With the professional audio industry seeing an increasing requirement for education, particularly in the live discipline; Victoria University have developed several new TAFE courses.
With a practical focus, these new audio production courses have been designed for Australian students looking to enter the audio sector with some real world knowledge.
One of the instrumental educators behind the courses is Bek Varcoe, an industry operator for over 20 years. Now leading the way for first year students, Bek brings the real world of professional audio to the next generation of industry professionals.
Bek’s history has been primarily focussed around FOH work with a special interest in broadcasting live music on radio. More recently, Bek has doing monitors as well as learning the intricacies of rigging and tuning large systems.
Group Technologies Technical Specialist Drew Menard showing students around the DiGiCo SD9 and SD11
Teaching Certificate 4 in Sound Production, Bek’s course leads directly into the Advanced Diploma in 2nd Year. Training is held at Kindred Studios, a working recording and rehearsal studio -and venue – in Yarraville.
In the first year, the Sound Production courses are made up of a number of subjects that are grouped into 4 main areas – studio recording, live sound, digital production and industry contexts. The second year builds on these and adds audio post, radio production, production analysis, electronic music and critical listening.
Bek has a strong belief in the students getting their hands dirty from the onset as she notes.
“Students are given plenty of individual access to studio facilities and equipment also. All of the staff work in the industry. There is lots of hands-on training, and there are more field trips and hands on training sessions and guest speakers than any other course that I’m aware of.”
Bek Varcoe and John Hall giving students the opportunity to see and touch high end gear
With Group Technologies seeing the benefits behind practically based courses that give youths a solid foundation to start working in the industry, GT has made its training room and technical expertise available for use throughout the courses. With industry leading products such as DiGiCo and Nexo at the courses disposal, the benefits of students learning on equipment widely used by government, private venues, major touring and production companies alike, are quite clear to Bek.
“With the course’s focus is on providing relevant, current skills so that students are credible and employable when they leave, DiGiCo training is fantastic for giving students transferrable, current and relevant skills in a very commonly used console.”
Several courses are available: Certificate IV in Sound Production, Advanced Diploma of Sound Production, Certificate IV in Music and Advanced Diploma of Music. Each of these are one year full time and very hands on.