Digital Audio Technology

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The Digital Audio Technology (DAT) program offers students who seek professional careers in the audio industry the opportunity to focus on audio production (music production, sound effects design and other forms of audio asset creation) or audio engineering (the design and manufacture of audio software). The DAT program offers students an integrated curriculum that includes music theory and composition, studio recording, sound synthesis, soundtrack production, audio mastering and audio software development. DAT students learn a wide range of concepts fundamental to digital audio and engage in numerous hands-on assignments and projects. It culminates in a year-long senior portfolio project.

Audio Production

Central to the DAT program is audio production, which consists of desktop audio production, studio recording production, and soundtrack production for motion pictures and videogames. The emphasis here is on the whole concept-to-delivery pipeline for audio production: Students produce original creative work and market and distribute it themselves. The senior portfolio classes provide a format for bringing together all of the elements of concept-to-delivery in a major capstone project. Cogswell College provides many opportunities for collaborative work for DAT students, particularly in the crafting of soundtracks for animations and videogames.

Game Audio Production

DAT offers a specialization for students who specifically want to create soundtracks for videogames. The curriculum includes courses that introduce students to audio tools and formats particular to videogame production and then provides opportunities for them to create audio assets (musical score, sound effects and dialog) for collaborative game projects in an instructor-led studio environment.

Audio Engineering

DAT offers a program of study that integrates audio technology and computer engineering for the manufacturing side of the audio industry. The program combines study in math, physics, computer engineering, digital signal processing, as well as digital audio technology conceptual foundations and production practices. Throughout the program there are many opportunities for hands-on learning and application. In the senior portfolio classes students synthesize all of the components of their study into the design and implementation of an audio device or computer application.

Game Audio Programming

Videogame production requires programmers who are able to integrate audio assets into the workings of a game. This requires professional-level programming skills as well as a knowledge of audio tools and formats. The Game Audio Programming track combines study in math, physics, computer engineering, digital signal processing, digital audio technology conceptual foundations and production practices with practical experience working on collaborative game projects in an instructor-led studio environment.

Learning Outcomes

Students who successfully complete the DAT program of study will be able to:

  • Implement an audio project according to a standard audio industry production pipeline.
  • Create a soundtrack for a motion picture or videogame that supports the meaning of the story or action.
  • Explain the conceptual basis of the tools and processes used in audio production from a scientific, mathematical or engineering perspective.
  • Explain landmark historical events in the music and audio industries.
  • Apply musical best practices to an audio project (musicianship).
  • Imbue an audio project with grace and style above and beyond minimal technical requirements (artistry).
  • Deliver a focused oral presentation with demonstration of a project or concept.
  • Document a project or concept on a website or using Internet resources.
  • Explain the perceptual and cognitive basis of digital audio technology.
  • Create an original library of audio assets for use in an audio project.

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