CDA Boston | Learn Audio Production
Learn the art of audio, current music technologies & music production with the audio production certificate program
Master the art of music technology and production through our hands-on curriculum. From audio theory to studio operations, you’ll gain a thorough understanding of industry tools, techniques and principles to break in to a career in music, film, television and interactive media.Apply now
Realize your dream of becoming an audio professional with the Audio Production Certificate. You’ll get hands-on experience with the latest equipment being used by recording studios and film companies. Learning the fundamentals of audio technology, sound synthesis, mixing and mastering to become an audio producer, engineer or technician. The Audio Production program curriculum includes:
This course provides an introduction to signal flow in the modern recording studio and pays particular attention to optimal studio setup and signal routing using an analog console. Concepts are presented through lecture, hands-on studio time, and a student-run recording session.
This course provides students with a thorough knowledge of the design and operation of DAWs beginning with the industry-standard Pro Tools. The underlying metaphors behind DAWs are exposed, and a mastery of the software is developed through demonstrations, exercises, and projects. Software used includes Pro Tools, Logic, Reason, and other industry-standard programs.
This course provides students with an in-depth survey of the physical components and fundamental theories used in the mixing phase of audio production. Class discussions include basic hardware and software operation as well as a comprehensive look at how these technologies are applied to professional mixing situations. In addition to mix assignments, students hone their critical listening skills through ear training exercises aimed at demonstrating the correlation between sound manipulation and aural perception.
A continuation of Signal Flow and Recording I, this course continues the study of signal flow in a modern recording studio introducing a digital console into the recording path. Working in a hybrid environment and the integration of both analog and digital signals in the signal chain are thoroughly examined.
Microphone selection and placement are an integral part of all recording sessions, and in this course, students are introduced to microphone types, polar patterns, and specifications. Additionally, students participate in several recording sessions in order to begin their training in the aural recognition of microphone selection and placement.
This course progresses from the technical to the aesthetic aspects of recording. A survey of production techniques is explored via in-class listening where popular music styles are analyzed based on elements including form, instrumentation, and recording + mix techniques. Students also experience the procedures and roles assumed during the recording process through role-play and an in-class recording session.
This course 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.
This course focuses on the specialized tools and techniques necessary for work in the sound design field. This introduction includes a study of the aesthetics of sound design in film, television, animation, games and radio. The creation and use of sound effects are also introduced via an in-class sound design project.
This course introduces post-production audio for film and television. Students explore post-production workflow including OMF/AAF interchange, leveling and sweetening, music editing, noise reduction, dialog editing, voice-over recording, and standard delivery methods.
This course presents the fundamentals of sound: sound waves, frequency, pitch, amplitude, phase, wave shape, timbre, the sound envelope, the harmonic series, octave bands, concepts of noise and pure waveforms. The course also features an 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 and noise reduction are conveyed via the correspondence to room acoustics and basic studio design topics. Students also investigate the Fletcher-Munson curve, the precedence effect and phantom center images.
This course demonstrates the techniques and equipment used in live sound reinforcement. An emphasis on signal flow, setup, and calibration of PA systems prepares students to mix live performances. Topics include proper microphone selection, system “ringing out” for feedback elimination, monitor mixes, use of equalizers, compressors, gates + effects, and the integration of stage splitters to route signals to multiple mixing consoles and recorders.
This course takes an in-depth look at MIDI and its varied uses in contemporary music production. From sequencing and soft synthesizers to hardware controllers and sound courses, the coursework includes MIDI system setup, the connection between MIDI data and musical events, and the integration of MIDI into modern production practices.
This course builds on the introductory signal flow materials and explores advanced practices that promote successful operation in a modern recording studio. Delving deeper into optimal operation in hybrid studio setups, concepts are demonstrated via instructor demonstrations, hands-on exercises, and in-class recording sessions using both analog and digital consoles.
This course focuses on advanced microphone techniques including stereo microphone setups such as X-Y, spaced, ORTF, Blumlein and Mid-Side. During in-class recording sessions, students gain an aural understanding of these and other advanced microphone techniques while recording both solo instruments and small ensembles.
This course allows students to produce a demo recording for a band or artist of their choice which includes booking studio time, recording basics + overdubs, editing, and mixing. Students work independently in the studios, and instructors provide feedback throughout the production process.
In this course students continue to develop their skills in post-production for film. Advanced topics include a deeper look at sound effect and music implementation, foley creation, automated dialogue replacement (ADR), surround-sound mixing, and dialogue editing techniques.
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 the course, students develop audio for a game level and continue their exploration of sound design via sound effect creation and sonic manipulation for interactive environments.
This course is an introduction to broadcast journalism through audio portraits and field recording. The course educates students on sound collection, interviewing in the field, microphone handling, voice-over approaches and audio documentary script preparation, culminating in the production of an original audio documentary project.
This course explores the last creative step in the production process and the first technical step in the replication process: mastering. Class discussions and demonstrations cover format details, replication master preparation and testing, editing, coding, sample rate conversion, and dithering. Students also complete a mastering project where they employ techniques including M/S processing, parallel and multiband compression, and stereo enhancement. The course culminates with a visit to a professional mastering studio.
Building upon the skills developed in the introductory Sound Design course, students will continue to expand and explore their knowledge in capturing, manipulating and synthesizing sound. These techniques will be applied to animation projects where students will produce sounds effects, ambiance, music, and VO.
This course provides the opportunity for students to refine and review foundation-level topics in preparation for the advanced applied courses that follow. Students will also work with their instructor to propose and commit to a long-term extracurricular project, focusing on a subject of personal interest. Personal projects will be presented during the Portfolio course at the end of the program.
This final pair of courses begin the process of focusing and defining each student’s creative identity by writing a biographical artist’s statement, then selecting, reviewing and refining a portfolio that best defines his or her current creative ability and professional ambition. Working together as a class along with meetings with portfolio advisors and through focused individual effort, students will learn how to define and present their distinctive vision to their chosen field of study.
Let our crew of industry leaders, influencers and experts challenge and inspire you.
Dev has worked both on and off the road, on many different sides of the music industry. From being a producer/engineer in the recording studio to being a live sound engineer, tour manager, publicist, booking agent, guitarist and bassist. A graduate of the University of Rochester & Eastman School of Music, he then studied Music Production and Engineering at Berklee College of Music, graduating in 2004. After Berklee, Dev spent six years touring and multi-tasking as he crisscrossed the country. Dev continues to be a studio rat and also works/worked for the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Berklee College of Music, MJ Audio, New England Conservatory and many other companies. He is also on the Board of the North American Federation of Guitar Circles, where he works with Robert Fripp and others to put together various Guitar Circle courses and tours.
Working as a freelance producer/engineer and club DJ, Jason has built a career in the audio world both in the studio and on the stage. After graduating from Berklee in 2004, Jason began his career working in studios in and around Boston producing and engineering records for a variety of bands, artists, and rappers. In 2005, Jason became one half of the DJ duo Jefr Tale. As part of Jefr Tale, Jason hosted a weekly radio show on SiruisXM, performed at some of the biggest festivals and venues across the North America and Brazil (including Ultra Music Festival, Red Rocks Colorado, and Burning Man), and produced a string of successful original releases. Following up on the success of Jefr Tale, Jason plunged deeper into electronic production, working with several other DJ and producers and branching out into hip hop production and pop songwriting. Jason continues to split his time evenly between producing, engineering, writing, and performing.
R. Berred Ouellette has won numerous awards for sound production in music and film over the course of his career. His recent production credits include: Technical Director for the National Public Radio program From the Top; Sound Designer and Post Production Supervisor for the Hayden Planetarium at the Boston Museum of Science; and Re-Recording Mixer for Trillium Studios film production company.
Berred brings a wealth of practical knowledge to his work with music and film sound production, drawing on many years of experience as an independent sound designer in a wide variety of venues. He has engineered and produced soundtracks for film, record labels, television and other media, including; art, science, and history installations. His work incorporates sound effects, ambient noise, and music from many genres from jazz and classical to folk and acoustic, rock, pop, and ethnic.
In addition to his work for other agencies, Berred runs his own sound production company RBO Sound, which provides studio recording, mixing, and editing services; and a sound reinforcement company Eastern Live Concert Sound, which supplies systems and personnel for live sound events. He is also active in teaching and mentoring students at a variety of educational institutes, including CDA, Tufts University, Massachusetts College of Art, and Berklee College of Music.
Born in Sweden, Claes Nystrom started playing the piano at age five, was a professional musician by 18, and scored his first short film at age 21. In 1994, he moved to Los Angeles where he wrote music and worked as a Sound Designer, Mixer, Editor and Supervisor for over 16 years.
As a sound artist, he worked on dozens of Hollywood A-List movies. As a composer, he wrote the original score to the film, “Sketches Of Frank Gehry”, directed by the late Sydney Pollack. He also scored a long list of movie trailers, including: "Live Free Or Die Hard," "Angels & Demons," "Marley & Me," "Australia," "Robots," “Fever Pitch,” "Fantastic Four," "Cheaper By the Dozen," and many more.
The ability to score in a myriad of different genres and styles has placed Claes in demand with other notable film composers and music producers. He is occasionally hired to write additional music and co-compose for artists like film composer Danny Elfman, songwriter Bebe Winans, recording artist The Crystal Method, music producer Junkie XL and many others.
Visit Claes' Vimeo Channel to view video reels of his work.
*At The Center for Digital Arts, we don’t believe you should have to choose between professional success and creative fulfillment. We prepare our students for thriving careers as digital creators and builders. Our graduates are Working: