Nashville: An Audio Engineer’s Dream City

Nashville's Skyline

Want to train for a career in audio engineering? In today’s post, we look at four stats that confirm what Dark Horse Institute students already know: For aspiring audio engineers, Nashville is the place to be. Ready to start your journey now? Give us a call at (615) 791-7020.


In July, The Atlantic published a fascinating study about the Nashville music scene. But it wasn’t the typical feature story about Nashville, gushing on about the Music City’s beautiful venues and the chances of bumping into a celebrity on Music Row. Instead, author Richard Florida set out to demonstrate what Nashville’s awesome music scene means for Nashville’s economy.

Sound boring to you? I guess I can understand that. But we’ve taken the liberty to pluck out four incredible statistics from this great article that audio engineers just have to take a look at. They affirm, beyond a shadow of a doubt, what we’ve come to realize at Dark Horse Institute: There’s just no place like Nashville. And if you’re serious about starting in the music production business, you just can’t beat the Music City.

1) There are 56,000 music industry-related jobs in the Nashville metro area.

What it means for you: You can start your career in an economic oasis that is always looking to hire.

Did you know that Nashville has accounted for almost all of the growth in the music industry since 1970? That trend doesn’t seem to be slowing, according to Mr. Florida. In fact, he has called Nashville “the Silicon Valley of the Music Business.” What does it mean for you? Studying here can mean tons of opportunities—all without leaving your own zip code.

2) Nashville has the “deepest concentration of the music industry in the country.”

What it means for you: Attending Dark Horse Institute is a networker’s dream.

According to Mr. Florida’s report, Nashville has “extraordinarily strong concentrations” of jobs in music publishing, record production, instrument manufacturing, and musical groups. In fact, the Music City has a whopping 7.8 music industry jobs per 1,000.

Where do other popular music studio Meccas come in? Well, Los Angeles boasts 2.8 jobs per 1,000 and New York City claims just 2 per 1,000. Where does Winter Park/Orlando (home of Full Sail University) come in? It’s nowhere to be found.

At Dark Horse, you’ll have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to network in a city filled with music professionals. And once you’ve graduated, we don’t leave you hanging—you have access to our full body of career development resources, including our list of industry contacts.

3) Nashville producers and engineers make 156% the national average.

What it means for you: You’re less likely to have to worry about scrapping it out as a new producer.

What’s one of the most frightening prospects of becoming a music producer? Having to live by the skin of your teeth. Fortunately, in Nashville, that happens a lot less often. In fact, only Los Angeles music pros earn more compared to the national average. Nashville shells out over 3 BILLION dollars each year in labor income for the music industry. And there’s still a piece of the pie left for you.

4) 1 in 5 Nashville workers is self-employed (23%), largely within the music industry.

What it means for you: Looking to own your own studio? Nashville is built for it.

At Dark Horse, we’re serious about helping you achieve your dreams in the music industry, especially if that means working for yourself and owning your own studio. After all, that’s how this school was started—born out of a legendary Nashville recording studio. In Nashville/Franklin, you’ll be surrounded by people who are serious about music and know how to build studios from scratch. How does that sound?

So what are you looking for in an audio recording school? What would you like to see from the city that you go to school in? We’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment below to join the conversation.

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