Sound School

The Blackbird Academy

Twenty years ago, formal educational options for aspiring live sound engineers were few and far between. True, live sound is largely an apprentice-based craft, but these days,

whether you’re looking to supplement your skills with some short courses or fully immerse yourself in a four-year degree program, there’s a school for you.

If you’re considering a live sound education, start with our sampling of schools here, loosely arranged in ascending program length. Keep in mind that this is not an endorsement or a comprehensive list, and program quality, placement rates, facilities and gear, and hands-on experience will vary.

Have you taken courses in live sound? Tell us about it in the comments below!

Full Sail

Berklee Online

The online arm of Berklee College of Music offers a three-course Live Sound production specialist program that includes classes in Critical Listening, Advanced Audio Ear Training for Mix Engineers, and Live Sound: Mixing and Recording.

SynAudCon

SynAudCon holds online courses, traveling in-person training, and private seminars in various audio technology subjects. Live-sound-focused classes include Sound System Design, Making Wireless Work, and Transformer-Distributed Loudspeaker Systems.

Brittania Row

Massive UK-based production company Brittania Row offers live sound courses that range from packs of one-day modules to a three-year full-time program. Programs include weekend options.

Point Blank

The Point Blank Electronic Music school has campuses in London, Los Angeles, and Ibiza; the London location offers a three-month Live Sound Engineering course at the O2 Academy.

 

Master Mix Live founder Rick Camp

Master Mix Live

The Master Mix Live school near Las Vegas offers a 20-week Live Audio Engineering program led by veteran live sound engineer Rick Camp. Courses are limited to eight students, taught on a range of gear, and include Venue Pro User certification.

The Blackbird Academy

Founded by the legendary Blackbird studios in Nashville, the Blackbird Academy offers various immersive 700-hour audio curricula focusing on “experiential learning” with career pros; its Live Sound Engineering program was developed in partnership with Clair Global.

Recording Connection

Students in Los Angeles-based Recording Connection’s fully immersive Live Sound program learn by apprenticing with a front-of-house engineer 10-40 hours per week to complete a 20-section course curriculum.

CRAS

Central Arizona’s CRAS offers a live-sound-focused, 11-month academic program that includes hands-on production in its 6,000-square-foot stage and live sound venue.

McNally Smith
 

McNally Smith

McNally Smith College of Music in St. Paul, Minnesota, offers a 45-credit Diploma in Live Sound that can be accelerated in 12 months or serve as preparation for a pursuit of an Associate or Bachelor Degree in Audio Engineering or Music Production.

IPR

The IPR College of Creative Arts in Minneapolis offers an Associate Degree in Live Sound & Show Production that includes coursework and hands-on production in both sound and lighting design and production.

Husson University

Husson University’s New England School of Communications in Bangor, Maine, offers a BS in Communications Technology with an option in Live Sound Technology. Coursework includes hands-on experience at on and off campus concerts, television variety shows, and sporting events.

Full Sail

Winter Park, Florida’s Full Sail University offers a Bachelor of Science in Show Production that includes coursework in sound and lighting, plus experience staging large-scale events at the school’s performance venues.

Have you taken courses in live sound? Tell us about it in the comments below!

Sarah Jones is a writer, editor, and content producer with more than 20 years' experience in pro audio, including as editor-in-chief of three leading audio magazines: Mix, EQ, and Electronic Musician. She is a lifelong musician and committed to arts advocacy and learning, including acting as education chair of the San Francisco chapter of the Recording Academy, where she helps develop event programming that cultivates the careers of Bay Area music makers.

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