Ready to take your recording to the next level? Now you can! The Audio Masterclass Music Production and Sound Engineering Course - Full online course with assessments of your practical assignment work leading to an Audio Masterclass certificate on successful completion.
Module content: 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.
Assignment 1 - Diagnostic Recording of Speech: It may seem straightforward to make a simple recording of speech, but actually speech is the most difficult sound to record well. It shows up every possible fault and flaw of recording technique, and any background noise or excessive ambience shows up painfully in the gaps between words. We will give you detailed advice, and show both good and bad examples with clear explanations that will allow you to pinpoint any problems and advise you how to eliminate them from your future recordings.
Module content: 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.
Assignment 2 - Recording Instruments: Make a clean, professionally-finished recording of three instruments or sound sources. Compare two or more microphones, or - if you only have one microphone - compare microphone positions. We want you to learn how to create crystal-clear recordings that demonstrate your microphones well and show a professional polish. This assignment will help you understand which microphone to use for any voice or instrument, and why.
Module content: 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.
Assignment 3 - Polar Patterns and Stereo Configurations: Every recording engineer should carry out this test, but few ever do. All microphones have a 'polar pattern' which defines their sensitivity and frequency balance in different directions around the mic. There are also several different important configurations for recording stereo with two microphones. According to how many mics you have available, we will ask for a polished, professional demonstration of your mic's polar pattern, or the most important stereo configurations.
Module content: 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.
Assignment 4 - Listening and Equalization: Just as a musician needs a fine sense of pitch, a recording engineer or producer needs a highly-developed sense of EQ. Skill with equalization doesn't come naturally - it has to be learned. Being able to identify EQ problems is a vital skill, and also being able to enhance voices and instruments with EQ, and help them blend together in the mix. This assignment will help your ears learn to recognize, understand, correct and enhance the frequency balance of a recording.
Module content: 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.
Assignment 5 - Demonstrations of Compression: Compression is used to control dynamic range, and also to give a recording presence and 'sparkle'. In this assignment we will ask you to demonstrate your skills with compression on female and male vocal, a full drum set and individual drum instruments, a full mixed recording, and a full orchestral recording with severe dynamic range problems. In your finished work we will advise you how to achieve a professional standard of presentation.
Module content: 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.
Assignment 6 - Creation of a Drum Track: We will ask you either to make an interesting and creative drum track from samples, and give it the characteristic texture of sampled and looped drums. Alternatively, if you have a high-quality drum virtual instrument available, we will ask you to recreate some actual professional drum playing. That's a challenge!
Module content: 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.
Assignment 7 - Natural Reveberation Chamber: In this assignment you will set up a loudspeaker and a microphone in a reverberant space, perhaps your bathroom or stairwell, and send a dry signal to it. The microphone will pick up the reverberation of the space. Using this technique you can create reverberation that is far more natural and interesting than any plug-in. What's more it's unique because no-one else has access to the same reverberant space as you.
Module content: 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.
Assignment 8 - Technical Creativity: In this amazing project you will create a piece of music using only a sine wave and white noise as source material. This is a real challenge of both technical and musical creativity. We want you to create sounds that you couldn't possibly have expected - and a great original piece of music. If you are more technical than musical, we'll ask you to create an imaginative non-musical soundscape. That's a challenge too.
Module content: 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.
Assignment 9 - Voice or Instrument Production: In this assignment you will be given a female vocal recorded in Abbey Road Studio 3 and a skeleton backing track. We will ask you to devise an instrumental accompaniment and record it. More than a just simple, clear recording, we will ask you to create an imaginative 'produced' sound using whatever software or equipment you have available. We want what you do to be amazing.
Module content: 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.
Assignment 10 - Mixing: In this assignment you will be given a complete multitrack recording of an amazing rock music track to mix. The multitrack, in WAV format which can be imported into any DAW, includes drums, electronic drums, bass guitar, rhythm guitars, lead guitar, organ, background vocals, lead vocal and vocal double. The assignment includes full guidance on how to approach the project and stage-by-stage blend the instruments and vocals into a perfect release-ready mix.
Module content: 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. LUFS.
Assignment 11 - Mastering: For this assignment we have a professionally-produced finished master, and also the original unmastered mix, for you to listen to. Then we will ask you to create your own master from the basic mix. The assignment includes detailed advice on all of the processes of mastering such as fault correction, topping and tailing, equalization, compression, harmonic generation, limiting and protection against intersample peaks.
Module content: 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.
Assignment 12 - Your Industry Standard Showreel: In this assignment you will create your own 'showreel'. Every industry professional has a showreel that they use to demonstrate what they can do to potential clients. At the end of this module, you will have your own showreel that looks and feels like that of a top pro. You can create a CD or DVD, YouTube video or SoundCloud playlist. You can even create an entire website if you wish. But however you choose to demonstrate your abilities, we will demand total professionalism, so that for anyone who listens your showreel it is indistinguishable from that of a seasoned industry insider.
The Audio Masterclass Music Production and Sound Engineering Course works by online distance learning. We have students in more than 100 countries all around the world. All you need to come on the course is a basic home studio setup and an Internet connection, and of course a strong desire to produce recordings of fully professional quality in your own home studio. With Audio Masterclass, you will learn basic studio techniques, mixing and creative recording. Following completion of your course you can go in-depth into one of our specialist topics such as equalization, compression, reverb & effects, mixing or mastering.
The Audio Masterclass Music Production and Sound Engineering Course centers on practical projects. When enroled, you can submit your practical work online for our assessment. We'll give you detailed advice on what you're doing right, what you're doing wrong, and how to improve. Assessments are always friendly and we will tell you exactly what to do to move forward to a professional standard of work.
Course instruction is by tutorials and supplementary video material where appropriate. We show you the important techniques of audio that professionals use every day, and you can use yourself in your own home studio. All course materials are available online and for download so that you can keep them permanently.
Our tutorials and videos are supported by a wealth of audio examples, which are also downloadable. We recommend that you load these examples into your digital audio workstation so that you can listen to them in exactly the same way as when you're recording yourself. Many of the audio examples will show you what you should aim to achieve, whether the topic is EQ, compression, mixing, mastering etc. Others will show you how things can go wrong - and we'll show you clearly the difference between good audio and bad, and explain the reasons why.
The best way to learn audio is to *do* audio - recording, editing, processing, mixing and mastering. And don't forget the importance of close, attentive listening. The more you do it, the better you'll get. So the Audio Masterclass Music Production and Sound Engineering Course features a range of practical projects relating to the modules of the course. The practical projects will set you a task to complete, show you how to do it and point out what could go wrong. And when you have completed your project, you can compare your work with our examples - many of which are created by Audio Masterclass students.
We will listen to all of your practical project 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.
Student advice team All Audio Masterclass students have access to our Student Advice Team for the full duration of their enrolment. You can ask questions on any of the course topics and receive a personal response.
Flexibility Because Audio Masterclass works by distance learning, you can learn entirely at your own pace. There is no set schedule and you can move quickly or slowly through the course as you wish and take breaks at any time.
Your Audio Masterclass enrolment will be valid for one full year. All course materials can be printed, saved or downloaded to keep permanently.
Although no certificate can guarantee you a job in the audio or music industry, you will want something to commemorate your success on your Audio Masterclass course. On assessed courses, when you complete all of the practical work successfully, we will prepare your certificate and mail it to you anywhere in the world. There is no extra charge for this.
Our experience in audio education Audio Masterclass has experience in audio education going back to 1986. We have been running online courses since 2001 which is longer than any other audio training provider on the web.
At Audio Masterclass we want to give you the fastest, most effective route towards a professional standard of work in your own home studio - a standard that is fully equal to professional studios and commercial releases. We do this through effective, comprehensive instruction through tutorials and/or videos, audio examples, and practical projects that relate closely to real-world professional practice. If you want to make fast progress, then Audio Masterclass is here to help.
Tokyo is the capital of Japan.
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.