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Effective: Summer 2014

Grade Type: Letter Grade, the student may select Pass/No Pass
Not Repeatable.
FHGE: Non-GE Transferable: CSU
3 hours lecture, 3 hours laboratory. (72 hours total per quarter)

Student Learning Outcomes -
  • A successful student will be able to listen to a recording critically, analyze where the audio needs improvements and demonstrate how to create quality audio using good mixing techniques, effects processing, and editing. The use of a practical set of examples of various professional recordings will be examined to gauge what works and what does not work in a recording production.
  • A successful student will learn how to use FTP client and export completed files from their DAW for audio delivery, demonstrate the knowledge of overdubbing, live recording and specific techniques for recording commonly used instruments including microphone and effects processing set -up.
Description -
In-depth operation of an audio/video recording studio in a small environment. Microphone selection and placement, creative sound treatments in non-traditional environments, and application of plug-in effects. Use of auxilliary tracks and busses. Mixing and mastering in various digital formats.

Course Objectives -
The student will be able to:
  1. Manage different configurations of an acoustic environment in an alternative space.
  2. Operate a recording/production system using computer based software and hardware.
  3. Integrate virtual instruments into the production system.
  4. integrate non-digital equipment such as microphones and transducers into a digital production system.
  5. Mix and master an original recording and format it for both CD and mp3 delivery.
Special Facilities and/or Equipment -
  1. When taught on campus:
    1. 30 Macintosh computers.
    2. 30 MIDI keyboards and MIDI interfaces.
    3. 30 Avid M-Box USB audio interfaces
    4. 30 Pro Tools software installs.
    5. Video projector and screen
  2. When taught via Foothill Global Access:
    1. On-going access to computer with Email software and capabilities.
    2. Email address.
    3. Java-script enabled internet browsing software.

Course Content (Body of knowledge) -
  1. Intermediate operation of a non-traditional recording system.
    1. Acoustic treatments in various configurations.
    2. Recording techniques and microphone placement.
    3. Multi-take recording and composite tracks.
  2. Audio hardware operation.
    1. Digital and virtual mixers.
    2. Condenser vs. dynamic microphones.
    3. Use multiple external firewire drives.
  3. Software selection and use.
    1. Audio based production software.
    2. Virtual instruments in the production environment.
    3. Rewire and multiple program operation.
Methods of Evaluation -
  1. Evaluated original recordings.
  2. Weekly quizzes and skills checks.
  3. Written evaluations of software and hardware combinations.
  4. Graded recording assignments in various formats.
Representative Text(s) -
Hunter, David. The Home Recording Handbook. 1st Ed. Winona, Minnesota, Hal Leonard, 2012.
Savage, Steven. The Art of Digital Audio Recording. 11th Ed. Oxford University Press, 2011.

Disciplines -
Commercial Music
Method of Instruction -
  1. Lecture presentations and discussion using the language of audio technology.
  2. Lab assignments in audio production.
Lab Content -
  1. Creating digital sessions in Pro Tools.
  2. Adding auxilliary tracks.
  3. Creating bus sends to FX tracks.
  4. Designating and adding plug-ins to FX tracks.
  5. Bouncing sessions to stereo audio files in all formats (.wav, .M4A, etc.)
  6. FTP sessions and files to a remote server.
Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing and Outside of Class Assignments -
  1. Written critiques and analyses of audio production projects including albums, soundtracks, television, video games and Internet multi-media.
  2. Written summaries documenting technical and artistic elements for corresponding submitted assignments and audio projects.
  3. Written proposals, session logs, learning outcomes and reflections supporting submitted musical works and final master recordings.