What do you want to be when you grow up? It feels like we are asked this question since we are children. When it comes time to choose a college major, the question carries more importance. In past years, the field of audio production was frowned upon because of its possibilities. All of that has changed with recent innovations in how audio is used, created, and brought to the masses.
But in the past few years, audio production and engineering degrees have become more desirable. More colleges now recognize this, and many have created solid audio production degree programs. What is behind the changes in the industry? Let’s take a look at what’s driving the push for those to obtain audio production degrees.
Audio Production, Explained
To begin with, audio production hosts a variety of different specialized jobs. Of these, there are five that appeal to many job seekers. If you would like an audio production degree to further your profession, you might consider these five jobs.
Job #1: Record Producer
The record producer oversees the start to finish process of a song or an album. A record producer also creates musical ideas and assists and hires session musicians. In addition to this, a record producer also aids artists in putting together their music and gives input on lyrics and arrangements.
Job #2: Recording Studio Manager
Recording studio managers are those who manages a studio’s daily operations. They can be owners of the studio or hired for this specific role. The manager markets the facility to prospective customers and also negotiates studio rates.
Someone in this role isn’t required to be well-versed in the technical aspects of music, but studios do lean towards those who have experience with audio recording. For that reason, managers have the powers to hire engineers to run and maintain the equipment.
Job #3: Audio Technician
An audio technician works to achieve the best sound quality by working with artists and their producers. This job requires a bevy of responsibilities which focus on the more technical aspects. These tasks include:
- Performing sound checks
- Setting up equipment
- Making copies and archives of all recordings
- Using mixing boards to merge audio from different sources in a studio setting.
Audio technicians, who are also referred to as audio engineers, also perform these duties for events. An audio technician may work in concert halls, stadiums, corporate offices and other venues.
Job #4: Sound Designer
A sound designer collects and creates live audio effects used in productions and performances. These effects include “atmospheric” sounds, like the sound from a construction site. Sound effects also include “spot effects” that are isolated like glass breaking. These effects are then utilized for the scores for film, television, commercials and theatrical productions.
A sound designer’s work can also be found in video games and animation projects The sound designer communicates with a project’s director to determine the needs for sounds according to the script. A sound designer also works with other sound editors during the editing process.
Job #5: Digital Audio Editor
The Digital Audio Editor’s role has grown in past few years thanks to the different digital audio software programs. As variety grows in the industry, digital audio editors have more opportunities. This job does tend to get folded into the role of the sound engineer.
Moreso, some producers prefer to have a dedicated digital audio editor to work on their projects. Working with a specific digital audio editor means producers and artists can expect higher quality. Digital audio editors work on recording sessions by creating cuts, splices, mixes, copies and cleaning up the project.
The Details of Audio Production Training
The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the audio/sound engineering field will grow 8% between 2018-2028. It is an intensive field of study, and it is important to understand the field’s outcomes.
Because of the numerous jobs in audio production, it is important that you have the right amount of training for the field you want to work in. Audio production requires hands-on work, especially when a producer operates and engineers recording sessions.
Qualifications for Audio Production
The paths to to becoming an audio producer vary greatly. An audio production certificate is often the first choice for those looking to change their careers. This path does allow for individuals to gain experience with programs that are in demand in the industry. An audio production school’s degree may offer Avid Pro Tools certification, for example.
Associate’s Degree in Audio Production
Another path that some prospective students gravitate to involves acquiring an associate’s degree. This path usually lasts about 18 months, and can open the door to becoming a sound technician.
Bachelor’s Degree in Audio Production
Having a bachelor’s degree in media production is an option for those looking for specific sound production degrees. Once an audio production student completes their education, they can utilize what they’ve learned to work in all aspects of projects.
The Experiences One Can Expect As An Audio Production Professional
Being a professional in audio production means that you’ll have the chance to choose from many options in the field. The industry continues to grow and along with that comes highly specialized lines.
Because of the changes in the industry, marketing changes have transformed in the field of audio branding. There are agencies that provides unique audio expertise to major companies. These companies work on projects that results in the creation of a particular sound for a brand’s image. More companies are gravitating to this in conjunction with their media strategies.
Podcasting and Broadcasting
The podcast and broadcasting industry continues to grow. Having a podcast is now a staple for everyone from news agencies to celebrities. An audio producer cares for and runs the recording sessions for these podcasts.
And then there’s the software design niche. Those who have experience with programs like Apple Logic Pro and know the inner workings of other audio production programs are invaluable. will find that expertise invaluable if hired to help create other audio production programs and applications for desktop and mobile usage.
With so many routes available, future audio producers have a world of possibility to consider their careers. As today’s trends demonstrate, the possibilities that are available to someone who wants to work in audio production are vast and the industry is growing to accommodate all of those avenues as well as those using their expertise to creatively push the envelope.
Want to Learn More?
Did reading about the immense possibilities of pursuing audio production as a collegiate major give you some inspiration to make that a possible move for your future? If you’re taking some time to research on where the best place to pursue these educational goals might be, consider the Audio Production program at the Institute for Production and Recording can help you to make your dream job a reality.