Commercial Music photo collage


The Commercial Music Program at San Diego City College helps aspiring artists, music producers, and engineers take their music technology skills to the next level. As an AVID Learning Partner, the program offers Pro Tools certification as well as training in Ableton Live, Reason Studio Reason, and Apple Logic Pro X. Students can also explore music business, live sound, and audio for multimedia. Facilities include a 25-seat Mac-based MIDI Lab and a state-of-the-art recording studio with an AVID S6 M10 mixing console and analog outboard gear. The studio's large live room includes a grand piano and drum kit and can accommodate a 20-piece ensemble.

View the official Commercial Music brochure.


Recording Studio Control Room

  • Avid S6 M10 Mixing Console
  • Avid Pro Tools Ultimate with UX card
  • Focusrite RedNet converters and preamps
  • Warm Audio vintage-style compressors
  • Universal Audio UAD Ultimate
  • Vienna Sound Library
  • Native Instruments Komplete Ultimate

Recording Studio Live Room

  • 42-person capacity for large ensembles
  • 6' Mason & Hamlin Grand Piano
  • Gretsch 5-piece drum set, assorted percussion
  • Guitars, basses, amps 

Mixing/Vocal Studio

  • Avid S3 Mixing Console/Interface
  • Acoustic piano
  • Vocal microphones


  • 24 iMac workstations with MIDI controllers
  • Mix Stations with Avid Artist Mix and Artist Control
  • Avid Pro Tools Standard
  • Apple Logic Pro X
  • Ableton Live, Max for Live
  • Reason Studio's Reason
  • Pure Data

Degrees Offered


MUSC 50: Music Fundamentals for the Studio Engineer (3 units)

Computer-based music production basics using Reason Studio Reason. Offered Fall and Spring.

MUSC 70: Commercial Music Performance (1 unit)

Live electronic music performance with Ableton Live. Offered Fall only.

MUSC 80: Introduction to Digital Audio and MIDI (3 units)

Fundamentals of AVID Pro Tools, the industry-standard digital audio workstation. Offered Fall and Spring.

MUSC 82: Audio Recording (3 units)

Record full live bands in the recording studio using AVID Pro Tools. Prepare for the Pro Tools User Certification Exam (optional). Offered Fall only.

MUSC 84: Fundamentals of MIDI Production (3 units)

MIDI production with Apple Logic Pro X. Offered Fall only.

MUSC 95: Advanced Topics in Music Production (3 units)

Create original software devices and explore more sophisticated aspects of computer-based music creation with Cycling 74 Max for Live while assembling a portfolio of professional-level work. Offered Spring only.

MUSI 108: The Business of Music (3 units)

A survey of the structure of the music industry and related legal and financial issues. Offered Fall and Spring.

MUSC 152: Sound Design and Digital Audio Post Production (3 units)

Create and edit audio for visual media such as film, television and video games. Offered Spring only.

MUSI 204: Audio System Design and Maintenance (3 units)

Live sound mixing and recording for a variety of venues including as nightclubs, outdoor performance spaces, theaters, and convention halls. Offered Spring only.

Career Options

Examples of employment options available in entry level music technology after successful completion of the associate degree program include: composition and/or production of music for music CD's, film, video, music videos, jingles or commercials, radio and TV station ID packages, and multimedia projects. Additional careers include digital audio technician, recording studio engineer, sound reinforcement engineer, and synthesizer programmer. Some of these careers require education beyond the associate degree.

Gainful Employment information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics' "Occupational Outlook Handbook":

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the program:

  • Students will be able to successfully operate Pro Tools software in the context of a recording studio; students will be able to pass an AVID training exam covering the use of this software.
  • Students will have an understanding of MIDI technology and the operation of a MIDI-based studio.
  • Students will understand analog and digital signal flow as it pertains to a recording studio environment.
  • Students will be able to successfully utilize microphones/microphone placement in order to record live instruments with Pro Tools software


Our faculty have a wide range of experience within the music industry, from recording engineers to film composers, entertainment attorneys to concert pianists. Meet the City College Music faculty.


For more information about the Music and Commercial Music Programs, please contact Associate Professor Bob Kostlan ( or Assistant Professor Mike Espar ( 

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