Citation
Understanding music production and recording

Material Information

Title:
Understanding music production and recording an overview
Creator:
Harris, Ben, 1978-
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
x, 266 leaves : ; 28 cm

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Sound recordings -- Production and direction ( lcsh )
Music trade ( lcsh )
Music trade ( fast )
Sound recordings -- Production and direction ( fast )
Genre:
bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )

Notes

Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 264-266).
General Note:
College of Arts and Media
Statement of Responsibility:
by Benjamin Scot Harris.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Colorado Denver
Holding Location:
Auraria Library
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
123292263 ( OCLC )
ocn123292263
Classification:
LD1193.A70 2006m H37 ( lcc )

Full Text
UNDERSTANDING
MUSIC PRODUCTION AND RECORDING,
AN OVERVIEW
by
Benjamin Scot Harris
B.A., Brigham Young University, 2003
A thesis submitted to the
University of Colorado at Denver
Health and Sciences Center
in partial fulfillment for the degree of
Masters of Science in Recording Arts
2006


This thesis for the Masters of Science
degree by
Benjamin Scot Harris
has been approved
by
10


Harris, Benjamin Scot (M.S., Recording Arts)
Introduction to Music and Recording; A Comprehensive Course
Thesis directed by Professor Richard Sanders
ABSTRACT
This thesis demonstrates the current issues in college curriculum, local
markets, and the music and recording industries; which make a comprehensive
introductory course in music and recording necessary.
The body of this thesis includes lesson plans, presentations, and example
materials for a comprehensive introductory course on music and recording. The
course covers the following topics: history of recording, both analog and digital;
studio basics, including equipment, budgets and acoustics; music theory, songwriting,
and producing; MIDI and synthesizers; notation software; career options and paths;
analog audio signal path and routing; recording, including basic play, record, and
talkback functions; editing; microphone types, patterns, and technique; processing
and effects; mixing and mastering; post-production and surround sound; applications
of the modem project studio; and integration between professional and personal
facilities. This course focuses on giving each student a clear and broad picture of the
music and recording industries, demonstrating practical paths to career opportunities,
and instilling in the students the need to rely on professionals in order to produce a
professional product.
This thesis should allow any college or university program to easily
implement this course. It includes instructor requirements, a detailed syllabus, and a
frequently updated textbook: The Billboard Illustrated Home Recording Handbook.
This abstract accurately represents the content of the pi didates thesis. I recommend
its publication.
Signed
Richard Sanders


DEDICATION
I dedicate this thesis to my wife Annie and my children Delaney and Sam for their
patience and support as I have worked on this over the last year.


ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
I first wish to thank my advisor, Rich Sanders, for his patience, confidence,
and support through the past year. I also wish to thank the undergraduate and
graduate students at the University of Colorado at Denver Health and Sciences Center
who assisted me in gathering, organizing, and producing materials for this course.
I would like to thank Sam McGuire for mastering the song examples on Audio
CD 1, providing studio acoustics example pictures in Unit 5 Acoustics, and authoring
DVD 1.
I would like to thank Lome Bergitzer for the use of his power point
presentations, which assisted me in creating; presentations for Units 5, 8, and 22.
I would like to thank Stephen Lessard who assisted in the organization,
recording, and documentation of the recording sessions, which led to the Unit 20
Microphones power point presentation. I would also like to thank Meagan and Erin
Dogans, Mike Perimeter, Eric Holder, and James Barone for their performances for
the Unit 20 Microphones power point presentation.
I would like to thank Michael Bechard for providing a picture of his studio as
one of the picture examples.
I would like to thank the University of Colorado Health and Sciences Center
recording Core for the use of their facilities for recording and visual examples.
I would like to thank Adam Olsen, Andrew Harper, Mike Perimeter, Chris Woods,
and Tyson Phalp who played instruments and/or sang on various song examples.


TABLE OF CONTENTS
CHAPTER
1. INTRODUCTION.................................................1
The Problem................................................1
University Experience (BYU)..........................1
University Experience (UCD)..........................3
Buying Equipment.....................................4
The Changing Music Industry..........................5
Four Groups of Focus.......................................7
Current Course and Study Options.....................7
Value................................................8
The Solution..............................................10
The Course Application to the
Four Groups.........................................10
Goals/Objectives....................................11
Methodology.....................:.........................12
Course Methodology..................................12
Unit methodology....................................13
vi


2. COURSE OUTLINES AND MATERIALS
15
Student Requirements.............................................15
Student/Institution Resources....................................15
Instructor Requirements..........................................16
Instructor/Institution Resources.................................16
Syllabus.........................................................17
Project 1 Rubric Dream Studio...........................20
Project 2 Rubric Basic MIDI.............................21
Project 3 Rubric Basic Audio............................22
Project 4 Rubric Final..................................23
Assignment 1..............................................24
Unit 1 Introduction to Course....................................25
Unit 2 History of Recording Analog...............................29
Unit 2 History of Recording
Analog Power Point Slides.................................32
Unit 3 History of Recording Digital..............................39
Unit 4 DAW and Equipment.........................................44
Unit 5 Room Design/Acoustics.....................................52
Unit 5 Acoustics Power Point Slides.......................56
Unit 5 Picture 5.1-12.....................................65
vii


Unit 6 Basic Chord Theory.....................................71
Handout 6.1 Scale and
Major/Minor Chords.....................................76
Handout 6.2 Glossary...................................77
Unit 7 Songwriting/Arranging..................................78
Unit 8 Producing..............................................82
Unit 8 Recording Process
Power Point Slides.....................................87
Unit 9 Synthesis..............................................90
Unit 9 Sound Waves
Power Point Slides.....................................95
Unit 9 Pictures 9.1-2.................................101
Unit 10 MIDI 1...............................................102
Unit 10 Intro to MIDI
Power Point Slides....................................104
Unit 11 MIDI 2...............................................116
Unit 12 MIDI 3...............................................120
Unit 12 Make It Sound Real
Power Point Slides....................................123
Unit 13 Notation.............................................130
Handout 13.1..........................................133
Unit 14 Media Composers......................................134
Unit 14 Pictures 14.1-3...............................138
viii


Unit 15 Mid-Term Review......................................139
Unit 16 Mid-Term Examination.................................141
Unit 16 Mid-Term
Examination Answers...................................143
Unit 17 Signal Flow and Routing..............................145
Unit 17 Examples 17.1-3
Power Point Slides....................................151
Unit 18 Digital Audio
and Recording................................................155
Unit 19 Editing and Cue......................................158
Unit 20 Microphones..........................................161
Unit 20 Microphones
Power Point Slides....................................163
Unit 21 Dynamics.............................................188
Unit 21 Picture 21.1..................................193
Unit 21 Session 21.1 Pictures.........................194
Unit 22 Equalization.........................................195
Unit 22 Equalization
Power Point Slides....................................197
Unit 22 Session 22.1 Pictures.........................204
Unit 23 Reverb and Delay.....................................205
Unit 23 Pictures 23.1-3...............................210
Unit 23 Session 23.1 Pictures..........................212
IX


Unit 24 Mixing Techniques 1
Unit 25 Mixing Techniques 2
213
217
Unit 26 Mastering.........................................220
Unit 26 Pictures 26.1-5............................226
Unit 27 Post-Production...................................228
Unit 27 Video Example
Pictures 27.1-2....................................233
Unit 28 Surround Sound....................................234
Unit 29 Studio Integration................................240
Unit 29 Pictures 29.1-4............................247
Unit 30 Final Review......................................249
Final Examination.........................................253
Final Examination Answers..........................258
APPENDIX
Additional Materials............................................263
BIBLIOGRAPHY...........................................................264
Music and Recording Magazines...................................265
Music and Recording Books.......................................266
x


CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION
This introduction discusses the problems that necessitate a comprehensive
course on music and recording, four student groups of focus, the solution that
describes the course and its goals, and finally the methodology of how this course is
taught.
The Problem
With limited options, limited resources, and higher expectations students who
desire to build and utilize a project studio have to sift through confusion, lies, and
misconception in order to achieve their goals. The following experiences,
circumstances, and dynamics demonstrate the need for a comprehensive introductory
course on music and recording.
University Experience (BYU)
I worked as a studio technician during my undergraduate work at Brigham
Young University. The studio that I maintained was designed to support two
songwriting classes, a media composing/production class, and a film scoring class.
Therefore the studio was very MIDI oriented. A great deal of my effort was focused
towards training the beginning songwriting students on the use of the studio. This


experience led to many friendships, wonderful opportunities to teach, and the idea for
a comprehensive recording course. Many of the students were not music majors.
Some were majoring in biology, others in sociology, and others in English.
These students scheduled time with me in the studio in order to learn how to
use the equipment. I taught them the necessary skills and let them begin work on their
projects. I then sat back and waited for the questions to begin. I answered questions
from How do you open up the piano roll view? to what is phasing and what does it
sound like? I basically custom tutored many of these students on basic recording
techniques, chord theory, employment options, etc. The skills and information that I
drew upon were from my class experience, personal research, and real world
experience.
I also became an ear for the complaints of students. Many of them were very
grateful for the tutelage that they received from me, but still believed that a course
could accomplish the same function. They wanted a course that taught MIDI
techniques to mastering and everything in between. They wanted to be advised on
what equipment to buy for their home studio, how to submit their songs as
songwriters, and how to pursue other career options. Some of these students had
attempted to learn this information from courses but were left unfulfilled. The basic
recording course offered at the university was truly basic. It merely covered basic
recording techniques. There was no discussion of equipment choices, studio design,
or computer programs. There was also a MIDI course that could be taken, a notation
course, a music business class, history of twentieth century popular music, a
songwriting course, and many more. All of these courses were excellent, but the
inherent problem was that they were multiple courses. These students were interested
in the topics, but did not have the time, commitment, or money to lengthen their
education in order to take them all. Even I, who was a music major, did not have time
to take all of these courses. Many of the mentioned topics I taught myself through
books, friends, and experimentation. I have met many people who have gained a
2


fairly comprehensive education through the combination of college courses and
outside reading; yet it entailed frustration as well as wasted time and money. I believe
that a comprehensive course is possible, feasible, and necessary.
University Experience (UCD)
I have come to the same conclusion as a graduate student at the University of
Colorado at Denver Health and Science Center; a comprehensive course in recording
is needed. There is not a traditional music conservatory at UCD, but there are
recording arts, music business, and commercial music performance programs. Some
of the issues are different than a school with a traditional music college, while many
are still the same. I teach a course at UCD about music applications on the computer.
Some of my students are concurrently enrolled in Audio Production 1, which is the
introductory recording techniques course. The students learn some valuable
information from these two courses, but there is a wealth of information that they do
not even begin to hear about because it is covered in later audio production courses.
Audio Production 1 covers some of the basics of recording, but it does not cover the
basics of all of the basics. This means that it is not a comprehensive course on
recording techniques. Audio Production 1 is designed to precede Audio Production 2
and 3. This is a common situation at many universities. Students are allowed to take
the first in a series of courses without being an admitted music or recording major.
The issue is that the biology students looking to take one course in recording will
only learn a few pieces of the puzzle.
3


Buying Equipment
Outside of the university system I have encountered another pertinent
problem. When a hobbyist or musician decides they want to buy the necessary
equipment to create a home studio what do they do? The most common solution
consists of walking into a music store, speaking with the first sales representative that
they meet, and buying the equipment that the salesperson suggests. The problem is
that the salesperson neither finds out what the person really needs nor suggests a wise
combination of equipment.
For example, I met with a singer/songwriter studio hobbyist who has been
building a studio little by little for the past few years. He has a computer with
professional level audio and MIDI software. He has a MIDI controller keyboard that
connects to his computer via a USB/MIDI interface. His system is excellent for MIDI
production, but is not suited for audio recording. He went into a music store and
explained his current setup and his desire to record audio into his computer. The
salesperson at the store sold this customer a stand-alone recording device and a
condenser microphone. The salesperson assured him that these products would
integrate seamlessly with his setup. The salesperson was very mistaken. After many
headaches, obtaining a dynamic microphone, and purchasing another program; this
studio hobbyist was able to unsatisfactorily record audio into the stand-alone device
and then transfer it into his computer. He is still unable to use the condenser
microphone that he purchased because the stand-alone recording device does not
provide phantom power (which is necessary to power a condenser microphone).
In defense of the music equipment retail business there are companies who
employ knowledgeable salespeople who do an excellent job of tailoring studio
equipment purchases to the needs of their customers. Still, there are many stores that
4


have a difficult time hiring, training, and retaining knowledgeable employees. This is
why the consumer must educate himself before purchases. This is more the norm in
the expanding world of Internet and mail order purchasing. When purchasing studio
equipment this lack of knowledge can add up to thousands of overspent dollars, hours
of confusion, and extreme frustration.
The answer to this problem is education. A hobbyist or musician desiring to
purchase studio equipment should be able to draft a program statement that will guide
them to a pertinent equipment list and eventually an efficient studio. Education can
also help the consumer understand that a few thousand dollars of equipment will not
replace the need for a professional recording engineer and studio in order to create a
professional project.
The Changing Music Industry and
Project Studio Revolution
Most of the issues that industry professionals have with the project studio
revolution boil down to this scenario. An inexperienced engineer produces an
unprofessional product believing that his product is professional. This product is
distributed and half-heartedly accepted by an uneducated audience. A listener realizes
that this song was produced in someones bedroom. They buy a few thousand dollars
worth of equipment and produce a song of their own. The cycle continues as more
and more people decide that if they buy the tools they can produce a professional
product.
A July 2005 Mix magazine article about this issue states that, to do
something requires absolutely nothing, to do it well requires education, and to excel
requires the taste and skill that comes only from experience. The author Stephen St.
5


Croix continues by drawing an analogy between the modem project studio and a
sports car.
What happens when you give a 16-year-old a 500 HP Viper? Does he
park his 95 HP Toyota in the garage and begin a comprehensive
program of learning the skills necessary to control the machine,
followed by a few years of rationally escalated real-world driving to
develop the finesse needed to use it properly?
What if each new would-be project studio owner was required to complete a 16-week
comprehensive course which would teach recording techniques; discuss features of
equipment and programs; and instill the need for, and respect of, professional
recording studios and engineers?
6


Four Groups of Focus
Any student at a university or community college could benefit from a
comprehensive course on recording. Maybe they are a music major wishing to record
their new compositions; or a biology major wanting an artistic hobby to pursue; or
maybe they are a guitar player who just loves music. All of these specific situations
and types of students can be organized into four groups. These groups include the
Non-Music Major, interested in recording music as a hobby or side job; the Music
Major, interested in knowing how to use the technology that they may be required or
want to use in the future; the Musician, interested in purchasing equipment for a
project studio and/or learning how to produce better demos; and the Undecided
Major, probing majors to decide a career path.
Current Courses and Study Options
Each group currently has options in their course of study. Some of these
options are the same between groups, some are redundant, and some add up in credits
to a minor degree.
The Non-Music Major can enroll in a beginning recording class; buy some
equipment and a book, and start experimenting and teaching herself. Alternately she
can take a beginning recording class, a songwriting class, and a music business class.
Or she can simply buy a book and equipment upon a salespersons suggestion and try
to learn on her own.
The Music Major can simply not take any recording classes and learn just the
necessary basics of the programs that he is required to use during his career without
7


fully understanding anything else about audio and recording. He can remain
uninformed about the vast career options in music besides performance and
education. He can enroll in a music business course and learn of the available career
options, yet none of the necessary skills. He can enroll in multiple courses including
basic recording, songwriting, and music business. Or he can simply buy a book and
equipment upon a salespersons suggestion and try to learn on his own.
The Musician can enroll in a beginning recording course, buy a book and
equipment, and start playing around. She can enroll in multiple courses including
basic recording, songwriting, and music business. She can buy a book and equipment
upon a salespersons suggestion and try to learn on her own. She can attempt to
obtain an internship or low-level position at a recording studio and learn from the
glimpses of professionals during and between sessions. Or she can make friends with
an experienced recording engineer, hang out at his studio, and ask questions about
everything that goes on there.
The Undecided Major can enroll in a basic recording class and leave
confused, bored with the topic, or ready to learn more. He can enroll in a beginning
recording course, buy a book and equipment, and start playing around. Or he can
enroll in multiple courses including basic recording, songwriting, and music business
and hope to find interest in one of the courses of study or career paths.
Value
The current course and study options for these four groups are not terribly
exciting. In fact, leaving some of these options available actually hurts and inhibits
current courses and programs. For example, making the first in a series of recording
courses available to non-recording majors inhibits what the instructor can teach. The
8


teach. The students that are interested and ready to learn are therefore restricted. The
availability of a comprehensive recording course has value to each of the four groups.
The Non-Music Major could enroll in a single course and learn the basics of
recording as well as be advised in her project studio purchases. She would be pleased
with the new found knowledge of her hobby, which only took one semester to gain.
She would also learn how to utilize resources in the music business in order to make
her product sound professional and/or make some money with her hobby.
The Music Major would be more willing to learn about the audio recording
business as well as other career options because he could do so in one course. He
would have more choices of career paths and options upon graduating. He would be
better prepared for the knowledge and skills that might be required of him during his
career. He also might choose a different career path and alter his course of study
during his college career as opposed to after graduation.
The Musician might decide to continue her study of recording in the college
or universities recording or music programs. She would be able to develop her own
recording studio, which would assist in the production of her music to later be
supplemented by the use of professional recording studios and services. She would
better understand the recording process, be more accommodating, and possibly assist
while working in professional studios. She would be more educated and make better
decisions of which recording studios and services to work with.
The Undecided Major might decide to continue his study of recording in the
college or universities recording or music programs with a greater knowledge of what
he desires to study and in which courses to enroll. He might decide to pursue any one
of the careers mentioned in the course and therefore seek relevant education and
experience. He might decide to pursue another major whilst continuing his audio
hobby.
9


The Solution
A comprehensive course on recording needs to be designed and incorporated
into college curriculum. The course should cover the following topics: history of
recording, both analog and digital; studio basics, including equipment, budgets and
acoustics; music theory, songwriting, and producing; MIDI and synthesizers; notation
software; career options and paths; analog audio signal path and routing; recording,
including basic play, record, and talkback functions; editing; microphone types,
patterns, and technique; processing and effects; mixing and mastering; post-
production and surround sound; applications of the modem project studio; and
integration between professional and personal facilities.
The Course Application to the Four Groups
This course should be made available to all students with several goals in
mind. For the Non-Music Major, this course should provide the student with the
knowledge of how to wisely build a well-suited project studio. It should provide her
with the basic skills needed to use her equipment and programs to create and produce
music. It should instill in the student the need to rely on professionals in order to
produce a professional product. It should also teach her how to continue to leam and
grow in the world of audio and recording.
For the Music Major, this course should provide him with the knowledge of
multiple career paths in the audio industry. It should familiarize the student with the
programs and systems that he may be required to use during his career. It should
teach him the audio and recording principles that will support his use of the
10


aforementioned programs and systems. It should instill in the student the need to rely
on (or become) professionals in order to produce a professional product.
For the Musician, this course should show her the necessary steps and roles in
the recording and production process. It should provide her with multiple music
related career paths in the audio industry. It should provide the student with the
necessary knowledge of how to wisely build and piece together a well-suited personal
studio. It should provide her with the basic skills needed to use the equipment and
programs, etc. It should instill in her the need to rely on (or become) professionals in
order to produce a professional product. It should also teach her how to continue to
learn and grow in the world of audio and recording.
For the Undecided Major, this course should provide him with the knowledge
of multiple career paths in the audio industry. It should teach the student audio and
recording basics. It should give him an idea of what a career in the audio recording
industry might entail. It should also instill in the student the need to rely on
professionals in order to produce a professional product.
Course Goals/Obiectives
The course goals and objectives focus on giving the student a clear and broad
picture of the music and recording industries while demonstrating practical paths to
career opportunities. This course instills the need to rely on professionals in order to
produce a professional product. It provides the knowledge of how to build and piece
together a well-suited project studio. This course teaches the basic skills necessary to
effectively use audio and recording programs and equipment. It also shows a
multitude of career paths and options in the audio and recording industries. This
course shows what steps need to be taken to pursue one of the demonstrated career
11


paths. It also teaches the subject matter in a way so that students will desire to
continue learning through pertinent personal study.
Methodology
The pedagogical techniques and methodology of this course are derived from
Tools for Teaching by Barbara Gross Davis, examples from excellent instructors, and
personal teaching experience. The course methodology can be displayed with the
following three components; lectures and delivery of information, projects and
assignments, and testing and grading. The unit methodology includes a list of
categories describing what preparation, materials, and resources are needed for each
course unit.
Course Methodology
The lecture and delivery of this course is aimed to effectively capture the
attention of the students, then deliver the information, and finally help the students
retain what they have learned. This is accomplished by changing the delivery
methods throughout each course unit including power point presentations, software
demonstration, and straight lecture. Examples and interactive lectures are used to
demonstrate concepts and techniques. Each unit is outlined starting with general ideas
followed by specific facts, ideas, and examples in order to present the broad concepts
and then add supporting details. Concepts are more often demonstrated than just
described. Learning groups are formed to provoke discussion, creativity, and open
thinking. Finally, the existing need of students to create and experiment with music
and recording is harnessed into motivation towards participating in class, studying
relevant materials, and completing course assignments.
12


The project and assignments in this course are focused toward providing hands-on
support of the material discussed in class, provoking creativity, and demonstrating
practical application of the techniques being taught. All of the projects and
assignments have specific dates to be introduced and completed in order to maintain a
steady flow of out of class work, provide support for what is being taught in class,
and keep the students from becoming overwhelmed with concurrent tasks.
Testing and accountability focuses on proving that the students gain an equal
understanding of the information covered and the application of that information.
This is achieved by focusing a larger percentage of the grade on projects. The projects
are an opportunity for the students to show how the information and techniques they
have learned can be applied to real and meaningful tasks. The paper gives the
students an opportunity to research, apply, and synthesize the information they learn
in and out of class. Each test incorporates a variety of testing methods to account for a
students mastery of knowledge, comprehension of theories and ideas, and ability to
integrate and synthesize pertinent information. The tests consist of one question from
each course unit in order to provide proportionate accountability to the amount of
class time devoted to specific subject areas. The final exam is cumulative so as to
encourage students to review information from the entire course.
Unit Methodology
Each unit or class period contains an outline detailing what information is
covered, what activities will take place during the class period, and which materials
are needed in order to demonstrate pertinent in-class examples. As an introduction to
the outline, or body of the unit, the following categories are given: Student
Preparation-which includes the reading assignments and preparation that the
students should have completed prior to this class unit. Current Students
13


Assignments/Projects-which describes what assignments or projects the students are
currently working on outside of class. This section also states when projects or
assignments should be given to the class and turned in to the teacher. Teacher
Preparation-which states what the teacher needs to accomplish before class time in
order to be fully prepared. Materials-which lists all materials needed including
handouts, audio examples, additional materials, etc. Resources-which contains a
minimum and preferred list of necessary resources. These resources may include
speakers, a projector, and a professional audio program. References-which is a
bibliography for the individual course unit so the instructor can research and/or verify
the references used. Brief Description-which is a description of what the course unit
is designed to accomplish. Lecture Outline-which is the body of the unit outlining
what information will be covered, which examples will be demonstrated, and which
teaching methods will be used during the lecture.
14


CHAPTER 2
COURSE OUTLINES AND MATERIALS
This course is divided into thirty individual units or class periods. This is the
average number of class periods in a semester course, which meets twice a week.
These units are focused towards a one hour and fifteen minute class period, but have
been structured to be easily adapted to a fifty-minute period.
Student Requirements
The student should be interested in music and recording with background in
playing an instrument or singing. They do not need any prerequisites such as theory,
songwriting, or music appreciation. The student does not need to be able to read or
write music. The student should be able to take this class as a stand-alone course or
in conjunction with a multi-year curriculum of study.
Student/Institution Resources
The minimum resources needed for the students to complete the projects for
this course include requiring each student to obtain access to a computer and a basic
recording program such as GarageBand on Apple computers or Cakewalk Music
Creator or Magix Music Maker on IBM computers.
The preferred resources would include a computer lab at the institution
available 30-40 hours a week with one workstation for every five students enrolled in
all sections of the class. Each station would be equipped with a capable computer
installed with a professional audio application, audio/MIDI hardware, and a MIDI
controller keyboard. Students would be required to provide their own headphones and
data storage devices.
15


Instructor Requirements
The instructor should have an extensive knowledge of recording, music,
production, MIDI composition, and music theory. He or she should also be very
skilled in the use of recording, sequencing, MIDI, and notation programs on the
personal computer. The instructor should be familiar with the materials covered in
The Billboard Illustrated Home Recording Handbook prior to the start of the
semester.
Instructor/lnstitution Resources
The minimum resources needed to teach this course include a classroom
equipped with a capable computer that has a recording/MIDI sequencing program
such as Digidesigns Pro Tools, Steinbergs Cubase, or Apples Logic and necessary
audio conversion hardware. The instructors station should be able to record and
playback audio (i.e. a microphone for voice or an input for guitar). A Notation
program such as Finale or Sibelius should also be installed on the instructor station
computer. This station should be capable of projecting or displaying the computer
screen so as to be visible to all of the students (i.e. a projector and large screen).
Speakers, which are capable of playing audio examples for the entire class to hear,
should be connected to the instructor station.
The preferred resources needed to teach this course, in addition to the
minimum requirements, include that each student have the same programs and
capabilities as the teacher including; access to, and the ability to connect to, a MIDI
keyboard; and word processing and spreadsheet programs.
16


Syllabus
School
Program
Course name and numbers
Semester, Classroom, (Class Times)
Instructor:
Phone:
Email:
Office Hours:
Course Syllabus
Text
The Billboard Illustrated Home Recording Handbook
Macdonald, Ronan
London: Flame Tree Publishing, 2004.
Course Description
This course is an overview of music production and recording. It covers the following
topics: history of recording, both analog and digital; studio basics, including
equipment, budgets and acoustics; music theory, songwriting, and producing; MIDI
and synthesizers; notation software; career options and paths; analog audio signal
path and routing; recording, including basic play, record, and talkback functions;
editing; microphone types, patterns, and technique; processing and effects; mixing
and mastering; post-production and surround sound; applications of the modem
project studio; and integration between professional and personal facilities. This
course focuses on giving each student a clear and broad picture of the music and
recording industries while demonstrating practical paths to career opportunities.
Attendance Requirements
Students are expected to attend all class sessions. Make any arrangements for an
excused absence in advance of the class meeting (via email). Every absence after the
3rd unexcused absence will result in a 5% drop in your final grade. Qualified medical
excuses follow University Policy.
17


Course Schedule
Unit 1 Introduction to Course
Unit 2 History of Analog Recording
Unit 3 History of Digital Recording
Unit 4 DAW Equipment
Unit 5 Room Acoustics
Unit 6 Basic Chord Theory
Unit 7 Songwriting, Arranging
Unit 8 Producing
Unit 9 Synthesizers
Unit 10 MIDI 1
Unit 11 MIDI 2
Unit 12 MIDI 3
Unit 13 Notation
Unit 14 Media Composers
Unit 15 Review
Unit 16 Mid-term Examination
Unit 17 Signal Flow and Routing
Unit 18 Digital Audio and Recording
Unit 19 Editing and Cue
Unit 20 Microphones
Unit 21 Compression
Unit 22 Equalization
Unit 23 Reverberation and Delay
Unit 24 Mixing Techniques 1
Unit 25 Mixing Techniques 2
Unit 26 Mastering
Unit 27 Post-production
Unit 28 Surround Sound
Unit 29 Studio Integration
Unit 30 Final Review (Comprehensive)
Final Final Examination
Preparation
No Reading Assignment
No Reading Assignment
Pgs. 12-72
Pgs. 122-141. 356-361, 375-379
Pgs. 116-121
Pgs. 68-71, 394-399
Pgs. 174-179
Pgs. 174-179
Pgs. 36-55, 92-109, 284-305
Pgs. 32-35, 280-283 Project 1 Due
Pgs. 266-279, 319-325
Pgs. 266-279, 319-325
Pgs. 234-235 Project 2 Due
Pgs. 174-191, Assignment 1
Study for Mid-term
Study for Mid-term
Pgs. 174-179
Pgs. 238-265
Pgs. 142-153, 196-213 Paper 1 Due
Pgs. 124-129, 202-213
Pgs. 72-91
Pgs. 82-91
Pgs. 74-75, 78-81
Pgs. 110-115 Project 3 Due
Pgs. 110-115
Pgs. 168-173
No Reading Assignment
Project 4 Due
Project 4 Due
Study for Final
Study for Final
Class Components
There are four projects and multiple assignments throughout the semester. The Mid-
term Examination consists of one question from each class period. The Final
Examination is comprehensive and also consists of one question from each class
period. There is a paper on the recent changes in the Music and Recording Industries.
18


Projects/Paper/Exams
Project 1
Project 2
Project 3
Project 4
Paper 1
Exam 1
Exam 2
Dream Studio Project 10%
Basic MIDI Project 10%
Basic Audio Project 10%
Final Project 15%
A Changing Industry 15%
Mid-term Examination 20%
Final Examination 20%
due Unit 10
due Unit 13
due Unit 24
due Unit 28
due Unit 19
Unit 16
Final
Paper 1 A Changing Industry
Discuss how the music industry has changed with the advent of project studios and
digital recording. This paper should be 5-6 pages, double spaced, and 10 pt. font.
Required Materials:
Writable CDs (CD-R, CD-RW)
Professional Quality Headphones
19


Project 1 Rubric Dream Studio
Scoring Rubric Dream Studio Project
This project is to research your dream project studio setup. Money can be a part of
the equation, but do not let it hinder you. Create a programming statement for your proposed
project studio and stick to it in your design, equipment, and software choices. You must
document this setup with a large amount of detail. Use photos, charts, and helpful graphics to
illustrate your choices. Explain in detail.
Pts. Poss. Program Statement Design Equipment/Software Visuals
25 Program statement is clear and concise. Explains what the objective of the studio is and how it can achieve it. Design of studio conforms to, and supports. Program Statement. Design is well laid out and a good use of space. Equipment/Software choices are well thought out and conform to the Program Statement. List is complete and very detailed; it is organized and clear; reasons are logical. Visuals add to text. They are clear and do not distract from the presentation; they are not used as filler material but as an integral part of the project
20 Program Statement is clear, but not practical. Design of studio somewhat conforms to the Program Statement. Design is well laid out and a good use of space. Equipment/Software choices are well thought out, but do not conform to the Program Statement. List is complete and very detailed; it is organized and clear; reasons are logical. Visuals are good but are either lacking in number or are distracting
15 Program statement is confusing. Design of studio somewhat conforms to the Program Statement. Design is not well laid out and a waste of space. Missing multiple parts of the requirements, and/or not very well organized; reasons might not be logical Misuse of visuals and/or very distracting
10 There is no Program Statement. Design of studio does not conform to Program Statement and is not well laid out. Lacking in all areas Missing visuals completely or extremely poor use of visuals
TOTAL
100 points possible
20


Project 2 Rubric Basic MIDI
Scoring Rubric Basic MIDI Project
This project consists of creating a MIDI sequence in Reason/Cubase/Pro Tools/Etc.
The minimum requirements are that the sequence must consist of at least 8 bars, have at least
4 different tracks and have pan and level changes on each track. The material can be original
or an adaptation of some one elses work, but you cannot use an already created MIDI file...
you must do the programming yourself! This is to be turned in on a CD-R along with the
written section.
Pts. Poss. Sequence Use of Program Creativity & Polish
33 All of the required parts included; musically and technically solid Clear understanding of program; automation being used as well as experimentation of features Overall product is polished and very creative; liberties are taken which enhance the assignment and make it stick out from the crowd
25 All of the required parts included; not good enough musically Knowledge of program is growing, but not yet excellent. Some creative liberties are taken but it is not extraordinary; almost a great product
15 Missing at least one part; still pretty good Obvious lack of understanding of what the program is doing Average in almost everyway; meets all the requirements but with boring results
10 Missing multiple parts; not a good product Program is a stumbling block to the user No creativity at all; the basics are included but that is all
TOTAL
100 points possible
21


Project 3 Rubric Basic Audio
Scoring Rubric Basic Audio Project
This project consists of creating a Pro Tools session, importing audio tracks into the
session, arranging the tracks, creating play-lists (virtual tracks), and editing one of the tracks.
Once the track has been edited, the session will need to be mixed down to two tracks with the
use of at least one instance of each of the following plug-ins: EQ, compression, delay,
reverb. This project will be completed in parts as pertinent topics and techniques are
discussed. This project will be graded on the fulfillment of the listed requirements and the
quality and creativity of the final mix. This will be turned in as both a session file and final
mix file.
Pts. Poss. Editing Mixing Use of Pro Tools Creativity & Polish
25 Edits are seamless and the track sounds like one solid performance. Excellent understanding of general mixing techniques. Good use of plug-ins and Pro Tools. Well-balanced mix. Clear understanding of the tools available; user shows that they wield the power when using them; clear understanding of the program and its general as well as more advanced functions Overall product is polished and very creative; liberties are taken which enhance the assignment and make it stick out from the crowd
20 Good edits, but part seems choppy. Good understanding of mixing and the basic techniques taught. OK use of plug-ins and Pro Tools. Understands use of tools; program is understood but not utilized in assisting the music Some creative liberties are taken but it is not extraordinary; almost a great product
15 Edits dont make sense, missing musical parts of line. Mix is unbalanced and confusing. Understands use of tools, but are often used in the wrong places or poorly; program detracts from the music Average in almost everyway; meets all the requirements but with boring results
10 Not edited. No idea what mixing is or no idea how to use it No idea about how Pro Tools is really used in the real world No creativity at all; the basics are included but that is all
TOTAL
100 points possible
22


Project 4 Rubric Final
Scoring Rubric Final Project
This project is the accumulation of the programs, techniques, and skills taught in this
course. The student must choose a project that incorporates the use of MIDI and digital audio
utilizing the programs and systems demonstrated in this course; or reassign, process, and mix
the audio and MIDI tracks provided in the Final Project Session folder. The teacher must
approve any other project. The project will need to be mixed down to two tracks with the use
of EQ, compression, delay, reverb, and more. This project will be graded on quality and
creativity; the integration of audio, midi; and the use of the programs and tools demonstrate
in this course. When the project is completed there should be a session file and two copies of
the final stereo mix file. One copy of the final mix will be turned into the teacher and the
other will be kept for the students portfolio.
Pts. Poss. Audio/Midi Integration Mixing Use of Tools Creativity & Polish
25 Excellent integration of audio and midi elements to create one cohesive project. Excellent understanding of general mixing techniques. Good use of plug-ins and Pro Tools. Well-balanced mix. Clear understanding of the tools available; user shows that they wield the power when using them; clear understanding of the program and its general as well as more advanced functions Overall product is polished and very creative; liberties are taken which enhance the assignment and make it stick out from the crowd
20 Elements are creative, but detract from the music. Good understanding of mixing and the basic techniques taught. OK use of plug-ins and Pro Tools. Understands use of tools; program is understood but not utilized in assisting the music Some creative liberties are taken but it is not extraordinary; almost a great product
15 Elements are not all present, but the ones that are there. Mix is unbalanced and confusing. Understands use of tools, but are often used in the wrong places or poorly; program detracts from the music Average in almost everyway; meets all the requirements but with boring results
10 No additional elements. No idea what mixing is or no idea how to use it No idea about how Pro Tools is really used in the real world No creativity at all; the basics are included but that is all
TOTAL
100 points possible
23


Assignment 1
Research Taxi.com. Find out what type of company it is, what it could accomplish for
you, and how it might do this.
24


Unit 1 Introduction to the Course
Student Preparation
No student preparation
Current Student Assignments/Projects
No current assignments
Teacher Preparation
Review lecture and course
Materials
None
Resources
Minimum: A classroom capable of sufficient seating so that the instructor can
be seen and heard by all of the students.
Preferred: Same as minimum.
References
The course
Brief Description
This lecture is intended to introduce to the students what this course entails.
Time should also be spent looking over the syllabus, conducting beginning of
semester/term business, and getting to know the students.
25


Lecture Outline: Introduction to Course
I. What does this course entail?
1. History of Recording (These lectures include the history of
analog and digital recording equipment, methods, and
techniques.)
2. Studio Basics/Project Studio Design (These lectures discuss
the equipment and components of a project studio as well as
what can be done to acoustically treat a home studio to
create a better listening environment.)
3. Theory, Songwriting, and Producing (These lectures cover
basic chord theory, techniques and suggestions for
songwriting, and explanations and examples of producing
and arranging.)
4. MIDI/Synthesizers (These lectures discuss what MIDI is,
how it works, and how it can work for you.)
5. Notation (This lecture demonstrates the power of notation
software for noting, composing, and sharing music.)
6. Career Options/Paths (Many careers are discussed in this
course including media composition, producing, and sound
design.)
7. Audio Routing (This lecture discusses how a signal is routed,
processed, and eventually heard.)
8. Recording (These lectures take the class step by step through
basic functions of computer based DA Ws.)
9. Editing (This lecture shows students how to edit and
manipulate digital audio.)
10. Microphones (Through an interactive power point
presentation, microphone types, patterns, and techniques are
discussed.)
11. Processing/Effects (These lectures discuss time based effects,
dynamics processing, and equalization.)
12. Mixing/Mastering (These lectures demonstrate multiple
mixing techniques and the ins and outs of the mastering
process.)
13. Post-Production/Surround Sound (These lectures look into
the careers, history, andformats of audio for film and video.)
14. Integration of Project and Professional Studios (This lecture
discusses multiple scenarios of how integration between
project and professional studios can produce professional
projects with lower costs.)
26


II. What is a Project Studio? (Pose this question on a white or chalk-
board. Create two columns to compare and contrast Project and
Professional Studios.))
1. Project Studio
a. Often found in ones home or a smaller space.
b. Limited amount of equipment and capabilities.
c. Less expensive hourly rate because there is less
overhead than a large facility.
2. Professional Studio
a. Place of business at a public location.
b. Large amount of equipment in order to record
multiple musicians, etc.
c. Large facility with multiple rooms.
d. Expensive hourly rate.
e. High quality equipment and high quality
product.
III. This course will help you learn the following:
1. How the Personal Computer has changed the modem day
recording studio.
2. How you can produce professional projects in your project
studio.
3. How your studio can interface with a professional studio.
4. How you can make money with a project studio.
IV. Questions that this course will answer:
1. What type of computer should you buy? Mac or PC?
2. What program(s) should you buy?
3. What equipment do you need to fulfill your studio needs?
4. How can you pursue this hobby without breaking the bank?
5. What you need to know to continue your audio education on
your own?
6. How can you buy what you need and stay within your
budget?
V. Reasons for taking this course
1. You would like to have a project studio and know how to use
it.
2. You want to continue pursuing music while continuing with
your "practical" career.
3. You're interested in music and recording as a hobby, but not
a career.
4. You want to learn how to record yourself or your band in
your home studio.
27


VI.
VII.
VIII.
Discuss this excerpt from the introduction to this course about an
article by Stephen St Croix in Mix magazine July 2005. (A July
2005 Mix magazine article about this issue states that, "to do
something requires absolutely nothing, to do it well requires
education, and to excel requires the taste and skill that comes only
from experience The author Stephen St. Croix continues by
drawing an analogy between the modern project studio and a
sports car. What happens when you give a 16-year-old a 500 HP
Viper? Does he park his 95 HP Toyota in the garage and begin a
comprehensive program of learning the skills necessary to control
the machine, followed by a few years of rationally escalated real-
world driving to develop the finesse needed to use it properly?
What if each new would-be project studio owner was required to
complete a 16-week comprehensive course which would teach
recording techniques; discuss features of equipment and
programs; and instill the need for, and respect of, professional
recording studios and engineers?)
1. Having a project studio doesn't instantly make you an
engineer. (What does it take to be a true recording
engineer?)
2. Pros are pros for a reason (The combination of experience,
equipment, and knowledge make them professional.)
Assignments, Projects, and Exams
1. Assignments
a. Research websites and resources
2.
3.
4.
Projects
a.
b.
c.
d.
Paper
a.
Two Exams
a.
b.
Design your dream studio
Basic MIDI
Audio Editing
Original Production
A Changing Industry
Mid Term
Final Exam (comprehensive)
Remaining time
1. Use this time to promote discussion among the class about
this course and its benefits.
2. Use this time to introduce yourself and have each student say
a few words about themselves.
28


Unit 2 History of Recording Analog
Student Preparation
No Reading
Current Student Assignments/Projects
No current assignments or projects
Teacher Preparation
Review lecture and power point.
Consult other historical resources and listed references if necessary.
Materials
Unit 2 History of Analog Power Point
Resources
Minimum: The teacher should have access to a computer capable of
projecting a power point presentation over an overhead projector.
Preferred: Same as minimum.
References
Cunningham, Mark. Good Vibrations A History of Record Production.
London: Sanctuary Publishing Limited, 1996.
Massey, Howard. Behind the Glass. San Francisco: Backbeat Books, 2000.
Tinfoil.com
Brief Description
This lecture is intended to educate the students on the history of recording
from Thomas Edison and Wax Cylinder recording, to recording studios based
around 24 track analog machines. This lecture is intentionally short to allow
time for administrational duties and/or moving on to the next lecture early to
allow more discussion time during the next class period.
29


Lecture Outline: Power Point Unit 2 History of Analog
I. Wax Cylinder
1. Thomas Edison
2. First recording was of "Mary Had A Little Lamb"
3. Record with big cone situating musicians around it to create
balance and mix
4. Eventually progressed to a wax disc (or record)
II. Optical Track on Film
1. Recorded with film so played back in sync
2. Similar to wax but light on film
III. Magnetic Tape from Germany
1. Developed by BASF and shown in 1935
2. Brought to US by English serviceman John Mullin
3. Used by radio companies
4. Later it was reverse engineered by Ampex and manufactured
IV. Consumer Formats
1. LP 1948
2. Cassette 1963
3. Compact Disc 1982
V. Les Paul (sound on sound)
1. Record first part on one machine
2. Play back with second performance and record on second
machine
3. Les Paul did this on one machine from track to track
VI. Experimentation/Advancement (Sgt. Pepper, Pet Sounds)
1. Used sound on sound and new techniques for complicated
productions
2. Decisions had to be made throughout because things couldn't
be changed later
3. George Martin said. What 4-track imposed on us was,
firstly, you had to think ahead as to what you were going to
do. Secondly, you had to get things right at the time; you
couldnt just say, OK, lets leave that because we can fix it
in the mix. All those kinds of decisions, that kind of
discipline, imposes constraints on you, but it also makes you
focus much more.. .and I do believe that if we had had more,
the result would have been less. (Massey Pg. 79)
VII. 4 track to 24 track
1. Advances in technology made more tracks possible
2. Consumer and semi-pro
3. Professional
30


4. Tried a three inch 32 track but tape would buckle
VIII. Modem Analog Recording Studio
1. 24-track analog tape deck
2. Large Mixing console
3. Outboard processors and equipment
IX. Use additional time to:
1. Complete beginning of the semester tasks.
2. Spend time introducing and getting to know the class.
3. Begin next lecture so there will be more discussion time
during the next class period. (See Unit 3 History of Digital
Recording)
31


Unit 2 History of Recording
Analog Power Point Slides
Slides
Comments
Thomas Edison came
up with idea while
talking into telephone
receiver and holding
the other end of the
cable to his finger. He
felt the vibrations and
he thought that if he
could capture them and
then re-excite the wire
he could record and
playback sound. In his
first successful expert,
he sung Mary Had a
Little Lamb.
The engraving created
in the wax during
recording then excited
the needle to produce
sound during playback.
32


Lead vocals were
placed upfront and
louder instruments
were placed towards
the back to create the
perfect mix.
This technique was
developed before
WWII during the
Talkies period and is
still used today.
Stayed in Germany
during the war.
Magnetically charged
tape is run across a
record head, which
rearranges the tape
magnetism based on
the audio information
being recorded.
33


Jack Mullin took this
machine and tape from
Germany during
WWII. This machine
was first shown to
Americans in San
Francisco with much
acclaim. This got back
to Bing Crosby
enterprises.
The Bing Crosby show
used the machines and
Jack Mullins editing
abilities to produce
pre-recorded radio
shows. New tape had
to be developed by 3M
to work on the
modified German
machines.
Ampex technicians
reverse engineered the
technology of the
German machines and
improved upon it.
34


Consumer formats
were developed in
order to deliver the
product to the public.
Les Paul and his wife
Mary Ford recorded
themselves with cutting
edge Ampex recorders.
Les Paul modified his
tape machine to record
tracks over the top of
one another, (next slide
is quote of what
happened).
35


#*
X **
Sound Ori JSri

he (fourth) head from Ampex when we reached
mounted it The first thing! did
fnisaying 'Hello,hello,hello,hello..., and then!
the tapd mid explained that I was going to use the
; to record me saying, One, two. three, four,
we hoped to hear was 'Hello, hello, hello,
\;hetlb^ono,^wo>ihrce, four, testing played together. If it did
go 011 until the neighbors complained!
^^tO%ddl$Chold. it worked!"
ISiPT** -Lcs Paul
' track! _ . , . v
. -Track 1&2 S. .
twek*^' ^ ' ^>Track 1,2,43 '
: ./ v" Track 3~ < k>Track 1,2,3,44
Track 4^
memm
' _*' V'T"** 4 .
IriToriiiauon stored in
'3ftnpK ttitjRij; lajK*
Les Paul modified his
tape machine to record
tracks over the top of
one another.
This diagram should
better explain how
Sound On Sound
recording works.
Companies like Ampex
began to manufacture
multi-track machines
with tracks lying side
by side along the tape.
36



nid: *What 4-WM.k imposed urrus was. itrstly,
tp^tluftkahead to what you were going to da -
^ftailufcl to get imp* right at the lime; you couidn1
£#yV£0K, Jet's leave that because we can fix h in the mix.
*&1l of decisions, that kind of discipline, imposes
also makes you focus much
vth^^,4> 4-track recording
forced the Beatles and
George Martin to make
crucial decisions
during the recording
and producing process
(In the next slide
George Martin explains
why).
4-track recording
limitations made Sgt
Pepper the masterpiece
that it is.
Tape continued to
develop with capability
for more and more
tracks. A 3 inch 32
track machine was
shown at AES (Audio
Engineering Society)
but did not work
effectively because the
tape would buckle. 16
and 24 track machines
are still often used
today.
37


Home recording was
made possible by the
invention and
distribution of multi-
track cassette tape
recorders. The quality
is not great, but it
works.
Many studios still
function this way
today. Most of modem
music has been
recorded in studios like
described here.
38


Unit 3 History of Recording Digital
Student Preparation
Read Pgs. 12-72 The Basics (The Billboard Illustrated Home Recording
Handbook)
Current Student Assignments/Projects
No current assignments or projects
Teacher Preparation
Review lecture.
Consult other historical resources and listed references if necessary.
Materials
None
Resources
Minimum: A classroom capable of sufficient seating so that the instructor can
be seen and heard by all of the students.
Preferred: Same as minimum.
References
Cunningham, Mark. Good Vibrations A History of Record Production.
London: Sanctuary Publishing Limited, 1996.
Massey, Howard. Behind the Glass. San Francisco: Backbeat Books, 2000.
Alesis.com
Tascam.com
Sweetwater.com
Brief Description
This lecture is intended to educate the students on the history of recording
from the introduction of the compact disc to the present. The class is divided
into groups at the end of the lecture, and asked to discuss questions pertaining
to recording and its history.
39


Lecture Outline: History of Recording/Digital/MIDI/Computers
I. Sony and Philips develop the Compact Disc in 1982
1. First digital format for consumers (Put a format into
consumers hands that could be copied with no generation
loss.)
2. Brought high quality audio to consumers {Less noise, better
sound quality, and more dynamic range.)
3. 16 bit 44.1 khz ( This format was decided upon by Sony and
Philips without consulting the rest of the industry.)
II. Sony Digital Reel to Reel Tape Machine
1. First digital format for professional studios {Began to replace
or be used with analog multi-track recorders.)
2. Functions similar to analog tape because it was the standard
{Reel to reel machine with stationary record and playback
heads.)
3. 16 bit 44.1 khz {Same format as CD was used, but later
incorporated 4 8 khz because of the emerging standard.)
4. Still used in some professional studios today (Some studios
use both a Digital reel to reel and an analog 24-track
together to have more tracks, etc.)
5. Is not currently in production (Tape is not developed either
and so it must be reused.)
III. ADAT/DAT Home Studio
1. AD AT developed by Alesis in 1991
a. Revolutionized home studios (8 channels 16 bit
44.1/48 khz recording, which later advanced to
20 bit as well.)
b. Professional quality for under $4000 (Home
studio users were able to bring ADA T tapes that
they had created at home into a professional
studio.)
c. Moved project studios away from multi-track
cassettes (A market formally dominated by
Tascam.)
40


d. "1991 proved to be the ground-breaking year for
Alesis, with the introduction of the ADAT
Multi-Channel Digital Tape Recorder. Before
ADAT, a studio would have to invest $50,000 in
order to afford a multi-track digital recorder.
With ADAT, the price tag came down to
$4,000, essentially allowing every home and
project studio to afford digital recording. This
new technology allowed any artist or musician
to record studio quality recordings." Alesis.com
e. Jagged Little Pill by Alanis Morrisette was
produced and recorded on ADAT tape.
2. DAT developed by Tascam in 1993
a. Revolutionized home studios and Film/Video
{Had the ability to synchronize with time code.)
b. Similar quality to ADATs, some say better {8
channels 16 bit 44.1/48 khz recording, which
later advanced to 24 bit as well as higher
sample rates up to 192 khz.)
c. "In 1993 TASCAM introduced the legendary
DA-88 DTRS modular digital multi-track
recorder. This still popular digital 8-track
recorder was the first modular digital multi-
track recorder to utilize the Hi-8 mm format.
With the introduction of the SY-88 synchronizer
card (time code reader/generator) a few months
later the DA-88 became a standard in film/video
post production, and eventually, in the music
production market as well." Tascam.com
IV. Pro T ools/SDII/Cakewalk
1. Sound Designer II was designed by Digidesign in the late
1980's
a. "Sound Designer was originally created to be a
sample-editing platform that interfaced with
digital sampling instruments of the day. Not
long after its introduction, Sound Designer
became the front-end software for a direct to
disk audio recording product called Sound
Tools. The software became Sound Designer II
at that time, and the Sound Designer II file
41


format was bom." (Glossary from
sweetwater. com.)
b. Sound Designer was originally used just for
tracking (recording)
c. Audiomedia had to be used to then edit the
audio
d. It was then still mixed in the analog world
2. Pro Tools
a. Sound Designer II and Audiomedia combined to
create Pro Tools in the late 1980's
b. Combined tracking, editing, and mixing
c. Real-time mixing was made possible by the
addition of dedicated DSP (Extra Digital Signal
Processing chips placed in the computer and
dedicated to running recording, editing, and
mixing functions in Pro Tools.)
d. Originally was designed for use on Macintosh
computers, but is now supported on both PC and
Macintosh. {It still runs more efficiently on
Macintosh operating systems.)
e. Over the next 15 years Pro Tools evolved into
one of the top recording programs in the world.
(It is currently the industry standard program
for use in personal and professional studios.)
3. Cakewalk
a. Founded in 1987
b. Created music software for IBM computers
c. Mixing was accomplished by processing
changes to audio files. It did not work in real-
time.
d. Currently have programs ranging form simple
home studio recording to professional studio
production. (Sonar is Cakewalks top line
recording program including MIDI and audio
processing.)
V. MIDI
1. Performer was introduced by MOTU (Mark of the Unicom)
in 1985
2. Performer was a MIDI sequencer program that was used to
control synthesizers while being synced to a multi-track
project on analog tape.
42


3. Performer was developed for the Macintosh operating
system.
4. Digital Performer is the current incarnation of this program,
which handles MIDI and audio recording, editing, and
mixing.
VI. Computers (first midi then audio)
1. Performer was introduced by Mark of the Unicom in 1985
a. Midi sequencer designed to be used on
Macintosh computers
b. Enabled Midi information to be manipulated on
a computer.
2. Pro Tools and Cakewalk were developed in the 80's and
progressed through the 90's with countless other companies
being added along the way.
3. Programs began by supporting functions in the studio. (Such
as MIDI sequencing and audio editing.)
4. These programs progressed until the studio moved into the
box
VII. Today everything CAN be done in the box
1. Tracking, Editing, Mixing, Mastering, Composition, etc.
2. It is possible to do a complete project on one computer with
one program. (External hardware is needed to convert the
audio, etc., and this will be discussed during the next
lecture.)
VIII. Split class into groups for discussion with remaining time. (Pose
the following questions to the class on the chalk/white board, or
print them and hand them out to the class.)
1. Discuss the effects of the changing recording industry in your
life.
2. What affect has recording had on the history of the world?
3. Who has the advent of digital audio changed the history of
recording?
43


Unit 4 DAW and Equipment
Student Preparation
Read Pgs. 122-141 External Hardware and Equipment, 356-361 Computer
Hardware, 375-379 Digital Audio Workstations (The Billboard Illustrated
Home Recording Handbook)
Current Student Assignments/Projects
No current assignments or projects
Teacher Preparation
Read Pgs. 122-141 External Hardware and Equipment, 356-361 Computer
Hardware, 375-379 Digital Audio Workstations (The Billboard Illustrated
Home Recording Handbook) Review lecture and bring pertinent examples of
equipment to show to class. See Lecture point III for activity idea.
Materials
Physical examples of equipment discussed if possible.
Resources
Minimum: The teacher should have access to a computer capable of
projecting the computer screen over an overhead project.
Preferred: The teacher should have physical examples of the equipment
discussed including microphones, hard drives, converters, etc.
References
Macdonald, Ronan. The Billboard Illustrated Home Recording Handbook.
London: Flame Tree Publishing, 2004.
Brief Description
This lecture is intended to show and explain the elements of a modem
computer based recording studio. The teacher can show examples of the
equipment discussed and/or display pictures from online music stores over an
overhead projector.
44


Lecture Outline: DAW Equipment
I. Overview
1. Digital Audio Workstation
a. What is a DAW?
1. There are two main types of Digital
Audio Workstations.
2. Standalone System which records,
manipulates and mixes audio and midi
information. (There is not necessarily
a Windows or Macintosh based
computer involved in this type of setup.
The DA W would most often look like a
mixing console with a screen, knobs,
and faders. Examples include the
Roland VS-2400 CD and Yamaha A W-
4416)
3. Software program running on a
personal computer utilizing hardware
and software components to record,
manipulate, and mix audio and midi
information. (This type of DA W does
consist of a Windows or Macintosh
based computer with addition
hardware components. The additional
hardware could take on many forms,
but the software usually emulates the
look andfunctions of a mixing console.
Examples include Pro Tools, Logic,
Sonar)
2. Audio Interface (Sound Card) PCI, USB, USB 2, Firewire
a. PCI-inside computer-fastest connection
1. Was standard before USB and Firewire
took over {It has a sufficient data rate
to transfer multiple channels of digital
audio in real time.)
2. More stable, better connection {It is
not plug and play compatible which
makes it more solid and stable yet
more difficult to move from computer
to computer.)
45


3. Still used, especially in high-end
systems. (Pro Tools HD uses high-
speed PCI cards to support up to
thirty-two channels of input per card.)
b. USB-serial connection up to 16 megabits per
sec (mbps)
1. Excellent for Midi because Midi is
serial (MIDI also does not carry
enough information to be limited by
the 16 mbps data rate.)
2. Works for audio, but limited inputs
and outputs (2-6)
c. USB 2-serial connection up to 480 mbps
1. Used for audio interfaces, but not as
common as others (There were no
USB2 connections on Macintosh
computers until the introduction of the
G5 in 2003.)
2. Used often for Hard drives and Optical
drives (Outside of the audio world
USB 2 has become a standard format
for the aforementioned devices.)
d. Firewire- parallel connection 400 mbps
1. Excellent for audio (The 400mbps is a
sustained data rate which makes
firewire excellent for use with multi-
track digital audio.)
2. 16 plus simultaneous inputs and
outputs
3. Can get bogged down with a
complicated Midi setup because it is
not serial. (Serial connections send
information one byte at a time while
parallel connections send information
in packets of 2 or more bytes.)
4. Used often for Hard drives and Optical
drives (Outside of the audio world
Firewire has become a standard
format for the aforementioned
devices.)
46


3. Mixing Console
a. Pre-Amplifier (This amplifies the low level
signal of a microphone output to a usable level.
This is a very important process in the chain
because if the amplification is done poorly the
result does not sound as good.)
b. Channel Strip (The aforementioned Microphone
Pre-Amplifier is often included in the term
channel strip.)
1. EQ, routing, panning (EQ or
Equalization increases individual
frequency ranges of a signal such as
low, mid, and high. Routing sends the
signal, or a portion of it to different
places inside or outside of the mixer to
be processed. Panning, in the case of
two-channel stereo, sends the signal to
the left or right channels or portions of
both.)
c. Mixer functions on Audio Interface (Some audio
interfaces include microphone pre-amplifiers,
EQ functions, routing options, and output level
adjustment.)
d. Do you even need a mixer? (Most home studio
set-ups do not need a separate mixer if the
choice of equipment is planned out from the
onset.)
4. Microphones
a. One good all-purpose microphone (A condenser
microphone is usually the best choice because
of accuracy and versatility, but a dynamic
microphone could otherwise be sufficient.)
b. Extra dynamic microphones for drums and
electric guitar (i.e. Shure SMS 7. This would be
in addition to the all purpose condenser
microphone.)
c. Need stand, clip, and cables to support it (A
good stand sturdy enough to support the weight
of a condenser microphone would be necessary
in addition to a compatible microphone clip and
47


a cable to connect the output of the microphone
to the input of the microphone pre-amplifier.)
5. Headphones
a. Headphone Amplifier (This is necessary to
supply sufficient signal to the headphones, and
can be provided by a mixing console,
headphone distribution unit, or audio interface.)
b. Open-ear for mixing and some tracking (Open-
ear, or open-backed, headphones have a better
frequency response and sound stage, but they
also both let in more outside noise and bleed
noise to the outside because of their open
design,)
c. Closed ear for tracking especially with loud
click track (Closed-ear headphones have less
bleed, or are quieter to the outside environment.
This type is useful when record quiet passages
while the musician is listening to a loud guide
track.)
d. Use professional quality headphones that you
can buy from a music or pro-audio store. (Do
not buy ear-buds and spend at least $40.
Consumer level headphones with level controls,
futuristic looking designs, and l/8th inch plugs
will not be suitable for use in a studio.)
6. Studio Monitors
a. Accurate, clean, loud (Studio monitors should
accurately recreate every detail of the sound.
They should also be loud in order to entertain
the clients and check if songs can rock.
Audiophile monitors are even more accurate,
but they cannot get as loud as studio monitors.)
b. Shouldn't necessarily make things sound good.
(Sometimes accurate and clean studio monitors
will make things sound worse. This is good,
because they are making flaws noticeable so
that they can be fixed.)
c. Should translate well to other systems. (The
ultimate goal is that if a mix sounds good in the
studio, it should sound good everywhere else.
This olds true with the famous Yamaha NS-lOs.
48


If a mix can be made to sound good on NS-JOs
it will sound good everywhere.)
7. MIDI controllers and devices
a. Keyboard controller to input notes (A MIDI
controller can range from a Casio keyboard to a
$3,000 Korg Triton. Basically it needs to be a
keyboard with a MIDI output.)
b. Other devices include other controllers, sound
modules, MIDI/Computer interfaces (MIDI
controllers can take any shape including drums,
guitars, and buttons. Sound modules produce
sound that can be triggered by MIDI messages
(more on this later). MIDI/Computer interfaces
allow MIDI information to be sent to a
computer or compatible device.)
8. Computer
a. Power
1. Processor Speed (Dual or Single) (A
decently fast processor speed is
suggested for use with audio and
MIDI. Software manufacturers often
list minimum system requirements.)
2. RAM (RAM, random access memory,
buffers audio and MIDI information
moving in, out, and through the
computer. For the most part the more
the better, but once again consult the
software manufacturer for minimum
requirements.)
3. Hard Drives (One drive should be
dedicated for system use while a
separate drive should be dedicated to
storing audio.)
b. Monitor(s) (Video monitors are necessary to see
what is happening. Studios often have two in
order to simultaneously view multiple software
windows.)
c. Keyboard and Mouse (The keyboard and mouse
should be chosen and set up with ergonomics in
mind. Consider a roller ball mouse and
keyboard height.)
49


9. Hard Drives
a. External Drives (This type of drive is housed in
a rugged enclosure and located outside of the
computer.)
1. Firewire or USB (These formats make
the drives plug and play compatible,
i.e. they be plugged in and removed
without restarting the computer.)
2. Portable and archivable (These drives
can be used to transport data, record
audio during recording sessions, and
archive past projects and information.)
b. Internal Drives (This type of drive has a thin
metal case and is housed inside a computer.
These have multi-pin connections for power and
information.)
1. Dedicated drive to run system and
program files (If there is only one drive
in a computer the operating system, all
programs, and saved files will be put
on it.)
2. Secondary Drive could be used for
backup or running audio (If there are
two drives it is suggested that one be
used for the operating system and
program files, while the other runs and
stores audio and session data.)
c. SCSI Drives (This is an older format for
external devices which has survived for many
years.)
1. Fastest connection (Much faster data
transfer rate than both firewire and
USB 2 at up to 320 mega bytes per
second.)
2. Standard for professional audio setups
(It is standard because of its great
speed and stability. Once SCSI is set
up and running it works great.)
3. Not Plug and Play (SCSI can be
difficult to set up, but once it is set up
and running it works great.)
50


10. Software Programs (These programs are the heart of modern
home studios.)
a. MIDI-Sequencing (This type of program
records, plays, and manipulates MIDI
information.)
b. Digital Audio (This type of program records,
plays, and manipulates audio information.)
c. Notation (This type of program assists the user
in notating music, create and sharing scores,
and producing printable sheet music.)
d. Business Management (This type of program
assists users in organizing and maintaining a
business in the areas of finances, management,
and production.)
II. Choosing and Configuring a System (This is the culmination of all
of the above information.)
1. Mac or PC (The debate between Macintosh and Windows
systems is fraught with misunderstandings, irrelevant issues,
and ignorantly biased opinions. Basically either could work
depending on the programs and desired application of the
studio.)
2. Programming (What is the programming of the studio? Is it
for recording bands and live instruments, or MIDI and
samples?)
a. What is your budget range? ($1,000 to $10,000
etc.)
b. Is this for friends, profit, or myself?
(Professional, semi-professional, or hobbyist?)
III. Activity: Virtual Shopping Spree (This should be done if time
permits. The information in the above lecture could also be
covered through this activity instead of separating the two.)
1. Open an Internet browser in front of class.
2. Navigate to a music and recording gear website.
3. Purchase elements and explain what purpose they have and
why they are necessary. (Purchase elements from each of the
above categories.)
4. Conduct a virtual shopping spree online in front of class.
51


Unit 5 Room Design/Acoustics
Student Preparation
Read Pgs. 116-121 Room Acoustics and Keeping the Noise Down (The
Billboard Illustrated Home Recording Handbook)
Current Student Assignments/Projects
The Dream Studio Project should be handed out and explained at the end of
the class period.
Teacher Preparation
Review lecture and bring pertinent examples of acoustics to show to class.
Materials
Pictures 5.1-12
"Dream Studio Project" Rubric (Make one copy for each student)
The teacher may also display examples of acoustic materials.
Resources
Minimum: The teacher should have access to a computer capable of
projecting a power point presentation over an overhead projector including
speakers to play audio examples accompanying the presentation.
Preferred: The teacher may provide pictures and/or antidotes of acoustic
solutions from personal, school, or professional studio facilities.
References
Macdonald, Ronan. The Billboard Illustrated Home Recording Handbook.
London: Flame Tree Publishing, 2004.
Brief Description
This lecture is intended to show and explain the basics of acoustics and how
they apply to designing an effective recording and listening environment.
Common mistakes and misunderstanding are explained, as well as solutions to
these problems. The teacher may provide pictures and/or antidotes of acoustic
solutions from personal, school, or professional studio facilities.
52


Lecture Outline: Room Design/Acoustics
I. Programming
1. What will your studio be used for? (Voice-overs, composing,
recording a band, etc.)
2. Does it need to be quiet all the time? (Will be in use 24/7 or
will it be OK to do another take because a train went by?
Money?)
3. How many musicians will be recording at the same time?
(Will you be playing one instrument at a time or will there be
a full orchestra?)
4. Are you recording VO, Music, Sound Effect, etc.? (Willa
simple isolation booth do or do you need a Foley pit?)
5. What console are you using, if any? (A studio revolves
around its recording console and needs to be designed
accordingly.)
6. Will there be one engineer working, or two, or four?
7. How big is your budget? (The answer to this question
governs a lot of the decisions that need to be made.)
8. How many clients will you have in your studio? (Willyou be
by yourself, have a producer, or a full band watching and
listening?)
9. The idea behind programming is that if you define what your
studio will be used for, it can be designed around that
purpose. (I.E. you are not going to waste time and money
building a huge live room if you are only going to do voice-
over work.)
II. Audio Acoustics (PP Unit 5 Acoustics)
1. Reflections
2. Direct sound
3. Early Reflections
4. Reverberation
5. Sound Absorption
6. Phasing
III. Common mistakes and problems in project studios
1. Close micing-this is often used to avoid unwanted room
reverberation, but does not let the character of the
instruments sound develop leading to a more boomy sound
(proximity effect). (This results in the common sound of
recordings done in home studios as opposed to professional
facilities.)
53


2. Modes-waves equal in distance to or half of room dimensions
will bounce back on each other sometimes canceling
themselves out, or doubling them creating boosts and dips in
the rooms frequency response. (EQing simply makes them
worse. The solution is to use bass trapping, absorption, and
speaker placement to solve these problems.)
IV. One big room better than two small
1. The bigger the room the better for home studios {If you cut a
big room in half to create two, you have just decreased your
chances of making a good sounding room.)
2. Sound transmission of low frequencies is very difficult and
expensive to deal with. (It will be very difficult and expensive
to truly isolate the two rooms from one another.)
3. You have to monitor on headphones while tracking. (This is a
legitimate trade offfor the advantages of one bigger room.)
4. Better producing environment. (There is no wall of glass
between the producer and musician; which creates better
communication, a smoother workflow, and a more
comfortable environment.)
V. Solutions to Problems (symmetry, fluff, diffusion)
1. Symmetry (Stereo speakers work better when placed in a
symmetrical room. There will be a clearer and more distinct
stereo field.)
2. Fluff (This could range from acoustic foam products to
insulation wrapped in fabric. The correct balance offluff and
no fluff depends on how live the room should be.)
3. Diffusion (This is a solution for controlling reflections.
Instead of killing the sound with fluff, it is sent back into the
room in a wider variety of directions.)
VI. Calibration
4. Room analysis programs (Theseprograms analyze the
frequency response of the room as well as the RT60 or
reverberation time.)
5. SPL meter (This device measures Sound Pressure Level,
which translates into how loud a signal is. This can be used
to see if a room excites or diminishes certain frequencies.)
6. Use the responses from these tools to change the amount
and/or placement of acoustic materials in the studio.
54


VII. Examples of studio acoustics
1. Project Studio (.Pictures 5.1-6)
2. Professional Studio (Pictures 5.7-12)
VIII. Handout and discuss Dream Studio Project
55


Unit 5 Acoustics Power Point Slides
Slides
Audio Acoustics
X
Reflections
v

Flat
Surfaces
Such as a Mirror or
other hard flat surface
Reflects the sound
directly
Sound will bounce off
of a flat surface
similarly to a light
bouncing off of a
mirror

Comments


Concave Surface
Concave surface will
focus the sound
Similar to the way a
satellite dish focuses a
signal to a single point
A convex surface will
scatter the sound \
Convex surfaces can
simultaneously be used y
for aesthetics and
acoustics in a studio

Rough/lrregular Surface
Diffusion
Will reflect the
sound back at
varying times
Used to keep
some ambience,
but eliminate
standing waves
Diffusion scatters the
sound like a convex
surface but in a wider
variety of directions.


Early Reflections/
Reverberations
Sound in any sort of enclosed space
will have reverberations
These are small echoes bouncing
back from the surfaces in the room

Direct Sound
'The Direct Sound is sound that
travels directly from the sound ^
source to the ear, without bouncings
off of any surfaces
The sound of audio reflecting off of
the initial reflective surfaces
towards the human ear
In a rectangular shaped room, V,
early reflections will come off the
floor, ceiling, and walls first
58


Early Reflections
Can be around the 10ms mark for a
smaller room
Audio travels roughly 1ft. per
millisecond
This shown an example
of the difference
between direct sound
and reflected sound in
a rectangular shaped
room.
Reverberation is typically known as
the sound of a room
Reverberation or Reverb
Reflections build up and merge to be;
a continuous decaying sound
Too much reverb causes the sound to
lose its clarity
Reverberation is the
build up of random
reflections off the
many surfaces in a
room. The larger a
room the more
reverberation and
longer it will last.


Reverb Time (RT) is usually labeled
in terms of Tw
This is the time it takes
reverberation to decrease 60dB v
>A longer Reverb time will make a
room sound more lively, a shorter
reverb time will make it sound
dead
Different materials will have
different absorption coefficients.
The higher the number, the more of
the sound is absorbed
Different materials will also absorb
different amounts at different
frequencies
* -
Sound Absorption
Parallel surfaces in a space,
without absorptive materials can
create a standing wave (with lower
frequencies) and flutter (with v
higher frequencies)
\
Sound absorption does not need to
be placed everywhere
It is not always a good
idea to completely
cover a room in
absorption.
60


Sound Absorption
Parallel Surfaces
-in order to avoid flutter and standing
waves
Unwanted Early Reflections
-in order to avoid phasing and comb
filtering
S
Phasing occurs when a time delayed signal
is recorded at the same time (I.E. the
addition of direct sound and a quick early
reflection)
Phasing is almost impossible to eliminator,
once they have been recorded
Can show up in one microphone, or
multiple microphones when summed
together
Phasing will
result in a
comb-filtering
effect
Phasing


It is called comb
filtering because the
resulting frequency
chart looks like a
comb.


Dry Recorded Text
ft
V
Si
The following are
examples of this
recorded text with an
added delay to create
comb filtering.

Same Signal Mixed in -6dB. I ms Delay
This example makes
the voice sound kind of
boxy.
Same Signal Mixed in -6dB, 2ms Delay
ft

This example makes
the voice sound like it
is going through a tube.
62


Same Signal Mixed in -6dB, 5ms Delay

v
V
V,
This example makes
the voice sound more
robot-like.
Same Signal Mixed in -6dB, I Oms Delay

This example doesnt
sound much different
than the last one.
Same Signal Mixed in -6dB. 20ms Delay

V
This is the first
example that sounds
more like a delay.
63



Here is the original text
again for reference.
Audio Acoustics


64


Unit 5 Pictures 5.1-12
Pictures
Descriptions
Picture 5.1
This is the main part of
the control room of a
DAW-based mid-size
studio. Notice the
absorptive materials in
the comer and to the
side of the listening
position.
Picture 5.2
This is the main part of
the control room set
back in order to see the
absorption on the walls
and diffusion on the
ceiling.
65


Picture 5.3
This shows the area
behind the listening
position treated with
absorption and
diffusion.
Picture 5.4
This is the rear part of
the room showing a
more live recording
area in the control
room and a dead area
in the isolation booth.
66


Picture 5.5
This is the isolation
booth showing acoustic
paneling with space
behind them loosely
filled with insulation.
Picture 5.6
This is another shot of
the isolation booth
showing a curtain with
absorptive material
behind it at the back of
the booth.
67


Picture 5.7
This is the control
room of a large studio
facility. Look through
the glass to see the live
room.
Picture 5.8
This is diffusion placed
above the listening
position in the control
room.
68


Picture 5.9
This is a picture in the
live room with baffles
placed around a
recording position to
reduce reflections.
69


Picture 5.11
This is a shot from
inside of an isolation
booth showing the live
room and control room
in the distance.
Picture 5.12
This is another shot of
the facility showing
two-dimensional
diffusion identical to
what is placed behind
the listening position in
the control room.
70


Unit 7 Songwriting/Arranging
Student Preparation
Read Pgs. 174-179 Use the Computer as a Sketchpad and Write and Record
Your Own Song (The Billboard Illustrated Home Recording Handbook)
Current Student Assignments/Projects
The Dream Studio Project should be started. Questions can be addressed
during this class period.
Teacher Preparation
Read Pgs. 174-179 Use the Computer as a Sketchpad and Write and Record
Your Own Song (The Billboard Illustrated Home Recording Handbook)
Gather examples of songs that demonstrate excellent songwriting and
arranging. Consult other resources and listed references if necessary.
Review lecture
Materials
Song Example 7.1
Resources
Minimum: The teacher should have access to a CD player or computer
connected to speakers sufficient to provide sound for the entire class.
Preferred: In addition to the minimum requirements the teacher should have
multiple audio examples showing examples of songwriting and arranging.
References
Braheny, John. The Craft and Business of Song Writing. Cincinnati, Ohio:
Writers Digest Books, 1988.
Davis, Sheila. The Craft of Lyric Writing. Cincinnati, Ohio: Writers Digest
Books, 1985.
Macdonald, Ronan. The Billboard Illustrated Home Recording Handbook.
London: Flame Tree Publishing, 2004.
78


Brief Description
This lecture is intended to educate the students on the basics of songwriting
and arranging. The purpose is to instill the basic skills necessary for
songwriting as well as support what will be covered in the next lecture on
Producing. This lecture should utilize many audio examples including those
provided. The teacher is encouraged to find examples in their own music
library, which show effective songwriting, lyric writing, and arranging skills.
Lecture Outline: Songwriting/Arranging
I. Purpose of Songwriting (convey a message)
1. Connecting with the audience (The goal is to have the
audience feel the same emotion that the writer does)
2. Say it in terms that everyone can relate (i.e. I was walking
down the street instead of 7 was programming on my
computer)
II. Song Form (examples)
1. A ABA Y esterday ( This song strictly conforms to this
structure with a slight tag at the end) (Play Yesterday by the
Beatles if available)
2. ABABCBB (Song example 7.1) (Other examples can be used
upon teacher discretion)
3. Components (Write these on the chalk board)
a. Verse (A)
b. Pre-Chorus (Pre-Hook)
c. Chorus (B)
d. Bridge (C)
III. Successful Techniques (familiarity, variation, release)
1. Familiarity (Familiar chord progressions, keys, and rhythms
make listeners feel comfortable and ensure a better chance
that they will listen for longer than a few seconds)
2. Variation (Variation can be used to pull away from the
familiar and provide something new and interesting, i.e. a
familiar chord progression with a chord from another key
thrown in every four bars) ( Variation can also be used within
a song by varying the chord progression, melody, or rhythm
from verse to verse.)
3. Release (The bridge is often used to create release by
introducing a new chord progression, melody, or rhythm at a
timely point in the song when the repetition of the verses and
chorus almost reach the point of monotony.)
79


IV. Lyric Writing (not quite poetry)
1. Pick excellent lyrics and read them like poetry
2. It doesnt work too well
V. Combining Lyrics and Music (add to each other, blend)
1. Lyrics enhance the music
2. Let the music help tell the story
VI. Collaboration (very powerful, examples)
1. One person writes the lyrics and the other the music {This
allows people to work together and feed off of the other
persons creative energy. It is also an opportunity to get
criticism and suggestions from the start of the writing
process.)
2. Find your strength and exploit it {Many Songwriting can both
write music and lyrics, but they are often better at one than
the other. Two mediocre songwriters could be joined together
to create a powerhouse.)
3. Rogers and Hammerstein {This duo has written some of the
best music for musical theater by working together.)
4. Lennon and McCartney (This is the writing duo behind the
huge success of the Beatles.)
VII. Arranging (highlight song form, clarify, define)
1. The process of adding, subtracting, and mixing together
different parts throughout a song (Use Song Example 7.1 to
show example of arranging. The following describes the
arrangement of Song Example 7.1.)
a. Intro-solo Electric Guitar and Drums
b. Verse 1 Acoustic Guitar, Bass, Drums, Lead
Guitar
c. Verse 2- Acoustic Guitar, Bass, Drums, Lead
Guitar, and Piano
d. Chorus- Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar,
Drums, Bass, Piano, and New Lead Electric
Guitar
e. Verse 3- Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar,
Drums, Bass, Yet Another New Lead Guitar,
and Organ
f. Bridge- Piano, Multiple Electric Guitars,
Drums, Bass, and Strings
g. Chorus 2- Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitars,
Drums, Bass, Lead Guitar, and Strings
80


2. Should highlight song-form (i. e. chorus should stand apart,
maybe bigger, use arrangement to be bigger...not volume)
3. Melody line usually goes up when entering chorus (More
harmonies and instruments are often added as well.)
4. A good arrangement can accentuate what the lyrics are
saying (i.e. If the song is discussing a dark and dreary street,
then minor ambient music might accompany it.)
5. Helps to define and clarify the song so that its not the same
the whole way through (The song is given shape so that
choruses, verses, and the bridge sound different.)
6. Arranging and assisting in song writing is often done by a
Producer (The next class lecture discuss the intricacies and
art of Producing.)
81


Unit 8 Producing
Student Preparation
Read Pgs. 174-179 Use the Computer as a Sketchpad and Write and Record
Your Own Song (The Billboard Illustrated Home Recording Handbook)
Current Student Assignments/Projects
The Dream Studio Project is being worked on. Questions can be addressed
during this class period.
Teacher Preparation
Read Pgs. 174-179 Use the Computer as a Sketchpad and Write and Record
Your Own Song (The Billboard Illustrated Home Recording Handbook)
Gather examples of songs that demonstrate excellent producing.
Consult other resources and listed references if necessary. Review lecture.
Materials
Song Example 7.1, 8.1-4
Power Point Unit 8 Recording Process
Resources
Minimum: The teacher should have access to a CD player or computer
connected to speakers sufficient to provide sound for the entire class. The
teacher should have access to a computer capable of projecting a power point
presentation over an overhead projector.
Preferred: In addition to the minimum requirements the teacher should have
multiple audio examples showing examples of producing.
References
Franz, David. Producing in the Home Studio with Pro Tools. Boston: Berkley
Press. 2001.
Macdonald, Ronan. The Billboard Illustrated Home Recording Handbook.
London: Flame Tree Publishing, 2004.
Massey, Howard. Behind the Glass. San Francisco: Backbeat Books, 2000.
82


Brief Description
This lecture is intended to educate the students on the responsibilities of being
a producer, as well as the recording process. This lecture should utilize many
audio examples including those provided. The teacher is encouraged to find
examples in their own music library, which show effective producing.
Lecture Outline: Producing
I. Show Power Point Unit 8 Recording Process
1. Pre-Production
2. Basic tracking
3. Overdubs
4. Mixing
5. Mastering
II. Purpose of Producing is to effectively transfer a song onto a
recorded medium.
1. Recording a song like a band plays live will not necessarily
make a good recording.
2. Elements need to be added to clarify, define, and add interest.
3. A song may need to be changed in order to be more catchy,
exciting, or just...better.
4. Dynamics in live performance can be really extreme,
powerful, and effective but...may not translate well in a
recording.
5. A dynamic feel has to be accomplished in a recording by
adjusting the arrangement because dynamics get squished
during the recording process in popular music.
III. Techniques
1. Performance (The environment, ambience, and feel of the
studio should be conducive to getting a good performance.)
2. Sound (Choice of inst, processing, studio, people, etc.)
3. Arrangement (Convey dynamics with arrangement.)
4. Los Lonely Boys "Heaven"- This is a very tight arrangement
where nothing is done by accident or on the fly, the sounds
and instruments are specifically chosen and crafted to sound
big, solos and harmonies are worked out to be tasteful and to
the point. (There are many other productions that fit this
same description. Use or substitute others if desired.)
5. Producing is not necessarily adding more instruments or
parts. (Often producers need to take parts out at certain times
in order to clarify the arrangement of a song.)
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IV. Responsibilities
1. Pre-Production
a. Meet with band/artist. (The first and most
important thing to do is build rapport with the
artist(s). You re a diplomat, you re a
psychologist, and you re their best friend.
Steve Churchyard, credits include Celine Dion,
Ricky martin, etc.)
b. Work on song arrangement, writing, and
choices. (Preparation needs to be made so that
time is well spent in the studio and the album or
project is the best possible.)
c. Organize and conduct practices to prepare for
recording. (The musicians need to be practiced
and ready when they enter the studio so that the
songs can be recorded effectively.)
d. Help choose studio musician talent if necessary.
(The producer should know or be familiar with
studio musicians in order to choose the best
performers for the particular project.)
e. Choose and book studio(s). (The producer
should also know or find out which studios are
going to work best for the project. This includes
engineers, equipment, and vibe.)
2. Production
a. Act as liaison between artist and recording
engineer. (The artist most likely is not familiar
with the ins and outs of recording. The producer
is responsible for communicating between the
two.)
b. Help artist with production decisions and ideas.
(The secret to being a good producer is making
the artist think and feel that every production
idea or decision is his or her idea.)
c. Provide a comfortable and creative
environment. (This is somewhat accomplished
by the choice of studio during pre-production.
This should also be maintained throughout the
process so that the musicians are happy and the
project turns out well.)
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d. Make the artist happy with product and
experience. (When the project is done the artist
and/or record label etc. need to be happy with
the product. The artist also needs to feel that the
end result is true to them or the band.)
e. Make sure that the project is completed within
budget, or close to it. (This rarely happens, yet
is the responsibility of the producer. The budget
usually affects the producers decisions
throughout the process, including studio and
musician choices.)
3. Organization
a. Help choose and book recording studio(s) that
will fit into budget and style.
b. Book, pay, and coordinate studio musicians.
c. Worry about budget so artist doesn't have to.
d. Hopefully stay within budget.
4. Deliver an excellent final product
a. Make artist and label happy with product
b. Know from the start who is paying and what
they want...then deliver!
V. End Goal (Any one or combination of the following should be
attained.)
1. Make a record sound like live performance
2. Make a record sound bigger than life
3. Make a record sound exciting and entertaining
4. Make record true to the artist
a. As a producer, its my job to make the artists
dream a reality and actually make it better than
the dream. Steve Churchyard, credits include
Celine Dion, Ricky martin, etc.
VI. Examples (These examples are optional and can be replaced by
the teachers own choices for examples if desirable.)
1. Chris Woods (Song Example 8.1-4)
a. Song Example 8.1 is the finished version of a
producing project. (Do not play this example for
the class yet.)
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b. Song Example 8.2 is the first recorded version
of this song with the artist singing and playing it
on guitar. (Play this example andfeel free to
fast-fonvard to different parts of the song. Point
out what the lyrics say in the chorus because
they will change in other versions.)
c. Producing responsibilities included deciding
which instruments to add w'hile staying true to
the song and the artist. (The drum part, for
example, was meticulously crafted to fit the
artists vision.)
d. Song Example 8.3 is the basic structure of the
song comprising drums, bass, acoustic and
electric guitars, and lead vocals. (It is very
possible that if the artist did have a four-piece
band and went in to record the song this could
have been the result.)
e. Song Example 8.4 is all the extra parts including
lead guitar, additional rhythm guitar, and
strings. (Every part was added for a reason, not
just because it sounded cool.)
f. If Song Examples 8.2 and 3 are played together
they will sound like Song Example 8.1. (Use
these examples to show the difference that these
additional elements make in a song.)
g. Listen to Song Example 8.1 the final version.
2. Song Example 7.1
a. This project had to be combined and made into
one cohesive song from three different writers
and song ideas.
b. The arrangement has many elements that are
consistent from one section to the next.
c. The arrangement keeps things changing and
interesting.
3. Share other examples of Producing
a. The instructor can share other pertinent
examples that demonstrate Producing.
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Unit 8 Recording Process
Power Point Slides
Slides
Comments
The Studio Recording
Process
Divided Into 5 Steps
Pre-Production
Basic Tracking w
Overdubs
Mixing
)> Mastering *4

Pre-Production
Finalizing the Arrangements of the
Songs :;
Choosing Tempo of the Songs
)> Choosing Key of Songs -
)> Choosing Instrumentation
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Basic Tracking
Recording the Foundation of the
songs
Can be Drums, Drums & Bass, or
can also include Rhythm Guitars
)> Usually most instruments are
recorded live in case something
should be kept
Overdubs
Overdubs are the addition of
instrumentation on top of Basic Tracks
Vocals are a primary focus
Can include everything else not?' /
recorded well on the Rhythm Tracks
Any additional production is dppe at
this time
)) Focus is on one instrument at a time
Mixing
All the tracks are EQd,
Compressed, and Signal
Processing is added to create the
final mix
Everything is mixed to two tracks,
or 6 tracks for surround sound rriixes
)) Multiple Mixes are usually done


Mastering
)>The final mixes for a record are
edited, compressed, EQd, and
Limited and a Production Master is
created
Songs are put in the right order for
the record
))The record is prepared and then
sent to be duplicated
The End
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Unit 9 Synthesis
Student Preparation
Read Pgs. 36-55 What is a Synthesizer, Sampler, and Virtual Instruments?,
92-109 Samples, 284-305 What is a Synth, Additive Synthesis, and more.(The
Billboard Illustrated Home Recording Handbook)
Current Student Assignments/Projects
The Dream Studio Project should be started. Questions can be addressed
during this class period.
Teacher Preparation
Read Pgs. 36-55 What is a Synthesizer, Sampler, and Virtual Instruments?,
92-109 Samples, 284-305 What is a Synth, Additive Synthesis, and more.(The
Billboard Illustrated Home Recording Handbook)
Materials
Unit 9 Waveforms Power Point
Resources
Minimum: MIDI sequencer software such as Reason, Pro Tools, Cubase,
Logic, etc. should be installed and running on the teacher station computer. A
MIDI controller should be connected and able to record MIDI information
into the sequencer.
Preferred: In addition to the minimum requirements, one license of the same
program should be installed on a computer for each student. Keyboards should
be available for students to connect to their computers.
References
Macdonald, Ronan. The Billboard Illustrated Home Recording Handbook.
London: Flame Tree Publishing, 2004.
Brief Description
This lecture is intended to educate the students on what synthesizer are and
how they function, as well as how samples are created. The purpose is to show
the students features of synthesizers so that they have a basic knowledge of
what controls do what. This lecture is also an opportunity to spark interest in
students who wish to delve deeper into the world of synthesis.
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Lecture Outline: Synthesizers
I. What is a Synthesizer?
1. Instrument that generates synthetic sounds
a. Not necessarily a keyboard
b. Often imitate other instruments
c. Create sounds of their own
2. Synthesist
a. Someone who works with synthesizers to create
and manipulate sounds.
b. Not always an easy task. (An in-depth
knowledge of the technology is necessary to
truly command a synthesizer.)
3. Hardware or Software
a. Hardware synths were large wood and metal
beasts that had multiple modules that were
patched together (such as oscillators, envelopes
and filters) to create a patch. (Picture 9.1)
b. Software synths often emulate their hardware
counterparts or create a new more module or
more simplified device.
II. Sound Waves (Show Unit 9 Sound Waves Power Point until
Types.)
1. Vibrations in the air
2. Sound waves basics
3. Harmonics
III. Subtractive Synthesis
1. Start with a harmonically rich complex wave.
2. Subtract information with filters and envelopes.
3. Most common of all types of synthesis
a. Easiest form of synthesis to use
b. Easy to stumble on and create interesting
sounds.
IV. Oscillators
1. Waveforms (Continue to show Unit 9 Sound Waves )
a. Sine (Fundamental with no harmonics.)
b. Sawtooth (Has a strong fundamental with even
and odd harmonics of decreasing
amplitude. The second harmonic is 'A the energy
of the fundamental.)
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c. Triangle (Has a strong fundamental with odd
harmonics of decreasing amplitude. The third
harmonic is 1/9 the energy of the fundamental.)
d. Square (Has a fundamental with odd harmonics
of decreasing amplitude, but stronger than a
triangle wave. The third harmonic is V2 the
energy of the fundamental.)
2. LFO (low frequency oscillator)
a. This is an oscillator at a very low frequency
(Usually not audible.)
b. The rhythm, pulse, or beat of the frequency of
this wave modulates the signal to create the
sound of vibrato.
c. If an LFO is applied to the amplitude of the
signal a tremolo effect can be achieved.
(Tremolo is were the volume or amplitude of a
signal modulates.)
3. Adding oscillators together
a. Add two waves together to create a more
complex wave or distinct sound.
b. Slightly detune one to create a fatter sound.
V. Filters
1. Types
a. Low-pass (Content below the cutoff frequency is
let through.)
b. High-pass (Content above the cutofffrequency
is let through.)
c. Band-pass (Content in a selected narrow band
of frequencies is let through.)
d. Notch or band-reject (Content in a selected
narrow band of frequencies is not let through or
rejected.)
2. Cutoff Frequency (The frequency were the filter starts to take
effect.)
3. Resonance (This increases the gain of the frequencies
surrounding the cutofffrequency creating a tone shaping
effect. This can be used to create screeching or squawking
effect.)
VI. Envelopes (ADSR)
1. Attack (The time that a sound takes to begin from a quick
drum hit to slow strings.)
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2. Decay (The time that the sound takes to go from full volume
to a steady state or sustain.)
3. Sustain (The level of the sustain while the note is being held
by the performer.)
4. Release (The time that it will take for the signal to go silent
after the note has been released.)
5. Functions and uses
a. Filter Envelope (Adjusting the envelope on a
filter can make a filter more dynamic and create
interesting effects such as a sweeping filter
sound.)
b. Oscillator Envelope (A sound can be shaped in
order to sound more real or more interesting,
such as having a long attack on strings causes
them to slowly fade in.)
VII. Modulation
1. LFO (low frequency oscillator) (This was mentioned earlier
in section IV Oscillators.)
a. Vibrato
b. Tremolo
2. Oscillators modulating each other
a. Frequency Modulation (Similar to adding an
LFO, but when done with closer frequencies
causes new and distinct sounds.)
b. Amplitude Modulation (Similar to frequency
modulation except the amplitude, or volume, of
the signal is where the greatest effect occurs.)
c. Ring Modulation (Where the sum and the
difference of the two oscillators are present at
the output, but the original frequencies are not.
This results in wild ringing tones.)
VIII. FM Synthesis
1. Multiple simple waves are added together and modulate each
other. (Similar to adding an LFO, but when done with closer
frequencies causes new and distinct sounds.)
2. Patches are manipulated with envelopes and LFOs but not
filters. (Filters are not necessary because the new sounds are
not complex waves that benefit from being filtered.)
3. Yamaha DX7 (This synthesizer made FM synthesis famous
and is still widely used today. Picture 9.2)
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IX. Additive Synthesis
1. Builds sound by adding large numbers of sine waves
together.
a. Creates fundamental, harmonic, and inharmonic
frequencies with distinct envelopes and
amplitudes.
2. Resynthesis
a. Analyze a complex waveform {It analyzes the
fundamental, harmonic, and inharmonic
frequencies and their individual envelopes and
amplitudes.)
b. Recreate it using additive synthesis {Whenyou
here the computer talking and it sounds like a
computer this is additive synthesis.)
X. Sampling
1. Recorded sounds
a. Separate samples of notes and velocity levels
are triggered by MIDI information.
b. Samples still pass through envelopes, filters, and
optional LFOs. {Many samplers have detailed
controls for these functions while others
perform the functions in the background.)
2. Using samples for synthesis
a. Subtractive synthesis {Use the complex
waveforms from the samples as a starting
point.)
b. FM synthesis {Adding complex waveforms with
simple waveforms instead of simple with simple
can produce much more variety.)
XI. Making Synthesizers work for you
1. Create new and exciting sounds
2. Make instruments sound more real
3. Add complex and interesting effects
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Unit 9 Sound Waves Power Point Slides
Slides
Comments
SOUND-WAVES
SOUND TRAVELS
A sound is
generated
A wave travels by
vibrating air molecules
The human ear
translates the
vibrating air into
sound
CHARACTERISTICS
One Cycle Amplitude Time
This shows the basic
actions of sound waves
in the air.
One cycle or
wavelength determines
frequency. For
example 100 cycles per
second equates to a
lOOhz tone.
Amplitude, or how far
up and down the wave
travels determines
volume. Time is shown
here in a left to right
fashion.
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Harmonics
The Fundamental is the
original note that is
played. Harmonics are
fractions of the
fundamental note (1/2,
1/3, etc.), which are
softly when a note is
played.
Harmonics
Fundamental Harmonics
This is the common
way of showing
harmonics where the
first harmonic is the
Fundamental.
Even Harmonics
Fundamental Even Harmonics
These are the even
harmonics, which
sound more smooth
and stable.
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Odd Harmonics
I I 1 " V lr- £ <
" 1 ~ t *1 T 1 i
1 2 i 5 f 8 Harmonics
These are the odd
harmonics, which
sound more sharp and
jarring.
Fundamental Odd Harmonics
Basics
Complex Waveforms
Hundreds of waves ' \
Combination of fundamental, even, and
odd harmonics \_/
Defines timbre or tone of a sound
Complex Waveforms
are the combination of
hundreds of waves.
If a voice sounds bright
it is usually because it
is producing upper
harmonics at higher
amplitudes.
TYPES
The following waves
have different
harmonic content based
on their shape.
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