Through equal parts theory, aesthetics, and hands-on operation the Live and Installed Sound program addresses the technology and art of configuring, installing, and operating sound systems for everything from music and theater performances to civic or corporate events, religious services, and public announcement environments. As different as they may appear, live sound engineers and systems contractors are joined by a common goal: to successfully accomplish a desired sonic outcome in real-time contexts. Live and Installed Sound skills are comprehensively taught in the department and are widely sought after by the relevant industries, where many of the department’s alumni thrive.
Input from working alumni in Live and Installed Sound has contributed to curriculum design and updates to the program. Early in the program the classes are directed toward theory and aesthetics, with hands-on experience becoming increasingly the focus of small group projects as the course sequence progresses. Cooperative effort is encouraged at all levels of the program, reflecting the professional expectations of the live sound and sound systems design environments. Opportunity is also provided for students to expand their individual capabilities in lab and in external production contexts.
As live sound production often incorporates other media arts, students are encouraged to take classes in acoustics and audio production as a means of expanding their personal viability in the professional world. The course material is driven by the realities of that world and the less volatile requirements of a classic liberal arts education.
Successful alumni are employed by major artists, venues, and sound companies throughout North America and beyond, as system designers and engineers as well as front-of-house mixers and monitor engineers. They occupy executive positions in the industry, engage in sound system design applications, and/or immerse themselves in the creative chaos of real-world live sound production.
As a result of successfully completing program requirements, students should be able to:
- manage audible content on a jobsite with respect to site-relevant aesthetically correct performance, targeted at client satisfaction;
- manage audible content on a jobsite with respect to feedback suppression to the degree that there is no audible feedback in house or monitors;
- address industry mandated sound measurement issues as required by the particular characteristics of a given jobsite;
- address live industry IT-specific issues on jobsites as required by situation and hardware availability; and
- define, document, present, and implement sound system designs applicable to a given live sound event for a variety of musical styles and events contexts.