The following books are recommended reading if you are interested in expanding knowledge of audio production and sound design.

Designing Sound by Andy FarnellThe Art of Mixing by David GibsonAudio in Media by Stanley R. Altenaudio-vision

Unbound Sound edited by Paul D. MillerListening to Noise and Silence by Salome VoegelinSilence: Lectures and Writings of John Cage

There are also many trade publications dealing with audio production and recording here's a short list to start:


Headphones play a critical role in monitoring sound while recording.  They also are great for monitoring sound while not disturbing others.  Anyone serious about sound will want a good pair of quality headphones.  Earbud style headphones are not recommended for this course as they generally do not provide the fidelity we need as professional sound designers.  Many headphone manufacturers produce both consumer and professional models and prices can be deceiving.  Just because a pair of headphones costs more, does not mean there are better quality.  Many consumer models will be tailored to listening to music with added bass response.  As sound designers, we want good quality professional studio headphones with a very flat frequency response.  The video below has a good overview of these points, note that after the 7 minute mark there is an overview of specific models and is not intended to imply endorsement of products.


There are many choices for a sound designer to craft the environment of any piece.  This site focuses on the principles of sound design as opposed to software training.  Many programs can accomplish basic tasks anyone new to sound will need.  Some programs have workflows that are built-in to accommodate audio for video applications when installed next to a non-linear editing program from the same developer.  These workflows may provide advantages to some users and can be a determining factor when making decisions on what to purchase.  Many companies offer free trials and tutorials for their software packages as an easy way to evaluate which is best for the end user.

*This page is meant to serve as a link to some sound editing and recording applications and does not imply that this a complete list of programs available nor endorses any of the listed developers.


geoff in media arts grad lab

Geoff Cole completed his Master of Fine Arts degree in Media Arts in 2015 and Certificate of Applied Science in Computer Aided Design in 2016 from the University of Montana. Primary research included functional design through 3D modeling and printing, with emphasis on sonic applications culminating in multiple 3D-printed loudspeaker enclosure prototypes. These speakers were presented with various installments of the reflective presentation of the process titled, 200+ Celsius: The Trials and Tribulations of 3D-printing and the Realization of Anything at multiple events including the Media Arts Expo, UM Grad Con, and the Midwest Audiofest. While continually expanding knowledge of additive manufacturing and the Maker community, Geoff is also exploring computer science technologies through web development and responsive design.

Before attending UM, Geoff was the Program Director at New Media Broadcasters in Havre, MT overseeing "the sound" of on-air radio broadcasts on KOJM-AM, KPQX-FM, and KRYK-FM. While at NMB, Geoff also participated in the launch of the first HD-Radio multicast broadcasts in the state of Montana, programming KPQX-HD2 (2007), KRYK-HD2 (2008), KPQX-HD3 (2010) and KRYK-HD3 (2011). The Montana Broadcasters Association has also recognized Geoff for outstanding production work with EB Craney Awards in 2007, 2009 and 2010.

Geoff moved to Havre, MT in 2005 after graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the School of Broadcast and Cinematic Arts (BCA) at Central Michigan University. In addition to studies within BCA focusing on radio programming and audio design, Geoff's fine art focus was photography. Elective studies also included Automotive Technology, which served as the "vehicle" for his capstone project in the exhibition Automotive Abstractions: An Imaginative Landscape of Machinery. Geoff's senior work also involved research in the relationship between experience and education in radio, sitting on a panel The Value of Playing Radio at the 2005 Broadcast Education Association Convention.

When not at work or school Geoff enjoys the company of his wife Julie. Together they explore the mountain and pacific northwest and travel to National Parks and Forests. Geoff has also amassed an impressive collection of vinyl records and CDs.  These recordings are played back through a custom built speaker system that has been evolving since the audio bug first bit Geoff in his early teens.