Jets rip overhead. Gunfire shatters the room. Radios squeal in pilot headsets. A charge explodes from the sea, a roaring geyser falling in on itself with a massive splash. The sound is immersive, epic—the environment feels so real you could touch it, even though you know it’s an illusion.
Sound designers make it happen. Sound is critical to the success of storytelling in films, TV, theater, video games, and theme parks; it makes or breaks recorded music. Sound is the first sense we develop in the womb and remains one of our most primal and powerful means of communication.
Michigan Tech prepares students to enter the world of sound as content creators in any context. Many of our students walk right into high-level jobs after graduation. Sound designer Steve Green's first job was lead designer on the successful video game Abzû.
Other sound programs in other places offer training in a fraction of the discipline. Our program is comprehensive: tools, techniques, theory, and training in music theory and composition; the full spectrum of audio production, from recording to mixing and mastering; narrative analysis and story structure; and the technical arts that form the backbone of this advanced disciplinary field.
- Our production facilities 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. Spend as much time as you need to hone your craft.
- Hands-on begins Day One. Record original content, compose original music, work in theater, on concerts, and in numerous projects and productions on our culturally vibrant career-focused campus.
- Our class sizes are small for a reason—we give you one-on-one contact with faculty who work professionally in sound all over the world.
Smart meets Art
- Record, create, and design original sound effects for theater, film, and other projects.
- Make original music studio recordings as engineer and producer.
- Compose and conduct original music, including a full scoring session for cinema with a live orchestra.
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 Designer, Mixer, Editor—Films, TV, Video Games, Theater
- Recording Engineer/Producer
- Live Sound Engineer
- Sound Effects Recordist
- Foley Artist
- Tour Manager
- 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.