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Top Audio Engineering Schools – Only the best education!

Already have a foundational understanding of music production? Looking for accredited educational institutions to further expand your knowledge? Don’t go any further, in this article I have gathered information about 5 schools which I think are some of the top audio engineering schools around!

1. Los Angeles Recording School

LA Film School

Photo by Minnaert / CC BY-SA 3.0

The Los Angeles Recording School is actually a part of the larger Los Angeles Film School. It was known as the Los Angeles Recording Workshop when it was initially founded in 1985. It is located in Hollywood, California.

The school boasts an area of over 50,000 square feet, full with facilities and classrooms, including recording and music production labs and studios. The Los Angeles Recording School is designed as an urban campus and has three different locations all within Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood.

One of its popular courses offered is the Associate of Science degree program in Recording Arts. A rough estimation of the total tuition costs for this program is $32,756. It is wise to note that the school does not have any residential facilities, and if you plan on enrolling there, you need to either commute or look for nearby apartments.

Some notable producers and/or engineers that have graduated from this school includes Ari Levine, Jaycen Joshua, David Boyd, Sean Cooper, Mike Daly and Josh Stevens. Inspired to join them already?

2. Point Blank Music College

Founded by musician and producer Robert Cowan, Point Blank focuses on music and creative media production. The courses it offers are Electronic Music Production and Sound Engineering, DJing, Music Business and also Singing and Songwriting. Point Blank Music College has facilities located in Hoxton, North London and Los Angeles.

One major plus point for Point Blank is that it offers various music production courses online. Apart from that, it also has affiliations with companies like Ableton, Apple Inc., Steinberg, Native Instruments and serves as a trainingPoint Blank Music College centre for all of them respectively.

Just like other top music production schools, Point Blank also has its fair share of notable former students such as Leona Lewis, Claude Von Stroke (Dirty Bird), Gareth Wyn (Beyonce) and German DJ/Producer Felix Jaehn.

3. Ontario Institute of Audio Recording Technology (OIART)

Described as “the Harvard of Audio Engineering”, OIART constantly attracts students from all across the globe as it is known as a prestigious institution. With colleges is London, Ontario and Canada, the institute trains audio engineers for a variety of careers in music production, recording arts, audio engineering, sound recording and other relevant fields. Students from this institute graduate with a Diploma in Audio Recording Technology.

The curriculum in OIART’s audio engineering program is rather intensive. It clocks up to 1300 hours of training in the schools’s seven digital multitrack equipped studios and two lecture-style theatres. One of the strong points of its education system is the overall 5:1 teacher-to-student ratio. In lab settings, the ratio would be 4:1 and tutorials, 1:1. Each hour of classroom lesson is balanced off by an hour of lab lesson.

Creative Labs

What’s more interesting is that the school has also added video game sound production into its curriculum and became the first audio education program in North America to be registered as a game developer with Creative Labs. Some notable alumni include Dan Brodbeck (Producer), Haluk Kurosman (Co-Founder of GRGDN, a turkish recording label), and Mike Shepherd (Producer and Head engineer of Lakewind Sound).

4. Recording Workshop

Recording Workshop is an educational institution that provides training in the process of music production and audio technology. It is located seven miles south of Chillicothe, Ohio.

Joe Waters, who started Appalachia Sound Recording Studio in 1971, also founded the Recording Workshop in 1977. Jim Rosebrook soon joined the school operations in 1979, and became the director in 1980. The Recording Workshop then achieved industry recognition in 1987, after winning Mix Magazine TEC Award (Nomination as Outstanding Educational Institution).

Recording Workshop

Photo by Aesopposea / CC BY-SA 3.0

Currently, the primary course offered is the “Music Recording & Audio Production RECW CORE Program”. The course lasts for five weeks and up to 180 hours of training. If you want to go further, it also has an extension course called the “Music Recording & Audio Production RECW ADVANCED program”. It adds another two weeks of training, plus 80 hours more of learning experience.

It is good to take note that Recording Workshop is a curriculum requirement for a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Music Technology and the Bachelor of Music Degree in Music Technology offered by Capital University, Columbus, Ohio.

Notable lecturers include, Roger Nichols (Engineer/Producer for Steely Dan) and Bill Halverson (Engineer/Producer for Crosby, Steels & Nash).

5. Institute of Audio Research (IAR)

IAR is located in New York City, with students studying in a wide variety of academic programs within the field of audio engineering and music production. You can choose from a wide array of courses in audio electronics, digital music production, mixing music, and audio processing and storage, among others.

Claudio Sanchez

Photo by Luigi Novi / CC BY 3.0

IAR’s Audio Recording and Production Program (ARP) is a 900-hour program that allows students to learn every aspect of modern recording technology. IAR provides students with training in audio engineering and production. The ARP focuses on areas of knowledge and hands-on skills that are required by today’s audio and recording businesses. Upon successful completion of the program, graduates receive a Diploma in Audio Recording and Production.

You can find a full range of professional audio equipment offered at IAR’s facilities, including analog and digital consoles and recorders, vintage and DSP signal processors, digital audio workstations using industry-standard software for MIDI sequencing and digital audio production, digital multitrack automated mixers, and an extensive collection of vintage and current microphones.

Notable alumni include, Jack Douglas (Producer), Sean Carolan (Sean Carolan Project) and Claudio Sanchez (Lead singer of Coheed and Cambria, photo on the right).

So that’s the top 5 most prestigious audio engineering schools (In my opinion). Hope you enjoyed this article and feel free to comment below. Thanks!

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Farhan

When I'm not rocking out to great music, I'd prefer to be sleeping on a field on a windy day =)

4 Comments

  1. Some interesting choices there but I was wondering if you’d ever heard of the S.A.E. schools? I attended SAE Amsterdam where I got my degree in audio engineering back in 2001. They have schools all across Europe, the UK and even 2 in Australia! Wonderful studio setups in each one – well worth looking into!

    • Hey Chris, yeah they have schools all over south east Asia too! Unfortunately, for reasons unknown, the branch in the city I live in have closed down. But thanks for your comments!

  2. Quite an interesting post. I love the fact that you didn’t just give a run down on the schools but bothered to mention who graduated from them. This information to me is priceless because it could be determining factor for one who is planning to attend the schools. I am quite impressed with your take on Ontario Institute of Audio Recording Technology (OIART), It is also interesting to note that Leona Lewis graduated from Point Blank Music College. That should make Point Blank a hit for anyone wanting to attend a music college. Do you happen to know what her degree was in?? Anyway, thanks for sharing, I will definitely be back.

    • Hello Mimi, thanks for reading this post. I’m glad you got something out of it. With regards to Leona Lewis, the only information that I know is that she graduated from the “Singing Course” in Point Blank Music College. That’s where she received training from vocalists who have also worked with artists such as Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder and Robbie Williams. Cheers!

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