We live in a society in which the overwhelming majority of cultural projects rely on digital media at all stages of production and presentation. Digital media facilitates immersive, multimedia experiences that inform, enrich and transform our lives. The multimedia arts technology-music program at Western Michigan University provides training in digital media concepts and skills necessary for the creation and production of audio for video games, popular music albums, popular performance concerts, experimental art projects, cinema, commercials and software development. Students also learn the foundational concepts of video editing, manipulation and generation.
Students have hands on experience in audio engineering, music and video creation, live sound reinforcement, electronic music performance and computer programming. Students also receive training in reading music and basic music theory. Students can learn piano and guitar, in addition to performing and designing digital instruments in a laptop orchestra.
Students have the flexibility in the curriculum to focus on their own goals and interests after completing the minimum requirements in the four pillars of the program: audio engineering, live sound reinforcement, creative projects and computer programming. Students also design and realize a Capstone project with direct faculty oversight. These projects reflect the student’s own focus, interests and goals.
Our facilities include a state of the art recording studio, Western Sound Studios, which operates as the primary recording facility for the School of Music. Western Sound Studios operates as a business; therefore, students in upper level audio engineering classes are essentially interns who assist with professional recording projects. The introductory audio engineering courses occur in the multimedia arts technology production studio, which is a separate facility for multimedia arts technology-music program student projects and classes. The electronic music lab is a state of the art facility for creative projects. There are six individual workstations, which constitute the multimedia arts technology lab, for student projects that have advanced digital media software and hardware. KLOrk, the Kalamazoo Laptop Orchestra, has a mobile station with 20 laptops, 20 tablets, and a variety of gestural controllers. Students have access to a portable live sound reinforcement system that has the capacity for eight-channel surround sound and real-time effects processing. The School of Music’s computer lab consists of 18 stations that have basic audio and video software.
The multimedia arts technology-music program faculty are dedicated teachers who are committed to the development and success of our students. The faculty has diverse skill sets and backgrounds and they work collaboratively to assist students in achieving their goals. Multimedia arts technology-music program faculty work to create a challenging, inspiring and playful learning environment that facilitates student learning and growth, while helping them to enjoy their education.