Outcomes & Objectives

Outcomes & Objectives

Upon completion of this program, students will be able to record, mix, master and produce in both an analog audio recording environment as well as an electronic and software based environment using the most current tools and technology. Students will understand the processes and strategies involved with writing and producing scores for film, TV, interactive design and the gaming industry. Upon completion, students will also have an in-depth understanding of the music business, legal and contract issues and how to market yourself in the music industry.

Upon program completion, students will become proficient in the following:

  • Audio recording & proper microphone techniques.
  • Working with sampled musical instruments.
  • Understanding how to program software and hardware synthesizers.
  • Understanding how to mix multi-track recordings on both analog and software mixers.
  • Understanding how to use both hardware and software audio devices to master a final recording.
  • Music Theory – notation, scales, keys, time signatures, tempos and scoring.
  • Songwriting strategies for applied arts purposes.
  • Music business and Law.
  • Marketing and self-promotion.

The career options for producers are quite varied from numerous possibilities as independent producers to full and part-time employee positions with companies in the entertainment industry.

No matter what direction a producer takes, it is very rare that they will not be working on projects of their own music. Seeing that most of our students are capable musicians, it is highly likely that they will be writing as well as producing their own work – whether that be for sale over the Internet or whether they are simply working on “Portfolio” pieces that they will use to go after scoring clients such as film producers or directors. Producers are also regularly hired by independent musicians or record labels to produce the work of other musicians – so much so that some independent producers have decided to start their own record labels. This means that you may be talent scouting to find musicians or groups whose work you feel has the potential to be marketable. For the musicians who come to you, it means that you will be collaborating with them creatively to shape the sound of their work. This means you will oversee, or actively record their work, you will help them with harmony, both vocal and instrumental, and you will often be adding instrumentation to their performances. You will then work to produce the final mix of all the tracks and will quite often master the final tracks as well. As such, you would be paid a fee to produce the work as well as being paid royalties on the music as it is put on the market.

Another significant area of income and creative outlet for producers is writing and producing scores for film, TV and the gaming industry. For film scoring, you would be marketing yourself to and working with filmmakers, directors and film producers to create original scores for the film. Theme music, mood music and atmospheric sounds would fall within this specialty. Here again producers will often be paid both a set fee for producing the work and then royalties if the soundtrack is sold separately. Understanding orchestration and writing scores is critical for this type of work. Film scorers will ultimately need to ensure that they have an enormous pool of instruments and sounds at their fingertips. Students receive software with this program that delivers just that however, even though you will receive a number of beautifully sampled full orchestras, it is common that a film scorer will only use that software to create a VERY realistic model of the orchestra piece. They will then hire an orchestra, conductor and recording studio to record the final piece with the real orchestra.

TV is another area that has enormous need of musical scores. Writing for TV is quite different than that of film, as TV series must have a degree of continuity that is unlike film scoring needs. Otherwise, the process is very similar. Advertising is also a specialty that requires scores, for both TV and Radio. In this case, producers would be marketing themselves to advertising agencies that produce both TV and Radio advertising (which is pretty much all of the larger ad agencies). In these situations, you will often be marketing yourself directly to these agencies; other times you will make sure that existing music clips are available to them via Internet or through a variety of associations. Making sure that you and your work are familiar to TV producers is always very wise, including ensuring that they have samples of your work left with them, as sometimes an existing piece of music will be chosen at the last moment.

The gaming industry is another area that has become an enormous market for music producers and scorers, and there is no better place than Vancouver for that industry. Interactive games are now becoming very cinematic in their style and music is expected to play a similar role. In fact, in many cases it is now considered critical to the perception and marketability of the game. Companies such as Electronic Arts have extremely well equipped recording studios in their facilities. Usage of a score in this industry is very different from the film industry and scorers are often paid a single (significant) fee, or sometimes are full-time employees of the firm, which means the music they write actually belongs to that firm.