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Sound Design schools in the United States?

Are there any sound design schools in the united state anybody on the list would recommend looking into?

Jeff Storm

I think that the yale school of drama offers a masters in sound design as well. Not sure about the details.

Cory S. Hawthorne

David Budries (the head of the program) has lots of experience and the program is the most respected in the country among most of us theater types. I would say that, while there are plenty of great sound design opportunities in theater, that is definitely not the way to go if film is your -only- interest. There is a degree to which storytelling is universal, but for three years of really intense work you would probably also want to learn the not so universal stuff that relates specifically to your desired genre. I like the fact that in theater you have no fixed playback systems or formats, if you want speakers down the hall from the stage or a speaker sticking out of the ceiling so be it! You want live effects on all the actors - great! I have had a lot of fun with MAX/MSP programming to add random sound design elements that are different every time you play the cue. While all of this is wonderful for challenging your creative side you will still come out of a theater program with a different set of skills than what is required in film.

Sean Phillips

I don't know about the States, but there's the Music Industry Arts program at Fanshawe College in London, Ontario (Canada). It's produced some Game Industry sound designers such as myself, the Audio Director at Dice Canada and a dude at Silicon Knights.

Dustin Crenna

The Evergreen State College is one of the best kept secrets in the audio world. It has been the school of choice for about half of the game audio people in the Northwest, in addition to many studio engineers, record label owners, music festival curators and musicians.

The alumni magazine recently published an audio oriented issue profiling many of the Evergreen alums currenly making waves in the fields of sound and music. If you go there, study with Peter Randlette. He's amazing.

Check out the analog synths they have in the studios. Good luck finding access to those anywhere else in the world. 8 hours a week (minimum) of studio time is required of each student. If that doesn't convince you, I don't know what will.

Adam Smith-Kipnis

I graduated from Evergreen in 1996. I studied recording and music production / composition. I would highly recommend Evergreen to anyone looking to attend a 4 year college that offers a well-rounded education. I also attended Video Symphony in Burbank, where I studied post production sound (pro tools) with veteran feature film sound editors (foley, fx, dialogue, and music). I would absolutely recommend VS to anyone interested in working in sound for film. The program lasts approximately 10 months and it is worth the money if you have the drive and the courage to pursue a career in this business.

Candice Baldwin

As an alumni of the Evergreen State College (2004) in addition to a current sound design student at Vancouver Film School I have the advantage of seeing from two angles.

Evergreen is a public liberal arts school and indeed a very well kept secret. It is not a technical school however and the available curriculum does not provide for a technical background in game or film sound design. What it does provide - as has been mentioned - is access to gear and studios that are extremely unique in their analogue focus. And as Candice pointed out a "well rounded education."

Not only do they boast ARP 2600 synths, a Buchla, among others, but they also have true analogue tape studios, one 2" 16 track studio and several 8 track studios. Evergreen also exposes you to ideas that a technical school will more than likely miss altogether.

It is the place to go if you already have a technical background and want to focus on artistic and collaborative integrity. Evergreen can hone your ability to work in many disciplines but it is not a technical school. This doesn't mean that you wont get some technical education, however in my opinion it is a school for artists and not necessarily technicians.

On the other hand, Vancouver Film School has given me a technical basis from which to view the process of making films and telling stories with sound. You receive an operator level certification from Digidesign in both Pro Tools Music Production and Film Post Production. In addition it prepares you more accurately for the working world - its pitfalls and stress level. You will learn the basics of computer science and implementation of audio into games from the programmer level. You learn how to encode surround sound in several formats, author DVD's, build a small business, build a sine wave generator, operate professional digital audio tape decks (DA-98), operate Digidesign's Pro Control and Control 24 - in addition to exposure to tons of software, plug ins and hardware that is just too expensive for most schools to indulge in.

This kind of technical background is very attractive to employers. So much so that Western Post and Electronic Arts hire Vancouver Film School students exclusively. Something to think about.

Something else to think about is Vancouver Film School just brought in Randy Thom (director of sound design for Skywalker Sound - The Incredibles, Scarface (VG), The Polar Express etc.) as a guest speaker. This is the kind of opportunity that Vancouver Film School provides. I can't say the same for Evergreen, though the education I got there was invaluable, just in a different way.

Anywhere you go it is going to be up to the person to make the most of it - not the school.

Andrew Senna

Thread "Other sound design schools was Question for vancouver film school" started ul 18, 2006 at Sound Design discussion list

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