Part-Time Evening Classes at PDA

Audio Production 101

For students to gain a comprehensive understanding of the skills, technology and techniques used to compose, record, edit, mix and produce music.

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.

6 weeks long, 36 hours instructional time.

Program Start: 
September 11, 2017

5:30pm - 8:30pm, Mondays and Wednesdays


Course Outline:

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.



Jason Sawyer has a Masters degree in Audio Production from Westminster University, London UK, and taught the Sound Recording and the Music Industry Diploma Program at the College of North East London for 2 years. He has developed courses and guest lectures for Axe Music, Columbia College, School of Remix, Vancouver Producers Forum, Richmond Media Lab, and Pacific Design Academy. Jason has been working in music for 15 years in a variety of roles. As a live sound engineer, a DJ since 1986 and has also worked for IVL Technologies’. He currently works with PK Sound, Mount Wells Studio, IATSE, and Party People Sound Solutions in Victoria.

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.