MCC’s Audio Production Technology (APT) program has been around since its start in 1991. The program is intended for students who want a career in such areas as live sound, studio recording and sound design, but also aimed to give a broad study in the field.The director of the program, Andy Seagle, has been teaching since the beginning of the curriculum.
“In 1991, I taught (at MCC) for the first time. At that time I was adjunct and studio recording one turned into two classes, studio one and two,” Seagle said. “I have taught both classes since the spring of 1992.”
Since then, the program’s popularity has increased, and more classes become available.
“Any given semester we are making four classes. We are averaging at least 85 to 90 students every semester and are starting at the entry-level,” Seagle said. “It’s always been popular.”
One of the many classes offered is live sound.
“Live sound is very similar to (studio recording one) but of course it’s not in a controlled environment like (studio recording),” Seagle said. “Live sound is concert sound. A lot of the same stuff that they learn in studio recording applies to live sound, but not entirely.”
Recently, the department made several new purchases of equipment that will benefit the classes.
“We have made several new purchases this year. One of the bigger purchases was a JBL Line Array system. It’s a self-powered speaker sound system for the students. This has been purchased and delivered to Bethany Community Church where the classes are taught and students today are using it,” Seagle said. “Also the other major purchase that we have made this year is creating surround sound in one of other recording studios. We spent about $10,000 on this gear. The new 5.1 surround sound will be installed this summer and will be available for fall classes this year.”
The goal of the classes is not only for students to gain knowledge of the field, but to experience things first hand.
“Most of the hands-on learning is done through the classes,” Seagle said. “In my advanced recording classes, we do recordings. We pull in musicians from the music department, jazz musicians, so there is a lot of unique music within the department that our students are able to record themselves.”
With completion of the program, students will receive a degree in APT.
“Students with the degree are ready for an entry-level position… as an assistant or even an observer. You don’t just start off mixing gold records,” Seagle said.
MCC student Jose Ballesteros joined the program because of his passion for music.
“I signed up for this class because I’m doing the program, and I also enjoy music and play in a band. Aside from playing in a band, I’ve always been around recording studios,” Ballesteros said. “If I’m paying money to be in a recording studio, I want to know what is going on inside. So from that, it turned into being something I want to do.”
According to Ballesteros, Seagle is stern in his teachings, but thought he was the best instructor for the program.
“Andy is a very strict teacher, but he knows his way around the board very well,” Ballesteros said. “He is by far the best teacher I have had during this program.”
For those not interested in obtaining an audio degree, Ballesteros felt that the classes provided excellent opportunities.
“If anyone is thinking about taking this program, they should really consider it. If you just want to know more about audio production you should join because it’s a great experience,” Ballesteros said. “Not only do you meet awesome people, you also network and get a hands-on experience.”
For more information on the Audio Production Technology program, contact Andy Seagle at (480) 461-7273.