ACC professor helps students navigate the recording world

Tim Dittmar publishes new book to educate future sound engineers

One of the many hats Tim Dittmar wears is musician. He is a recording and live sound engineer, producer, and songwriter. Since 2001, Dittmar has also worked as a professor at ACC’s Music Business, Performance, and Technology (MBPT) program.

“Music motivates me,” says Dittmar. “I relate to my students because I was once an 18-year-old musician trying to figure out what I wanted to do. I’m driven to help students find a job that aligns with their passion.”

Dittmar’s students have become stage managers, live sound engineers, and more. He first joined ACC as a guest lecturer, sharing his experiences.

“Austin is unique because it is a huge music city. The MBPT program has great faculty and staff with a lot of professional experience. We’ve all worked in the industry. Besides teaching, professors/teachers record in studios and play in bands. We do what we teach.”

As an industry expert, Dittmar served as a technical editor for several textbooks. He realized many  books were not suited for a beginner.

“Out of the 700 pages, 500 don’t relate to students. They expressed frustration. The books presented advanced topics for beginners.”

He was inspired to write a guide that appealed to musicians new to the field, for “real beginners.”

“Writing a book was hands down the hardest thing I’ve done in my life,” he says. “Audio technology is technical, but I wanted it to be unintimidating.”

The release of the second edition of his book, “Audio Engineering 101,” is set for mid-October. The book contains practical advice on how to navigate the recording world based on Dittmar’s first-hand, real-life experience. He has worked in numerous studios in Austin, Chicago, and Los Angeles, compiling more than 300 album credits.

His beginner’s guide presents a clear overview of the science and art of sound recording. It also includes information and instruction about equipment, studio acoustics, and more. The text includes a section with questions and answers from professionals to provide readers with industry insights.

“This book is understandable even for your mom,” he emphasized.

Dittmar’s first edition has been translated to Chinese and is already used in classrooms nationwide, from Berkeley to Harvard.

“People think music and art is a hobby, but it got me to where I am today. Being in this field takes courage, motivation, and initiative. I make a living doing my passion,” Dittmar concluded. “I’ll be 90-years-old and still playing in a band. That’s my number one passion and I want to motivate students as well.”


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