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 you will work with state-of-the-art equipment and software, acquiring core technical understandings that you will develop over three years and carry forward into your 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 you and become an integral part of your practice. Relevant acoustic and electronic theory will help you to use this equipment effectively in practice, and allow you to adapt to emerging technologies in the future.
Technical expertise is only one aspect of the well-rounded sound practitioner. Equally importantly, you will engage with the conceptual underpinnings of theatre sound design aesthetics. You 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.
If you are interested in composition for performance, our Sound Design Laboratories will allow you to experiment with a variety of sound generation and sequencing software. You 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 you will 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: you will have the opportunity to meet key industry practitioners and to develop your own unique career profile based on your talents and interests.
You will begin to develop or extend your skill base, examining core technical and aesthetic understandings to inform your practice in theatre sound, including production sound and content design. You will be encouraged to understand current professional practice and to develop your own design aesthetic. You will engage in practical exercises, including speculative projects, looking at the link between theory and practice and expanding your understanding of working collaboratively in cross-disciplinary groups. You will be working, under close supervision, ‘in role’ on realised theatre productions.
You will identify key areas of practice within the industry to inform your career path. You will work ‘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. You will enhance your technical and design skill set, and your ability to work as a valuable team member.
You will undertake key sound production and design roles across a variety of public productions at Central, including the management of sound teams and budgets. You will 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.