Music editor
•Sound engineer
•Recording studio producer
•Music professor
•Music producer
•Recording engineer
•Sound designer

Job and Wage Outlook

Over the 2012 – 2022 decade, an average job growth rate of nine percent has been predicted for sound engineering technicians (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In a highly competitive field, the best opportunities are expected to be enjoyed by technicians with versatile skill sets and experience. In May 2012, these professionals brought in an average annual wage of $41,200 (BLS).

Continuing Education Information

Program graduates may pursue continuing education to keep abreast of continually changing practices and technologies in the audio industry. They may seek education with a focus on developing technologies, such as design tools. They may also develop their understanding of music theory through personal study.

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