You enter the room. Sounds leap around you. Sensors track your movements—the sounds change depending on where you stand and what you're doing. You can’t see speakers, but you know there must be a ton of them, because sound is coming from everywhere. The system and technology behind this must be incredible.
So are the audio technologists who create it.
In Michigan Tech's audio production and technology program, study the tools, techniques, equipment, and theory of modern sound production, from studio to stage, to theme parks and beyond. If you love creative problem solving, and technology, this program gives you the tools you need to succeed in the complex, sophisticated world of audio technology. Recently the university had to respond creatively to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many sound students were a part of creating solutions as we filmed and produced a stage version of Eric Samuelson's Miasma.
Make sound amazing. Make amazing sounds. Many of our students walk right into high-level jobs after graduation. Paul Bristol's first job is AV/Control systems designer and engineer for Smart Monkeys, a themed entertainment company sends him all over the world. His first assignment: The Rockettes at New York City's Radio City Music Hall.
- Learn the full range of core skills essential to contemporary audio systems, including the physics behind sound production, fundamentals of computer networking and programming, and electrical engineering.
- Build technology prowess over the course of earning your degree, progressing from basic analog equipment to advanced customized systems with dozens of speakers and custom-programmed controls.
- Practice and perfect your craft in Michigan Tech's sound production facilities, which include several surround-sound mixing rooms for cinema, theater, and gaming production—unlike most audio programs, facilities and equipment are available to students 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
- Hands on from Day One—you'll record original content, compose original music, work on stage productions, concerts and more.
- Work one-on-one in our intentionally small classes. Get advice and guidance from instructors who work professionally in sound all over the world.
Smart meets Art
- Design and calibrate sound systems for music, theater, and other live events.
- Program custom software and computer systems for audio.
- Mix concerts as lead engineer.
- Record, mix, master, and produce albums.
- Calibrate and program interactive installations.
Being a Husky
- Sound program grads from Michigan Tech work throughout the industry, just like the faculty who help prepare you for your career. Their network of companies, professionals, and jobs provide a pathway.
- We're not located in a big city, but we keep you connected to the industry. Students attend major professional events several times yearly—from the Audio Engineering Society national conference to the United States Institute of Technical Theater convention. Make your own professional contacts, present your work to industry leaders, and be ready to navigate the complex world of the entertainment industry the moment you graduate.
One-on-one student advising keeps you progressing toward your goals. Every semester you meet with a faculty member to evaluate where you're at and where you're headed. You'll consider summer internships, jobs résumé and portfolio preparation—everything you need to line up the kind of work you want and build the career you desire.
Careers in Sound Design
- Sound System Designer/Engineer
- Live Concert Mix/System Engineer
- AV Integrator
- Project Engineer
- Software Designer
- The possibilities are limitless
Graduates employ methods of creative analysis to understand how aural arts are used as meaningful expressions of the human experience:
- They apply foundational analytical skills to recognize and interpret quality works of art.
- They apply appropriate tropes, elements of design, and musical structure to analysis of their own and others' works.
- They use a focused, methodical approach to answering important questions.
Graduates apply a diverse set of artistic techniques to create sound designs:
- They apply foundational elements and principles of design and structure to create sound in varied media.
- They demonstrate foundational applied skills and techniques in sound and audio.
- They present the body of their design and technical work in an organized and artistic manner.
- They demonstrate the ability to modify their work after external and self-evaluation.
Graduates apply knowledge of the context and evolution of diverse artistic media to create sound designs:
- They understand the history and evolution of sound design.
- They demonstrate a familiarity with benchmark works in the artistic canon of sound, music, theater, and film.
- They evaluate works in artistic, cultural and historical context.
- They apply historical artistic forms and tropes to their own artistic practices.
Graduates apply scientific and technological principles to support work in sound design:
- They understand the scientific foundations relevant to sound and audio.
- They apply informed experimentation as a tool in solving artistic challenges.
- They demonstrate a working knowledge of current technology that supports work in sound and audio.
- They demonstrate flexibility in the use of new and emerging technologies.
Graduates demonstrate professional skills when engaging the arts and entertainment industry:
- They familiarize themselves with the diverse industries in sound design and related fields.
- They understand basic structures and organization in the entertainment industry.
- They communicate using the diverse modes of industry standard communication.
- They participate in important industry-related organizations.
- They evaluate their work within the context of the work of peers and professionals in their field.