A path­way into the sound in­dus­try

New Straits Times - - Higher Ed - Ocyeoh@nst.com.my AN­GELINA CHONG

O.C. YEOH

AT the an­nual awards cer­e­mony held by the Academy of Mo­tion Pic­ture Arts and Sciences in Hol­ly­wood, there are two awards ded­i­cated es­pe­cially to Sound. Th­ese are the awards for Best Sound Mix­ing and Best Sound Edit­ing.

They are among a to­tal of 24 awards, also known as Os­cars, which in­clude cat­e­gories for act­ing, di­rect­ing, writ­ing and cin­e­matog­ra­phy.

Sound en­gi­neer­ing is a pretty big deal in in­dus­trial arts and sciences.

Now, there is a new Diploma in Sound Pro­duc­tion be­ing of­fered that is like none other in Malaysia as it fo­cuses on all key skill ar­eas within the pro­fes­sional sound in­dus­try.

This aca­demic pro­gramme avail­able at the In­ter­na­tional Col­lege of Mu­sic (ICOM), Kuala Lumpur, was de­signed in con­sul­ta­tion with the pro­fes­sional au­dio in­dus­try to meet the de­mand for highly-skilled sound en­gi­neers.

The new diploma was de­vel­oped as the next step to a higher qual­i­fi­ca­tion in re­sponse to in­dus­try feed­back on the need for highly trained and skilled sound en­gi­neers.

The pro­gramme also pro­vides a con­tin­u­ing ed­u­ca­tion path­way for work­ing pro­fes­sion­als with cer­tifi­cate level qual­i­fi­ca­tions to en­hance their ca­reer prospects.

Through this two-year pro­gramme, stu­dents will de­velop skills to record, mix and mas­ter mu­sic and au­dio us­ing the best au­dio pro­duc­tion equip­ment and soft­ware.

They will learn to ap­ply tech­ni­cal skills and cre­ativ­ity to de­sign sound for film, TV and video games us­ing Pro Tools, an in­dus­try stan­dard Dig­i­tal Au­dio Work­sta­tion.

In ad­di­tion, they will learn to work with a team to en­gi­neer live sound for con­certs and events us­ing a pro­fes­sional PA sys­tem.

Apart from study­ing sub­jects re­lated to sound pro­duc­tion, they will also learn to read and write mu­sic no­ta­tion, de­velop English lan­guage skills, and study a range of lib­eral arts sub­jects.

Th­ese sub­jects will equip them with high­ly­de­sired skills for em­ploy­ment, to com­mu­ni­cate ef­fec­tively with oth­ers, work in teams and solve prob­lems as they step into their pro­fes­sional ca­reers.

ICOM Diploma Pro­gramme head An­gelina Chong said that although there are other au­diore­lated pro­grammes of­fered in Malaysia as well as the re­gion, this Diploma in Sound Pro­duc­tion is the only one that fo­cuses on all key skill ar­eas within the pro­fes­sional sound in­dus­try, ie sound record­ing, au­dio post-pro­duc­tion for vi­su­als and live sound en­gi­neer­ing.

“The pro­gramme in­stills a fine blend of prac­ti­cal skills, sub­ject area knowl­edge, com­mu­ni­ca­tion skills, and also lead­er­ship and man­age­ment skills that are es­sen­tial to­wards meet­ing in­dus­try ex­pec­ta­tions,” she said.

“The defin­ing course­work con­cen­trates on sound de­sign, live sound, and pro­duc­tion, un­like any other.

“With a spe­cialised fo­cus on record­ing, mix­ing and mas­ter­ing, stu­dents are honed into pro­fes­sional knowl­edge and skills of sound pro­duc­tion.

“This pro­gramme builds a path­way for the stu­dent to be en­gaged in both study skills and hands-on train­ing.

“Value-added ar­eas in­clude busi­ness com­mu­ni­ca­tion, lead­er­ship and man­age­ment skills. Th­ese com­pe­ten­cies ful­fil in­dus­try ex­pec­ta­tions of grad­u­ates when they en­ter the

“This pro­gramme builds a path­way for the stu­dent to be en­gaged in both study skills and hands-on train­ing.”

global work­force.”

Grad­u­ates of the pro­gramme can look for­ward to suc­cess­ful ca­reers as record­ing en­gi­neers; mas­ter­ing en­gi­neers; live sound sys­tems en­gi­neers; sound de­sign­ers for film, TV, games and theatre; au­dio ed­i­tors; record­ing mix­ers; broad­cast mix en­gi­neers; pro­duc­tion man­agers; au­dio sys­tem ap­pli­ca­tion en­gi­neers; au­dio sys­tem de­sign­ers/con­sul­tants and tech­ni­cal sup­port en­gi­neers, among oth­ers.

The defin­ing course­work builds a path­way for stu­dents to be en­gaged in both study skills and hands-on train­ing.

In ad­di­tion, they are also taught busi­ness com­mu­ni­ca­tion and man­age­ment skills.

This course was de­vel­oped in re­sponse ICOM Diploma Pro­gramme head to in­dus­try feed­back on the need for highly trained and skilled sound en­gi­neers.

The pro­gramme also pro­vides a con­tin­u­ing ed­u­ca­tion path­way for work­ing pro­fes­sion­als with cer­tifi­cate-level qual­i­fi­ca­tions to en­hance their ca­reer prospects.

Chong said that due to the highly-spe­cialised na­ture of the course­work which in­volves hands-on classes in the pro­duc­tion stu­dios, each class ses­sion is lim­ited to 20 stu­dents so that the learn­ing is ef­fec­tive and fo­cused.

“The course is taught by our fac­ulty mem­bers who come with both ex­cel­lent aca­demic qual­i­fi­ca­tions and vast pro­fes­sional au­dio ex­pe­ri­ence,” she said.

“They will be joined by vis­it­ing ex­perts from the in­dus­try, who will con­duct work­shops and sem­i­nars that pro­vide in­dus­try-linked learn­ing and pro­fes­sional net­work­ing.”

Chong added that dur­ing the fi­nal year of study, stu­dents will en­gage in an in­tern­ship to gain real-world work ex­pe­ri­ence in any one area of their choice in sound pro­duc­tion, and as part of the grad­u­a­tion re­quire­ments, stu­dents will de­velop a port­fo­lio of cre­ative sound pro­duc­tion works, which may serve as their pro­fes­sional port­fo­lio to present to fu­ture em­ploy­ers.

Fur­ther to this, stu­dents who ex­cel in the pro­gramme are guar­an­teed job of­fers with lead­ing mu­sic/au­dio com­pa­nies in the re­gion.

The first co­hort of stu­dents will be­gin their stud­ies for this pro­gramme in May.

With state-of-the-art fa­cil­i­ties and distin­guished fac­ulty mem­bers, ICOM’s mis­sion is to dis­cover and de­velop the best mu­sic tal­ents in the re­gion for the in­dus­try.

With ex­clu­sive part­ner­ships with world-renowned in­sti­tu­tions such as the Berklee Col­lege of Mu­sic, ICOM at­tracts stu­dents from over 15 na­tion­al­i­ties mak­ing the col­lege an eclec­tic mix for in­spi­ra­tion, cre­ativ­ity and en­ter­prise.

Hands-on train­ing en­sure stu­dents will meet in­dus­try ex­pec­ta­tions upon grad­u­a­tion.

Stu­dents are honed into pro­fes­sional knowl­edge and skills of sound pro­duc­tion.

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