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An Introduction to Equalization - A Free Guide from Audio Masterclass

Equipping Your Home Recording Studio - A Free Guide from Audio Masterclass

An Introduction to Compression: Basic Compression - A Free Guide from Audio Masterclass

The Audio Masterclass Professional Course in Mastering (Fully Assessed and Certificated)
Course designer
Audio Masterclass Course Director, David Mellor
David Mellor,Audio Educator since 1986

David Mellor is the founder and Course Director of Audio Masterclass currently residing in the beautiful countryside of Oxfordshire in the United Kingdom. He has worked in audio education since 1986 in hands-on training, lectures and online. David Mellor holds the degree of B.Mus (Tonmeister) from the University of Surrey where he studied music, piano performance, acoustics, electronics, electro-acoustics and recording.

Live Sound and Recording Engineer
David Mellor worked as theatre sound engineer at London's Royal Opera House, with activities including sound design, front-of-house operation, stage monitoring and electronic design satisfying the likes of Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa and Karlheinz Stockhausen. David Mellor toured with the Royal Opera Company to the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Los Angeles, USA; the Odeon of Herod Atticus, Athens, Greece; the Sejong Center, Seoul, South Korea; the Bunka Kaikan, Tokyo, Japan.

Musician and Composer
Since 1985 David Mellor has had more than 1000 works published in the field of production music, including the Chappell and Carlin music libraries (now combined into Universal Publishing Production Music) and his own music library for which he has produced seventeen compact discs. Notable uses of his music include the BBC's Horizon, Fahrenheit 911, and The Oprah Winfrey Show.

Writer and Educator
David Mellor has been actively involved in Audio Education since 1986, teaching students of City of Westminster College and Westminster University, and also returning to lecture at Surrey University. He has also written for magazines including Sound on Sound, Audio Media, Studio Sound, Sound & Video Contractor. He has also written four books on audio and video technology. David Mellor now specializes in online audio education and has been Course Director of Audio Masterclass since 2001.

The Audio Masterclass Professional Course in Mastering (Fully Assessed and Certificated)

Learn how to master your mix to a standard suitable for commercial release

COURSE DESCRIPTION

This course covers all of the processes of mastering that are in regular use in recording studio operations. The twelve modules cover preparation for mastering, resolution of mixing errors and defects, equalization, compression, limiting, and harmonic enhancement. Applications include mastering for CD and download, meeting current market requirements for mastering, repurposing and mastering of compilations.

The course is entirely practical and is assessed solely on the learner's practical assignment work. Text and graphic support materials are provided as appropriate, and the course includes audio example files demonstrating mastering techniques.

The outcome of the course will be an enhanced level of knowledge, skills and experience in mastering techniques.

Flexible Learning
You can study the Audio Masterclass Professional Course in Mastering online or by downloading all of the course materials to your own computer. 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.

Instruction
Each of the twelve modules of this course includes a practical assignment project that you can work on in your own home recording studio using digital audio workstation software. The assignments include tasks that are typical of a professional recording environment. The challenges are tough, but full instruction is given, often with audio examples and demonstrations.

Study Methods
This is the fully-assessed version of the Audio Masterclass Professional Course in Mastering. Study centers around the practical assignment projects of the course and the assessments you will receive.

Assessment
You can submit each of your twelve practical assignment projects to Audio Masterclass for our assessment, comments and advice. Our assessments are detailed, friendly and helpful. We will tell you exactly what you are doing right, what could be better, and how you can improve. Re-submissions are welcome.

Certification
You will receive the Audio Masterclass Professional Certificate in Mastering on successful completion of the course.

What are the requirements for this course?

  • You must already have passed or be a student enrolled on the Audio Masterclass Music Production and Sound Engineering Course, or have an equivalent qualification or experience
  • Up-to-date computer with an Internet connection and digital audio workstation software
  • Audio interface
  • Loudspeaker or headphone monitoring
  • A huge drive to learn through a structured, challenging course of instruction

What will I get with this course?

  • Detailed course manual with text and images describing aspects of mastering that are relevant in the professional recording process
  • Audio examples files with detailed explanations
  • Twelve practical projects covering a wide range of compression skills
  • Assessment, commentary and advice on your submissions
  • An Audio Masterclass certificate on successful completion of the course

Who should take this course?

  • Any home recording studio owner with a particular interest in mastering who wants to achieve a professional standard in their work
  • Composers who wish to work with modern technology
  • Songwriters who want to record their own songs and backing tracks
  • Anyone with an ambition to enter the music industry as a producer or engineer
  • Anyone with an ambition to work in the live sound or broadcast industry
  • If you want to be able to record, mix and master to a standard equal to that of a commercial release

SYLLABUS

COURSE INTRODUCTION
1
Module structure
TEXT
2
Notes on file format
TEXT
FOUNDATION CONTENT
4
Pre-mastering
TEXT
5
De-clicking
TEXT
6
Noise removal
TEXT
7
Topping and tailing
TEXT
8
Mastering for vinyl
TEXT
9
Level vs. noise in vinyl mastering
TEXT
10
Acceleration limiting
TEXT
11
Mistracking
TEXT
12
Vinyl side duration
TEXT
13
Relative stylus-to-groove speed
TEXT
14
The vinyl mastering engineer
TEXT
15
Mastering for CD
TEXT
16
Bit depth and sampling rate
TEXT
17
Maximum duration
TEXT
18
PQ coding
TEXT
19
Mastering for download
TEXT
20
MP3
TEXT
21
AAC
TEXT
22
Artistic aspects of mastering
TEXT
23
EQ
TEXT
24
Dynamic range
TEXT
25
The mastering (brickwall) limiter
TEXT
26
Multiband compression
TEXT
27
Clipping
TEXT
28
Notes from a professional mastering engineer
TEXT
29
Mastering for acoustic music
TEXT
30
Check questions
QUIZ
31
Model answers to check questions
QUIZ
AUDIO EXAMPLES
33
Unmastered audio
AUDIO
34
Normalization
AUDIO
35
EQ
AUDIO
36
Compression
AUDIO
37
Limiting
AUDIO
38
Clipping
AUDIO
39
Multiband compression
AUDIO
MODULE 1: BASIC MASTERING PROCESSES
41
Module introduction
TEXT
42
Pre-mastering
TEXT
43
Normalization
ASSIGNMENT
44
De-clicking
ASSIGNMENT
45
Noise removal
ASSIGNMENT
46
Balancing channels
ASSIGNMENT
47
Topping and tailing
ASSIGNMENT
48
Versioning
ASSIGNMENT
49
Intersample peaks
ASSIGNMENT
MODULE 2: INVESTIGATION OF CLIPPING
51
Module introduction
TEXT
52
Sine wave clipping
ASSIGNMENT
53
Drum clipping
ASSIGNMENT
54
Clipping music
ASSIGNMENT
MODULE 3: EQUALIZING THE MIX
56
Module introduction
TEXT
57
Mastering examples
AUDIO
58
Match the frequency balance of two tracks
ASSIGNMENT
59
Notes on preset EQ curves
TEXT
MODULE 4: COMPRESSING THE MIX
61
Module introduction
TEXT
62
The loudness war
TEXT
63
Mastering audio examples
AUDIO
64
Compressing the mix
ASSIGNMENT
65
Normal compression
ASSIGNMENT
66
Parallel compression
ASSIGNMENT
MODULE 5: LIMITING
68
Module introduction
TEXT
69
Problems with limiters
TEXT
70
Look-ahead limiting
TEXT
71
Limiting without problems
ASSIGNMENT
72
Investigation of clipping in limiters
ASSIGNMENT
73
Investigation of attack time
ASSIGNMENT
74
Investigation of release time
ASSIGNMENT
MODULE 6: LOW-FREQUENCY MERGE
76
Module introduction
TEXT
77
Low-frequency merge in vinyl mastering
TEXT
78
Investigation of varying degrees of low-frequency merging
ASSIGNMENT
MODULE 7: CROSSFADING
80
Module introduction
TEXT
81
Consistency of level
ASSIGNMENT
82
Butt editing
ASSIGNMENT
83
Crossfading
ASSIGNMENT
MODULE 8: STEREO WIDTH
85
Module introduction
TEXT
86
Control of stereo width using pan
ASSIGNMENT
87
Conversion to MS (mid-side)
ASSIGNMENT
88
Control of stereo width using MS technique
ASSIGNMENT
89
Super-wide stereo
ASSIGNMENT
MODULE 9: DROPOUT REPAIR
91
Module introduction
TEXT
92
Example of dropout repair
AUDIO
93
Dropout repair
ASSIGNMENT
MODULE 10: HARMONIC GENERATION AND WARMTH
95
Module introduction
TEXT
96
Investigation of clipping for harmonic generation
ASSIGNMENT
97
Parallel clipping
ASSIGNMENT
98
Filtered clipping
ASSIGNMENT
99
Compressed clipping
ASSIGNMENT
MODULE 11: MULTIBAND COMPRESSION
101
Module introduction
TEXT
102
Example of multiband compression
AUDIO
103
Band splitting
ASSIGNMENT
104
Multiband compression
ASSIGNMENT
105
Parallel multiband compression
ASSIGNMENT
MODULE 12: COMPLETE MASTERING PROJECT
107
Module introduction
TEXT
108
Equalization
ASSIGNMENT
109
Fader riding
ASSIGNMENT
110
Compression
ASSIGNMENT
111
Harmonic generation
ASSIGNMENT
112
Final EQ adjustment
ASSIGNMENT
113
Limiting and normalization to a prescribed level
ASSIGNMENT
114
Topping and tailing
ASSIGNMENT
115
Dither
ASSIGNMENT
COURSE FEE: $277
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