Sound engineers, also called audio engineers, are technical experts that deal with the mixing and recording of sound in many situations such as recording studios in the music business, live performance sound design and film and television industry work. Choosing a college for sound engineering should mean finding a balance between solid classroom theory and hands-on studio work. The combination of the two can help jump start a career in this field. Some of the best programs for this profession range from four-year bachelor's programs to shorter specialty programs.

Middle Tennessee State University

Students seeking to become an audio engineer or producer will find it hard to beat the educational experience available at Middle Tennessee State University. MTSU, the largest audio production degree program in the world, gives students a chance to work with industry professionals and expert faculty as well as get hands-on experience in one of five full-size professional recording studios located right on campus. The school also has a MIDI lab, digital audio lab, mastering lab and a separate studio specifically for post-production and another designed for cinema and surround-sound engineering. MTSU is a state-funded public university in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Audio engineering is a part of the Department of Recording Industry at the school.

Full Sail University

Full Sail University is a school that offers four-year bachelor's degree courses in a variety of entertainment fields, including audio engineering. The recording arts program at the Central Florida school is a hands-on opportunity to work with recording artists and other entertainment professionals in studio settings. Whether engineering a music recording session or working on film or television sound design in a digital workstation, students leave the program with lots of experience using industry-standard equipment and software.

The Los Angeles Recording School

The Los Angeles Recording School offers an intense, short-term audio engineering program that focuses on giving students experience working in real-world recording situations. The faculty, made up of professional audio engineers, teach courses in sound design and engineering that take place over a 950-hour period. Small class sizes mean students get lots of individual attention and are able to feel confident in their abilities as they move on from their education to a career in the recording industry.

Students at the Los Angeles Recording School average 36 hours of attendance each week and attend for 28 weeks to complete the program.