The Audio Masterclass Digital Audio Workstation Course
The digital audio workstation offers extensive editing capability. But whether the finished edit is good or bad depends on the skill of the operator. This module provides interesting source material for detailed practice and valuable experience.
Insert and bus processes and effects
Some plug-in processes are best used as track inserts. Others benefit from being used in a bus send-and-return configuration. This module delves into the details of the pros and cons.
Busses and subgroups
It is straightforward to operate digital audio workstation software without getting involved in busses and subgroups at all. But that ignores the massive power and capability these techniques provide.
Pan law is commonly misunderstood, or even not understood at all. But knowing how the pan control makes significant differences to the level of a signal is vitally important for successful mixes.
Fades & crossfades
Simple butt editing is often perfectly adequate. But knowledge and skills in fading and crossfading can fine tune a mix to a superior degree of precision.
There is a lot of mis-information on gain structure around. Modern DAWs are extremely powerful and can handle any level that could possibly be encountered in real-world recording. But there are situations where the engineer or producer has to understand clearly that there may be problems.
Music editing (individual tracks)
Being able to edit music effectively is a matter of understanding how to operate the editing facilities of the digital audio workstation, but also of acquiring a feel for musical flow. This module looks at both the technique and artistry of music editing with reference to individual tracks.
Music editing (stereo mix)
This module follows on from the previous module and extends editing technique and artistry to full stereo mixes.
MS, or mid-side, stereo is an important technique to know and understand. It isn't obvious however when and how to apply it. This module covers MS in detail with practical demonstrations.
When a vocal recording is good all the way through apart from one tricky line, punch-in is a commonly-used technique to fix the problem. It is important for engineers and producers not just to know how to do this but to become fluent in punch-in operation so that they can work effectively with the performer.
Modern vocal recording is usually done by making several takes, selecting the best take overall, then editing in lines from other takes that are better. This module offers advice, demonstration and practice in this important technique.
MIDI & instrument tracks
As well as recording audio, the modern digital audio workstation has extensive MIDI facilities. This module explores MIDI tracks, and also the reason why MIDI tracks should be converted to audio when work is finished.
The Audio Masterclass Digital Audio Workstation Course
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.
Focus on the DAW
This course focuses on the operations of the digital audio workstation itself. It does not cover plug-ins, although the use of plug-ins as insert and bus processes is included.
This is not a course for anyone who is not fully committed to their craft. The practical assignment projects are not excessively difficult, but they are detailed and require painstaking attention to detail, and the persistence to carry out repetitive tasks all the way through to the end to a high level of quality. This is similar to professional work which is carefully paced, methodical, with a careful eye for detail and precision.
The course contains the following topics as practical assignment projects, of which there are twelve in total (as all of our courses are subject to continuous improvement we reserve the right to change, substitute or modify assignments):
- Precision editing
- Speech editing
- Precision fades and crossfades
- Insert and bus processes
- Vocal comping
- Pan law
- MS (mid-side)
- Gain structure
- MIDI tracks
- Instrument tracks
Equipment and software:
- Modern digital audio workstation software such as Pro Tools, Cubase, Logic Pro, Studio One, Digital Performer, Reaper, Ableton Live, or similar.
- Audio interface with two or more microphone inputs and phantom power (microphones are not necessary for this course but we have found through experience with our students that this is the minimum effective specification)
- Headphone or loudspeaker monitoring
- At least one plug-in (those that are supplied with the DAW will be fine)
- A software instrument (can be very simple and basic)
This course is staged, meaning that each module must be completed before access to the next is available. Modules can be taken at one per week, or at any pace slower than that within the two-year enrollment period.
Please read the above paragraph carefully. We cannot allow any exceptions.
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