15 Outstanding Professors Every Audio Enthusiast Should Know

If you want to get better at music production and recording, it is helpful to follow and learn from the best. This site is all about “Recording Excellence” in all its forms, and so I thought it would be great to highlight those in the field who are trailblazers, innovators, and experts.

Educators in audio are a great group to focus on given how they not only know a tremendous amount about recording/producing music, but they also are helping to shape the future of the field through teaching. These 15 outstanding professors are certainly worth knowing about, and I’d encourage anyone interested to research the work they’ve done beyond what I’ve listed here. Some have their own web sites, while other’s have written books about audio recording, and all of them have an incredible amount of experience and expertise when it comes to recording. No matter if you’re interested in enrolling in one of the great programs these professors are a part of, or simply wanting to learn more about recording, being aware of the best and having something to strive for can be tremendously motivating.

    Prince Charles Alexander

  1. Prince Charles Alexander – Prince Charles Alexander is a producer, audio engineer, recording artist and educator. In addition to teaching at Berklee, Prince Charles Alexander has worked with a number of highly successful artists including Destiny’s Child, Alicia Keys, Notorious B.I.G., Luther Vandross, and P. Diddy. He’s also received three Grammy awards and is a member of the Producers and Engineers Wing of the Grammy Committee Board of Governors.
    • Title/Position: Professor, Music Production and Engineering
    • University: Berklee College of Music
    • Web Site: Connect Online
  2.  odd ColemanTodd Coleman – Todd Coleman is a composer, bassist, and educator who draws from many different areas when recording music. Notably he blends studio recording and film scoring techniques with electronic music (prerecorded) and live sound. He earned his Bachelor of Music degree in composition from BYU, and studied double bass performance at the famed Eastman School of Music, earning his Doctorate in 2002. Anyone interested in hearing his innovative take on contemporary “Classical” concert music tradition and recording would do well to take a look at his personal site which lists his discography and publications.
    • Title/Position: Associate Professor of Music
    • University: Elon University
    • Web Site: Connect Online
  3. Susan RogersSusan Rogers – The second entry from the Berklee College of Music is Susan Rogers. She started working in music in 1978 as an audio technician and eventually made her way into engineering and production. She spent years working in the music business, with names such as Prince, David Byrne, and culminating with her producing a hit record with the Barenaked Ladies. She holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Minnesota and a Ph.D. from McGill University and experimental psychology. She teaches music production and engineering and enjoys the fact that she can help her eager students express themselves and guide the next generation in service of the music industry. She’s an especially fantastic role model for any women who may have interest in audio production.
    • Title/Position: Associate Professor, Music Production and Engineering
    • University: Berklee College of Music
    • Web Site: Connect Online
  4. Colby N LeiderColby N. Leider – Colby Leider holds degrees from Princeton, Dartmouth, and the University of Texas. He currently researches digital audio signal processing, sound synthesis and spatialization, tuning systems, and alternate controllers for music-making. In addition to teaching music technology, building musical instruments and composing music, he finds time to be the president-founder of Everglade Records, which is a non-profit label devoted to experimental music and acoustic documentary. With grants received from the National Science Foundation, and the NVIDIA Corporation (yes the guys who make sound cards), it’s clear that he’s a professor to know!
    • Title/Position: Associate Professor and Program Director, Music Engineering Technology
    • University: University of Miami
    • Web Site: Connect Online
  5. Adam OlsonAdam Olson – With expertise in Audio Recording and Digital Audio Workstations (DAWs) like Pro Tools, Nuendo, and Logic, Adam Olson has a tremendous amount to offer his students and anyone interested in his work. He received a diploma from the Conservatory of Recording Arts & Sciences, holds a B.S. from BYU and an M.S. from the University of Colorado at Denver. He teaches Recording Systems 1 & 2 in addition to Studio Maintenance and Repair, Digital and Advanced Recording and more.
    • Title/Position: Assistant Professor, Music Production and Recording Technology
    • University: Shenandoah University
    • Web Site: Connect Online
  6. Konrad StraussKonrad Strauss – In addition to being a Professor of Music at IU, Konrad Strauss is the chief engineer for Classic Digital Inc., and a staff engineer at the Chicago Recording Company. He has worked on recording projects that include the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, RCA Red Seal, and more. In addition to all of this, he’s a member of numerous audio organizations, has written multiple papers on audio recording, and given a number of seminars and received multiple Grammy Awards for his recordings. If you’re interested in learning more about his incredible work you can check out his personal homepage.
    • Title/Position: Professor of Music (Recording Arts); Chair, Department of Recording Arts
    • University: Indiana University Bloomington
    • Web Site: Connect Online
  7. Richard OttRichard Ott – Richard Ott has been in the audio industry for 20 years, and has worked on projects with a diverse groups of musicians and music professionals. Some of the artists he’s engineered or produced include Jerry Lee Lewis, 98 Degrees/Jeff Timmons, Snow Patrol, and many more. He’s also been mentored by some of the most talented producers and engineers in the music. He brings all of this experience and knowledge with him to class when he instructs students.
    • Title/Position: Program Director of Audio Engineering and Music Production
    • University: F.I.R.S.T. Institute
    • Web Site: Connect Online
  8. Barry HillBarry R. Hill, D.Ed. – Barry R. Hill is responsible for developing curriculum, as well as teaching courses in recording and audio engineering at Lebanon Valley College of Pennsylvania. In addition to this, he has authored a textbook and audio CD designed to teach recording practices in studios entitled “Learning Recording Engineering: Fundamental concepts and operations.” His experience in the industry includes album credits as a recording engineer on several chart-placing singles. He’s also a member of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, and the Audio Engineering Society. His education includes degrees from Penn State, NYU, and UNC – Asheville. You can check out his personal web site to learn more about him!
    • Title/Position: Director of the Audio & Music Production Degree Program, and Founding Director of the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning
    • University: Lebanon Valley College of Pennsylvania
    • Web Site: Connect Online
  9. Paul GelusoPaul Geluso – Paul Geluso is a music recordist, mixing and mastering engineer who specializes in multi-channel sound. His work primarily focuses on the theoretical, practical, and artistic elements of sound recording and reproduction. He’s received credits as an engineer, producer, composer, and musician. In addition to all this, he has found time to teach classes such as Recording Technology, Concert Recording, Advanced Audio Production, and more. He holds degrees from NJIT and NYU.
    • Title/Position: Master Treacher of Music Technology
    • University: NYU
    • Web Site: Connect Online
  10. Douglas O'GradyDr. Douglas O’Grady – Dr. Douglas O’Grady has been at Western Connecticut State University since 2010. He is both the creator and coordinator of the Bachelor of Music in Audio and Music Production degree. He teaches courses in Music Industry Studies, Recording, and Audio Production. As for experience, he regularly records and mixes WCSU performances, and has done the same for both the University of Alabama, and the Georgia College & State University music departments. You can check out his web site for more information where he discusses music and his other passion, brewing beer.
    • Title/Position: Associate Professor of Music
    • University: Western Connecticut State University
    • Web Site: Connect Online
  11. David ToughDavid Tough – David Tough is a songwriter and producer/engineer based in Nashville, who also teaches at Belmont University. He produces and engineers demos and master recordings for hundreds of artists around the world through his web site (which you can find a link to below). His passion for teaching recording technology began in 2002 to “help students navigate through the DAW revolution that is still upon us”. He lists his specialties as audio education, music production, songwriting, and creative arts leadership.
    • Title/Position: Associate Professor
    • University: Belmont University
    • Web Site: Connect Online
  12. Frank BairdFrank Baird – Frank Baird specializes in Sound Reinforcement as an Assistant Professor for Middle Tennessee State University. He’s a graduate of Slippery Rock University and has a minor in Commercial Music from The Recording Workshop in Chillicothe, Ohio. His experience with sound is vast, having been on tour with both Elton John and Madonna and working with Soundcheck in Nashville. He received his Masters in Education from Belmont University after years working in music.
    • Title/Position: Assistant Professor
    • University: Middle Tennessee State University
    • Web Site: Connect Online
  13. Jonathan BelecJonathan Belec – Jon Belec has been working at FLCC since 2006, and has years of experience in the music industry. He has engineered for a number of artists including Matchbox Twenty, Jennifer Lopez, and Kanye West. He plays both trombone and bass, but also enjoys the technical sides of music recording. He has a B.S. and M.S. from Champlain College. His expertise in intellectual property and contract law are notable for any aspiring artist.
    • Title/Position: Music Recording Professor
    • University: Finger Lakes Community College
    • Web Site: Connect Online
  14. Nathan EdwardsNathan Edwards – Nathan Edwards’ accolades and experience as a professor make him well worth mentioning. He holds a Master’s degree in Electronic Music and New Media Technology from Northern Illinois University. He specializes in live music production, digital filmmaking, and electronic music composition, and has engineered and self-published a number of award-winning albums. From his site (which you should definitely check out): “As an instructor, Professor Edwards believes in preparing students for a sustainable career in the music industry by not only instilling knowledge, but also inspiring students to deepen their passion and commitment to their discipline both in and out of the classroom.
    • Title/Position: Director of Recording Technology
    • University: University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh
    • Web Site: Connect Online
  15. Michael PoundsMichael Pounds – Michael Pounds specializes in computer music composition and collaborative intermedia projects. His expertise stems from years of experience and a decorated academic career with studies at Ball State University, Bowling Green State University, the University of Birmingham in England, and the University of Illinois. He has composed music that has been performed all over the world. He currently teaches courses covering composition, music perception, recording, computer music, and acoustics.
    • Title/Position: Assistant Director of Music Media Production and Professor of Music Theory and Composition
    • University: Ball State University
    • Web Site: Connect Online

So there you have my list of 15 outstanding professors. Did I miss anyone? Let me know in the comments or on social media!

About the Author

Scott Hawksworth is RecordingExcellence.com's founder and editor. In addition to playing piano for over 15 years, Scott has performed in choruses, bands, and solo. His passion for music led him to learn more about music production and home recording. Scott lives in Chicago with his wife and two cats, Dylan and Sebastian.

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