Music and Tech

Funny YouTube video by TransTrollers on sound engineers trying to make a bad singer sound good.

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Can you imagine going a day without listening to your iPod? Or playing a computer game without sound effects? Let’s face it, the world would be a dull and monotonous place without music.

With the ever-increasing use of computers and tech to produce sounds and memorable musical effects, you don’t even need to play a note of music to have a career in this industry.

The Canadian music industry contributes approximately $239.8 million to the economy (2011) and provides some 3,332 jobs across the country, according to a report by PriceWaterhouseCoopers for Music Canada. There are three major record labels in Canada: Sony, Warner and Universal. But the biggest number of jobs comes from smaller independent music companies which employ more than 13,400 every year, according to a Canadian Independent Music Association report.

The Canadian music business doesn’t only involve performing, recording and selling music through a number of different channels like iTunes. It also includes creating sound effects for video games, movies, TV shows and advertising.

Cool Tech Jobs in Music

While artists and producers get all the red carpet attention, they are highly dependent on tech specialists such as sound engineers and designers who work in the background to make sure the musical vision becomes a reality. Here are a few examples of tech careers related to the music industry:

Sound Engineers make music sound great. They listen to every note from a recording session and tweak the sounds until they are pitch perfect. Behind every independent musician who dreams of hitting it big, there is a talented team of audio engineers working behind the scenes to give an artist’s songs that extra special edge.

Sound Designers create new sounds, music and special effects, like Ben Burtt who created the sound of the Jedi’s lightsabre weapon for the Star Wars movie. Sound designers are the creative minds that brighten up our world by inventing cool new sound effects!

Live Venue Audio Engineers mix up the exact right sound to make music perfect in real-time for all those screaming fans during a live concert. They are the ones you see scrambling behind huge banks of equipment that use the latest technology to make the concert experience worth the high price of admission!

DJs and Mixmasters remix popular songs to make a club “come alive” at night. They use computer software and equipment to mix their tracks and sometimes create original digital music on a computer to add their own personal touch to an event.

Digital Marketing Specialists work with artists, producers and recording company management to develop and execute innovative web and mobile campaigns. Digital marketing specialists watch online marketing trends to make sure they use the most up-to-date techniques and software to create buzz with online fans.

Music Video Producers and Editors produce cool content for music videos. While that may not seem to involve tech, just think of all the special effects and eye-popping graphic designs that make an artist’s video so hot it gets millions of hits on YouTube.

Education Paths to Cool Music Careers

If you like sound, check out the Sound & Music Recording program at Recording Arts Canada. You’ll get hands-on experience at leading-edge digital audio workstations and even meet some of the finest pros in the audio and music business.

The Trebas Institute offers Audio Engineering & Production/DJ Arts diploma program that provides the knowledge and skills to work in any aspect of today’s modern recoding industry.

If you’re more into digital marketing, you’ll love Durham College’s - Music Business Management (MBM) program that will teach you all the fun and exciting stuff such as studio operations, managing tours and digital promotion strategies like social media while preparing you to work directly with performers. Students who took the MBM program got internships at big-buck labels like Universal Music that later turned into jobs!

Want to be the person behind your favourite artist’s music video? The Media Arts program at Sheridan College can get you there! From producing to editing, Media Arts will give you the hands-on tools and smarts to become the next Hype Williams!

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