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Master’s Degree Programs in Sound Engineering Overview

Majors Overview January 1, 2016

This article talks about master’s degree programs in sound engineering and their educational requirements, coursework, and career choices.

Master’s Programs in Sound Engineering

A recording arts and music technology degree program may include sound engineering as a concentration within it. Technical training in the recording, production, and synchronization of sound is available in these programs. Students learn about the technologies employed in the production and recording of sound for concerts, movies, video games, radio broadcasts, and musical compilations. Sound can be produced and manipulated by using digital software, digital technology is thus part of the core coursework. The principles of acoustics, electrical and computer engineering, the cultural influences of music technology, and creative learning are in the training process.

Educational Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a bachelor’s degree in music, sound technology, or electrical engineering, in addition to submitting a portfolio of their previous work with sound technology. Prerequisite courses may include physics, musical history and theories, audio recording fundamentals, and calculus.

Most schools demand a portfolio that incorporates previous creative, professional, and educational work in sound or music technology. Incoming students may also have to submit references and attend a personal interview.

Coursework

Coursework is largely made up of seminars and labs where hands-on technical training for mixing equipment and digital recording is available. Seminars include the discussion of practices, theories, and issues related to audio technology. Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:

•Tone recognition
•Training the ear
•Technology and music
•Musical theories
•Cultural influences
•Recording multiple tracks
•Principles in hearing sound
•Mixing techniques
•Acoustics (Electrical, physical, musical and psychological)
•Digital recording acoustics

Career Choices

Sound engineering students learn how to record and reproduce sound through the use of computer and mechanical technology. There is a wide choice of careers in sound engineering. Graduates may opt for a post-production career in screenplay or video games scores, or a specialization in live recording and production. They may choose from possible job positions such as:

•Sound effects editor
•Recording engineer
•Production mixer

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