Sound Design, the art of creating and controlling the total sonic environment of live performance as an integral part of the dramatic narrative, is one of the most rapidly evolving of the specialist theatre disciplines and is now a credited part of most professional productions.
From the start of the course, students work with state-of-the-art equipment and software, acquiring core technical understandings that will develop over three years and carry forward into their professional career. The newest professional performance technologies, including computer-based show control, audio recording, waveform editing, digital mixing and audio networking, will be available to students and will become an integral part of their practice. Relevant acoustic and electronic theory will help students use this equipment effectively in practice, and allow them to adapt to emerging technologies in the future.
Technical expertise is only one aspect of the well-rounded sound practitioner. Equally important, is the engagement with the conceptual underpinnings of theatre sound design aesthetics. Students will assess the sonic implications of performance through careful analysis of text, light, movement, set, costume and objects, and then actually design sound that will help impart the intended meaning of the performance to the audience.
For students interested in composition for performance, Central’s Sound Design Laboratories will allow experimentation with a variety of sound generation and sequencing software. Students will also be able to work with machine interoperability and the aesthetic relationships between sound and light design.
The making of performance is a collaborative process, and throughout the course students gain knowledge of the context and history of live performance, and learn technical, communication and problem solving skills. Central is placed at the heart of the performance and arts industries: students have opportunities to meet key industry practitioners and to develop their own unique career profile based on their talents and interests. In the final year there is the opportunity to participate in an exhibition to present a portfolio of best work to the industry.
Begin to develop or extend the skill base, examining core technical and aesthetic understandings to inform practice in theatre sound, including production sound and content design. Students are encouraged to understand current professional practice and to develop their own design aesthetic. Engage in practical exercises, including speculative projects, looking at the link between theory and practice and expand understanding of working collaboratively in cross-disciplinary groups. Working, under close supervision, ‘in role’ on realised theatre productions.
Identify key areas of practice within the industry to inform a career path. Working ‘in role’ across a variety of productions, under the guidance of strand tutors, support staff and outside professionals, taking full responsibility for design and production elements working collaboratively. Students will enhance their technical and design skill set, and ability to work as a valuable team member.
Undertake key sound production and design roles across a variety of public productions at Central, including the management of sound teams and budgets. Continue to research industry practitioners and practice, and seek to begin integration with the professional industry outside of Central through placements and off-site projects.