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Schools with a BA/BS in Audio Engineering?

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by JamesGoodall, Mar 24, 2013.

  1. JamesGoodall


    Aug 29, 2011
    I've been searching around on the web, but I also figured why not ask TB.

    I'm currently studying Music Business with an emphasis in recording at Dallas Baptist University. I'm in my second semester, and I'm starting to realize that I am only being prepared to work in a church's audio dept. This is problematic to me in that I am neither Christian, nor do I have any desire to work in a church or be treated like a child until I'm ~24.

    The question at hand is do any of you know of a (preferably public) university with a good degree in audio engineering? I know of a few ones that are pretty obvious: Belmont, Berklee, and Full Sail. I've already taken a few production courses online through Berklee and am holding that as a high choice. What are you guys' opinions/thoughts?

    Edit: Mods, if this belongs somewhere else, my bad. I figured the recording forum would be the best place to ask, but i wasn't sure...
  2. JamesGoodall


    Aug 29, 2011
    Bump. No one?
  3. stingray56funk

    stingray56funk Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2005
    Look at bigger public universities in your state. Would almost bet that UT Austin and UT Dallas have programs. North Texas may also. Places that I have worked both have respected music programs with Music Technology degrees that teach audio engineering, recording, production, and music business all together in Music Technology (University of Alabama at Birmingham and Georgia State University). Do not go to Full Sail or any other Non-regionally accredited schools unless that is the only school you will ever want to go to...the credit won't transfer.
  4. lownotes02


    Jan 19, 2005
    Melbourne, Fl
    I live near Full Sail and have recorded there. I second UNT. Full Sail tuition is a kings ransom and unless you come from a rich family I don't think you'll ever make enough to pay off the tuition. Last I heard it was over 30k a semester and that was years ago. Lots of unhappy grads in my area lamenting they can't find a job in their field with mountains of student loan debt.

    UNT is one of the best music schools...that's where I'd go. You can always double major in the event the engineering gig doesn't pan out.
  5. Berklee and the University of Miami have the best programs. Full Sail has great facilities and will teach how to use the hardware, but last time I checked they were lacking in many other areas such as production.
  6. TheEmptyCell

    TheEmptyCell Bearded Dingwall Enthusiast Banned

    Michigan Technological University... It's in the middle of nowhere and they actually have winter (if you're actually from Texas I don't know if you could survive that much snow) but they've got a couple of audio production and sound design degrees.
  7. Angus

    Angus Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    Let's take a step back for a moment.

    Are you talking "audio engineer that isn't really "engineering" so much as you are the recording tech", or "I engineer audio equipment, as in engineering"?

    If the latter, there are a number of schools with good programs that would set you up for graduate work in the requisite digital signal processing coursework to prepare you.

    But, since I know it's the former of the choices, then take a moment to ponder the purpose and goal/endpoint of your education.

    If you go to UMiami, UNT or Berklee- the best programs, on the whole- you will exit with a 4 year degree (though at the latter you can finish in under 3 years if you are not performing) that prepares you to be up against non-degreed individuals in a largely jobless market that cares only about experience and knowledge. It's a great choice if you are a self-employed musician and you are doing it to produce your own music and hopefully make a small amount of cash on the side- which is only a few people. Realistically, you'll want a job on the music side of production...but you aren't going to be hired right out of school into any good studio job. If you do, expect not to make more than minimum wage or a bit more, and you won't be touching dials or doing anything your degree prepared you for, for a longgg time.

    So, you'll be in school to get a piece of paper that the industry does not find compelling- more or less paying to get access to equipment for a bit of experience. Once you are done, the job market is so saturated with other people with the same credentials- plus more experience- that your only realistic goal in terms of money/jobs is to open your own studio and take the hard slog of loans, small business headaches, and the trials that come with it in a market where the services are expensive and the majority of the clients are light on cash.

    I realize that this isn't what you want to hear, but it's a conversation worth having with anyone who is considering devoting their education to getting a BA in recording tech.
  8. KrisHayes


    Sep 30, 2012
    I went to SUNY Purchase, which is a state school in New York and got a BA in Music with a focus in Studio Production. The program was basically audio engineering with some extra theory and composition aspects you wouldn't otherwise get with a program offering an Associates. It was pretty affordable too, especially compared to what some of these places are asking!
  9. bassman314

    bassman314 I seem to be a verb, an evolutionary process...

    Mar 13, 2005
    Bay Area, CA
    The Art Institute of San Francisco offers a BS in Audio Production.

    I am not a student, but we have done 2 sessions for their classes. From my end, it seems like a great program.

    Edit: I just looked on AI's page, adn they offer the same program in their Dallas campus.
  10. kph24


    Dec 27, 2004
    Los Angeles
    Eastman Basses
    Cal State Los Angeles has a B.M. with a music technology track. Which covers recording live and in the studio as well as mixing.
  11. I'm biased but tough to beat Berklee MP&E!
  12. TRob1293


    Feb 1, 2008
    Louisville, KY
    You are still in Texas- suggestions to move WAY out of state may or may not be suitable for you, so...

    Texas State University
  13. marcberez

    marcberez Supporting member

    Jun 23, 2012
    Tampa, FL
    For the ridiculous cost of all these programs you could go out and buy some great audio gear and learn on your own. The piece of paper you will receive after four years of study does not carry much weight in the real world.

    If you are really serious about working as an audio engineer, you should look for any job you can find in a good studio even if it is sweeping the floors. That is where real opportunities will arise. And in addition, you will save a lot of money.

    I went to Berklee in the 70s when it was affordable. Now, it is not a good investment of your money unless you have the money to burn. If I had to do it today, I would not make that investment. Good luck.
  14. KrisHayes


    Sep 30, 2012
    The money part is true. Depending on the situation, the degree can most certainly give you some clout in certain situations. Also, the networking you're able to do at an institution is invaluable. I can't tell you how many gigs I get because I networked and kept in touch with folks from school. Make a good impression, and people will remember you, even years later.

    Many big studio models like this are closing their doors. Virtually every successful young engineer that I'm acquainted with has made it based on having a productive and comfortable atmosphere at their studio and producing great material. In the age where you're able to easily get your work out there, it speaks for itself!

    Concerning Berklee, I 100% agree!
  15. As an experienced professional in this area, what the above is saying is absolutely true in my experience.

    To be specific I have a BA in Digital Arts with a concentration in Sound (Stetson University). This means that I have cross training and hundreds of hours in video editing, interactive installations, conceptual art, etc. This is on top of years of experience as a stagehand, live engineer, and venue manager.

    Every job I have gotten has been based on my experience and portfolio, they couldn't have cared less what my bachelor's degree was in, or if I even had one for that matter. What DID matter in my undergrad was the opportunities I had to work with other creative individuals in a research and content centered curriculum, and the self motivating attitude that was cultivated in me.

    UM does indeed have a gorgeous facility and just two years ago hosted the SEAMUS conference on its campus. They have so much to offer if you have the $$, Frost school is even more expensive than Stetson.

    If you want to be a dangerous and highly employable individual, concentrate on skills you can't get acquire through just gigging out. Spend your free time gigging, producing records and writing or whatever is you want to do.

    I don't want to try and put my own filter on your options and life any more than I already have, if you want PM me and we can talk more on this.
  16. bass12

    bass12 And Grace, too

    Jun 8, 2008
    Montreal, Canada
    I agree 100% You'd be better served spending the tuition money on equipment and learning on your own. But regardless, have you looked into the industry? Studios have been closing left, right and centre and much of the work that used to be done in professional recording facilities is now done in people's homes. There was a time I wanted to be a recording engineer. I took courses on recording (for a year and a half I worked strictly with tape, cutting and splicing). After coming to the conclusion, however, that spending countless hours listening to music I most likely wouldn't enjoy wasn't going to be for me I decided to be a professional musician. Now I'm rolling in dough. :p

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