What have our grads been doing? Many of our recent graduates have found success in their internships and the start of their careers. These have included Commercial Audio and Video, the Washington Pavilion Performing Arts Center, KDLT television, Complete Media, Dakota Video + Post, and Pepper Entertainment. Other opportunities have included area churches, as well as various recording studios and live sound companies. Here are some possible career options for Audio Production students:
Professional Audio Engineer/Producer: The music industry relies on many talented people behind-the-scenes who work to develop the best possible sound for bands, musicians, or voice actors. Professional engineering jobs require an enormous time commitment and often require spending a lot of time ‘earning’ a position through years of work. These positions at professional studios are most often (but not always) located in major urban areas such as Los Angeles, New York City, Nashville, Chicago, Miami (check out Luke’s experience with Audacity Creative), Minneapolis, and Atlanta.
Sites like TAXI.com provide just a small sampling of the many national recording studios.
The university provides resources for students to seek out internship opportunities, but it is often best for upper-level students or graduates to contact these studios directly and inquire about availability for internships or assistant engineering positions.
Freelance Audio Engineer: With the increasing popularity of recordings being made by artists directly, or through independent record labels, there is a growing need for freelance engineers. This is a position of self-employment that requires dedication, organization, and strong marketing skills in order to be successful. Freelance engineers often own independent studios and build a local client base. Although this approach is challenging, it is very possible to pursue successfully in nearly any part of the country if the engineer possesses the personality, skills, and work ethic to make it possible.
Scott Jibben, from Pulse River Studio, is a highly successful engineer from Sioux Falls who has presented to students at DSU.
Live Sound Production: Here at DSU, we feature a class that specializes in live sound production, and also have a campus organization that specializes in live concert events: DSU Live. Quality audio production is an essential element of any live concert, and a live sound engineer or technician can help to make a production the best it can be, whether large or small.
Positions in live sound production can include work with touring companies, freelance work with venues or musicians, or DJ/performance related positions.
Media Production: Every successful business need to have a strong brand and market appeal. This can include television, radio, and web media and advertising. Audio is an essential element in the brand marketing process, but these skills can also cross over into areas of design or web integration. Our program strives to give a well-rounded education in a diversity of media-related skills in order for graduates to be strong in this area. One of our program graduates has started a successful career in media at Dakota Video and Post in Sioux Falls.
Television/Radio Broadcast Production: Sound is happening on the television and radio 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It’s no wonder then, that there is a need for sound production in the realm of television and radio broadcast. Positions are wide-ranging, and can be found in many cities across the country.
Sioux Falls has a number of television stations that offer potential possibilities for audio-based positions, including KSFY, KDLT, and Keloland television. One of our graduates is currently employed and helping to run sound for one of the local television stations.
Area opportunities in radio broadcast include Results Radio, which is affiliated with stations such as the popular “Hot 104.7”, or our local station, KJAM.
Film Production: Often centralized in urban areas such as Los Angeles, graduates may have the opportunity to pursue a career designing audio for film. Potential positions include location recording, sound mixing, post-production recording, boom operation, and foley (sound effects).
During the summer of 2011, several Audio Production and Digital Arts students were interns and production assistants for the movie production, “Dust of War“, filmed in central South Dakota.
Theatre Sound Production: This part of audio production may not be the first thing that comes to mind when considering a career in audio, but it is a vitally important element. DSU has a strong theatre program, directed by Kelly MacLeod, and a fantastic music program, directed by Sandy Champion. This allows students the opportunity to produce live sound for theatre and choral productions every semester at DSU.
Career possibilities in the area include the Washington Pavilion in Sioux Falls, where several of our graduates have been interns.
Commercial Sound Installation: Retail stores, stadiums, restaurants, and other business have music constantly filling their space, and they sometimes require very special accommodations. For graduates who enjoy hands-on work, sound installation may be a great option. One such business in the Sioux Falls area is Commercial Audio & Video, a part of Muzak, where one of our graduates is currently employed.
Audio Sales and Marketing: Music technology and product manufacturing is an enormous business, and the ability to design, market, and sell these products is an important part of the industry. Some highly successful businesses, such as Sweetwater or Full Compass require their sales and technical support staff to have extensive experience and/or hold a degree in an audio-related field.
The National Association of Music Merchandising (NAMM) conference is a bi-annual event that brings together music manufactures, resellers, and industry insiders. Students had the opportunity to visit this conference on a class trip to Anaheim, California in early 2013.
Internship: The audio production program is actually a specialization of the digital arts and design degree. This means you’ll take core requirements that will prepare you to work on multimedia design teams and give you opportunities for internships and research. Then, your audio specialization will build on this. In the end, you’ll acquire the experience to work in a recording studio or a live concert venue—and everything in between.
Possible job titles (summary)
- Professional Audio Engineer
- Media Production
- Television Broadcast
- Radio Broadcast
- Live Sound Production