Audio is a vital component of modern communication and entertainment. This is why the popularity of a interchangeably degree and similar areas of study are growing (U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics).
Fields such as music, film, video games, broadcasting, telecommunications, concert production, and church all rely on high-quality audio production. As such, the need for competent professionals who can produce high-quality audio and systems for audio reproduction is essential.
Visible’s Music Production degree focuses on the skills necessary to produce music both in the recording studio and in live sound venues. While both recording and live sound are accessible to those without a degree, formal education is almost always necessary to operate at a professional level that results in full-time employment or consistent gig work.
Is a Music Engineering Degree the same as Music Production?
Audio engineering is the technical process of recording and/or mixing audio utilizing tools and techniques such as balance, panning, and frequency, dynamics and spatial processing. Audio engineering includes the operation of audio hardware and software.
Music production is the process of overseeing and guiding the technical and creative aspects of a recording or live production of music, including technical setup and sonic direction, musical considerations such as arrangement and instrumentation, and management of schedules, personnel and budgets.
A music engineering degree might use the terms interchangeably, but strictly speaking, engineering is just technical, while production is technical, creative, and involves more leadership skills.
Even within the larger subjects of music engineering and production, there are sub-disciplines in the field of audio engineering that can be explored as well.
How Music Engineering fits into the Music Industry
Collaboration with Artist and Producers
Producers and engineers are the (often) behind the scenes people that help execute an artist’s musical ideas. Producers can be a part of the production process as early as songwriting, or they can get involved during pre-production.
Producers oversee the production personnel, which includes recording, mixing, and mastering engineers, as well as hired musicians.
End Product for Consumers
Engineers shape the sonic experience for the consumer.
Recording engineers capture the music in a recording studio. Mixing engineers balance and process the recorded tracks to be sonically enjoyable and fit the artist’s style. Mastering engineers add the final polish to mixes and prepare them for distribution. Live sound engineers mix audio for live events such as concerts and worship services.
Skills To Succeed in the Music Industry
Music producers and engineers need to have critical listening skills in order to make the best decisions when working on productions.
Understanding of Music Theory
Music producers need basic music theory understanding in order to communicate musical goals with artists. Musically proficiency, such as the ability to play an instrument, is all helpful.
Audio engineers need technical skills, including basic electrical engineering, audio software proficiency, and specialized training for audio equipment such as recording and live sound consoles.
Structure and plan
A music engineering degree is designed to equip students with a diversity of production skills. The curriculum focuses on practical, hands-on training.
Students start with fundamental skills important for all aspects of music production in their first year. The second and third years of the program allow students to specialize in recording or live production.
Subjects covered in the Music Production program include:
- studio engineering
- digital audio workstation operation
- live sound engineering
- mixing and mastering engineering
- music production, audio business administration
- project management
- live stage production
- sound system design
- audio for video.
Internships are a critical part of obtaining practical skills.
Visible Music College’s Music Engineering degree requires students to complete two internships. Students choose internships that are related to skills they want to improve or that they are passionate about. Internships are a great first step to employment after graduation.
- Recording Engineer
- Mixing Engineer
- Mastering Engineer
- Live Sound Engineer
- Music Producer
- Film or Television Production Mixer
- Sound Designer
- Post-production Sound Editor or Mixer
- Sound System Designer and Installer
- Broadcast Engineer
- Studio Owner or Manager
- Audio Entrepreneur
- Audio Educator
Related Career Routes
Related career paths include:
- software development
- video production
- acoustic design.
Music engingeering graduate programs prepare students for higher level career positions, research positions, and teaching positions.
Visible Music College’s Program Philosophy
Our program is designed to equip audio engineers and producers with professional readiness through a Christian worldview.
While there are many larger colleges and universities that offer a music engineering degree, Visible is dedicated to both music and faith.
It is designed to introduce the student to the tools and techniques used to produce music in modern recording studios, production facilities, and live sound environments while nurturing the student’s passion to serve the church and/or music industry with Christian character.
The student will gain an in-depth understanding of current technology, recording and live sound techniques, and music production skills.
Students will be responsible for engineering student recordings and live sound needs of Visible Music College. Skills and knowledge acquired in the program equip the student to work as producers and engineers, and/or start their own business. The program focuses on using industry standard DAWs Logic Pro and Pro Tools.
Visible’s program utilizes extensive hands-on training alongside classroom-based lectures and discussions to prepare students for gainful employment in a variety of music production jobs.
Diversifying the student’s skillset in order to make him or her more employable is central to the Music Production department’s curriculum and content delivery.
Our students come to the program with individual interests.
Some are more technically minded while others are more geared toward musical creativity. Some will embrace gear and software while others want to work with people. The program’s size allows both broad instructions of all topics under the music production umbrella while encouraging students to pursue their specific passions in the context of the course work and extracurricular projects.
Program Outcome Goals
Upon graduation, every student will:
- be able to find gainful employment in studios, live sound venues, post-production facilities, production companies, broadcast media, or entrepreneurial endeavors.
- be able to oversee and execute studio and live sound responsibilities with competence, professionalism, and humility.
- have a thorough understanding of how the mechanics of sound and audio apply to modern recording techniques and live sound reinforcement.