Program and Curriculum

Oberlin’s Recording Arts and Production program is genre non-specific and seeks to teach musicians of all styles the technical skills and aesthetic considerations needed to explore the field of music production as both a profession and an art.

professor points out functions of board in recording studio with students looking on
Andrew Tripp works in Studio 1 with students in a course that introduces the theory and practice of music recording, including a study of recording environments and equipment.
Photo credit: Andrew Garver

This four-year bachelor of music program emphasizes a holistic approach to recording arts and production, marrying technical mastery with deep musical understanding. Students learn to produce musicians in the studio to bring out their best performances and master the technology to make these recordings the highest possible quality.

This training positions graduates to be valuable assets in the audio field with a demonstrated understanding of the technology, systems, and processes associated with modern audio production and an understanding of the recording and producing process, start to finish audio production, and the role engineers play in the presentation of material.

Curriculum Overview

Core courses in the program focus on analog and digital audio theory, recording, mixing  and mastering techniques, with a significant emphasis on critical listening. Group and individual projects in the third and fourth years serve as an opportunity to work through the entire production process from preparation to final product. While there is a strong focus on recording technology, this program seeks to reinforce that knowledge with a comprehensive musical foundation rooted in the conservatory tradition.

This program requires pursuit and mastery of conservatory-level musical literacy. Our goal as engineers and producers is to always work in service of the music. In order to reach that goal, it is essential that we have a complete understanding of the technology we use every day. To that end, students acquire a deep familiarity with the recording, live sound, and streaming systems in nine separate venues across campus. By assisting with and eventually executing their own recording sessions, students will gain a heightened understanding of the relationship between musician, engineer, and producer.