COURSE DESCRIPTIONS

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Recording Engineer Week 1
(Studio etiquette / Sound Waves and Oscillation)

9 clock hours / 3 clock hours Lab

 The first week we will talk about how to present and handle yourself in a studio session. We will also dive in to the source of audio recording, the sound wave. We will touch on how sound waves are created and the different states of a sound wave.

This is necessary training for those working in both small and large scale studios. Prior to students learning the nature of sound, analog recording, digital recording, practical audio connection practices, and signal flow, we will accompany the information on studio etiquette in the lab with microphone handling, connection points, and cable wrapping techniques.  Also in this lab will be a listening session to monitor and identify the differences between high and low frequencies, beats, combination tones, and masking using a simple oscillator. This is the first of a two week lab study of etiquette and sound that will stay with you for the rest of your life as a Recording Engineer. 


Recording Engineer Week 2
(Digital Conversion and Audio Interfaces)

9 clock hours / 3 clock hours Lab

   Now that you have a general knowledge on how sound is created, we study how its converted in to the digital domain. Almost all recording and mixing is done in the digital domain these days. We also discuss various interfaces that bring audio in a and out of the digital workstation.    

A continuation from week one that physically looks at various interfaces, a first-hand look at the Pro Tools Digital Audio Workstation’s structure, specifically navigation of the Edit and Mix windows in Pro Tools, and take a look at the I/O setup and its relationship to the interfaces as a logical path.


Recording Engineer Week 3
(Signal Flow week 1)

9 clock hours / 3 clock hours Lab

   At the core of any recording or mixing session is the flow of audio signals. This week we will study the characteristics of an audio signal as it travels through different mediums, well will look at various analog connection types, digital connections and cover signal flow in the analogue and digital domain. 

This lab will reinforce the concepts of signal flow while introducing techniques for recording voice.  Students will connect microphones and successfully get signal through.  Then students are asked to articulate the path in which the signal is traveling.  The second part of the lab takes students into an introduction of overdubbing and monitoring.


Recording Engineer Week 4
(Signal Flow week 2 / Patch bay)

9 clock hours / 3 clock hours Lab

     We continue the study of audio signal flow and discuss the most important aspect of a recording studio, the patching.  Understanding the wiring and the four states of a patch bay is the one of the most important aspects of working in a professional recording studio. Connectors dsub25, DL

Patching exercises are drilled based on situational problem solving applications. Pin 1-2-3 balance, unbalance


Recording Engineer Week 5
(Essential Electronics Study)

9 clock hours / 3 clock hours lab

 

    This week will focus on the different types of electronics used in a recording studio. We will cover a range of topics including the difference between tube and solid state equipment. We will also cover how an acoustic signal is converted to an electrical current and how an electrical current is converted to a sound.  This is a perfect time to explain the design, characteristics and common uses of microphones (Dynamic, Ribbon, Condenser) and speakers.

Students connect microphones by patching to various preamps getting signal through.  Also students learn to patch insert connections through external eqs, gates, and compressors.  Information is given on routing signals through the I/O to external signal patches and back to the DAW.


Recording Engineer Week 6
(Micing and Recording)

9 clock hours / 4 clock hours lab

 

  The next 2 weeks we will be focusing on different Miking extended features and techniques. (XY, Spaced, M/S, Blumlein, Decca Tree) We will cover techniques for recording essential Drum miking techniques, electric guitars, and Bass guitar (DI vs Mic).  Basic monitoring techniques is introduced during this week through the use of output selection vs buss selection in Pro Tools.  Proper distance and angle is covered along with specific mic selection for the instruments.

The first part of this lab covers finding placement for drums in the room, proper capture of drums. Whether working with electric basses, synth basses, or upright basses, it is essential to gain an understanding of the various frequencies of each technology.  Students gain important information as to the differences in the design of electric vs upright basses.  Capture of synth basses is also introduced here. 


Recording Engineer Week 7
(Recording / recording with Compression)

9 clock hours / 4 clock hours lab

 

We continue studying different recording techniques and record modes in Pro Tools. We also touch on how recording with compression can help smooth out a recording.    Students study advanced vocal recordingand piano recording.  Students gain an understanding of the difference between miking for lead vocals vs background vocals as well as voice over.  Proper distance and angle is covered along with specific mic selection for the source. Unity gain of equipment.

This lab covers those times that an engineer encounters a solo acoustic guitar performance, a combo between singer and acoustic guitar (or piano), and a full band integration of multiple guitars.  Students will gain valuable knowledge of the frequencies of guitars and guitar amps while being given tips on the rules of arrangement.  A special presentation of M/S recording is done for piano during this lab.


Recording Engineer Week 8
(EQ and Compression)

9 clock hours / 4 clock hours lab

 

    This week we will study the different kinds of EQs, Gates, Expanders, Compressors and Limiters. We will get in to the science of how these systems affect a sound wave and how to apply them to your mix to make your sound more dynamic and unique.  We will also cover how to use software EQs during the recording process for advanced monitoring to help the performer gain confidence while executing.

An understanding of how to angle mics for brass, how to bell mount and how to avoid excess breath noise can make or break an engineer working in an area that promotes the use of brass like theatre and Broadway productions.  Students learn effective miking techniques and selection procedures.  When it comes to brass and strings, an understanding of the room is very important, especially when working for classical music clients or in a busy room.  Students learn the difference between leakage and ambience.  Students will patch EQs, Expanders, and Compressors to shape various brass and string sounds.


Recording Engineer Week 9
(EQ and Compression)

9 clock hours / 4 clock hours lab

 

    This week we continue the study of EQ’ing and Compressing along with a few other in-line patches. There are tons of units on the market. We will cover some of the industry standards, both hardware and software, that are available at Quad and have been used by top engineers. Students also gain a total knowledge of the frequencies of the most encountered instruments.  Pro Tools delay compensation is introduced here as well.  Information here is part of what makes the difference between a good engineer and a great one. Hardware inserts.


 

Recording Engineer Week 10
(Time Based Processing)

9 clock hours / 4 clock hours lab

 

     Here we will discuss time based processing such as reverb and delay as well as harmonization and pitch correction. This is critical in mixing as it gives you more control of a sound and helps with the imaging process. Students are able to acquire hands-on training of both hardware and software applications.  Some of the most misunderstood processors are tackled here.  Students also gain a total knowledge of the frequencies of the most encountered instruments. 

This lab works with the calculation of delays, reverb unit features, auto-tune or other pitch correction software.  Students get hands-on experience with using time based processors to widen tracks, add ambient space, or create special effects.  Both approaches to pitch correction are tackled including the static audiosuite pitch application to the real time autotune.


Recording Engineer Week 11
(Pro Tools in depth)

9 clock hours / 4 clock hours lab

 

         We will conclude your recording program by diving in to the audio workstation in detail. Over the last 10 weeks you have become somewhat familiar with the industry standard Pro Tools. This week we will go in to more details and study some of the more advanced features of the program. (Workspace Browser Basics, Import Session Data, Bouncing, Save Copy In, Audition Preview modes, Memory locations, This will also prepare anyone continuing to the advanced courses.

Students are drilled on setting up a session both quickly and neatly under a time limit.  They are asked to perform various tasks as to determine if they need strengthening in particular areas.  Record modes, Edit modes, Import Session Data, Bouncing, Save Copy In, Audition Preview modes, Memory locations, etc.


Recording Engineer Week 12
(Pro Tools and Advanced Guantlet)

9 clock hours / 4 clock hours lab

 

     Although some small studios may not have control surfaces, many large scale studios do.  It’s important for engineers to be able to engage a control surface as a highly complementary tool and not as an object of intimidation.  Students receive hands-on training on one of the most widely used control surfaces on the planet so that they are able to work anywhere in the world. 

THE GAUNTLET

Students are tested on their knowledge of recording and Pro Tools up to this point for a final grade and admittance into the advanced course!


Recording Engineer Week 13
(Mixing in the Box)(Automation and Clip Groups in Pro Tools)

6 clock hours / 4 clock hours lab

 

     In order to function with a Jedi flow, the use of track and plug-in automation is will enable a student to cross the boundary between basic mixing practices and truly advanced recording and mixing techniques.  Information on Clip grouping is given here to allow an engineer to not only move swiftly in the management of a session but neatly while remaining efficient.  We also include the connection between automation and control surfaces here.


 

Recording Engineer Week 14
(Editing Shortcuts, Elastic Audio, Beat Matching, Identify beat and Window Configurations)

6 clock hours / 4 clock hours lab

     Above everything a student can learn is the ability to work efficiently as in the recording industry time is money.  Those who prove to accomplish a goal quickly will acquire more opportunities for greater income potential.  Besides all of the essential basic knowledge required to operate within the field, knowing and using all of the short cuts is the key to being highly competitive.  This week assures to give students a jump start in that direction in addition to learning about elastic audio, beat matching, and window configurations.    


 

Recording Engineer Week 15
(MIDI recording, Time Stretching, MIDI Real Time Properties, Workspace Browser)

6 clock hours / 4 clock hours lab

 

     The majority of professional recordings will involve the use of midi recording. Without at least a basic understanding of midi, an engineer can find themselves in very awkward situation.  The use of midi can range from capturing some live performances to mapping pitch correction software for vocals.  Here a student is introduced to the basics of midi, midi capture, midi tracking, accessing the Score Editor and Midi Editor, synchronization, triggering, and layering. As the use of time stretching and beat matching and quantization closely relates to how midi works with tick based track functions in Pro Tools, students are introduced to the basic use of time stretch, elastic audio, and importing from Workspace Browsers.   


 

Recording Engineer Week 16
(Pro Tools Final mix gauntlet)

6 clock hours / 4 clock hours lab

 

     This week solidifies and reviews everything that students have covered from day one.  The information prepares students for the final exam and final gauntlet before being unleased as qualified QUAD Recording Engineer level apprentices!