Overview (Old Version /Backup)

The Recording Arts Center offers hands-on training in audio engineering and music production within Studio West, San Diego’s largest commercial recording studio.  Our 12-month program prepares students for a variety of creative careers in areas such as music production, game audio, live sound, audio post-production and video production. 

A unique feature of our program is the access that students have to the world-class studios of Studio West. Students gain crucial experience working on real-world projects. This culminates in the presentation of portfolio of work that becomes your calling card to the world. 


Subject Areas

Audio Recording Techniques

Mixing & Mastering

Music History & Business of Music

Audio Recording Techniques classes cover fundamental concepts such as signal flow, microphone design and applications, and tape machine operation. This class group also covers more advanced concepts such as recording techniques specific to post-production audio, and operation of the large format SSL4000 series console.

Mixing and Mastering classes are spread over the entire program. In addition to gaining a deep understanding of traditional stereo mixing techniques, students also learn to mix in surround sound. Mastering is one of the last steps in producing great sounding music and is (somewhat fittingly) covered in a separate class toward the end of the program. 

Music History and Business classes focus on more general music content, and give students opportunities to work collaboratively with others in Songwriting and Production and more. A key class is Career Planning and Development, which gives students a clearer understanding of their skills and help them turn their passion into a career. 


Digital Audio

Video Production

Live Sound




Software is behind so much of the creativity in this industry. We designed our Digital Audio classes to get you up to speed on that software, including Avid’s Pro Tools and Media Composer, Abelton Live, Logic and a host of plug ins. Our program offers a wide range of Pro Tools Certifications all the way up through Expert (in both Music and Post-Production). Our MIDI fundamentals class ensures that students understand this important protocol.

Our Live Sound classes cover all aspects of live sound reinforcement, preparing students for the many employment opportunities running live sound at clubs, houses of worship, casinos and other venues.  TRAC students can earn certification in VENUE, Avid’s live sound console that’s favored by many of the biggest clubs and live sound companies out there.

Video is an increasingly important part of the way that we consume music, and our Video Production classes teach skills in this important area. Introduction to Video Production covers the fundamental concepts of lighting and camera operation, and enables students to complete projects such as artist profiles. Students also learn Adobe Premier video editing software, a standard in the television and film industry.