Sound For The Performing Arts
The Sound for the Performing Arts Program at Purdue University seeks to expand the young
sound designer/technician/engineer’s range of knowledge and expression through the a broad
based exposure to the many and various careers related to sound for the performing arts.
Typically, sound designers enter this field with either a strong technical/engineering
aptitude/background or extraordinary musical talent in composition and/or performance. Ideal
candidates demonstrate strong aptitude in both fields.
The student will receive a solid foundation in all aspects of sound for the performing arts as
part of a well-rounded liberal arts education. Working as part of many different types of teams,
the student learns to collaborate artistically and technically towards the realization of a
multitude of auditory projects in the performing arts. The program is diverse enough to allow
students to focus their energies more towards the technical side, the artistic side, or both.
The major consists of core classes, specialized training and related electives. Upon completion,
the student may choose to enter any sound related field or pursue further graduate study for a
career in the entertainment industry.
Points of Pride
A new audio production studio and two new theatres in Purdue’s new Visual Performing Arts
building opened in 2005. The audio production studio is a fully equipped digital
recording studio featuring over 400 square feet of recording space with additional
isolation booths, and a similarly sized control room, storage and an adjacent sound
shop. The Nancy T. Hansen Theatre, based around a 24 channel surround sound
system is a proscenium house seating 300 people, while the Gordon Mallett Studio
Theatre, based around a 16 channel surround sound system, features a flexible
configuration and seats 105-155 people. These new theatres complement additional,
larger campus venues in which sound students can gain additional experience in sound
for the performing arts. JaffeHolden designed the acoustics and
Auerbach•Polach•Friedlander designed the electronics for all of the sound facilities
which feature a high degree of integration and cross-venue compatibility.
The study of sound for the performing arts includes both the classroom study and practical
application of those studies. Therefore, the student is encouraged and expected to be
an active member of our production community. In this laboratory setting, the student
not only applies information and ideas learned in classes, but also learns the critical
life lessons of responsibility, commitment, and cooperation, which are crucial skills
needed for survival in the 21st century.
• Sound Designers, technicians and production staff for live theatre, musical theatre, opera,dance, concerts, event sound, touring and corporate shows.
• Sound Designer for film, television, radio, marketing, advertising and corporate audio production and operations
• Audio Consultant
• Graduate school
• Many other positions in business/management, not necessarily related to the auditory arts
but able to capitalize on students’ broad-based liberal arts skill set.