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Effective: Summer 2015

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)

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Description -
Advanced mixing and mastering techniques with Pro Tools. EQ, compression, reverb, delays and tempo maps as applied to all styles of music including jazz, pop, rock, hip-hop, orchestral and electronica. Apply critical listening to mixes and enhance mixes with automation, audio plug-ins and external hardware equipment. Use multi-band compression and advancing audio processing in mastering. Study mixes of professional audio engineers and recording artists. Prepare to work in commercial production facilities and apply these techniques in a home studio. Learn professional collaboration workflows, file management and delivery to a wide range of formats including CD, DVD, MP3 and Internet Streaming. Although this course uses Pro Tools, the concepts and techniques can be applied to any digital audio workstation (Logic, Cubase etc.) or any traditional analog mixing console.

Course Objectives -
The student will be able to:
  1. Use mixing techniques unique to a jazz, pop, rock or electronica genres.
  2. Mix lead and backing vocals.
  3. Automate mixes.
  4. Apply stylistic analysis to mixes.
  5. Use EQ and Dynamics processing effectively.
  6. Use reverb to add acoustic space.
  7. Use tempo maps, groove templates, and Beat Detective.
Special Facilities and/or Equipment -
  1. When taught on campus:
    1. Classroom with Pro Tools HD TDM recording system and 16 channel 192 interface.
    2. Digital control surface.
    3. 10 condenser microphones with stands, clips and cables.
    4. 10 dynamic microphones with stands, clips and cables.
    5. All Avid distributed plug-ins.
    6. Apple Macintosh G5 with at least 2Gb of RAM and 30 inch monitor.
    7. Active near field monitors.
  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. Critical Listening and Mix Analysis (Lec, L-L, Lab)
    1. Sonic vs. Stylistic Reference Materials. (Lec, L-L, Lab)
    2. Assessing Raw Tracks. (Lec, L-L, Lab)
    3. Adding EQ and Dynamics. (Lec, L-L, Lab)
  2. Mixing Acoustic Music.
    1. Song Analysis, Track Analysis and Session Preparation. (Lec, L-L, Lab)
    2. Balance and Panning. (Lec, L-L, Lab)
    3. Signal Processing. (Lec, L-L, Lab)
    4. Automation and Stereo Signal Processing. (Lec, L-L, Lab)
  3. Mixing Electronic Music
    1. Mixing the Rhythm Section. (Lec, L-L, Lab)
    2. Balancing Vocals. (Lec, L-L, Lab)
    3. Mixing Guitars and Keyboards. (Lec, L-L, Lab)
  4. Mixing and Mastering Skills
    1. Creating Tempo Maps. (Lec, L-L, Lab)
    2. Using Beat Detective. (Lec, L-L, Lab)
    3. Time Domain Processing. (Lec, L-L, Lab)
    4. Creative Editing. (Lec, L-L, Lab)
    5. Parallel Compression and Mix Compression. (Lec, L-L, Lab)
Methods of Evaluation -
  1. Pro Tools Sessions that demonstrate a practical understanding of mix theory.
  2. Mastered audio files in various formats (WAV, MP3, MP4 etc.) that accurately to consumer listening environments.
  3. Tests on mixing and mastering theory.
Representative Text(s) -
No textbook required. Additional materials are provided by the instructor on the course website.

Disciplines -
Commercial Music
Method of Instruction -
  1. Lecture
  2. Discussion
  3. Laboratory
  4. Demonstration.
Lab Content -
Lab content includes topics such as:
  1. how to reduce distortion
  2. optimize gain settings
  3. monitor system setup,
  4. acoustical treatments of control room etc.
  5. Other items may include subjects such as choice of plug-ins and signal processing, and Peak Limiter techniques for final mastering compression settings.

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.