The intensive Live Sound program is designed to equip you with the necessary skills and training to get you working in the fast-paced live sound industry in as little as 12 months. You’ll receive individualized instruction from expert faculty who will teach you how to mix sound for live concerts, operate lighting and PA systems, and maintain audio equipment for a variety of club, theater, and stage venues. By honing your craft on state-of-the-art analog and digital mixing consoles, you’ll be prepared to excel in any live audio environment.
With a solid technical foundation combined with practical engineering experience, you’ll have the skills and knowledge to succeed in a variety of career paths.
Ready For The Real World
As a Live Sound major you’ll receive a hands-on education that prepares you for the real world. You’ll get professional experience working in our three on-campus performance venues, and mixing front-of-house for local concerts and events with bands and ensembles of all styles and sizes. You’ll learn the fundamentals of frequency management, microphone placement, how to get great tones for every kind of instrument and how to balance each element to create the perfect live mix. You’ll also learn music business essentials in tour management, booking and promotions — all skills that will make you marketable to potential clients.
You’ll get a head start on your music career by building your professional network while you’re still in school. With access to guest artists, internships and live sound opportunities in the thriving Twin Cities music, theater and arts scene, you’ll be connected to the industry before you graduate.
Teaching For Tomorrow
To succeed as an audio professional, you need a well-rounded education that prepares you for the dynamic future of music. That’s why our Live Sound degree program focuses on developing your creativity while giving you the necessary technology skills to adapt and compete in the industry. You’ll also graduate equipped with the entrepreneurial concepts and business savvy you’ll need to reach your goals and establish your career.
With a comprehensive education that blends artistry, technology and entrepreneurship, you’ll be ready to make and sustain a life in music.
Your Career Path
Graduates of the Live Sound program are prepared for a variety of career options, including:
- Front-Of-House Engineer
- Monitor Engineer
- Acoustician/Sound System Designer
- Broadcast Engineer
- Tour Manager
- Lighting Technician
Studios & Facilities
Our campus features 3 performance venues, 6 technology labs, and 11 recording studios where students learn to record, edit and mix music and audio.
There’s a lot to explore outside of class, including student organizations, free concerts, music ensembles, and the diverse music and art scene of Minneapolis-St. Paul.
FacultyView All Faculty >>
Peter Greenlund has been in the live production industry for over 30 years, living and traveling on tour buses across the world with the likes of Prince, the Commodores, Phil Collins, Wayne Newton, Willie Nelson just to name a few. Though his specialty is in live sound engineering, he is proficient in rigging, set design, sound system design and installation, lighting, production and stage managing, and band technician duties.
Aside from the touring industry Greenlund has also held house positions as the Media Director of Wooddale Church, Lead Technician for the Minneapolis Convention Center, and Production Manager/Lead Engineer at The Carlton Celebrity Theater. When not teaching he still keeps an active freelance career that takes him to venues worldwide. Greenlund feels it’s his calling to share his experiences with his students, taking many on as interns for local shows even some that require light travel.
Scott Rivard was the longtime Technical Director, Mixer and Audio Producer for the live broadcast of A Prairie Home Companion — carried by 540 radio stations and heard by over 4 million listeners each week. He has also participated in television production at Northwest Teleproductions. He was an owner and designer of 74th Street recording studio and before that, Sound 80, Inc.
Rivard made some of the first multi-track digital recordings including: Herb Pilhofer’s Spaces, Willie And The Bees’ Out Of The Woods and Leo Kottke’s Guitar Music. He also recorded Kottke’s legendary 6- and 12-String Guitar album. Rivard has designed consoles for theater, a high-definition power amp, and a 32-channel quad mixing console, which was one of the first in the world to use voltage-controlled amplifier grouping. He is also is a voting member of The National Academy Of Recording Arts And Sciences (Grammys) and a full member of The Audio Engineering Society.
$12,870 per semester for full-time attendance (13-17 credits)
- Diploma: 45 credits
$990 per credit for part-time attendance More info >>
On average, more than $1 million in College-funded aid is awarded annually in the form of merit-based scholarships and need-based grants. More than 85% of our students receive financial assistance to help cover their educational costs.
Click here to learn about the many resources available to help pay for college.
Gainful Employment Statistics
McNally Smith College of Music is institutionally and programmatically accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) and is registered with the Minnesota Office of Higher Education. More info >>