Skip to main contentSkip to footer content

Commercial Music

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 two 24-seat Mac-based computer music labs 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-Plus Mixing Console
  • Avid Pro Tools Ultimate with HDX 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

  • 20-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
  • MIDI controllers including Akai MPK and MPD, ROLI Seaboard
  • Mix Stations with Avid Artist Mix and Artist Control
  • Avid Pro Tools Ultimate
  • Apple Logic Pro X
  • Ableton Live, Max for Live
  • Reason Studio's Reason
  • Pure Data

Piano Lab

  • 24 Mac Studio workstations with 88-key digital pianos
  • Yamaha baby grand piano
  • Wurlizter electric piano
  • 5' x 7' WhisperRoom sound isolation booth
  • Mac Pro running the same production software as MIDI Lab

Awards Offered


MUSC 104: Composition Technology (3 units)

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

MUSC 118: Music Entrepreneurship (3 units)

An exploration of techniques for developing your own music career. Offered Spring only.

MUSC 160: Introduction to Electro-Acoustic Music (3 units)

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

MUSC 162: Introduction to Recording and Sound Reinforcement (3 units)

Fundamentals of AVID Pro Tools, the industry-standard digital audio workstation. Prepare for the Pro Tools User Certification Exam (optional). Offered Fall and Spring.

MUSC 170A-D: Electro-Acoustic Ensemble I-IV (1 unit)

Live electronic music performance with Ableton Live. Offered Fall and Spring.

MUSC 220A-D: Music Marketing and Promotion I I-IV (2 units)

Hands-on experience promoting and marketing live performances and recordings. Offered Fall and Spring, beginning Spring 2023.

MUSC 252: 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.

MUSC 260: Intermediate Electro-Acoustic Music (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.

MUSC 262: Intermediate Recording and Sound Reinforcement (3 units)

Record full live bands in the recording studio using AVID Pro Tools. Offered Fall 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. 

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":

Program 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 Professor Bob Kostlan ( or Associate Professor Mike Espar ( 

To be notified of MUSIC@CITY events, please join our mailing list .