Sound Board Technician Schools

Get info about choosing a school for your sound board technician training, and read about your options for earning a certificate or undergraduate degree in this field. Explore some of the course topics you'd study at each of these program levels. Check the availability of online programs for aspiring sound board technicians, and find out how online courses work.

How Do I Find a Sound Board Technician School?

There are a couple of sources that you might want to use to help you locate reputable schools that offer sound board technician and operator training. The Society of Broadcast Engineers (SBE) is a nonprofit, professional organization for audio and video technologists and engineers. The SBE maintains an online list of certified postsecondary schools, many of which offer sound board technician education programs. Completion of a program may qualify you to sit for an SBE certification examination to earn a credential as an audio technologist or engineer (www.sbe.org).

At the website of the National Center for Education Statistics you can find a searchable database of accredited postsecondary institutions. A search for recording arts technologies yields over 100 schools that feature programs related to training as a sound board technician (www.nces.ed.gov). You can locate appropriate programs offered through an institution's school or department of fine or performing arts, communication, music, drama or audio visual technology.

What Training Programs Are Available?

Several schools offer audio technology programs leading to a certificate, associate's degree or bachelor's degree. These programs regularly include hands-on lab courses or practicums conducted at the school's audio facilities. You can earn a Certificate of Completion or Certificate of Achievement in audio production technology or audio engineering in about a year. You could also enroll in a 2-year associate degree program in audio engineering, production or technology. If you'd like to pursue a 4-year bachelor's degree, you can find majors or concentrations in audio production, audio engineering and sound recording.

What Are Some Classes I Could Take?

Typical courses in a certificate program include audio technology, live sound reinforcement, digital audio and electronics. You'll learn how to position microphones and adjust their individual sound, monitor acoustics for different venues and mix sounds in studio recording sessions. You could also have the opportunity to complete an internship at a school-approved private business or industry.

An associate degree program often includes courses similar to those offered in a certificate program. However, you could also encounter courses in studio and remote recording, systems installations, electronic acoustic simulation, acoustical testing, mixing and studio engineering. Schools could offer paid work-study or internship programs through a professional studio.

Bachelor's-level courses introduce you to foundational aspects of sound board technology and can also include core and elective courses in MIDI applications, sequencing, audio aesthetics, audio engineering physics and audio facility management. Some schools offer seminars in various topics related to sound engineering. In addition to an internship, you might be required to complete a senior capstone project.

Are There Any Online Programs Available?

Online or hybrid programs, though rare, usually lead to a certificate or associate degree. In a hybrid program, you could complete most courses online, but there is also an in-person requirement, such as an internship or on-campus practicum. Online programs often confer a certificate and require that you supply your own equipment, such as a studio-grade keyboard, microphone and recording device. These online and hybrid options could get you started in the field or update your current sound recording and mixing skills.

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