Online Audio Recording Universities

Find out about job titles that could be available if you earn a degree in audio recording. Learn about degree levels and coursework in these programs, and get tips for studying online. Schools offering Music Production degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

The study of audio recording provides an understanding of the tools, technology and techniques used to capture sound clearly and in a way that's engaging to the listener. While many audio recording programs emphasize the ability to gain in-person, in-studio training, a handful of options do exist to gain an education in the field through online learning.

Can I Get a Degree in Audio Recording?

You can get a certificate, an associate's degree or even a bachelor's degree in online or hybrid programs that will qualify you to become a professional in the field of audio recording or engineering. InfoComm International, a non-profit professional association for the audiovisual industry, has its own education academy. They offer non-degree online and on-campus courses dealing with audio production (www.infocomm.org). These individual courses lead to a Certificate of Completion. Many similar courses can be found in curricula presented at community colleges or technical schools.

There are institutions that offer a series of short courses leading to a Diploma in Sound Engineering. Courses in audio production and engineering can also be found in programs that lead to an Associate in Media Arts. Some schools offer audio recording classes in a program that leads to a Bachelor of Science in Music Production with an audio engineering concentration or a Bachelor of Audio Engineering degree. Other schools offer audio production training as one component of a program leading to a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Digital Media Production. Accreditation for degree-granting schools can be checked through the U.S. Department of Education Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs (www.ope.ed.gov).

Which Schools Offer Online Audio Recording Diplomas or Certificates?

These short-term programs can be used to get an introduction to the field or specialize in an area of interest, such as post-production. Some of the schools offering online or hybrid programs at this level include:

  • Full Sail University offers an online certificate in audio production.
  • Harrisburg Area Community College's music audio and recording technology diploma program includes introductory coursework that can be completed online.
  • Foothill College features various certificates that include a combination of on-campus and online course offerings, including programs in music technology and audio post production.

Where Can I Find an Online Associate's Degree?

Associate's degrees related to audio production often require students to complete some of their coursework on campus, though fully online programs are available. Examples of these schools are listed below:

  • Los Angeles Film School offers an online Associate of Science in Music Production.
  • Mesa Community College's Associate of Applied Science in Audio Production Technologies program allows students to complete general education coursework online.
  • Tribeca Flashpoint College offers an Associate of Applied Science in Recording Arts that includes online general education coursework.

Which Schools offer Online Audio Production Bachelor's Degrees?

Students looking to complete an entire degree program from the comfort of home will likely find bachelor's degree programs to be the most common online option. Some of these programs are listed below:

  • Berklee College of Music offers an online Bachelor of Professional Studies in Music Production.
  • American Intercontinental University provides a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Media Production with a specialization in Audio Recording and Sound Design.
  • Full Sail University offers an online Bachelor of Science in Audio Production.

What Courses Will I Take and What Will I Learn?

In all audio recording programs, you'll learn to operate the equipment necessary to record and reproduce music. In degree-granting programs, you'll likely also be required to take a certain number of general education courses, such as oral communication, written communication, social science, natural science, mathematics and humanities.

Courses in the fundamentals of sound will train you in music basics, audiotronics, hardware and software applications, microphone theory and music communication skills. Recording and mixing courses will provide instruction in how to develop creative production skills, sound design and how to collaborate with artists. Recording and mixing courses are where much of the in-person work or internship requirements will take place. Music production courses stress the elements of melody, rhythm, harmony and tone qualities.

You also cover vocal production techniques, music history and songwriting. Postproduction courses will develop your fine-tuning skills, including adding after effects, laying down additional tracks of music, rhythm, dialog and eliminating others. You'll learn how to mix and refine all elements into a comprehensive product.

What Careers Are Available?

There are a number of career paths open to you in the recording industry, films or television, as an audio recording professional. What follows are just a few of your options.

Producers are the creative leaders of the recording studio. They work with talent, record companies and generally supervise all aspects of a recording project. A production assistant handles details of studio operation under the direction of the producer. He or she is the producer's right-hand man.

You might want to become a recording engineer. The recording engineer runs the soundboard and electrical equipment during the recording process. He helps run the session, with oversight and input from the producer. Many recording engineers started out as assistant engineers. Live sound engineers have similar duties as those of the recording engineer, only during live performances.

You might decide that a job as an audio or sound technician is right for you. These professionals are responsible for the supervision of setting up and placement of equipment for a live performance.

A mastering engineer's duties lie in post-production. Using the first mix done in a session, the mastering engineer tweaks the product with the finishing touches, such as effects, equalization (EQ) and compression. A re-mastering engineer is concerned with taking old analog recordings, such as those on vinyl, tape or 8-track and re-mastering them for release on CD or some other digital medium.

Many community colleges and specialty schools can provide the knowledge and skills you'll need to embark on a career in audio recording. These schools' online and hybrid programs typically award undergraduate degrees or certificates in fields like audio production, music production, recording technology and recording arts.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
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