Audio Production 101

Part-Time Programs

Audio Production 101 at Pacific Design Academy

Course Objective
For students to gain a comprehensive understanding of the skills, technology and techniques used to compose, record, edit, mix and produce music using a range of software and hardware.

Course Description
This introduction to Audio Production course is designed to familiarize students with the techniques used to record, edit, mix, and produce audio, with a primary focus on music production. Students will complete a variety of exercises and will complete a small project to gain a comprehensive understanding of the techniques, tools and protocols used, including MIDI, different audio formats (bit depths, sample rates, .WAV, .AIFF, .MP3, FLAC etc.), mixing desks, audio software, effects, mastering, instrument recording, microphones, compressors and equalisers.

Course Length: 6 weeks long, 36 hours instructional time.

Course Date: Next classes begin April 24th, 2017.

Time: 5:30-8:30pm. Days: Twice a week, Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Fee: $495.00

Unfortunately, classes with insufficient registration will be cancelled. Should this occur, a full refund will be issued. So don't delay, register today!

Please call 250-383-3631 for more information.


Jason Sawyer

Jason Sawyer

Register Today! Staff Bios

Course Breakdown

Class 1

  • Course overview, icebreaker exercise - definitions of studio roles and processes.
  • Basic terminology, starting with frequencies, Hertz, and the application of frequency theory to sound, sample rates, etc.
  • Explore relevance to sound perception, recording, mixing and mastering.
  • Brief explanation of bit depth and sampling rate.
  • A look at Digital Audio Workstations (DAWs) currently the most common tools for audio production and recording.

Class 2

  • Overview of the process of making an audio product
  • Discussion of the meaning of audio production.

Class 3

  • Principles of audio recording. History of the methods used for audio recording, from wax cylinders to analog tape, digital tape and hard disk recording.
  • Equipment review, gain structure issues, isolation/seperation
  • Microphones, Types, polar patterns, frequency response, applications of different types.
  • Preamps. Qualities of different types; why are some preamps cheap and others so expensive?

Class 4

  • Mixing desks, analog, digital, USB and Firewire enabled.
  • Audio interfaces, A/D, D/A converters. Digital audio connections, S/PDIF, coaxial and optical, ADAT, TDIF and other multichannel connections.

Class 5

  • Picking the best takes
  • Editing using reel to reel tape
  • Editing on digital hard drive systems
  • Dedicated audio editing software, Peak, Wavelab and alternatives
  • Comping vocal recordings
  • Comping drums
  • Monitoring considerations

Class 6

  • Correcting problems in audio recordings

Class 7

  • Aesthetic considerations.
  • Practical considerations regarding delivery media (CD, Vinyl, MP3 etc) ITB, OTB and hybrid setups
  • Using compression
  • Desirable and undesirable distortion

Class 8

  • Use and abuse of modulation effects (flanger, phaser etc.)
  • Use and abuse of pitch correction tools.
  • Using reverb and delay to create a sense of depth in a stereo mix.
  • Automating effects, for correcting problems or for special dub style mixing.

Class 9

  • Tools for mastering: EQ, compression, limiting, dithering etc.
  • The Mastering Studio, and how it differs from a recording/mixing studio./li>
  • Mastering monitors and environments/li>
  • Software designed for mastering vs DAWs
  • Aesthetic considerations. /li>
  • ITB, OTB and hybrid setups.

Class 10

  • Differences between mixing and mastering
  • Consideration of the final format, audience and environment.
  • Monitoring issues

Class 11

  • Promotion, marketing, live performance, social networking.
  • Record labels, aggregators, netlabels, iTunes, distributors, rights agencies (SOCAN, SODRAC, Harry Fox, MCPS etc.).

Class 12

  • Review of the stages of audio production, and case studies of professionals in the music industry dedicated to these different roles
  • Specialising vs doing it all. Discussion of the expertise and roles expected of an independent producer/engineer/musician in the modern age.