This course introduces audio fundamentals in theory and practice. Topics include: fundamentals of electricity and principles of audio electronics; the decibel scale; core concepts in analog and digital audio; signal flow and gain staging; microphone and loudspeaker principles and applications; signal processing; survey of standard DAWs; digital transmission protocols; basic plug-in formats; file handling; digital integrity and codecs; delivery formats; system setup and interconnections; and synchronization and clocking. Class meetings consist of lectures and in-class demonstrations.
This course explores the creative and technical use of digital audio workstation (DAW) software to produce tracks at a commercially-competitive level. Students will learn fundamental production skills including system configuration and customization; session organization, workflow and asset management; MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) technology, sequencing, virtual instruments and synchronization; session interchange and delivery; and audio editing and mixing. Students will practice using provided multi-tracks and create their own original works in a series of guided exercises and projects emphasizing audio industry standards.
This course builds on the skills acquired in IR-223 toward comprehensive command of DAW environments, tools, and workflows for music production. Through a series of guided exercises and creative projects, students will explore synthesis and sampling technology, software instruments and sound design; MIDI sequencing, beat-making and drum sample augmentation; time-stretching and pitch editing; production analysis and replication; mixing techniques blending electronic and acoustic sources, using special effects, and creative remixing. In-class project review and discussion will emphasize producers’ artistic decisions as well as technical execution.
This course is a study of the techniques and aesthetic considerations for mixing multi-track recordings in a DAW (digital audio workstation) environment. Student mixes will be critically analyzed with emphasis on technical choices and their potential impact on the listener. Topics include: common DAW procedures; asset management; mix organization and workflow; audio signal flow; editing; creative signal processing; and delivery. Class assignments consist of weekly multi-track mixing exercises in various musical styles, including both acoustic and electronic sources.
This course delves into the creative and practical aspects of producing records. Aesthetic topics include: pre-production; song choice; song and lyric analysis; artistic development; and creative self-analysis. Practical topics include: scheduling, budgeting, and prioritization of tasks; communicating with collaborators and industry partners; advancing commercial and career goals; and awareness of audiences and their expectations. Faculty and classmates will critique the class production process from demos to masters. Two multi-track projects are required.
This course is a hands-on study of vocal production, editing, and mixing techniques. Focus includes: the musical and psychological steps necessary to achieve emotionally impactful performances; editing techniques that augment those performances; and mixing techniques that showcase those performances in commercially competitive productions. Emphasis is placed on a collaborative production team experience, as well as a self-sufficient personal music production toolkit experience for the student producer/mixer.
This course presents advanced DAW mixing techniques via in-class faculty demonstrations and student participation, emphasizing professional industry standards. Student mixes will be regularly analyzed in class with emphasis on both technical characteristics and aesthetic considerations. Topics covered include: reinforcement of common DAW procedures; asset management; audio signal flow; loudness normalization and delivery; advanced signal processing concepts; and overall mix impact. Projects consist of mixing complex multi-track recordings in various genres.
This course explores the intersection of the technical and creative skills necessary to record and edit commercially-competitive productions in a personal studio recording environment. Through a number of self-produced recording projects, students will broaden and refine their command of: session etiquette, microphone selection, recording techniques, audio signal flow, DAW session management and file exchange, and signal processing. Audio editing techniques will include: comping, latency and phase repair, quantizing, amplitude editing, tuning, and sample augmentation.
This project-oriented class gives the student exposure to the creative and technical issues involved in music mastering and delivery. Topics include mastering for all commercial formats (both streaming and disc), and the standards and practices of digital audio production with a focus on musical style and genre, an understanding of expectations in the commercial marketplace and translation to various consumer experiences. Students will develop their ability to listen critically and creatively through hands-on projects while understanding the technical requirements to produce flawless audio masters. Further areas of exploration include audio restoration and forensic audio.
In this capstone class, ongoing music production projects will be reviewed and discussed at every stage during the planning and production of fully professional, commercially-competitive recordings utilizing a personal music production toolkit. Aesthetic topics include: balancing a record’s sonic form with its commercial function in the marketplace; song analysis; performance gestures; vocal sounds and singing technique; and development of impactful arrangements. Practical topics include: budgeting time and materials; technical and interpersonal problem-solving; and transitioning from student to professional life. Additional discussion includes the entrepreneurial importance of website design, photos, videos, and live performance. Best practices in professional file labeling, backup and storage, credit tracking, metadata and delivery will be emphasized throughout the course. This course will prepare students to integrate their skills, knowledge, and talents with the professional record-making community.
This course explores the roles and responsibilities of music producers and engineers from idea inception to finished product. Included is an overview of studio technologies and basic recording procedures. This course is recommended for students considering the music production and engineering major or anyone desiring a broad overview of the field.
Pro Tools has become the undisputed recording industry standard for digital audio production. It provides a comprehensive and powerful environment for audio recording, MIDI sequencing, editing, and inside-the-box mixing. This course will jump-start your Pro Tools production chops, covering a full range of basic as well as advanced tools and techniques in a single semester. Prior experience with Pro Tools or another DAW is highly recommended. You must have access to a native Pro Tools rig running current Pro Tools software. (Check with the MP&E Department for specific requirements.)