student playing and recording piano
students mixing a song
students working at music computers
Music Technology at Virginia Tech

Program Philosophy

The Virginia Tech Department of Music has always been a leader in technology-based music study and instruction. Beginning in 1982 with Microcomputer Applications in Music and continuing with Audio Technology for Music in 1993, our curriculum and facilities have continued to expand, accommodating the dynamic needs of creative work, instruction, recording, and production in the area of music technology. Our philosophy reaffirms the importance of traditional musicianship, yet we also strive to keep our students current with the latest aesthetic, cultural, and technological developments. Therefore, all our students are expected to attain understanding of available technologies for music composition, instruction, performance, production, recording, and appreciation.

We offer both 50 and 78 hour degree options focusing on music recording and production, creative technologies in composition and multimedia art design, and a ‘designed’ option allowing students to create individualized curricula for specialized areas of interest. Our exceptional faculty to student ratio and strong commitment to meeting the needs of students is truly unique in higher education today.

Current Curriculum:

  • Introduction to Music Technology
  • Audio Technology for Music
  • Computer Music & Multimedia Design
  • Music and Media Production
  • Soundtrack and Effects Composition
  • Linux and Multimedia
  • Individual Composition Lessons
  • Independent / Specialized Studies


Digital Audio Recording and Production Studio
QTVR tour, image gallery, videos, and map with directions

The Recording Studio facility is 3,500 square-foot multi-room facility with nine acoustically isolated rooms of varying characteristics and a 1988 Yamaha CF III concert grand piano. The main control room and classroom offers multichannel recording and mixing, surround sound monitoring and video projection. A second production room adds further video, multimedia and DVD production capabilities.

The facility employs high-quality microphones, including a variety of large and small diaphragm condensers, tube and ribbon microphones from manufacturers such as Neumann, Earthworks, Royer, Peluso Labs, AKG and Sennheiser. Our microphones are complimented by world-class, custom microphone preamplifiers, high-resolution custom A/D converters, a fully-automated Sony DMX-R100 digital mixing console, and both native and hardware-based digital audio workstations such as Logic Pro and Sonic Studio HD. Processing and metering tools include Metric Halo 80-bit +DSP hardware, visualization tools and a variety of other software-based and outboard processing systems. A second production room adds Final Cut Studio, DVD Studio Pro and a variety of other software systems necessary for audio, video, DVD-Video and DVD-Audio, as well as multimedia production in today's current and emerging high-resolution, multichannel and interactive formats.

Remote location recording capabilities include 48-channel multitrack recording, a Sony HD video camera, and a Soundfield MK-V ambisonics recording system for capturing three-dimensional, fully immersive acoustical events for production into traditional stereo, multichannel and periphonic audio.

For information contact:

Michael Dunston: (540) 231-9942


Digital Interactive Sound and Intermedia Studio

DISIS is the primary facility of the Creative Technologies in Composition and Multimedia Art Design program offering a revolutionary studio model which sports twelve silent high performance machines, the state-of-art 8.2 Genelec surround system and an Audio Vision HC display. This silent and sound-proof space houses research projects such as the twenty-four speaker Aural Matrix, experimental hyperinstruments, and sensors.

DISIS with its forward-looking design and unique OS-agnostic environment fosters outstanding student-teacher ratio, minimal learning curve, and unmatched cross-platform proficiency in Linux, OSX, and Windows. DISIS offers a large volume of leading software packages, including Max/MSP/Jitter, PD, Logic, Sonar, Audition, Peak, Reason, Komplete and many more, over 100GB of sample libraries, and dozens of software synths and samplers. Linux stations complement the studio with literally hundreds of multimedia applications.

By coupling contemporary technology with traditional performance idioms, DISIS offers scientific research with focus on new music technologies for the purpose of betterment of the overall quality of life as well as a pursuit of new forms of artistic expression with special focus on interactive multimedia art.

For information contact:

DISIS logo

Dr. Ivica Ico Bukvic
(540) 231-6139

student playing midi keyboard
student and faculty conducting recording session
students in class working at computers