Create an acoustic environment that will help you capture a clean vocal sound.
Position the microphone either for a natural sound, or the 'warm' sound often heard in commercially-released recordings.
Achieve freedom from popping and breath blasting with or without a pop screen.
Get the best performance from your singer and correct any problems with comping and punch-in techniques.
Capture a full, strong vocal sound in chest, head and falsetto registers.
Position the microphone to avoid excessive chest resonance.
Control microphone positioning precisely to avoid problems with popping, breath blasting and any potential distortion issues.
Understand when, why and how to use hand-held microphones for rock vocals.
Select microphones according to their method of operation - dynamic, capacitor or ribbon.
Select capacitor microphones according to their construction and gain-stage element - small-diaphragm or large-diaphragm; FET transistor or vacuum tube.
Select microphones according to their polar pattern - omnidirectional, cardioid, hypercardioid or figure-of-eight.
Learn microphone positioning for mono and stereo recordings, using either close or ambient microphone technique.
Set the gain control to optimise signal-to-noise ratio and headroom.
Learn the relationship between gain and background noise, both acoustic and electronic.
Balance the gain and output level controls according to the sound texture you want to capture.
Achieve a clean sound from low-cost preamps. Achieve a warm, rich sound from high-class vacuum tube preamplifiers.
Learn filters - low-pass, high-pass, band-pass and notch. Set the cut-off frequency and slope to lower bands of frequencies, or remove them almost entirely.
Learn equalisation - how to optimise the frequency balance of vocals and instruments, and how to help blend instruments together in the mix.
Learn how to operate EQ controls - frequency, gain and Q (bandwidth). Work with different types of EQ including parametric and graphic.
Use compression and limiting to control dynamic range. Learn how to set the threshold, ratio, attack and release controls for all kinds of signal. Learn the importance of the gain make-up or output level control.
Experience all of the methods of compression - FET, optical, variable-mu, diode bridge, VCA and digital.
Understand which methods can be used to enhance which types of vocal and instrument. Apply compression to the mix. Operate look-ahead (brickwall) limiters for mastering.
Learn how to work with the drummer to set up the drums for a clean recording without unwanted noises or boomy resonance.
Record drums 1960s-style with a single microphone. Add three more microphones for the 1970s-style 'Glyn Johns' technique.
Record drums using the current '1 mic per drum + overheads' method. Add room microphones for a fuller, more powerful sound.
Apply EQ and compression to individual drums, and to the drum set overall.
Learn how to set up a good acoustic environment in which to record the acoustic guitar. Work with a clean dry sound, or incorporate the sound of the room.
Learn and experience how different strings, and the age of the strings, affect the sound of the guitar.
Find the best microphone position for the instrument, and adapt it for right-handed or left-handed players.
Use mono, stereo and ambient microphone techniques. Also learn how to double-track the acoustic guitar effectively.
Use reverb and effects to create interesting sonic textures, add to an otherwise uninteresting recording, or disguise and conceal problems.
Use delay as 'slapback', automatic double tracking, or spin echo in both mono and stereo.
Use algorithmic and convolution reverb. Learn how to use convolution reverb to sample acoustic spaces.
Apply flanging, phasing, chorus, harmonic generation and pitch-shifting techniques to your recordings.
Position microphone(s) to capture a clean sound or break-up at the edge of the speaker cone.
Use re-amping techniques to add distortion effects in the mix starting from a DI'd electric or bass guitar recording.
Apply amp-modeling techniques effectively to capture a natural electric guitar sound, or go beyond into extreme distortion effects.
Understand the importance of the order of guitar effects pedals and effects.
Learn how to find microphone positions for any instrument, even if you have never recorded that instrument before.
Learn grand piano recording techniques for classical, jazz and popular music.
Find the right balance between the direct sound from the strings and the important reflections from the piano lid.
Record the grand or upright piano, or any acoustic instrument, cleanly and effectively in mono or stereo.
Apply processes and effect either as inserts or send-and-return.
Optimize individual instruments and vocals individually, correct problems and enhance.
Blend instruments together with EQ, faders and pans. Know when and why to use compression on individual tracks.
Get the vocal to sit at the right level in the mix among the instruments yet strong, full and clearly audible.
Take your mix to the next level with professional mastering techniques that you can use yourself with your own digital audio workstation.
Use EQ, compression, multi-band compression and look-ahead (brickwall) limiting. Fully understand and be able to apply clipping as a mastering tool (as pro mastering engineers do).
Blend and match tracks across an album. Prepare your work for commercial release on CD or download.
The testimonials below are unedited and exactly as we received them from our ex-students. Any necessary explanatory additions are enclosed in square brackets [like this].
Egidijus Nemanius, Lithuania
With my employment in health service established years ago, music and recording is an essential withdrawal from "professionalism" to me, rather than a significant possibility to provide a supplement to earned income. But with growing interest and investment, achievement of professionally acceptable quality became a must. At that point studying at Audio Masterclass had only pros and no cons to me, and no equally accessible alternatives of world-class standards.
The book "How to set up a Pro Home Recording Studio" [by Audio Masterclass] and other information concerning hardware and software helped me to find "my way" in the jungle of possibilities, and it actually had a money saving effect.
Assessments of practical assignment projects were of especially great importance to me. It is easy for the beginner like me to have an illusion that the produced work is good, while actually it is not. Additional valuable information can be derived from individually provided comments too.
It is very comforting to have tons of audio examples at hand. Even after the course I use some of them as benchmarks of specific quality.
The most special experiences along the way of the course were moments of approaching the presumed limits of creative possibilities… stepping beyond… and finding that there is something more out there. And this kind of training may have implications that are not immediately obvious, but may prove to be of great importance in any intellectually demanding/competitive situation of life. All in all, I consider that to be my greatest gain achieved at Audio Masterclass.
Egidijus Nemanius, Lithuania
Tudor Rogoz, Romania
I have to thank you and your team for helping me better understand the complex, and sometimes difficult to discover, secrets of audio engineering ! I'm very happy with my choice of enrolling in your captivating and well structured course !
Thank you and best wishes,
Gatis Pastars, Latvia
Hi David [Gatis refers to David Mellor, Course Director of Audio Masterclass], I very happy that I signed-up for your course and that I've graduated it!
Actually, before I made my mind, I did a lot of research on web about your course, because at that time I just finished my studies at America Audio Insitute, but I felt like it's not enough for me to get on next level - as I wanted it so much. So I found Audio Masterclass. I found just one review on google, where somebody told that: "you won't get what you as an engineer really need etc, it lacks of deep dive in subject... this and that...." - I thought to myself: "well... maybe this guys is all wise or he is not opened for new experience and knowledge, or he was a bad student". So I decided to take a risk as I had no clue what is will look like.
The first thing that made most sense to me is practical assignment - that is "everything"! But in many other online-schools (like America Audio Insitute or Detroit Recording institute), it's the biggest defect of the program. If you can send your material for constructive feedback, it's the most valuable learning point!
Next thing: form of feedback - at first I could not get it - like, what is that?! ...an automated reply template? But after 3rd assessment feedback I got the idea of it - and every time I got feedback on task, at first I started learn it with your written feedback - that had greatest value to me. Another great thing is that by reading your feedback, you really get this feeling that somebody is listening to your work and paying attention to details.
About content: the structure of the course is very similar to many other courses - I guess, you can't reinvent the wheel - it's well organised, but the difference in content is huge! And by this I also mean the language - how you explain things and details. This is very important to me as I'm not comming from english speaking country, but here it's easy to perceive the information. There are many great recording engineers out there, but not everyone has capability to teach others - but you can teach! (and I mean it, especially if I compare with my previous courses on America Audio Insitute Detroit Recording institute).
Other student audio examples: - very good in understanding what to do, and what to avoid! Sometimes if you have nothing to compare your work with, then you might think that "oh, yeah, great record!", but when you start to listen to others ...hmmm.... it become a challenge - it's like setting benchmark.
And yes, for me, as a small studio owner, has no huge budget or possibility to try out some top-end mics, the files with pre-amp and mic samples are awesome - now I have an idea how U87 sounds! : )
About improvements - actually I don't have anything to add to this, because from all this course I can feel that it's all made with professional attitude.
Overall - I've learned a lot, but most important to me is that by having many "aha" moments, I've developed completley different mindset when I start to think about recording, mixing and mastering - for me, it's the biggest achievement! ...and I want to learn more!
Ok, again, thanks for everything - I got the certificate - it's a very important milestone for me towards my GRAMMY! : )
P.S. I've already decided, to save some money and enroll to your professional courses within few month, so see you soon!
P.S.S. I've also attached my picture from my home studio.
All the best, Gatis Pastars
Anton Strecky, Slovakia
You did a great job!
Excellent material, audio and videos are really good and clear.
I appreciate the depth, very informative and useful. I increased my knowledge in the area I am so passionate about. I was able to implement a lot of new procedures in my own sound and musical projects.
My gratitude and best regards
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You should have a recent computer with multitrack digital audio workstation software, such as Pro Tools, Cubase, Logic etc. You should have at least one microphone equivalent to or better than the Shure SM57, an audio interface, and loudspeaker or headphone monitoring.
Yes you can. Audio Masterclass is extremely flexible and we can help you make rapid progress whatever your current level of ability. If you can make basic recordings, use plug-ins and mix, then you're OK. If you are already an assistant engineer in a pro studio, then you're OK too.
Yes you will, when you complete the course successfully. We will also help you craft your industry-standard showreel, which will be of even more help in getting you started in your professional career.
Absolutely! That's what Audio Masterclass is all about. We will give you masses of learning materials including audio and video. But it's the practical assignments we will set you that will help you most of all.
No, you don't need any kind of musical skill. We will help you whether or not you are a musician. It would be great however if you could find musicians to work with and practise your skills on, whether or not you play yourself.
Of course you can! Every enrollment comes with a full-refund guarantee. We always honor this guarantee on the rare occasions it is requested. Our payment processors would refuse to work with us if we didn't.