Sep 25, 2022  
2013-2014 Course Catalog 
2013-2014 Course Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Audio Arts and Acoustics, BA

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The major in Audio Arts and Acoustics is a collection of study concentrations in the broad area of professional audio.

Audio Arts & Acoustics specialists creatively explore sound, the most evocative of sensations, and hearing, the most intuitive of senses. Our students systematically address sound production and perception and enhance audio and multimedia art-works.

From live and recorded sound design and engineering for music, theater, film, broadcast, or multimedia, to vibration and noise measurement and control, architectural acoustics, hearing studies, sound art, and design and management of audio installations, our facilities and collective expertise are unmatched in the US. Our alumni are thriving in all aspects of our profession, have grown into Grammy winners, audio industry leaders, and promising future academics, constituting the most compelling evidence of our success.

A team of accomplished technicians, artists, and academics, our faculty members are active and recognized within most facets of the audio industry, engage in influential research, and include artists whose work is at the cutting edge of sound art. Standing firmly at the intersection of art, science, and technology we nurture tomorrow’s sound experts.

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Audio Design and Production

The Audio Design and Production Program helps prepare students for careers in music recording, audio post-production, audio for multi-media communications, sound design, and sound art. It provides “core” coursework that covers the science of audio, basic and advanced recording, editing and processing, and studio recording and post-production techniques common to all audio “production” fields. Students then choose courses that focus on the specific techniques, technologies and aesthetics of the music industry and/or of sound as an independent art form, and become versed in a variety of formats and environments, from large-format recording studios to “desk-top” environments.

The specific goal of the Concentration is to provide a foundation understanding of audio theory (Introduction to Audio Theory and Basic Audio Systems), along with production fundamentals (Audio Production I and II). Our intermediate courses (Recording I, Recording II, and Live Sound Recording) apply core curriculum theory and practice in the context of studio and live/location recording/production, using both complex and simple microphone use/techniques as well as “live-to-two-track” and multi-track recording. A selection of “Master Class” courses (two are required) comprise capstone experiences in the areas of studio recording, live/location recording, sound art, synthesis/signal processing, and internships. In addition, students are required to take at least three courses in the department, outside of the Audio Design & Production Concentration requirements.

It is important that students recognize the ever-changing and increasingly diverse nature of our technologically sensitive industries. To this end we explore new media forms, in which audio production is an integral part. These may include web design and authoring, real-time web media, CD ROM publishing, sound design for theater, broadcast, and multi-media, and Sound Art as a stand-alone, independent means of artistic expression.

As part of a liberal arts program, students also develop communication skills in, and an aesthetic understanding of the different industries they may serve, which prepare them to interact more effectively with peers and clients.

Program Requirements   

Transfer Students: View a Transfer Planning Tool for this Concentration  

Audio for Visual Media

The Audio for Visual Media Program helps prepare students for audio careers in the film, video, and game industries. Students explore the theory and practices of soundtrack design, as well as recording, editing, and mixing in relationship to story structure. As members of a liberal arts program, students develop an understanding of aesthetic principles as well as communication and professional skills that will allow them to effectively pursue their future goals.

Audio for Visual Media is a collaboration among the Film and Video, Audio Arts and Acoustics, and Interactive Arts and Media Departments, and students in this Program are required to complete courses in all three Departments. The Program is continually evolving to incorporate additional forms of visual media, and we encourage students to consult with faculty members and advisors in order to tailor their studies to best meet their interests and career objectives.

Program Requirements  

Transfer Students: View a Transfer Planning Tool for this Concentration  

Live and Installed Sound

The Live & 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, through equal parts theory, aesthetics, and hands-on operation. 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 expertly taught in our Department and are widely sought after by the relevant industries.

Input from working alumni in Live and Installed Sound has been contributing to curriculum design and updates within the Concentration. Our 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. 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 idioms. 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.

The success of our graduates can be traced to a view from the ivory tower tempered by applications in sound system design and the creative chaos of real-world live sound production.

Program Requirements  

Transfer Students: View a Transfer Planning Tool for this Concentration  

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