Please note that this program is currently full and is not accepting more students at this time. You may be interested in these other programs:

Program Overview

In this immersive and engaging Summer College program, high school students will learn the fundamentals of sound engineering and audio production in a recording studio environment. Topics, among others, include microphone techniques, tracking, music production, editing, mixing, and mastering. These techniques are applicable to music, film, animation, gaming, and more.

Sound Engineering students in lab
Sound Engineering students in lab

Sound is in all types of media. If you watch movies, television, play video games, or listen to music, you’re listening to sound that has been recorded and/or produced and then carefully prepared for the media being consumed. This course introduces high school students to the tools and practices of audio production in a recording studio and mixing studio environment. From microphone technique to mastering, students will experience the full production process, starting with taking an idea from the conceptual stages all the way to having a final product.

This course is hands-on and experiential. Every day we will investigate different techniques of sound production. You’ll see and hear for yourself how these techniques influence the material we record, and ultimately affect your audience. The world of recorded sound is a vast and fascinating place. This is a great course to get you started, or to refine your techniques if you already work with sound.

Program Objectives

  • Learn how to decide on which microphones to use for specific situations
  • Be able to run an efficient recording session
  • Work together in a group in order to come up with unique ideas
  • Thoroughly comprehend Logic Pro X
  • Get a broad understanding of software instruments and audio plug-ins
  • Master the studio environment
  • Bring your portfolio to life!

Learn more about Sound Engineering and Audio Production:

Program Dates & Details Eligibility Requirements Program Cost Program Requirements Typical Day Faculty Bios

Program Dates & Details

Session Dates

Session I: June 29 – July 12, 2019
Duration: 2-weeks


Credit: Noncredit
Grading System: Pass/Fail

Eligibility Requirements

Students must be a minimum of 15 years of age by the orientation and move-in date.

This class is open to those who are specifically interested in the fields of Sound Engineering and Audio Production, but students with a general passion and interest in music, or with outside music experience are also encouraged to take the course. For full Summer College admission requirements, view the Admissions Overview and Eligibility page.

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Program Cost

Program Costs:

  • Residential: $3,360*
  • Commuter: $2,566*

*Please visit our Program Costs page for more detailed information. Program rates are subject to change and will be approved by the board of trustees in March.

Program Requirements

What to Bring

Sound Engineering students working on a group project
Sound Engineering students working on a group project

Students are not required to bring in their own equipment, audio programs, or projects as we have well-equipped workstations that will keep us busy. If you do have the means, feel free to bring your projects, ideas, instruments, and equipment. This course runs on your creativity. You may also bring your videos, films, animations, songs, and game projects, if you would like to work on sound for those or to even just show the class your work. Bring anything you would like to make noise with, and we’ll show you how to record it and what to do with your recordings. I’m happy to consult with you before you come to Syracuse if you’re still not entirely sure what to bring. Again, you are not required to bring an instrument, but I would encourage you to bring one (or several) if you are able to.

Student Expectations

Your attention is necessary during our instructional time. Be sure to manage your time wisely in order to complete projects in a timely fashion. Be respectful of your peers, the equipment being used, and the studio rooms.

This is an academically rigorous, college-level program. Students are expected to complete nightly homework assignments and actively participate in group projects. Students are expected to attend all classes every day, arrive on time, and meet all academic obligations. Free time will vary as each program is unique, as is the subsequent workload.

Typical Day

Tentative Schedule

This class runs Monday through Friday, for the two-week duration of the program. Instructional sessions are taught from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., then your knowledge is put to practice during the required studio sessions from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., where students will work to improve their sound techniques and skills. Additional studio time can be [and is encouraged to be] scheduled with your T.A. any time after 4:30 p.m. until curfew. This time is typically used in order to continue refining a current project, or to work on something completely new and experiment with new techniques.

When class is over, and on weekends, students can look forward to various Summer College trips and activities. Check out our Campus Activities page for more information!

Field Trips

Students are scheduled to go on a trip for a tour of Subcat Music Studios, which is a professional recording studio located in the center of Downtown Syracuse. Students will be required to meet in class the morning of the trip and take the Connective Corridor shuttle down to the studio together.

End Event

On the last day of class, Friday, July 12, students will meet and have a presentation of their Final Projects. The morning session of this day will be used in order to make any last minute revisions. Presentations will begin around 12 pm. Parents are invited to join as well! Presentations typically take between 1 and 1 1/2 hours to complete.

Final Academic Obligation

Students are permitted to leave on Friday, July 12, 2019 after 4:30pm upon the completion of the final class. If students have any questions regarding their final academic obligation, we encourage them to reach out to their instructor. Please refer to the Move-Out page for important information regarding the checkout process.

Faculty Bios

Michael Ahearn

Michael Ahearn is a prolific sound engineer, specializing in live sound, sound design, audio production, recording, mixing, and mastering. Michael was previously a Teaching Assistant for this course for four summers in a row, and took lead as the Professor during the previous summer. He has also taught multiple semesters of the Intro and Advanced courses of ‘Audio Production and Recording’ at Syracuse University, through the Computer Art and Animation program in VPA’s Department of Transmedia. He is currently the live sound engineer of the Turquoise Tiger night club at Turning Stone Resort Casino. He enjoys writing his own music, such as electronic music, soundscapes, and indie pop rock. Along with coding his own instruments and effects in Max, a node-based audio/visual programming language, he has also been known for turning his Xbox 360 controller into a MIDI effects controller for live performances.