Learn all about how Audio Masterclass can help you make great recordings with our free e-mail Course Tour...
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.
Learn all about how Audio Masterclass can help you make great recordings with our free e-mail Course Tour...
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.
|1: Analog & Digital Audio
Analog audio: signals, frequency response, noise, distortion, wow & flutter, clicks and interference. Digital audio: analog-to-digital conversion, sampling, quantization, dither, digital-to-analog conversion. Sound isolation: sound isolation methods, practical sound isolation techniques for home and small recording studios, vocal booths. Acoustic treatment: background to room acoustics, acoustic treatment, porous absorption. membrane and panel absorbers, diffusion. Recording studio configuration: recording room, control room. Introduction to essential audio electronics.
|7: Effects & Plug-ins
Delay, single echo, spin echo, spin echo with positive feedback, reverberation, acoustic and electro-acoustic reverberation: chamber, spring, plate, tape, digital, algorithmic reverberation, convolution reverberation, phasing, flanging, chorusing, pitch change and correction, harmonic generation and aural enhancement, comparison between manual effects, hardware effects and plug-ins.
Principle of operation: dynamic, capacitor, piezo, ribbon, electret. Polar patterns: omnidirectional, cardioid, supercardioid, hypercardioid, figure-of-eight. Interference tube microphone. Parabolic reflector microphone. Multipattern microphone. Phantom power, pad, high-pass filter. Microphone techniques: microphone selection, positioning, stereo microphone techniques, coincident crossed pair, near-coincident crossed pair, ORTF, spaced omni.
|8: Synthesis & Sampling
Types of synthesis: additive, subtractive, FM, wavetable, physical modeling. Subtractive synthesis components: voltage-controlled oscillator, voltage-controlled filter, voltage-controlled amplifier, envelope generator. Sampling: looping, multisampling, phrase sampling, key groups, velocity layers, mute groups.
|3: Microphone Preamplifiers
The need for microphone preamplification, microphone input, line input, instrument input, principle of operation, transistors, vacuum tubes, the need for balancing, transformer balancing, electronic balancing, working with balanced and unbalanced lines, preamplifier operation, gain, output level, phantom power, phase, pad, high-pass filter.
|9: Recording Techniques
Vocals: microphone selection, microphone positioning, acoustic screens and vocal booths, foldback, headphone types, use of headphone amplification, loudspeaker foldback, how the engineer monitors foldback. Drums: drum set up for recording, microphone selection for drums and cymbals, single microphone technique, twin microphone technique for basic stereo, the 'Recorderman' doubly-equidistant two-microphone configuration, the 'Glyn Johns' method, full individual miking with overheads. Acoustic guitar: microphone selection and positioning. Electric guitar, piano, string instruments, wind instruments, percussion instruments, small groups and ensembles, orchestral recording. Session management for ensembles, orchestras and choirs. Multitrack recording. Studio setup, foldback, monitoring. Compilation, punch-in. Production techniques for vocalists and instrumental performers.
Types of equalizer, graphic EQ, parametric EQ, console-style EQ, filters, low-pass filter, high-pass filter, band-pass filter, all-pass filter, notch filter, filter parameters: cut-off frequency, slope, equalizer parameters: frequency, gain, bell/shelf, Q/bandwidth.
Analog mixing consoles: overview, channels, groups and sub-groups, master section, VCA faders. Console monitoring: split, inline, all-input. Foldback, communications, external inputs. Channel functions: mic inputs, line inputs, insert point, equalization, dynamics, auxiliary sends, pan, mute and mute groups, PFL/AFL/solo, fader. Mixing console automation. Digital mixing consoles. Comparison between digital and analog consoles. Assignable consoles .Automation and recall. Mixing procedures and techniques.
The need for compression. Dynamic range control. Subjective enhancement. Compression parameters: ratio, threshold, attack, release, knee, stereo link. Operating principles: variable-mu, FET, diode bridge, optical, VCA. Side chain principles and operation: de-essing.
The need for mastering. Correction of faults. Mastering for vinyl. Improvement of stereo mixes. Matching tracks for albums and compilations. Subjective loudness and the 'loudness war'. Equalization. Compression. Limiters and look-ahead limiters. Multi-band compression. Intersample peaks.
|6: Recording Software
Disk recording principles. The disk recording medium: rotational speed, seek time, fragmentation, input/output assignment. Recording, editing and crossfade editing, gain change and normalization, mixing, inserts, auxiliary sends, auxiliary tracks, busses, faders and master fader, levels, decibels, dB and dBFS, headroom.
|12: Marketing Your Music and Recording Services
Industry roles: record producer, recording engineer, A&R manager, studio manager, session musician, arranger, programmer. Industries: music, recording, record labels, broadcasting, radio, television, film, events, the Internet. Pitching and promoting your services as an artist, engineer or producer. Showreel guidance.
Online Flexible Learning
Audio Masterclass is entirely online. Course materials can be saved, printed and downloaded as you wish. The Audio Masterclass Music Production and Sound Engineering Course consists of 12 modules. Your course is fully tutor-supported and is assessed entirely on your practical assignment work.
The course can be completed in 12 weeks, or you can spread it out over up to two years if you wish. You can work on the course at any time you choose, and take breaks whenever you like.
Audio Examples Library
The Audio Masterclass Music Production and Sound Engineering Course centers around the 1000+ file Audio Examples Library. Module by module, we will ask you to load these files into your digital audio workstation and listen carefully on your studio monitors, or monitoring-grade headphones. The course will show you exactly what you should be listening out for. Stage-by-stage the course will tune in your ears to the sounds of pro audio, all the way from basic sine waves to full mixes and masters.
Practical Assignments Projects
The Audio Masterclass Music Production and Sound Engineering Course is all about doing audio, in your own home recording studio. You can't learn just from reading, or watching videos. You have to get involved and make recordings.
Each of the modules of the course has a Practical Assignment Project in which we will ask you to carry out elements of audio skills, from basic to advanced. We'll show you what to do, then ask you to do it. We're looking for precision, and no faults. But the projects also leave room for you to show off your full range of skills.
We listen to all of your practical assignment work, which is submitted online. We'll give you detailed comments and advice. We'll tell you what you're doing right, where you're going wrong, and how to improve. And if you've done a great piece of work, we'll heartily congratulate you. We're firm but fair. If something isn't right, we'll tell you clearly. And if you do something really good, we'll tell you exactly how pleased and delighted we are.
The course manual contains all of the technical knowledge you will need as a recording engineer or music producer. We've put in everything you need, and we have included special sections with more in-depth knowledge, if that's what you want. But we won't overload you with information that a working professional wouldn't need or want. The Course Manual is extensive, and at the same time concise and to-the-point. You'll find yourself dipping into it every day as you work on the practical assignments.
Your course will include multimedia enhancement content consisting of audio and video material made by Audio Masterclass at London's Abbey Road studios, famous for being where The Beatles recorded. You can load the audio material, recorded in 24-bit/96-kHz 'Studio Master' quality, into your digital audio workstation for precise auditioning. The accompanying videos show exactly how the recordings were made.
While it is true that no certificate can guarantee a job or freelance success in audio, you'll want something that rewards your achievement when you complete the course successfully. No-one gets an Audio Masterclass certificate unless they really can work to professional standards. That will be you, when you finish your course!
The Audio Masterclass Music Production and Sound Engineering Course leads to the creation of your own industry-standard Showreel. Everyone who works in the entertainment or media industry and has an ambition to get ahead keeps a showreel of their best work. When they want to move on in their career, they can use it to demonstrate very effectively what they can do. When you first start out, you won't have any professional material to put in your showreel. But we'll help you put together the very best showreel you can and make a great impression on any industry professional you choose to contact.
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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 30-day 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.