San Francisco Courses

Audio Technology Program Diploma

Program Details

This program accepts GI Bill Veteran Funding, for Veterans who qualify. 

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Total Duration:

  • 9 months full-time
  • 18 months part-time


  • Full-time: Monday-Thursday (AM classes, 10AM-1:30PM, 3.5 hours)
    Additional 10 hours/week studio lab time
  • Part-time: Mon/Wed (or) Tues/Thurs (night only, 3.5 hours)
    Additional 5 hours/week studio lab time

Included Materials and Overview:

  • Apple Laptop with ProTools LE system, Waves Certification Bundle, NI Komplete, Logic Studio, & Ultrasone Heaphones.
  • Official AMS-NEVE console training
  • Solid State Logic approved training
  • Student discounts from many of SAE's industry partners
  • Text books covering topics including: recording techniques, mixing techniques, live sound, acoustics, electronics, MIDI, music business, studio budgeting, mastering, microphone techniques, session procedures, etc.
  • Average of 10 hours per week of studio time to record and mix your projects (some projects include: digital editing small analog and digital console mixing, sampling, MIDI sequencing, control surface recording & mixing, Neve & SSL recording and mixing, mastering and Pro Tools projects)
  • Job placement assistance upon graduation

Program Content

Diploma of Audio Technology

Basic sound theory: Focuses on the basic principals of sound and acoustics.

Main topics: Fundamentals of sound, the ear and hearing, introduction to acoustics, frequency analysis, mix analysis.

Studio equipment and signal processing: This sections examines the key components found in a professional recording studio.

Main topics: Analog and digital equipment operation, audio console features, effects processing, dynamic range processing, noise reduction, equalization, cables and connectors.

Audio electronics: A sound knowledge of the fundamentals of electronic theory is essential to understanding audio and recording technology.

Main topics: Basic electronics, specifications, decibels, standard operating levels, electronic and mechanical equipment alignment, system interconnection, balanced lines, occupational health and safety.

Professional recording studios: This module focuses on recording, mixdown and mastering techniques.

Main topics: Advanced signal flow, mixdown, advanced audio console operation, session planning, advanced stereo microphone techniques, working with a producer, recording various types of music, mixing for surround sound.

Live sound and musicianship: Focus on live sound system design and installation and musicianship.

Main topics: Loudspeaker placement and design, live sound system tuning and fault finding, concert FOH systems, system set-up and operation, live recording and broadcast feeds.

Digital audio technology: Used throughout the professional audio industry, digital sound technology has changed the work process of the professional engineer.

Main topics: Digital recording studio processes, computer operation, MIDI theory, advanced ProTools, digital hardware, video/audio synchronization, working with total recall digital consoles, understanding advantages and disadvantages of digital equipment.

Advanced studio studies: Focusing on advanced studio techniques and related subjects, this module aims to prepare students for the workplace.

Main topics: Production techniques, arrangement basics, advertising, creating stereo and surround master tapes, studio etiquette, mixdown and session procedure, working in a critical listening environment.

Audio post-production: Many audio engineers are employed in studios and post-production houses working with sound for motion picture and video production.

Main topics: Film sound, film and video signal flow, synchronization, on-line and off-line sound editing, video signal flow, basic video editing, video-audio sync.

Acoustics: Focuses on acoustic principles and studio design.

Main topics: Acoustic theory, studio monitoring, psychoacoustics, studio building fundamentals, creating an acoustic environment, room evaluation, live applications of acoustics, control room and studio design.

Digital audio editing: Introduces the hardware and software used in the virtual studio environment

Main topics: Digital audio theory, digital audio file formats, ProTools, Logic Audio, system requirements, system configuration, software plug-ins, digital signal processing and computer skills.

Mastering and remixing: This section focuses on the critical link between recording and final CD manufacturing and on the processes that ensure maximum impact on the listener.

Main topics: Advanced digital theory, mastering formats, mastering signal processing techniques, duplication process, how CD's work, mastering for audio, mastering for DVD, surround mastering and remix techniques.

Workshop Component

Throughout the program, special workshops are scheduled on various topics including: advanced mixing, music industry seminars, Reason, Live, remixing, full-scale recording sessions with SAE staff, film scoring, DVD production, etc. SAE also maintains relationships with various music and film industry organizations that present their seminars hold networking events at the school that SAE students can attend.

Note: Due to rapid developments in this field, software used or topics covered may be replaced without notice by more current software and topics.

Department of Education rules require the disclosure of gainful employment data. Click here to view