This is our foundation course and we normally recommend that new students start here. he course presents a range of challenges that beginning producers and engineers will find tough but approachable, and at the same time those who are more experienced will be able to advanced their skills and fill in any 'blind' spots in their knowledge and experience.
The aim of this course is to provide a foundation of professionalism so that the completing student will be able to take on real-world tasks and deliver finished work to the standard expected in the pro audio and music industries.
This course follows on from the Audio Masterclass Music Production and Sound Engineering Course giving the student further knowledge, skills and experience. It is not essential to have completed this course but students must have an equivalent level of knowledge, skills and experience.
The course adds twelve further practical assignment projects covering topics from drum programming through precision editing, audio for video, further experience in mixing and mastering, all the way through to the production of your original multitrack recording and mix.
The course further consolidates sound engineering skills through working with orchestral music, cinema trailer production, sound effects, and radio production.
This course examines microphone selection and positioning for vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar and drums. Other instrument options are available for the practical assignment projects.
Also covered are ambience microphone technique, 'dirty stereo', preamplifier operation, MS (mid-side), pad and filter, and unusual and extreme microphone techniques.
The course concludes with a detailed examination of microphone polar patterns and stereo configurations.
This course covers all of the processes of equalization that are in regular use in recording studio operations. The twelve modules cover filters, parametric and graphic equalizers and acoustic equalization. Applications of EQ include individual instruments and voices, blending instruments in a mix, and the equalization of a completed mix.
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 equalization techniques.
The outcome of the course will be an enhanced level of knowledge, skills and experience in equalization techniques.
This course covers all of the processes of compression, limiting and dynamic processing that are in regular use in recording studio operations. The twelve modules cover the basic controls and functions of the compressor, stereo linking, side chain operation including de-essing, transient shaping and control, operation in conjunction with noise gates and expanders. Applications of compression include dynamic range control, enhancement of individual instruments and voices, and compression and limiting of a completed mix.
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 compression techniques.
The outcome of the course will be an enhanced level of knowledge, skills and experience in compression techniques.
This course covers operations that are commonly performed in all digital audio workstation (DAW) softwares. The course is not DAW-specific - the techniques covered can be applied to any DAW.
IMPORTANT: This course is not a substitute for the manual that came with your DAW or is available from the developer online. You must have access to this material to benefit from this course.
The course includes full access to the course materials of Module 6 of the Audio Masterclass Music Production and Sound Engineering Course on Recording Software, which provide a firm foundation for further progress.
The course then adds twelve practical assignment projects covering topics from simple editing, fading and crossfading, all the way through to professional-standard speech and music editing and vocal compiling.
The techniques covered are essential for anyone wishing to work to a professional standard in their own home or project studio.
This course covers all of the processes of reverberation and effects that are in regular use in recording studio operations. The twelve modules cover delay and echo, natural and artificial reverberation, phasing, flanging and chorusing, pitch change and harmonic enhancement. Applications include the enhancement of voices and instruments, including commonly-used techniques to conceal problems in performance. Also included are applications of reverberation and effects in the mix.
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 reverberation and effects techniques.
The outcome of the course will be an enhanced level of knowledge, skills and experience in reverberation and effects techniques.
This course covers the principles of MIDI, synthesis and sampling that can be applied in any DAW, any synthesizer, and any sampler. This course does not teach the operation of particular DAWs, synthesizers or samplers for which we recommend the product manuals. The course covers principles that can be applied to all DAWs, synthesizers and samplers so that students can work comfortably with any software or hardware with such functions.
This is an advanced course and we recommend that students should have already completed at least the Audio Masterclass Music Production and Sound Engineering Course, or be at an equivalent standard in their work.
The way in which this course works is as follows...
Students are given a series of professionally produced multitrack recordings and are asked to replace certain instruments or vocals. In some assignments we ask for a replacement that is close in sound texture and performance to the original. In others we encourage the student to apply a high degree of creativity.
The objectives of the course are firstly to challenge the student to create recordings that are as good as or better than the original example; also to take the student beyond their current 'comfort zone' so that they can expand their personal toolbox of techniques that they can apply to their own work in future.
This course follows on from the Audio Masterclass Music Production and Sound Engineering Course giving the student further knowledge, skills and experience. It is not essential to have completed the Music Production and Sound Engineering Course but students must have an equivalent level of knowledge, skills and experience.
The course adds twelve further practical assignment projects covering topics from drums, through acoustic guitars, electric guitars, bass guitar, vocals, background vocals, keyboard and synthesizer arrangement, production and recording.
The practical assignment project works through the imitation of sections of recordings that have had great commercial success. The student will first imitate a short but challenging section of the example recording, then create their own self-composed and arranged recording in a similar style.
The Audio Masterclass Professional Course in Mixing - Full online course with assessments of your practical assignment work leading to an Audio Masterclass certificate on successful completion.
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.
Course Code 9000 is enhancement content, which is normally an additional-cost option for Audio Masterclass students but can be bought separately.
The course is primarily based on video material recorded by Audio Masterclass in Abbey Road Studios 2 & 3. All audio material is recorded in full 96 kHz/24-bit Studio Master quality and is available for download to audition closely in your digital audio workstation, on your studio monitors.
In Abbey Road Studio 2 we recorded three male vocalists through a selection of ten microphones each. Abbey Road Studios has an absolutely amazing microphone collection, and in this course you will hear the best. Not only that, you will also hear affordable microphones recorded in the Abbey Road acoustic through their Neve and SSL mixing consoles.
Also in Abbey Road Studio 2, we recorded one female vocalist through a selection of ten microphones. A different female vocalist compares three microphones through two preamplifiers - vacuum-tube and transistor in twelve combinations of equipment and settings.
Moving to Abbey Road Studio 3, we recorded two further female vocalists through nine microphones each, ranging from the low-cost Shure SM57 all the way to two examples each of possibly the best microphones in the world - the AKG C12 and Neumann U47.
Following the vocalists, we recorded a full drum set using four different techniques including single-mic, the two-mic 'Recorderman' method, the four-mic Glyn Johns method, and the modern method of one mic per drum, hihat, and two overheads.
Next came ace guitarist Mick Hutchings who performed on acoustic guitar while we recorded in almost every microphone position possible. Mick moved on to electric guitar where we demonstrate microphone positions and microphone types, including an intriguing mid-side ambience mic.
Finally we recorded Abbey Road's Steinway grand piano using just about every microphone position possible, including ambience mics.
All of the sessions are available in video. All of the audio recordings are available as individual files for download.
The purpose of Audio Masterclassis for you to be able to produce work of a professional standard. There are thousands of people around the world who have home recording studios. You are in competition with each one of them. There is a limited market for music and sound engineering services so to compete and succeed you have to produce work that is as good as the front runners, and hopefully as good as the best.
Each module of your course consists of five main sections...
Audio Masterclass courses are organised like this...
In summary, the hierarchy is this: Learning Center > Course > Module > Component > Topic.
Each course has a course code. For example, the Audio Masterclass Music Production and Sound Engineering Course has Course Code 1000.
Each module has a number. So in a course with twelve modules the modules will be numbered 1 to 12.
Within each module, components and topics are not numbered. This facilitates updates to the course and new materials. If we numbered the components and topics, then updates and new material would mean that the numbering changes often, which we believe is more confusing than helpful. If numbering really would help you, then each component has a PID number and each topic a TID number in the URL bar of your browser. These never change. Bear in mind that as we improve our courses, some components and topics will be deleted and replaced with new material. PID and TID numbers are not sequential.You are advised to work to a schedule no faster than one module per week. When you start each module, you should first scan the contents so that you understand fully what the module contains.
Following that, you should start to study the main module texts, identified as 'Knowledge' in the component menus of the modules. This does not mean that you simply read it. You need to read each sentence until you get to the period (full stop) at the end, and ask yourself whether you understand it. Some of the concepts our courses contain are not immediately obvious and you should expect to have to do some 'brain work' yourself.
As a guide, it is recommended that you read the main module text three times on three different days. Intensive reading, not 'skimming'. Then, on another day, in courses that have quiz questions, write out answers to the quiz questions. This is important. The quiz questions will allow you to see for yourself whether you understand the material. If you want to do this really properly, you should put your answers into a course folder, so all of your theoretical work is assembled together.
When you have completed answering the quiz questions to the best of your ability, you may look at the model answers and compare them with your answers. Ask yourself "Does my answer contain the same information as the model answer?" At this point, you will almost certainly have assimilated most of the knowledge of the main module text. However, diligent students will attempt the quiz questions all over again, preferably on another day. When you can answer all of the questions and come up with answers that are as good as the model answers, then you have truly mastered the topic.
Regarding the practical assignment, each module provides you with audio examples of how this work should be done. You can easily check whether your work is of equivalent standard, or perhaps even better. But to make sure that you are judging your work properly, as you will have to do when you are working professionally, your practical assignment also contains clearly written criteria by which you can assess your own work. We may share your submitted practical work with our other students and prospective students.
Although your course is designed to be followed at a weekly pace, and it is recommended that you allow at least one week for each module, you may take your course at any pace you choose. You have up to one full year from your enrollment date to complete your course. (All course materials can be printed, saved or downloaded to keep permanently. All course materials can be printed, saved or downloaded to keep permanently.) We don't expect anyone to take that long, but we allow that amount of time just in case. The whole point of your Audio Masterclass course is that it is measured and thorough. There should be no rushing, no looking ahead - just a rock steady pace and continual progress through to completion.The following courses are assessed and you may send in your work for consideration by Audio Masterclass: 1000, 5000, 5020, 5040, 5050, 5060, 5070, 5080, 5090, 5091, 5100, 5110. Other courses are not assessed and any information relating to submission is not relevant: 1000DVD, 1000DNL, 5100DVD, 5100DNL.
Each practical assignment project includes an online submission form. The form will accept one file in WAV, AAC or ZIP format. If you want to resubmit before your assessment, then you can reupload your file and it will overwrite your previous submission.
The submission form will also accept your comments. You can resubmit your comment - any new comment will overwrite your previous comment.
If you choose an assessed course, then we will listen to all of your practical assignment work. We will listen carefully, then send you a detailed report with grading of all of the factors that we look for in a successful project. We will also describe for you any faults that we hear, and advise you on how to correct them. You can resubmit assignments at any time so that you can move steadily closer to perfection.
If you have enrolled on an assessed course, then when you have completed all of your practical assignment work successfully Audio Masterclass will issue a certificate. This is a traditional paper certificate bearing the signature of an Audio Masterclass representative, our official stamp and our embossed seal.
The certificate will be made out in your name, as you want to see it on your certificate, which may be your personal name or professional name. It will be sent to the address that we will ask of you when we are ready to issue the certificate.
Audio Masterclass supports Windows and OS X operating systems with current browsers. Although your course may function with other operating systems and browsers, we cannot offer support.
Audio Masterclass courses are viewable on smartphones and tablets, but functions such as download and assignment submission are not supported.
Audio Masterclass courses use a variety of audio file formats...
Where downloadable material is in AAC format you will need to be able to convert this to WAV to load into your digital audio workstation software. Some DAWs will import AAC automatically. Others will require the format to be converted first. A web search for 'convert AAC to WAV' will find several free conversion utilities.
Similarly, you may upload your practical assignment work in AAC format. You will need a utility to convert from WAV to AAC. A web search for 'convert WAV to AAC' will find several free utilities. If your Internet connection is fast enough, you may submit your practical assignment work in WAV format.
Your course is written using a combination of US English and UK English spellings. For instance, in US English, the word 'license' is used both as a noun and a verb. In UK English, the noun form is 'licence'. Where there are such differences, we try to use the spelling that will bring most clarity to most readers.
As an enrolled student of Audio Masterclass you will be entitled to ask questions about the course content at any time during your one full year enrollment period. (All course materials can be printed, saved or downloaded to keep permanently.)
So that we can serve all of our students fairly, we ask you to consider the following...
IMPORTANT - When contacting Audio Masterclass, you must use the e-mail address that you used when you enrolled. We will not be able to recognize you otherwise.
You will embark on a 12-module course that will lead to the quality of your work reaching closer to a professional standard. You should use your course according to the guidelines given here.
Thank you for your interest in Audio Masterclass. We wish you well on your course, and good luck for future success in your career.
Great home recording starts with a great home recording studio. It doesn't need to be expensive if you know how to select the right equipment for your needs.