Session 1 – Scope of Harmonics
- What is sound and what are harmonics?
- How are they captured both in the analog and digital domains?
- Sampling rate aliasing and ensuring your PC is optimized for the desired sample rate for playback and recording.
- Clipping – what is it and how does it sound?
- Monitors, headphones, and protecting your hearing.
Session 2 – Bits & Harmonics
- Bit depth, quantization and dithering.
- Lossey and lossless files
- Bit rate: (CBR vs. VBR)
- Artifacts- what are they and how do they sound?
- When to save as a compressed file such as MP3 or AAC
Session 3 – Microphones
- Microphone preamps
- Dynamic vs. condenser vs. ribbon microphones
- Phantom power
- Pickup patterns
- Applying it all to stereo
Session 4 – Stereo continued
- X/Y vs.MS
- Binaural and quazi-binaural
- Applications for these microphone arrangements
- Cables and connections, hi-z, vs. unbalanced vs. balanced
Session 5 – Interfaces and Mixers
- What is an audio interface?
- Optimizing the audio interface in Windows
- The purpose of a mixer, what it can do with sources and how it can work with an audio interface
Session 6 – Mixers continued
- The channel strip (preamp/insert/eq/bussing and sends)
- Show applications based on equipment and the learner objectives. For example, mixing a project requires a different approach than live sound
Session 7 – Adding Effects
- Equalization (graphic vs. parametric)
- Different band types such as shelf, roll-off, band pass, and band notch
Session 8 – Effects continued
- Side chaining, (if it matters to the learner or group of learners)
- multi-band compression
- Combining these effects to shape the tone and dynamics of an instrument or voice
Session 9 – Spatial and Pitch Effects
- Pitch shifting
- Pitch correction
Session 10 – Misc Sound Shaping
- Transient shaping
Session 11 – Mixing
- Each instrument has a useful frequency range
- Signals fighting for dominance in any given range leads to a cluttered mix
- Find the good and do a sweep to seek and destroy the bad
Session 12 – Mixing continued
- Use pink noise to get a balanced mix before using more plugins
- Use compression to tame dynamics if necessary
- Use gates or expanders to minimize unwanted sounds
- Experiment with panning to give everything its space
Session 13 – Mixing continued with a Touch of Mastering
- Add other sound shaping or spatial effects where necessary
- If several tracks require the same kind of equalization or things don’t seem to blend well, use an EQ and saturation on the master track as glue
- Create a new project containing a professionally mastered track in their chosen style, making sure to reduce its volume if necessary so EQ, compression, etc. are the only factors being considered, not overall volume
- Apply a limiter to bring the volume close to 0, or to peak at 0 making sure that hard clipping isn’t introduced; unless it’s what the learner intends, at which point…cringe