Audio Design encompasses lots more than sound recording and dubbing for films, or the composition of catchy jingles for radio and TV broadcasts, Charlie-Sheen-style. Our students are trained to audio-design on instruments and computers, to produce and to record sounds, speech or music, thereby creating auditory atmosphere.
Content, Objective and Course Structure
Audio Design: To study sound, to listen and to be listened to
As part of the bachelor course Audio Design at hdpk in Berlin students will create immersive worlds of sound, 3D acoustics for games and soundlogs (sound branding). They will learn how to acoustically represent data (sonification), and to use computers i.e. software such as Pro Tools as platforms for composition and arrangement, and as a digital instrument.
The modular structure of the study course Audio Design includes seven semesters, during which you will be expected to achieve a total of 210 credit points, and to attain the academic degree of Bachelor of Arts Audio Design (B.A. Audio Design). During the first two semesters, your accredited courses will focus on the basics: aural training, sound design and electro-acoustics. During the third and fourth semester, successive courses will deepen your understanding of composition, sound engineering and music informatics. The syllabus is completed by courses in music history, media law, project management and personality training. Extracurricular projects and our excellent sound studios offer a wide range of options for putting theory in practice. The course of studies will also offer opportunities to work on interdisciplinary projects, such as audio-visual composition and installations; as well as the effects of psycho-acoustics.
The course schedule gives an overview of individual units of instruction, which module they are part of and when they are timetabled. During their 6th term, students complete an internship or a semester abroad. A primary aspect of studying at the hdpk is to participate in the network of thesix major bachelor programs Music Production, Popular Music, Audio Design, Media Management, Media Design and Creative Industries Management: cross-disciplinary courses are intended to bring together students from different programmes, providing them with a head start into their careers, for which they will need to cooperate with clients and partners. These cross-disciplinary projects also serve to establish contacts among future professionals, and later on often serve as a first interdisciplinary professional – and personal – network.
Audio Design: how to make a living as a sound artist – the soundtrack of the future!
Audio Designers increasingly work for the audio software industry, contribute to the creation of sample libraries and design sound worlds for computer games. Trained to work with electro-acoustics, as sound engineers and music informatics, our students mostly go on to work in multimedia-teams.
Audio Designers compose music in a variety of genres, create digital sound-design and special acoustic effects; they realise voice-over and other language-based productions and direct sound recordings with bands and ensembles. They develop digital instruments, interfaces and composition aids. In the artistic cross-media interplay of sound and space, movement and shape, Sound Designers create installations and contribute to media-artistic projects such as audio dramas. Within cross-media teams, our alumni design, present and independently realise artistic projects. They write songs, orchestrate their arrangements and develop digital musical instruments and apps.Audio Designers either work as freelancers or are employed by web and marketing agencies, game producers, corporate development departments, film producers and in a great variety of positions. In addition to musical-creative skills, Audio Designers also require sound-engineering experience, in the fields of equipment technology, electro-acoustics and music informatics.
A Bachelor in Audio Design offers a wide range of excellent career opportunities. You may decide to work for:
creative and record industry
marketing, media and design agencies
software and IT companies
commercial enterprises and consumer goods manufacturers
TV and radio stations, audio drama productions
sound directors and producers
composers and arrangers
bands and musical ensembles
“Show what you’ve got!” – How to apply for the Bachelor programme Audio Design at the hdpk:
Our admission procedure is two-tiered: a first pre-selection is done based on the application documents and the artistic work samples. If you pass this pre-selection screening we will invite you to come to Berlin for our practical admission exam.
Applicants to the SRH Hochschule der populären Künste (hdpk) must have either general entrance qualification for university or for advanced technical college and, as part of the enrolment procedure, will be asked to provide evidence of their aesthetic-technical/design talents. We will specifically be looking for:
a strong motivation to express yourself and to design
a solid understanding of computer-based realisation of music and sound
basic theoretical and practical knowledge of popular music
Students applying from abroad are requested to provide proof of adequate German language skills, both verbal and in writing (level B2 minimum).
The following documents will need to be submitted:
completed and signed Application form
letter of motivation (integrated into the application form) stating: Why are you interested in studying at the hdpk? What are your expectations? What are your professional perspectives? (2 pages maximum).
personal data sheet, together with passport photo, place, date, signature
school leaving certificate: notarised copy, may be handed in later
in case you have previously studied at another university, please provide de-registration certificate (may also be handed in later)
samples of your work: three one-minute MP3s of your own artistic work
For a detailed description of the requirements, please go to Entrance examination B.A. Audio Design.
Following your successful pre-selection screening you will be invited to the hdpk for a practical examination. This will allow us to assess your study-programme-specific knowledge, your creativity, your commitment to express yourself creatively and your motivation.
The entrance examination consists of a 10-minute practical presentation, and will be completed by an interview conducted by two professors/teachers focusing on your artistic-aesthetic-technical qualifications, your basic theoretical and practical music knowledge, your interest and your motivation to study audio design at hdpk.
The above-mentioned 10-minute-long presentation needs to include two pieces of music/sound, selected by you, with emphasis on digital music production/ sound engineering along with composition/musical adaption. Both fields are equally relevant. This practical examination will be decisive for your admission to study creative musical arts at the hdpk. Entire duration of the practical exam is 30 minutes.