(File pix) Students are honed into professional knowledge and skills of sound production.

AT the annual awards ceremony held by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Hollywood, there are two awards dedicated especially to Sound.

These are the awards for Best Sound Mixing and Best Sound Editing.

They are among a total of 24 awards, also known as Oscars, which include categories for acting, directing, writing and cinematography.

Sound engineering IS a pretty big deal in industrial arts and sciences.

Now, there is a new Diploma in Sound Production being offered that is like none other in Malaysia as it focuses on all key skill areas within the professional sound industry.

This academic programme available at the International College of Music (ICOM), Kuala Lumpur, was designed in consultation with the professional audio industry to meet the demand for highly-skilled sound engineers.

Since 2005, ICOM has been offering a Certificate in Audio Production.

The new diploma was developed as the next step to a higher qualification in response to industry feedback on the need for highly trained and skilled sound engineers.

The programme also provides a continuing education pathway for working professionals with certificate level qualifications to enhance their career prospects.

Through this two-year programme, students will develop skills to record, mix and master music and audio using the best audio production equipment and software.

They will learn to apply technical skills and creativity to design sound for film, TV and video games using Pro Tools, an industry standard Digital Audio Workstation.

In addition, they will learn to work with a team to engineer live sound for concerts and events using a professional PA system.

Apart from studying subjects related to sound production, they will also learn to read and write music notation, develop English language skills, and study a range of liberal arts subjects.

These subjects will equip them with highly-desired skills for employment, to communicate effectively with others, work in teams and solve problems as they step into their professional careers.

ICOM Diploma Programme head Angelina Chong said that although there are other audio-related programmes offered in Malaysia as well as the region, this Diploma in Sound Production is the only one that focuses on all key skill areas within the professional sound industry, ie sound recording, audio post-production for visuals and live sound engineering.

“The programme instills a fine blend of practical skills, subject area knowledge, communication skills, and also leadership and management skills that are essential towards meeting industry expectations,” she said.

“The defining coursework concentrates on sound design, live sound, and production, unlike any other.

“With a specialised focus on recording, mixing and mastering, students are honed into professional knowledge and skills of sound production.

“This programme builds a pathway for the student to be engaged in both study skills and hands-on training.

“Value-added areas include business communication, leadership and management skills. These competencies fulfil industry expectations of graduates when they enter the global workforce.”

Graduates of the programme can look forward to successful careers as recording engineers; mastering engineers; live sound systems engineers; sound designers for film, TV, games and theatre; audio editors; recording mixers; broadcast mix engineers; production managers; audio system application engineers; audio system designers/consultants and technical support engineers, among others.

The defining coursework builds a pathway for students to be engaged in both study skills and hands-on training.

In addition, they are also taught business communication and management skills.

This course was developed in response to industry feedback on the need for highly trained and skilled sound engineers.

The programme also provides a continuing education pathway for working professionals with certificate-level qualifications to enhance their career prospects.

Chong said that due to the highly-specialised nature of the coursework which involves hands-on classes in the production studios, each class session is limited to 20 students so that the learning is effective and focused.

“The course is taught by our faculty members who come with both excellent academic qualifications and vast professional audio experience,” she said.

“They will be joined by visiting experts from the industry, who will conduct workshops and seminars that provide industry-linked learning and professional networking.”

Chong added that during the final year of study, students will engage in an internship to gain real-world work experience in any one area of their choice in sound production, and as part of the graduation requirements, students will develop a portfolio of creative sound production works, which may serve as their professional portfolio to present to future employers.

Further to this, students who excel in the programme are guaranteed job offers with leading music/audio companies in the region.

The first cohort of students will begin their studies for this programme in May.

To qualify for the course, candidates will be required to have:

• Pass in SPM/SPMV or its equivalent with three (3) credits including Bahasa Malaysia and Sejarah; OR

• Pass in STPM or its equivalent with a minimum grade C (NGMP 2.0) in any subject; OR

• Pass community college certificate equivalent with level 3 MQF and pass SPM with minimum one (1) credit; OR

• Pass SKM level 3 in related field and pass SPM with minimum one (1) credit; OR

• A certificate with minimum (PNGK) 2.00 or its equivalent in a related field and

• Recognition of prior learning.

• International students who did not sit for English as a compulsory subject must have obtained a TOEFL score of 550 or IELTS score of 6.0 and

• Pass the admissions interview.

*Malaysian students who do not have an SPM credit in Bahasa Malaysia will be automatically enrolled in LN014-Bahasa Kebangsaan A (3 credits) at extra cost.

ICOM is Asia’s leading music college focusing on contemporary music. With state-of-the-art facilities and distinguished faculty members, ICOM’s mission is to discover and develop the best music talents in the region for the industry.

With exclusive partnerships with world-renowned institutions such as the Berklee College of Music, ICOM attracts students from over 15 nationalities making the college an eclectic mix for inspiration, creativity and enterprise.

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