Audio Production and Technology—BS

Plug into a Program with a High-Tech Focus

The audio production and technology program (SFAT) is designed for students interested in system design, system installation, and other technical elements of sound. This degree program integrates course work in music and theater production with electrical engineering technology or computer science, emphasizing the technical aspects of audio production. Throughout the entertainment industry, consumer expectations and technological advances are driving a need for professionals who have a background in not only the fundamentals of music and theatre, but also in these specific areas of technology. Upon graduation, you will have the versatility to work with audio gear as it evolves.

  • A solid foundation in electrical engineering technology supports long-term success in working with sound technology. A specialization in computer science provides the ideal balance of code skills and artistic experience to enter the video game industry.
  • Course work in music, art, theatre, and literature develops the ability to analyze and discuss sound.
  • The department has two 7.1 sound-for-picture mixing studios, a high fidelity stereo music recording studio, a small studio/band practice space, and numerous tracking rooms.
  • Audio-production studios are available to students 24/7.
  • At Michigan Tech, you will start working on real-world projects and performances from day one. Through the First-Year Practicum, you will create a major dramatic audio project, mix many multi-track recordings and work on live sound and live recording.
  • Limited enrollment allows for more time with professors, advisors, and equipment.

What kinds of projects will I do in school?

You can expect to

  • Design sound systems.
  • Produce albums for local bands.
  • Optimize the sound quality of large sound systems.
  • Do advanced sound system programming for live entertainment.
  • Do room acoustic testing and optimization for specific qualitative goals.

Involvement in a breadth of production work in live sound, live and studio recording, theater, theme-parks and industrial-system design, cinema, commercials, and radio will provide a solid foundation for you to fine-tune your interests and to adapt your career to the advancements of the field.

How will Michigan Tech help me start my career?

  • A professional portfolio: You will begin creating a portfolio during your first semester, continuing to develop it so that you leave campus with a solid professional presentation of yourself.

  • One-on-one academic advising: You will meet with your advisor each semester to talk about your progress and class schedule, keeping you on track to graduate. These meetings will also shape your production experiences at Tech.
  • Career advising: Your advisor will also discuss career options and post-graduation goals with you, and will assist you in searching and applying for internships—skills that are applicable to post-graduation job searching.
  • Networking: You will regularly attend professional conferences, where you will meet with industry professionals and, as an upperclassman, present your work.

What will I do after graduation?

Start your career as a theatre technician, audio-systems installer, or touring audio technician, or consider graduate school.

Graduates may opt for careers in live sound, recording, themed entertainment, and sound for picture.

Students have worked at/on:

Learning Goals for Audio Production and Technology

Technological Principles

Graduates will apply scientific and technological principles to support work in sound design. They will:

  • understand the scientific foundations relevant to sound and audio.
  • apply informed experimentation as a tool in solving artistic challenges.
  • demonstrate a working knowledge of current technology that supports work in sound and audio.
  • demonstrate flexibility in the use of new and emerging technologies.

Creative Analysis

Graduates will employ methods of creative analysis to understand how the aural arts are used as meaningful expressions of the human experience. They will:

  • apply foundational analytical skills to recognize and interpret quality works of art.
  • apply appropriate tropes, elements of design, and musical structure to analysis of their own and others works.
  • Use a focused methodical approach to approaching important questions.

Artistic Expression

Graduates will apply a diverse set of artistic techniques in creating sound designs. They will:

  • apply foundational elements and principles of design and structure in creating sound in varied media.
  • demonstrate foundational applied skills and techniques in sound and audio.
  • present the body of their design and technical work in an organized and artistic manner.
  • demonstrate the ability to modify their work after external and self-evaluation.

Historical Context

Graduates will apply knowledge of the context and evolution of diverse artistic media in creating sound designs. They will:

  • understand the history and evolution of sound design.
  • demonstrate a familiarity with benchmark works in the artistic canon of sound, music, theatre, and film.
  • evaluate works in artistic, cultural and historical context.
  • apply historical artistic forms and tropes to their own artistic practice.

Industry Engagement

Graduates will demonstrate professional skills when engaging the arts and entertainment industry. They will:

  • familiarize themselves with the diverse industries in sound design and related fields.
  • understand basic structures and organization in the entertainment industry.
  • communicate using the diverse modes of industry standard communication.
  • participate in important industry-related organizations.
  • evaluate their work within the context of the work of peers and professionals in their field.

Audio Production and Technology Program Portfolio at Michigan Tech by areteaudio