Metalworks Institute - Campus Programs - Professional Sound & Business Live Production Major Diploma


Our Professional Sound & Business (Live Production Major) program is designed for students who wish to expand their career into the creative and technical side of the live event industry as well as a comprehensive study of the music business. With in-depth studies encompassing all aspects of live event production and the art of music business management, this captivating program is an excellent balance between technical sound and lighting skills, as well as the business principles associated with the both the music and live event industries. 

Two Year Diploma
Classes Start: September

To arrange a tour of our campus or to contact our Admissions Department:

  • Graduates earn a Diploma in Professional Sound & Business with a Live Production major.
  • Full-time, two year program strategically designed to get you thoroughly trained in all aspects live sound and lighting technologies as well as the business of entertainment.
  • Our contemporary program reflects our continuing commitment to comprehensive research and innovative curriculum development.
  • A program that provides a comprehensive mix of quantitative, analytical and strategic skills.
  • Intensive practical experience in the theories and artistic styles used to setup and operate audio and lighting equipment for a variety of live applications.
  • Extensive study and practical hands-on experience in the areas of analog and digital technologies, acoustic principles, concert lighting technologies and electricity and electronics.
  • In addition to progressive business concepts and management practices, this program features topics that offer students a wide array of business disciplines relevant to the entertainment field.
  • Prepare for a career in tour management, concert promotion, live sound, artist management, venue management or system installations.
  • Incredible opportunities to network and collaborate with students in other Metalworks Institute programs.
  • Our exclusive educational partnership with Metalworks Production Group provides students with unprecedented learning environments and networking opportunities.
  • Extensive networking capabilities derived through our educational partnerships with industry leading companies provide the most up to date information on trends and technologies impacting the entertainment industry.
  • All of our full-time diploma programs are approved vocational programs under the Private Career Colleges Act 2005.
  • Live Audio Systems
  • Music Publishing
  • Music Software & Digital Workstation Technologies
  • Tour & Artist Management
  • Internet and Mobile Entertainment
  • Analog and Digital Consoles
  • Concert Lighting Systems
  • Intellectual Properties and Entertainment Contract Law
  • Health & Safety in the Live Event Industry
  • Entertainment Marketing, Promotion and Publicity
  • Financial Principles and Business Development
  • Practical Business Software Technologies
  • Practical Business Communications
  • Business Ethics
  • Acoustic Principles
  • Critical Listening
  • Live Stage Monitoring Systems
  • Electricity and Electronics Principles
  • Show Systems Maintenance
  • Audio Signal Processing Techniques
  • Digital Audio
  • Show System Installations
  • Applicants must have an OSSD or equivalent.
  • Mature applicants are welcome.
  • Acceptance to the program is limited and subject to an academic assessment and acceptance interview.
  • It is also expected that applicants demonstrate keen interest in the technical, creative and business aspects of live music and entertainment; possess creative aptitude and computer literacy.
  • A guide to the application process can be found here.
  • 2 Year Full-Time Program
  • 1680 Hours of Instruction
  • Typical class hours range between 20-22 hours per week
  • 12-15 additional study hours per week are highly recommended

To arrange a tour of our campus or to contact our Admissions Department:

Courses: Professional Sound & Business (Live Production Major)
What is the business of entertainment? What is the relationship between creating music and art, and earning money from that art? What are the elements that make up this industry, and how do they connect and intersect to create the vast array of entertainment content that we watch, hear and see? During this course, students will be introduced to the music, broadcast, motion picture, game and live event industries and their various subsidiaries. Students will examine the nature of intellectual property and copyright, discuss the often conflicting relationship between art and commerce, and examine the relationship between content creators and consumers.
The continuing growth of today’s DIY music industry has placed even greater importance on understanding the legal ramifications of copyright laws, and the various contracts and agreements used in this industry. This course will introduce students to important concepts in intellectual property and copyright law, such as licensing, infringement, and ownership, so that students may better understand how to protect and monetize their songs and recordings. Students will learn the basics of contracts and contract law, and discuss some of the standard contracts used in business and employment settings. Through prominent case studies and examples, students will also explore various entertainment industry agreements, such as those used in the film and sports industries, and standard contracts used in music, such as recording contracts, producer agreements, and live performance agreements.
As the size and scope of concerts and other live events continue to grow, the live events industry faces ongoing challenges in maintaining the health and safety of workers, performers and fans at these live events. This course will delve into some of the health and safety issues inherent in the live event industry, such as crowd management, temporary staging, working at heights, working with electricity and other important safety elements. We will examine important case studies of past tragic incidents in the performance industry and look at how such incidents can be avoided in the future.
We all wince in pain when we hear that hair-raising microphone feedback during a live show. The sound is usually followed by the sight of dozens of heads turning and shooting a puzzled and angry look at the sound techs. For the live sound engineer, the urgent question is, where did that sound come from, how can I fix it, and how can it be avoided in future? In Show System Maintenance, students will learn how to troubleshoot and repair any number of problems that can arise during a live event. This course will learn how to properly test and maintain live show systems, and how to quickly deal with issues that may arise during a live show.
This hands-on, workshop course will allow students to build on the knowledge of signal processing effects and devices learned in the Audio Signal Processing course. Through in-class exercises and projects, students will learn how to use vital effects and processors, such as equalization, compressors, expanders, gates, reverbs, and delays, and how those effects are utilized in live performances.
How are recorded sounds processed in today’s digital environment? How are vocal and instrument tracks altered and changed to produce the sounds we hear in our headphones, and at a live show? In Audio Signal Processing, students will be introduced to the many audio signal processing devices used by today’s producers, and how those devices are used in a live setting. Students will learn about popular effects and processors such as compressors, gates, reverbs and delays, and how those effects are applied during live performances.
Whether you’re working for a major record company, or managing an independent artist, the ability to effectively communicate via the spoken or written word is an essential ingredient in a successful career. This course will examine the theories and practices behind written and verbal communication skills used by industry professionals. Students will learn the barriers to effective communication, the importance of communication in business and personal relationships, and the skills and techniques needed to deliver information in any medium or environment. This course will also explore the nature of ethics in the business world. Students will examine basic moral and ethical theories, and understand how those theories are applied in the business world. Vital case studies and real-world ethical dilemmas will be examined and discussed, so that students better understand the role of ethics in business and society.
Students will gain valuable hands-on experience with current, industry-standard stage lighting technology in this course, which builds upon the fundamentals learned in the Concert Lighting Principles course. Through in-class exercises and projects, students will gain familiarity with the terms and terminology used in concert lighting, learn how to use concert lighting consoles and systems, and also understand the importance of workplace health and safety practices.
What are gobos and fresnels? Who are those people climbing amongst the rafters during a live show, and what do they do? What are the systems and techniques used by lighting crews to create dynamic and dramatic live concert experiences? Our Concert Lighting Principles course will introduce students to the technologies and techniques used to create those stage lighting experiences for live events. This course will explore the history of staging and stage technology, examine the various types of lighting and truss systems, and provide an introduction into the design of those exciting and lighting displays we see at live concerts and events.
The ability to focus on subtle differences in sound is an essential skill of a music producer. This course will introduce students to the techniques used by producers to develop their own critical listening skills. Students will utilize weekly in-class exercises, and comparative analysis of different styles of mixing to help identify the sonic features which can positively or negatively impact a final audio mix.
The Digital Technologies Workshop introduces students to the practical skills of recording and editing music using digital applications, and builds on knowledge gained in the Digital Technologies course. Students will hone and develop their recording skills using digital technologies, and will undertake a comprehensive exploration of Pro Tools, and the techniques involved in recording and editing music on a Digital Audio Workstation.
The use of Digital Audio Workstations has become the norm in today’s digital world. It’s vital that today’s music creators understand the nature of Pro Tools, Logic, Ableton, and other popular DAWs. In our Digital Technologies course, students will learn the fundamentals of recording and editing in a digital environment. Students will explore digital audio basics, including hardware, software and interfaces, via a combination of class lectures and in-class exercises and demos, and learn how to record and edit music like the pros.
The changing nature of this business of music demands that today’s aspiring managers, executives and entrepreneurs have a keen understanding of essential accounting and financial management practices and principles. This course will provide students with an overview of core economic theories, as well as vital personal financial management practices. Students will be given a fundamental overview of accounting, and learn how to de-mystify and understand basic accounting terms such as balance sheets, journals, financial statements, taxation, cost behavior, and the accounting cycle. Our Financial Principles course will also provide students with the tools required to create and manage a small business, and the best practices used by top entertainment executives and entrepreneurs.
One of the more profound changes in the music industry over the past decade or more is the shift towards do-it-yourself music production and marketing. Creating the music is just one step for the artist; the next, crucial step is knowing how to take that music and present it to the world. Our Marketing, Promotion and Publicity course provides students with the tools and knowledge to market and promote music in today’s online, digital environment. The course begins with the foundation of marketing basics, allowing students to learn the 4 P’s of marketing, target marketing, brand positioning, market segmentation, and pricing strategies. From there, our course will examine how those core marketing practices are applied in the entertainment industries, namely film, television, digital media, and of course, music.  Finally, we will discuss the roles of publicity and promotion in the music marketing mix, and learn the tools used by today’s music marketers to publicize and promote music via traditional media, such as radio, as well as online.
The Music & Culture course will offer students an overview of the key figures, moments and movements over the past century that impacted our culture. Along with music, this course will also introduce students to the evolution of art, literature, film, television, and other outlets for our culture, explore the connection between the various media styles and genres, and discuss how the past has informed the present, and future, of art, music and culture.
Today’s music business is not your parent’s music business. The World Wide Web and digital technologies have led to an evolution in the music industry, where inspired artists and entrepreneurs are utilizing those new technologies to create, market and distribute their music. Our Music Business course will offer students a comprehensive introduction to the business of music, and the often-complicated relationships between music, technology and consumers. We will begin by examining the fundamental clash between art and commerce, and understanding the value of music as commodity. This course will then examine the roles of the artist and songwriter, and the vital people and organizations that support music creators, including music publishers, record labels, managers, agents, promoters and publicists. Through case studies and real-world examples, students will discuss management, publishing and recording agreements, and examine key statistical data and analytics used within the music industry. Finally, students will also explore the methods, technologies and new revenue streams involved in the digital distribution of music.
Being a good audio engineer or producer goes beyond microphones, consoles and digital editing. Being a good engineer also means being able to understand the fundamental properties of sound and acoustics, and how acoustics affect the quality of sound in a studio or live environment. In this course, students will learn how sound works, why we hear what we hear, and how our ears receive and conceive sounds. This exploration of sound will involve a comprehensive overview of physics, allowing students to understand the important principles of acoustics, wave propagation, and auditory perception.
The success of any artist in today’s music industry requires the skills and expertise of a number of key support personnel, beginning with the artist manager. This course will begin by examining core business management theories and practices, and how those concepts are applied to the world of music. Students will discuss the role of artist managers, the relationship between artists and managers, and artist management agreements. Prominent, real-world examples will be offered to illustrate the good and bad of artist-manager relationships. This course will also explore the other important members of the artist’s team, including agents, lawyers, business managers, publicists and promoters. Students will also learn the fundamentals of event planning and management, skills to be utilized in the production of a live student event. Our Music Management course will also provide an overview of radio and broadcast management, and allow students to better understand the inner workings of radio stations and important broadcast terms and terminology.
This course will offer students a hands-on, practical overview of the common desktop software applications used in the music business. Students will be introduced to basic word processing software, and learn how to create and manage documents. Students will then be introduced to databases and spreadsheet software, and apply that knowledge to the presentation and analysis of financial and statistical data. This course will also introduce students to visual presentation software applications, and provide students with the skills to create dynamic visual presentations. Students will also learn core fundamentals of website planning, design, and maintenance, and other online business tools.
This course will provide students with comprehensive insight into the technical, creative and artistic principles of sound and show production systems through practical application. During this course, students will apply theoretical knowledge to live practical applications of microphones, audio signal flow, cables, connectors, consoles, console operation, amplifiers and speaker systems. Students will also be encouraged to begin acting and thinking as live sound engineers and to develop strong engineering communication skills.
The house lights go down, the audience roars as the artist appears, and suddenly the crowd is moving to the booming rhythms sweeping through the arena. But where are the sounds coming from, how does it go from the stage to our ears, and who’s responsible for making it all work?  The Show Production Systems course will provide students with the foundation for the production of live sound in a concert setting. Students are introduced to microphones, signal flow, cables, connectors, consoles, amplifiers, and speaker systems, and learn to understand how sounds are conveyed from the artist on stage, to the audience in the seats. By the end of this course, students will begin acting and thinking as live sound engineers, and further develop the strong communication skills needed in the production of live events.
We see them every time we go to a concert, those men and women climbing rope ladders and catwalks to handle the lighting and sound systems. Without them, there are no concerts, but few of us understand the important, and sometimes dangerous, work that they do. This course will explore the basics of production rigging for live events, while placing particular emphasis on the safety practices required in this risk-filled occupation. Students will explore the common types of rigging systems and components, the methods of flying stage elements, and the use of various types of knots in stage rigging systems.
Concert tours can be enormous financial and logistical enterprises, involving dozens of people, thousands of dollars, and a multitude of considerations. In our Tour Management course, students will learn what it takes to pull off a successful concert tour. We will examine the role of the tour manager, and the other key members of the tour management team. We’ll discuss the different types of live performance agreements, and the vital role of merchandise and merch sales for the artist. We will explore the ins and outs of sponsorships, scheduling, hospitality, accommodations, and travel arrangements. And finally, we’ll also examine the technical side of the touring business, from stage plots, to sound and lighting personnel, and the work that they do.

Metalworks Institute

Canada’s Premier Entertainment Arts School