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Music Production and Engineering

Learn the fundamentals of music recording, composition, post-production, music business and live sound reinforcement.

A man sits at a sound board; the room is lit with a red glow.
Start Date:
Typical Length:
2 Years

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Whether it's film, music, theatre or video games, a technical career in music can take you places.

Gain a solid background in audio engineering and music production from industry experts. Learn how to:

  • Engineer, compose, create, edit, mix and master music.
  • Develop skills in digital sound production, music recording, sound design, electronic music production and creation, MIDI applications, post-production and surround sound mixing, recording and live sound reinforcement.
  • Use industry-standard equipment and software.
  • Set up live sound reinforcement equipment, stage lighting, run a sound check, mix and record live sound at an event.
  • Plan and manage a project with artists and bands.

This program builds on the interests and skills you have and prepares you for an exciting career in the recording industry. You'll maximize your creativity and hone your business and entrepreneurial knowledge, while creating a professional portfolio of your work.

Work experience

  • Field experience is a mandatory credit course, providing you with the opportunity to apply your knowledge and skills outside of the classroom.
    • Opportunities are typically unpaid and last approximately 5 weeks.
  • This program is eligible for an optional cooperative education (co-op) credit course between year one and two.
    • Co-op provides an opportunity for paid, full-time employment in a field related to your program.
    • Co-op takes place in third term and must be a minimum of 12 weeks and 420 hours.
    • Our co-op program follows Co-operative Education and Work-Integrated Learning Canada (CEWIL) guidelines.
  • Transportation, accommodations and other costs related to work experience are your responsibility.
  • For more information, visit work experience opportunities.

Choose NSCC

  • You learn to engineer and compose through a strong, hands-on curriculum.
  • Small class sizes provide you with lots of opportunities for one-on-one interaction and support.
  • You're trained using industry-standard tools, technology, software and other equipment.
  • You learn in top-of-the-line studios that simulates a real-world environment.
  • You learn from experienced, award-winning instructors who have strong connections to the music, television and film industries.
  • Throughout the program, industry experts and guest speakers are brought into the classroom to deliver specialized training.
  • You collaborate on projects with peers and creative professionals in programs like Music Arts, Music Business, Radio Television Journalism and Screen Arts.

Other info

  • Students are required to participate in assignments and projects that take place off campus, outside regular classroom hours.
  • It's possible that some volunteer and work experience opportunities occur in environments that require you to be 19 or older. Students who are under age 19 may not be able to fully participate in these activities.

September 2024

Campus Full time/part time Delivery Availability
Ivany Campus
Full time In person
Delivered in-person. Some courses may have online elements.

Admission requirements

Program requirements

  • Portfolio development – As part of your studies at NSCC, you develop a portfolio of your work; the portfolio captures your achievements and profiles your skills to employers.


Tuition amounts are for the 2024-25 academic year. Program costs and fees (textbooks, supplies, etc.) are additional.

Tuition (Domestic):
Tuition (International):

Tuition, fees and program costs

In addition to annual tuition, there are program costs (books, tools, etc.) and student fees for College services, health and dental plans, your student association and parking.

View detailed program fees page(s). Please note that amounts on these pages are meant for planning purposes only. They don't represent final amounts owing.

Career options

  • You graduate with the skills you need to start a career as an independent music producer and/or engineering professional.
  • Graduates may find opportunities for work as engineers in the recording and production industries with touring commercial artists, advertising groups, broadcasting companies, etc.

Future study options

  • Completion of this program provides the admission requirement for the Music Business Graduate Certificate. This program will give you advanced business skills, industry knowledge, and connections needed to develop a successful and sustainable music career.

Courses may include

These are some of the courses offered in this program. It is not a complete list and courses are subject to change in advance of the academic year.

Recognizing prior learning / transfer credits
If you have previous learning (course, employment, etc...) that's relevant to your program, you may be able to apply to earn credit. Not all programs are eligible. Learn about our recognizing prior learning (RPL) process.

BART 2075 - Entrepreneurial Fundamentals
This course introduces learners to the concepts, vocabulary and skills associated with entrepreneurship. Learners will explore personal characteristics and evaluate their own potential as an entrepreneur.

SAFE 1000 - Introduction to WHMIS (Workplace Hazardous Materials Information Systems)
This course offers learners basic overview of WHMIS principles and establishes a solid foundation to support workplace-specific training on the safe storage and handling of controlled/hazardous products. Upon successful completion of the course, students receive basic WHMIS certification.

SAFE 1001 - Introduction to NS OH&S Act
This course offers students an introduction to the Occupational Health & Safety (OH&S) Act of Nova Scotia, which is required by any person employed in a Nova Scotia workplace. This is a generic, introductory course that provides basic knowledge of the Act for students and is considered to be the basis from which more specific training can be given.

SOUN 1012 - Audio Engineering I
This course will introduce students to the equipment used in a professional recording studio with a focus on recording consoles, preamps, digital hardware and software. Topics covered include signal flow, microphone techniques, digital recording, signal processing and critical listening. Recording, editing, and basic mixing techniques will be developed for a demo recording.

SOUN 1013 - Audio Engineering II
This course will continue to develop the skills, principles and practices of audio recording. Emphasis will be placed on pre-production and production skills with a focus on proper microphone technique, critical listening skills, digital recording mediums, and basic final mastering skills required for product production.

SOUN 1014 - Introduction to the Music Industry
This course will identify and explore current and future jobs, trends and their potential for creating revenue streams and employment opportunities in the music industry. The aim of the course is to gain an understanding of the variety of professional positions in the industry and develop analytical skills, tools and processes to recognize opportunities in the ever-evolving landscape.

SOUN 1015 - Introduction to Music Production
This course is an introduction to the world of modern music production. Students will cover a variety of topics including how to facilitate artists in a recording session, song choice, song breakdown, lyric analysis, artistic development and creative vision, scheduling and budgeting. After completion of this course students will be able to execute basic ideas of music creation for themselves or for other artists.

SOUN 1016 - Music Technology I: Professional Studio
This course will introduce students to the basic software principles of modern Digital Audio Workstations. This combined theory and practical lab will cover MIDI basics, current recording software, and music sequencing techniques. Students will get hands-on practical experience with computer-based recording systems typically found in many modern recording studios as well as the home studio.

SOUN 1018 - Music Theory
This introductory course is designed to enhance the fundamental skills in a practical context for a career in music production and is appropriate for both musicians with some theory background and those that are self-taught. Instrumentalists and non-instrumentalists will benefit by developing the ability to read, write, arrange, hear, and communicate musical ideas. Topics covered will be scale identification, ear training, chord building, identification of intervals, rhythm, tempo, chart reading, and other basic elements of music.

SOUN 1020 - Contemporary Songwriting
This class introduces the concepts of modern song writing. Students will analyze songs to determine the structure and the components used to build them. Using this knowledge, students will write and transcribe charts to capture original song ideas.

SOUN 1022 - The History of Music Production
This course examines the evolution of music recording and production. The techniques used to capture, mix and refine songs will be covered with an additional, applied focus on how to reproduce the authentic sounds associated with historical production techniques and processes.

SOUN 1024 - Live Sound Production I: Small Venues
This course will introduce learners to the basic concepts of Live Sound Production. Students setup, operate, take down, and maintain live sound systems. With combined theoretical knowledge and hands-on practical applications, students will create monitor mixes for musicians on stage, and create mixes for a variety of genres. Stage plots, input lists, stage management techniques will be taught for proper planning and communication of live events. Introduction to basic stage lighting and DMX concepts will also be surveyed.

SOUN 1026 - Music Technology II: Professional Home Studio
This course builds on the foundation, principles and practices of Music Technology I. This combined theory and practical lab will continue to develop skills in MIDI sequencing technology, virtual instruments, and advanced DAW concepts.

SOUN 1030 - Business Skills for Independent Artists I
This course introduces students to the fundamental skills and knowledge required to operate as an independent artist or technical professional in the music industry. Revenue streams, business tools, processes, legal obligations and contracts will be covered.

SOUN 2012 - Audio Engineering III
This course will build on the foundation and skills, principles and practices of audio recording. Students will learn effective management techniques for working with assistant engineers and other team members, mentor, and be mentored. Advanced recording, editing, mixing and mastering techniques will also be addressed.

SOUN 2024 - Live Sound Production II
This course focuses on the operation of medium to large live consoles and sound reinforcement systems. Students will also develop skills required to make stylistic and technical decisions for a variety of music events and how to communicate effectively with performers to achieve a professional result.

SOUN 2030 - Business Skills for Independent Artists II
In this course students will apply business processes and tools to a specific project. Students will act as the project manager and follow professional procedures and complete all associated documentation from the inception to completion of the project.

SOUN 2040 - Career Management and Portfolio Development
Career management is the combination of structured planning and the active management of one's own professional career. The evolutionary nature of the industry and the constant technological change requires professionals to recognize new opportunities and ensure they have a current, transferrable skill set. Students will apply processes and methodologies to build and maintain a professional portfolio and explore and manage career options and choices.

SOUN 2050 - Audio for Video and Sound Design I
This course introduces students to the basics of audio for film and video. Emphasis will be placed on all stages of the production flow from pre-production, production and post-production, to final output. Students will examine production recording and its importance in the production flow and learn basic production sound techniques, ADR, Foley, music composition, editing, sound design and mixing.

SOUN 2055 - Audio for Video and Sound Design II
Students will be exposed to advanced concepts of music mixing and orchestration as they apply to film, game and other areas where audio plays an integral part of the experience. Students will apply creative and aesthetic processes to create audio that meets the specific needs of the visual imagery.

SOUN 2060 - Modern Producer I
Students will be introduced to the fundamental steps necessary for any music production. Industry standard procedures will be followed to manage and produce a music demo by integrating the required components and processes. Students will learn how to take a production from the rehearsal stage to recording and final mix, all while critically evaluating the performances, and motivating the participants through these stages. Focus will also be on the development of collaborative skills required to work with musicians and other industry professionals.

SOUN 3000 - Professional Project
Students will prepare a proposal for a project that meets industry standards. In collaboration with other industry professionals, students will produce a product that meets all the technical and aesthetic requirements for professional release.

SOUN 3010 - Music Production and Engineering Capstone
This course provides students with an opportunity to work collaboratively with peers in a professional recording studio. Students will work on real-world recording projects within specified parameters and time constraints.

SOUN 3013 - Audio Engineering IV
This course develops the critical skills required to finish a recording, master, and have it ready for distribution. Students will work on a professional project and learn the skills needed to prepare tracks for final distribution. Emphasis will be placed on pre-production and productions skills including proper microphone technique, critical listening skills and digital recording mediums required for final mastering of a professional production.

SOUN 3060 - Modern Producer II
This course expands on essential skill sets already acquired. Students will apply modern music production skills to a variety of personal and collaborative projects to contribute to a professional portfolio. Emphasis will be placed on the confident creation process, song choice and analysis, critical listening techniques, lyric analysis, and cultivating the creative and aesthetic techniques of production. Students will integrate final production skill sets such as, overall final mix vision, final 2 track master mediums and delivery procedures.

SOUN 4500 - Work Experience

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