Live Audio Production Certificate

This immersive 12-week part-time program prepares students for a career in live audio production by introducing students to the terminology, principles, equipment, and processes commonly employed in venues and live events.

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The Live Audio Production Certificate Program is a 12 week part-time program, offering 144 hours of lecture and experiential work time in our music venue, The Lewis Room, and various venues in Athens, including the Georgia Theater, Athens Church, the Classic Center, and the Southern Mill Shell, a Tweed Recording owned property.

This immersive and hands-on learning experience prepares students for a career in live audio production by introducing students to the terminology, principles, equipment, and processes commonly employed in venues and live events. Students are given access to the Lewis Room and DAW lab before and after class time during the week and on Saturdays for additional practice time.


  • Provide students with a deep and broad understanding of live sound production and career and entrepreneurial opportunities
  • Provide experiential learning opportunities through doing, incredible access to our live concert venue and gear, and information about how to monetize their skills and knowledge
  • Train engineers for concert production jobs including front of house engineering, monitory engineering, system engineering, gear maintenance, and live event recording
  • Provide maximum production and hands-on time for students, with use of the facilities for additional practice during the afternoons Monday through Thursday and on Fridays and Saturdays


  • Acquire the communication skills, vocabularies, languages commonly used in the live production world
  • Understand what it takes to be a member of a live production crew on tour or in a venue or festival setting including streaming and broadcasting
  • Understand what it takes to be a member of a live production crew on tour or in a festival setting, including streaming and broadcasting
  • Acquire the ability to work as a team to produce shows by understanding and respecting the roles of other team members and helping them do their jobs better
  • Understand how concert production works, how to manage time, people, and resources efficiently
  • Define excellence is all areas of live sound production & create methodologies to achieve it
  • The necessity to constantly learn and improve and perceive yourself as a multi-skilled professional in the creative workforce of the “creative economy”
  • Gain a deep proficiency in the use of analog and digital consoles, including mixing and recording

Jobs and Careers: Live Production

  • Front of house engineer
  • Monitor engineer
  • Patch master
  • Audio system technician
  • Audio vendor sales
  • Audio vendor personnel management
  • Audio vendor warehouse technician
  • Stage manager
  • Production manager
  • Tour manager
  • Crew chief
  • Backline technician
  • Playback technician
  • RF technician
  • Stagehand
  • Audio vendor
  • Music technology educator
  • Broadcast audio engineer
  • Equipment manufacturer staff
  • Brand representative
  • Venue management
  • Artist management
  • Church and corporate AV technician

Start Learning. Apply Now!

Create a sustainable career in audio production. Sign up today.


TR101 - Introduction to Live Audio Production

TR101 – Introduction to Live Audio Production

In this introductory course, students will learn the principles and physics of audio, common concert production industry terminology, and a brief history of commercial live sound reinforcement. The class will also explore the many jobs and careers available in the concert production industry and learn about career paths and pay scales associated with each.

Course Objectives
  • The history of live sound reinforcement from simple speech amplification to large stadium and festival concert PA systems
  • Industry terminology and vernacular
  • Various jobs, roles, and career paths in the concert production industry
  • A typical “day in the life” of crew members involved in a concert production from “local hands” to tour manager and typical pay scales
  • Basic audio fundamentals, such as the physics of sound, terminology and signal flow

TR102 - Fundamentals of Live Audio Production

TR102 – Fundamentals of Live Audio Production

Students learn the anatomy of PA systems “from microphone to speaker.” Audio signal flow through a PA system is taught in detail including the concepts and common variations such as “aux fed subs.” The physics of sound in larger spaces and various psychoacoustic effects are explored. Hearing safety and noise ordinance topics are covered in detail.

Course Objectives
  • The anatomy of modern PA systems from simple “PA on a stick” to large stadium and area PA systems
  • Signal flow though PA systems including common variations such as using “aux fed subs” and using matrix sections and summing mixers
  • The physics of sound reinforcement such as wave propagation, directionality, the effects of temperature variations and speaker coverage patterns
  • Psychoacoustic effects such as the Fletcher Munson Curve and the Inverse Square law
  • The importance of hearing safety and techniques to limit exposure
  • Sound pressure level fundamentals and measurement techniques
  • Local noise ordinances and the politics of such

TR103 - System Deployment and Signal Flow

TR103 – System Deployment and Signal Flow

This course starts with a detailed introduction to our live venue teaching facility and a hands on explanation of all the equipment students will learn on throughout the semester. Students will then experience what’s known in the industry as a “build day” and build the venue’s PA system together with instructors while being instructed on the details and concepts of deploying a PA system. Students then learn in a hands-on format how to wire a stage including explanation of sub-snakes, common microphone splitter systems, and “soft” and “hard” patching concepts. Live sound signal flow concepts are reinforced with real world examples using an operational PA system.

Course Objectives
  • Industry standard cable wrapping methods including “over-under” and “figure eight” wrapping techniques
  • The parts of a modern PA system and the vocabulary and concepts used when building a PA system
  • Concepts and techniques of PA deployment, including building the venue’s PA system from “load in”
  • Stage monitoring concepts and “monitor” and “fill” placement and deployment
  • Stage wiring including “pinning,” “patching,” microphone splitter systems, the “festival patch,” A/B patching systems and typical concert “input lists”
  • Introduction to and deployment of various specialized cable types and data formats such as CAT6, optical, AES50 and DANTE
  • Concert power requirements and considerations for the PA system and for “backline”
  • Hands on time with the PA system students helped build using pre-recorded music

TR104 - Live Sound Reinforcement I

TR104 – Live Sound Reinforcement I

In this course students are introduced to “backline” and how to “mic” various musical instruments for a live performance. All the common instruments are covered as well as DJ rigs, “tracks act” rigs, and “playback rigs.” Specialized scenarios and equipment, such as lavalier microphones and pianos, are demonstrated. Various ways to “patch” a stage and stage wiring troubleshooting are explained. The second part of this course concentrates on preparing mixing consoles for a concert performance. Topics include “building a show file,” labeling channels and configuring aux sends, busses, effects and the matrix section of the consoles, using the oscillator and “talkback” sections of consoles, and how to troubleshoot basic PA problems.

Course Objectives
  • Introduction to “backline” including names, industry standard conventions, and a history of the various instruments
  • Setting up and “micing” all “backline” instruments
  • Drums, bass, guitar amps, keyboards, acoustic instruments, DJ rigs, vocals, organs, “playback” rigs, choirs, and more
  • Direct Boxes, close “micing”, “overhead micing,” line out and wireless microphone concepts
  • Preparing audio consoles for a performance including channel labeling, bus configuration, configuring effects and EQ’s
  • Using a console matrix section
  • Building and saving a “show file,” best practices and using offline editors
  • Using an oscillator and talkback sections
  • Basic PA troubleshooting including real world examples
  • Troubleshooting stage wiring problems, the “tap though” method, and how to fix common patching problems

TR105 - Live Mixing Fundamentals

TR105 – Live Mixing Fundamentals

This course covers the actual job of mixing audio for a live performance. Mixing “front of house” and mixing monitors are taught in real world scenarios in our live sound teaching venue and other concert venues around Athens. The fundamentals of mixing live audio will be taught through hands-on experience working with live bands in actual venues using industry standard equipment. After several teaching examples and lots of hands-on “experiential learning” opportunities, students will be assessed on their progress during live mixing practicums that replicate mixing a live concert performance.

Course Objectives
  • Live audio mixing fundamentals such as filters, EQ, compression, limiting and effects
  • Auxes, groups, busses and VCA’s and mutegroups
  • Mixing strategies for various scenarios
  • Handling sub woofers and front fills
  • Monitor mixing techniques when mixing on a dedicated monitor console
  • Monitor mixing strategies for various common scenarios
  • Monitor mixing techniques when mixing monitors from “front of house”
  • Handling feedback, ear training, “ringing out” monitors and front of house
  • Mixing for in-ear monitors

TR106 - Audio Electronics

TR106 – Audio Electronics

This course will explore basic electronics theory, component identification, soldering, maintenance and troubleshooting, gear modification, and safety. Students will gain hands-on experience by building cabling, adaptors, audio processors and modifying transducers.

Course Objectives
  • Electrical Quantities – Voltage, current, resistance, and impedance
  • Components – Testing and identifying how they work and how they fail
  • Soldering – Circuit boards, cables and connectors
  • Electronics Test Equipment – Multimeters and cable testers
  • Electronic Circuits – Theory and mathematics of series and parallel circuits
  • Ohm’s Law – The relationship of voltage, current, and resistance
  • Electrical Power Sources – AC and DC, batteries, and power supplies
  • DI box build – Build a working DI box from parts
  • Soldering and cable fabrication – Fabricate XLR and TRS cables from parts
  • Gear Modification – Modify an SM57 by removing the transformer for improved performance

TR107 - Live Sound Reinforcement II

TR107 – Live Sound Reinforcement II

The last course of the program focuses on mixing consoles, PA “tuning”, and managing wireless audio equipment. Students learn three different industry standard mixing consoles and become proficient on each. They receive instruction on “tuning” a PA system for a venue using SMAART Live software. Wireless equipment from antenna deployment to radio frequency coordination using Shure Wireless Workbench software will be demonstrated. Students participate in a discussion of “life lessons” and how to navigate the industry, including presentations from and interviews with several industry veteran guest speakers.

Course Objectives
  • Instruction on the Midas M32 family of consoles
  • Instruction on the Avid Profile family of consoles
  • Instruction on the Yamaha CL family of consoles
  • Wireless audio equipment deployment and RF coordination using an RF scanners and Shure
  • Wireless Workbench software
  • PA system tuning fundamentals including time alignment and corrective EQ
  • “Old School” manual PA system tuning techniques
  • PA tuning using SMAART Live measurement software
  • “Life lessons” from experienced industry veterans
  • Advice on navigating the industry including traveling safely, self care advice, and how to handle success and failure

Start Learning. Apply Now!

Create a sustainable career in audio production. Sign up today.


Charlie Chastain

Charlie Chastain

Audio Production Instructor

Andrew Ratcliffe

Andrew Ratcliffe

CEO/Recording Instructor

Schedule & Tuition


Spring 2024

The Live Audio Production Certificate program will not be offered during the spring semester of 2024.


Tuition for the Spring 2024 Live Audio Production Certificate program is $10,000, which includes a $200 seat reservation fee and all supplies and materials needed for the program. Tuition may be paid in full upfront or in two installments (50% at least 2 weeks prior to the first day of the semester and 50% at week 6 of the program). Payments may be made by check or by card.

For more information regarding tuition and paying for our program, please contact Melissa Bateman

What Our Students Are Saying

My favorite part has been just coming into this experience and just being with and meeting new people that are into music like me, that have the same passion, and working with them.

– Luis

I had a wonderful experience with your staff and faculty, y’all truly care and seem to have a vested, true interest in our well being in and outside of the facility. In fact, I am quite stunned at the degree to which I was helped with my problems. That’s something I am very grateful for, and also something that educational institutions typically lack.

– Grant

Universal Audio
Start Learning. Apply Now!

Create a sustainable career in audio production. Sign up today.

Apply Now