Audio Engineering Fundamentals

An Introduction to Audio Engineering

This 42-hour package is perfect for someone new to audio engineering and music production. From the ground up, learn the fundamental principles of signal flow, basic microphone design, and mixing techniques in a Pro Tools environment.  Contact us at 858.592.0556 for questions about our classes.

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Course breakdown


Audio Recording Techniques (15 hours)

Learn the basics of working with audio! This class gives you the fundamentals to record vocals or guitar into software such as Pro Tools, Logic Pro and Ableton Live.

Audio Recording Techniques starts with an overview of the physics of sound and the various microphones and mic’ing techniques used for recording vocals and guitar. Course participants learn the importance of gain structure and signal flow, along with an overview of the patch bay and speakers, pre-amps and effects modules commonly found in studios. At the end of the course, students will apply the techniques learned in one of our studios, and record a guest artist under the guidance of the instructor.

Pro Tools (9 hours)

Pro Tools – Getting Started is designed for those who are new to Pro Tools, and covers installation and setup as well as introductory techniques for recording, editing and mixing. In this Pro Tools class, we’ll tour the software and point out features and functions you should know to comfortably run a basic session in your home studio, including creating and routing new tracks, using plug-ins, and simple mixing techniques. We’ll also look at how an audio interface is used to record microphones and instruments into your Pro Tools system, and how to connect speakers for monitoring your session.

Drums are an essential start to any great mix. Pro Tools 2 teaches the fundamentals of recording drums in a home studio.

Starting an album project with solid basic tracks recorded in-time with the click will make all aspects of your session better as your project grows. Frequently however, drummers aren’t able to play in perfect time with the click, resulting in sloppy rhythm tracks as the foundation for your project, eventually resulting in tracks that never “groove or lock into the pocket” during your mix.

In the first half of this 6-hour class, we’ll dig into mic’ing up and recording a drum kit, with a primary focus on fixing or adjusting (quantizing) the drum performance to the click track. We will show you how Elastic Audio, which is included in all Pro Tools software, can help you automatically tighten your drum, bass and guitar tracks.

The second half of this class looks at the same initial timing problems, but shows you how to correct click track based issues using Pro Tools more advanced Beat Detective. We’ll also explore Beat Detective’s other really useful but often overlooked features related to extracting groove templates and creating tempo maps.

Mixing Music (12 hours)

The mixing stage blends your recorded tracks together, and is the point where your hard work starts taking shape. Mixing Music introduces the techniques to get music mixes radio-ready. It covers the psycho acoustic principals of mixing and also shows you how to use standard technology found in Pro Tools to build a balanced mix of your song. You’ll learn how to sculpt your mix using mixing console terminology (as it relates to Pro Tools), explore and use processing effects such as EQ, reverb and delay, and learn how to correctly prepare your session to be mastered to CD or MP3.

Mixing Music consists mostly of hands-on mixing, with direction from the instructor, but it does include some lecture. For hands-on practice, students can use sessions that the instructor provides; sessions recorded in an earlier Audio Recording Techniques class; or sessions from home.

Mastering Music (6 hours)

This overview of music mastering shows why it’s such an important part of the music-making process. You’ll learn some of the tricks used to make a collection of songs seem as if they were recorded and mixed in one sitting. Topics include arranging songs within your album, metering, using dynamic and time-based processors, and embedding song names on tracks. You’ll also learn how audio can be tracked for sales, the difference between replication and duplication, and the differences of mastering for vinyl vs CD.

This is a hands-on class, so demo mixes are supplied, but bring your own collection of recorded songs if you have them. If time permits, we’ll  critique your newly honed songs and your mastering chops.