Music Production & Engineering Courses

Introduction to Music Production and Engineering

Course Number
MP-110
Credits
2
Course Chair
Rob Jaczko
Semesters Offered
Fall, Spring, Summer
Required Of
None
Electable By
All
Prerequisites
None
Department
MPE
Location
Boston Campus
Description

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.

Accelerated Pro Tools

Course Number
MP-113
Credits
2
Course Chair
Rob Jaczko
Semesters Offered
Fall, Spring, Summer
Required Of
None
Electable By
All
Prerequisites
MTEC-111
Department
MPE
Location
Boston Campus
Blended (Campus + Online)
Description

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.)

Critical Listening Lab for Musicians

Course Number
MP-114
Credits
1
Course Chair
Rob Jaczko
Semesters Offered
Fall, Spring, Summer
Required Of
None
Electable By
All except MPED majors
Prerequisites
MTEC-111
Department
MPE
Location
Boston Campus
Valencia (Spain) Campus
Inside Berklee Courses (Online)
Blended (Campus + Online)
Description

This online course focuses on developing critical listening skills with particular emphasis on analyzing recording and mix techniques in the context of the popular music mix. Topics include: acoustics of the critical listening environment; mix elements such as balances, panning, EQ, reverb, compression, delay and time-based effects; instrument identification; stylistic comparisons of recording and mix techniques. Listening analysis examples and concepts are reinforced through weekly critical listening assignments. A set of weekly audio ear training drills are also part of the class.

Production Analysis Lab for Musicians

Course Number
MP-115
Credits
1
Course Chair
Rob Jaczko
Semesters Offered
Fall, Spring, Summer
Required Of
None
Electable By
All except MPED majors
Prerequisites
MTEC-111
Department
MPE
Location
Boston Campus
Valencia (Spain) Campus
Blended (Campus + Online)
Description
This course represents a step-by-step approach to the essential elements of effective records. Using in-class evaluation of demos, masters and commercial recordings, it takes students through an in-depth analysis and appraisal of the emotional effectiveness of recordings, with consideration for: artist identity, vision and intention; melody, lyrics and song form; arrangement, performance, and mixing. Several in-class presentations of student analysis projects are required.

Recording and Mix Techniques for Musicians

Course Number
MP-205
Credits
2
Course Chair
Rob Jaczko
Semesters Offered
Fall, Spring, Summer
Required Of
Recording and production for musicians minors
Electable By
All except MPED majors
Prerequisites
MP-114, and either MP-113, EP-225, MTEC-214, or SW-161
Department
MPE
Location
Boston Campus
Description

For non-MPED majors, this course is a hands-on study of modern recording, mixing, programming and post-production techniques, oriented toward musicians with the need to record themselves and others in a hybrid home studio recording environment. Through a series of hands-on projects, culminating in a final recording, programming and mixing project, students will learn the fundamentals of analog and digital audio technology, microphones, recording techniques, audio signal flow, DAW session management and file exchange, integration of MIDI with audio tracks, signal processing, editing and professional mixing techniques. 

Audio Technology 1

Course Number
MP-211
Credits
2
Course Chair
Rob Jaczko
Semesters Offered
Fall, Spring, Summer
Required Of
MPED majors
Electable By
MPED majors
Prerequisites
MTEC-111; MP-114 or MP-214, and either LMSC-208 or LMSC-209 must be taken concurrently with (or prior to) MP-211
Department
MPE
Location
Boston Campus
Description

This course introduces audio fundamentals in theory and practice. Topics include: principles of audio electronics and the decibel scale; electromagnetic induction; power, ground, and amplifiers; core concepts in digital audio; console and DAW signal flow, routing, and gain staging; microphone and loudspeaker principles and applications; signal processing, including compression and equalization. Class meetings consist of lectures, demonstrations, and hands-on training. Assignment-based lab time is required.

Audio Technology 2

Course Number
MP-212
Credits
2
Course Chair
Rob Jaczko
Semesters Offered
Fall, Spring, Summer
Required Of
MPED majors
Electable By
MPED majors
Prerequisites
MP-114 or MP-214, MP-211, MP-225, and either LMSC-208 or LMSC-209
Department
MPE
Location
Boston Campus
Description

This course builds upon topics introduced in MP-211: the fundamentals and practical applications of audio systems. Topics include: survey of standard DAWs; digital signal processors; advanced signal flow and routing; basic plug-in architecture; file handling; digital integrity and codecs; delivery formats; system setup and interconnections; synchronization; and clocking. Class meetings consist of lectures, demonstrations, and hands-on training. Assignment-based lab time is required.

Special update for fall 2020 only: MP-212 does not need to must be taken concurrently with MP-241.

Critical Listening Lab

Course Number
MP-214
Credits
1
Course Chair
Rob Jaczko
Semesters Offered
Fall, Spring, Summer
Required Of
MPED majors
Electable By
MPED majors
Prerequisites
None; MP-211 must be taken concurrently with MP-214
Department
MPE
Location
Boston Campus
Valencia (Spain) Campus
Blended (Campus + Online)
Inside Berklee Courses (Online)
Description
This course focuses on developing critical listening skills, with particular emphasis on engineering analysis within the context of the popular music mix. Topics include: psychoacoustics of the critical listening environment; engineering techniques such as balance, panning, EQ, reverb, compression, delay and time-based effects; instrument identification; and stylistic comparisons of engineering and mix techniques. In-class listening analysis and concepts are reinforced through out-of-class critical listening assignments. An out-of-class audio ear training component is also a part of the course.

Production Analysis Lab

Course Number
MP-215
Credits
1
Course Chair
Rob Jaczko
Semesters Offered
Fall, Spring, Summer
Required Of
MPED majors
Electable By
MPED majors
Prerequisites
None
Department
MPE
Location
Boston Campus
Description
This course represents a step-by-step approach to the essential elements of effective records. Using in-class evaluation of demos, masters and commercial recordings, it takes students through an in-depth analysis and appraisal of the emotional effectiveness of recordings, with consideration for: artist identity, vision and intention; melody, lyrics and song form; arrangement, performance, and mixing. Several in-class presentations of student analysis projects are required.

Audio and MIDI Systems for Music Production

Course Number
MP-225
Credits
2
Course Chair
Rob Jaczko
Semesters Offered
Fall, Spring, Summer
Required Of
MPED majors
Electable By
MPED majors
Prerequisites
MTEC-111
Department
MPE
Location
Boston Campus
Description

This course explores the industry standard Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI 1.0) specification, with an emphasis on musical projects designed to emulate professional practice and application. MIDI sequencing is done at computer-based workstations in the classroom, and outside of class using the student's laptop and MP&E Major Bundle hardware and software components. Studio-based labs during the semester introduce the student to collaborative working environments. Contemporary software programs, such as Pro Tools and Logic, are covered.

Hybrid Production

Course Number
MP-226
Credits
2
Course Chair
Rob Jaczko
Semesters Offered
Fall, Spring, Summer
Required Of
MPED majors
Electable By
MPED majors
Prerequisites
MP-225
Department
MPE
Location
Boston Campus
Description

This course addresses the increasingly hybrid nature of recording and mixing practices in music production. Through contrasts and comparisons, the course explores the impact on modern record-making of MIDI, music sequencing, sampling, extended frequency responses, file modification tools, and their effect on analog components in record-making. The course highlights why many current production teams seek the best of both worlds as they move forward in the creative process, beginning with digital sources, augmenting with analog components, editing on a workstation or laptop, moving to a large format console and ending up with a digital file, exploiting the DAW's functionality as a tape machine in the analog domain and its expanded creative capabilities in the digital domain.

Mix Techniques

Course Number
MP-241
Credits
2
Course Chair
Rob Jaczko
Semesters Offered
Fall, Spring, Summer
Required Of
MPED majors
Electable By
MPED majors
Prerequisites
MP-114 or MP-214, and MP-211
Department
MPE
Location
Boston Campus
Description

This course introduces students to the aesthetic considerations and functional operation of equipment for multitrack mixdown of stereo masters. Topics include: common control room procedures and protocol; console and control room signal flow, control logic, and patching; balance; use of outboard signal processors; and documentation. Weekly out-of-class studio lab time consists of mixing prerecorded multitrack material. Audio ear training is also required outside of class time.

Special update for fall 2020 only: MP-241 does not have to be taken concurrently with MP-212. 

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