PD410 Portfolio Development

Course Description

This Final Project course give students time to complete your Audio Production certificate and will have the opportunity to put to use the palette of skills you have developed over the Audio Production program including software and hardware skills, recording and mixing techniques, and a passion for your craft. You may work either individually or with a partner to produce a high-quality project which will be critiqued by both your instructors and your peers.

Learning Outcomes

  • By the end of this course, students must demonstrate proficiency with the following topics:
    • Develop (and adhere to) a specific project scope
    • Meet a hard production deadline
    • Continue to advance your audio engineering skills

PD400 Critical Skills Review

Course Description

Positioned near the midpoint of the program, this course tests and reviews students‘ comprehension of the previous Audio Production certification program topics. Students will work independently to complete an audio project, on deadline, designed to stimulate both creative and technical problem solving. A detailed critique of the assignment will allow the instructor to evaluate each student’s critical skillset, identify problem areas needing further attention, and assign tutoring or extra work as needed. The course concludes with each student’s commitment to an audio project focusing on an area of personal interest, which will be presented as a deliverable during the Portfolio courses at the end of the Audio Production certificate.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students must demonstrate proficiency with the following topics:

  • Analog signal flow
  • Digital signal flow
  • ProTools
  • Logic
  • Mixing tools and techniques
  • Microphone techniques
  • Studio set up and etiquette
  • Pre-production techniques
  • Field recording
  • Sound design
  • Audio post-production techniques

AU300 Sound Design for Animation

Course Description

This Audio Production course provides students with an in-depth survey of Sound Design for Animation. Students shall gain insight into the creative, technical, and collaborative function of the sound designer when working with picture. Class discussions include theoretical propositions and creative workflows while labs allow for practical applications of the material explored. Production methodologies including session templates and file management will be introduced through practical assignments. Editing and designing sound for animation will be explored using CDA’s primary DAW platforms (Pro Tools & Logic)./p>

Learning Outcomes

  • Demonstrate working knowledge of the historic and theoretical implications of sound design for animation
  • Augment an existing video animation with creative sound design executions
  • Sculpt audio toward a physical and emotional goal that helps to tell the story
  • Reinforce the importance of using basic DAW tools such as markers, time-code, video syncing, OMF export/import among others.
  • Understand the function of a queue sheet for sound design in a post-production workflow
  • Understand and deliver various final audio assets

AU290 Mastering

Course Description

This Audio Production certificate course is intended to provide students with the knowledge necessary to prepare material for its final delivery to the consumer. We will discuss the history of mastering, it’s current place in the audio production process, and the standards that must be adhered to in order to ensure that the final audience experiences exactly what the artist intended. Through a mix of lecture, demonstration, and hands-on work, students will learn key techniques of audio processing for mastering and audio restoration, along with gaining a highly granular understanding of digital delivery formats.

Learning Outcomes

  • Prepare a properly formatted Red Book CD-A Master
  • Edit an album to provide the desired listening experience
  • Apply EQ and Compression to a mix to correct problems and ensure a consistent timbre and level across an album
  • Understand the differences between lossy audio codecs, and know how to configure an encoder to provide the best output for a task
  • Use restoration software to repair distorted, damaged, or noisy audio

AU300 Sound Design for Animation

Course Description

This Audio Production course provides students with an in-depth survey of Sound Design for Animation. Students shall gain insight into the creative, technical, and collaborative function of the sound designer when working with picture. Class discussions include theoretical propositions and creative workflows while labs allow for practical applications of the material explored. Production methodologies including session templates and file management will be introduced through practical assignments. Editing and designing sound for animation will be explored using CDA’s primary DAW platforms (Pro Tools & Logic)./p>

Learning Outcomes

  • Demonstrate working knowledge of the historic and theoretical implications of sound design for animation
  • Augment an existing video animation with creative sound design executions
  • Sculpt audio toward a physical and emotional goal that helps to tell the story
  • Reinforce the importance of using basic DAW tools such as markers, time-code, video syncing, OMF export/import among others.
  • Understand the function of a queue sheet for sound design in a post-production workflow
  • Understand and deliver various final audio assets

AU280 Audio Documentary Production

Course Description

This Audio Production course focuses on producing a high-quality audio documentary under a tight deadline. It will provide students with a strong grasp of the theories and applications required to create an audio documentary with high production value. Class discussions include story angles, proper recording techniques, interviewing techniques, narrative structure, use of natural sound and music, voiceover coaching, editing and other post-production practices. Throughout the class, students will also listen to audio documentaries to further gain a larger understanding and identify what makes a cohesive audio documentary with a strong narrative structure.

Learning Outcomes

  • Create a 3-5 minute audio documentary or portrait of a person, place, concept, or idea
  • Implement the use of natural sound and music to create a “space” for the listener
  • Hone interviewing techniques
  • Write scripts for the ear
  • Apply previously learned mixing techniques, such as EQ, compression and panning in order to create a consistent sound quality in the final project mix

AU270 Sound Design for Games

Course Description

This course begins with a comprehensive overview of game audio production and implementation including relevant roles within the game industry and typical production schedules. Throughout this Audio Production class, students develop audio for a game level and continue their exploration of sound design via sound effect creation and sonic manipulation for interactive environments.

Learning Outcomes

  • Linear and Interactive audio play
  • Sound creation for games
  • Game audio engines

AU260 Advanced Post-Production for Film

Course Description

This Audio Production class gives a further exploration into the field of post-production sound for motion picture media. Students are introduced to dialogue editing, ADR recording, Voice-Over recording, and the world of Surround Sound mixing. Exercises are used to further the students’ understanding of storytelling with sound, workflow, pre-dubs, calibrated mixing levels, unity gain stems, re-recording mixing methods like futzing, source music mixing, music montage, advanced signal flow paths, track layouts, and more. Breakdown of the more advanced aspects of post production sound will be examplified through DVD playback and analysis of Dialogue Mixing and Surround Sound aesthetics. Editing and mixing sound toward story related goals will be explored using Pro Tools.

Learning Outcomes

  • Import an OMF/AAF file, and create from it your own professional routing schematic from scratch within a Pro Tools session
  • Edit Production Dialogue, Voice-Over and ADR
  • Record Voice-Over and ADR
  • Prepare and execute recording session utilizing ADR cue beeps and Spot mode
  • Utilize noise reduction software to clean up production sound
  • Mix film sound content using “futzing” and “source” techniques
  • Fully understand and apply the concept of “dialogue is king”
  • Explain the proper, nuanced aesthetics of 5.1 Surround Sound

AU250 Advanced Music Production

Course Description

As part of the Audio Production certification, this course offers students the opportunity to begin putting your skills to the test while working with an artist/band in the studios to produce a 2-song demo. The project requirements include all preproduction, scheduling, recording, editing, and mixing.

Learning Outcomes

  • Work with a client from preproduction through delivery
  • Develop and refine in-studio interpersonal skills
  • Meet a hard production deadline
  • Build troubleshooting skills while working “under pressure” in the studios

AU240 Advanced Microphone Techniques

Course Description

This Audio Production course will cover the techniques used for capturing the highest quality recordings possible. By employing these techniques on professional musicians with studio experience, students learn how to make informed decisions about proper microphone selection and placement. Topics include: stereo recording techniques, improving isolation through the use of microphone polar patterns and movable studio acoustic treatments, “less is more” recording techniques, guitar reamping, and vocal signal paths.

Learning Outcomes

  • Understand the sonic differences between different types of microphones, and learn what types of microphones work best in different situations
  • Audition multiple microphones on the same source to aid in microphone selection
  • Determine if moving the microphone, adjusting the polar pattern, or modifying the recording environment will improve the recorded sound
  • Record sources in stereo by using one of the many techniques discussed
  • Use room microphones to allow for the manipulation of depth in mixing
  • Create a complete recording signal path, including microphone preamp, compressor, and equalizer, to record a more polished sound
  • Approach tracking sessions from the mindset of a mix engineer

AU220 MIDI Systems

Course Description

This Audio Production course introduces the Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI) protocol. Students will explore the most standard features of MIDI and learn various strategies and techniques for controlling, manipulating, and arranging musical material. The Audio Production certificate module focuses on both the technical and creative aspects of using MIDI. The module will examine MIDI controllers, musical instruments, and MIDI-compatible software. MIDI composition and arranging approaches will be discussed including issues of file compatibility, General MIDI, and data portability.

Learning Outcomes

  • Understand the historical significance of MIDI
  • Use and incorporate MIDI interfaces
  • Understand the architecture of MIDI messages
  • Use MIDI controllers
  • Realize compositional ideas, arrange, and edit musical material in a MIDI environment

AU230 Advanced Signal Flow

Course Description

This course provides an in-depth look into signal flow and recording in the modern studio and pays particular attention to optimal studio setup and signal routing using an analog/digital consoles and the patch bay. Concepts are presented through lecture, hands-on activities, and a final test at the end of the module.

Learning Outcomes

  • Understand the Pro Tools I/O page and it’s integration with the studios
  • Understand and be able to draw the internal signal flow of the console
  • Understand Inserts and how to use them
  • Be able to use outboard effects in Both Studio D and F
  • Expand the preset Cue mix capabilities of your board
  • Integrate all of the capabilities of an analog board with a mix in Pro Tools

AU200 Physics of Audio, Acoustics & Psychoacoustics

Course Description

This Audio Production course presents the fundamentals of sound: sound waves, frequency, pitch, amplitude, phase, waveforms, timbre, the harmonic series, octave bands, and concepts of audio signal types and transducer operation. The class also features a detailed look at the aspects of sound in a space as well as the aural phenomena that shape the way in which we hear sound. Sound transmission, sound isolation, room treatments, noise and vibration reduction are conveyed via the correspondence to room acoustics and basic studio design topics. Students also investigate signal interface and sound perception.

Learning Outcomes

  • Envision sound propagation
  • Identify wave shapes
  • Identify audio signal types
  • Interface basic audio equipment
  • Identify acoustical treatment materials
  • Realize the complexity of isolated construction
  • Realize the complexity of achieving a low noise environment
  • Create a basic listening space
  • Describe how a microphone and speaker operate

AU210 Live Sound

Course Description

Live sound is a field with its own unique knowledge and skill set. This course is designed to introduce Audio Production certification students to the knowledge and skills needed to successfully build and run basic live sound systems given the variety of environments, requirements and goals seen in the live sound field. Students will gain this knowledge and skill set through classroom sessions, as well as, a practical session environments.

Learning Outcomes

  • Understand the different signal flows used in Live Sound, including for FOH and monitor systems; when to implement them; and why
  • Select and match individual components to best fulfill the requirements of the live sound environment
  • Understand the different types of recordings that can be done in a live sound environment, including how to select the best type to implement depending on the recording requirements
  • Apply proper mic techniques that balance the different requirements, including tonal quality, gain before feedback, and sightlines
  • Properly select and wire a FOH and monitor system that balance sightlines, sound quality, and safety
  • Understand how to properly run a FOH system as well as a multiple-monitor mixes

AU190 Introduction to Post Production

Course Description

This Audio Production course gives an in-depth introduction to the field of post-production sound for motion picture media. Class is introduced to the fundamental building blocks of film sound, their respective subdivisions, and related professions. Concepts of storytelling with sound, workflow, pre-dubs, calibrated mixing levels, unity gain stems, re-recording mixing methods, advanced signal flow paths, track layouts, and many more, are explained in great detail. Breakdown of the Hollywood school of post-production sound assembly-line will be exemplified through DVD playback and analysis, prepared Pro Tools session stems analysis, track layout, as well as instructor’s personal reflections. Editing and mixing sound toward story related goals will be explored using Pro Tools.

Learning Outcomes

  • Import to Pro Tools an OMF/AAF file, created in video editing software
  • Host a professional spotting session with a film director
  • Define the building blocks of film sound and make exact distinctions as to their creative functions and describe responsibilities of their correlating professions
  • Create an industry standard track layout and signal-flow chain for re-recording mixing, utilizing “unity gain stems equal printmaster” methodology
  • Understand how unity gain stems enables the foreign release of a film
  • Edit Backgrounds, Sound Effects, Foley, and Sound Design utilizing Sound Effects Library as a source
  • Understand the aesthetic implications of mixing to calibrated levels

AU180 Introduction to Sound Design

Course Description

This Audio Production certification course provides students with an in-depth survey of Sound Design as a discipline that spans both creative, technical, and collaborative functions in the audio industry. Class discussions include theoretical propositions and creative workflows while labs allow for practical applications of the material explored. Production methodologies for sound design will be introduced through hardware orientation as well as proper techniques for location recordings in the field. Editing and designing sound toward specific goals will be explored using CDA’s primary DAW platforms (Pro Tools & Logic) as well as synthesis platforms offering powerful tools for creating new sounds “in the box”.

Learning Outcomes

  • Produce entirely new sounds using an acoustic sound sources
  • Utilize hardware and software synthesis as a tool to sculpt audio toward a physical and emotional goal.
  • Build an entirely new sound patch from a simple wave pattern.
  • Understand the function of a queue sheet for sound design in a post-production workflow
  • Fully integrate newly designed audio instances into a final 1-2min soundscape.

AU170 Production Sound and Field Recording

Course Description

This Audio Production class examines the equipment and recording techniques utilized in field recording, particularly as it pertains to film and television production. Topics include boom pole operation, microphone types and techniques, portable sound mixers and recording devices, ambience, room tone, time code, and the unique challenges inherent to production sound.

Learning Outcomes

  • Identify the differences between field recording and studio recording
  • Correctly record location audio for radio, video, and film
  • Select the proper equipment for field recording
  • Learn to work in conjunction with cameras
  • Use a hand held boom pole
  • Understand the importance of microphone selection and apply this knowledge to selecting the right microphones for a variety of on-location situations
  • Understand sound perspective as it relates to the visual image

AU150 Microphone Techniques

Course Description

Microphone selection and placement are an integral part of all recording sessions. In this Audio Production class, students are introduced to microphone types, polar patterns, filters and specifications. Additionally, students participate in several recording sessions in order to begin their training in the aural recognition of microphone selection and placement.

Learning Outcomes

  • Identify the various microphone types and how they work
  • Understand the importance of microphone selection and apply this knowledge to selecting the right microphones for a variety of situations
  • Understand the use of direct boxes
  • Describe phase, polar patterns, and phantom power
  • Set up microphones in recording sessions to attain the desired sonic results
  • Understand microphone theory, types and their function
  • Understand microphone preamplifiers and their role in the recording process
  • Troubleshoot microphones during recording sessions
  • Record vocals, electric and acoustic guitar, electric bass, drumset, and piano
  • Understand the workflow of a recording session and the various roles

AU160 Introduction to Music Production

Course Description

This module provides students with an in-depth survey of the practical and aesthetic components of record production. After a review of the history of the profession, and a series of discussions covering techniques needed to complete recording sessions on time and on budget, students will apply these concepts to recording a two song demonstration reel to work toward the completion of their Audio Production certificate.

Learning Outcomes

  • Complete a pre-production plan for recording 2-song demo for a band/musician within the allotted time, to the satisfaction of the artist, and to you, the producer
  • Understand the parameters of a recording session. The producer is responsible for including the schedule, the budget, the shaping of the artistic elements of the music, and the successful completion of the project within these parameters
  • Understand how recorded music has evolved from the invention of the medium to the present day
  • Learn the details of working with musicians, including how to keep the session on track, deal effectively with the myriad of potential problems in a session, and understand how the human and technical elements of recording interact

AU130 Mixdown

Course Description

This course continues with a survey of both the technical and aesthetic components of audio mixing. Class demonstrations, lectures, and labs continue to explore modern effects and techniques, and the course culminates with a final mix project in which students will utilize all of the techniques that they have learned in the mix curriculum thus far.

Learning Outcomes

  • Create a stereo mix from pre-recorded material
  • Identify various types of delay and reverb used in commercial mixes
  • Implement these mixing techniques into their own sessions
  • Configure and route signals to and from devices for use in parallel processing