Music Production & Engineering Courses

MP-110

2 credit(s)
Course Chair: Rob Jaczko
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer
Required of: None
Electable by: All
Prerequisites: None
Department Code: MPE

This course explores the roles and responsibilities of music producers and engineers from idea inception to finished product. Included is an overview of studio technologies and basic recording procedures. This course is recommended for students considering the music production and engineering major or anyone desiring a broad overview of the field.

MP-113

2 credit(s)
Course Chair: Rob Jaczko
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer
Required of: None
Electable by: All
Prerequisites: MTEC-111
Department Code: MPE

Pro Tools has become the undisputed recording industry standard for digital audio production. It provides a comprehensive and powerful environment for audio recording, MIDI sequencing, editing, and inside-the-box mixing. This course will jump-start your Pro Tools production chops, covering a full range of basic as well as advanced tools and techniques in a single semester. Prior experience with Pro Tools or another DAW is highly recommended. You must have access to a native Pro Tools rig running current Pro Tools software. (Check with the MP&E Department for specific requirements.)

MP-114

1 credit(s)
Course Chair: Rob Jaczko
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer
Required of: None
Electable by: All except MPED majors
Prerequisites: MTEC-111
Department Code: MPE

This online course focuses on developing critical listening skills with particular emphasis on analyzing recording and mix techniques in the context of the popular music mix. Topics include: acoustics of the critical listening environment; mix elements such as balances, panning, EQ, reverb, compression, delay and time-based effects; instrument identification; stylistic comparisons of recording and mix techniques. Listening analysis examples and concepts are reinforced through weekly critical listening assignments. A set of weekly audio ear training drills are also part of the class.

MP-115

1 credit(s)
Course Chair: Rob Jaczko
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer
Required of: None
Electable by: All except MPED majors
Prerequisites: MTEC-111
Department Code: MPE

This course represents a step-by-step approach to the essential elements of effective records. Using in-class evaluation of demos, masters and commercial recordings, it takes students through an in-depth analysis and appraisal of the emotional effectiveness of recordings, with consideration for: artist identity, vision and intention; melody, lyrics and song form; arrangement, performance, and mixing. Several in-class presentations of student analysis projects are required.

MP-210

2 credit(s)
Course Chair: Rob Jaczko
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer
Required of: None
Electable by: All except MPED majors
Prerequisites: None
Department Code: MPE

With the proliferation of low-cost, high-quality music technology, most musicians now have the means to make a viable commercial album without the support of a record label. Artists who choose this route may fill the role of producer by choice and/or financial necessity, or utilize the production services of associates whose resumes feature musical chops more than formal experience. This course provides an overview of independent record production for musicians interested in leveraging their musical expertise as the basis of taking on broader production responsibilities. The curriculum surveys the general production process from concept through mastering, focusing on producer roles and requisite skills, production methods and techniques, and technical options for recording. Students will gain relevant experience by producing an original song for an artist of their choice.

MP-211

2 credit(s)
Course Chair: Rob Jaczko
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer
Required of: MPED majors
Electable by: MPED majors
Prerequisites: MTEC-111; MP-214 and either LMSC-208 or LMSC-209 must be taken concurrently with (or prior to) MP-211
Department Code: MPE

This course explores the fundamentals of analog and digital audio. Topics include recording consoles: design, function, and signal flow; principles of signal processing: reverberation, delay, equalization, compression, and other effects; an introduction to microphone and loudspeaker technology; and an introduction to music production and recording techniques in both analog and digital media. Class meetings consist of lecture sessions combined with in-class demonstration and some student hands-on training. Assignment-based lab time is required.

MP-212

2 credit(s)
Course Chair: Rob Jaczko
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer
Required of: MPED majors
Electable by: MPED majors
Prerequisites: MP-211, MP-214, and either LMSC-208 or LMSC-209; MP-241 must be taken concurrently with MP-212
Department Code: MPE

This course covers the fundamentals and practical applications of a digital audio system, as well as methods for functioning in an integrated MIDI/digital audio workstation (DAW)/analog studio environment. This includes algebraic, graphical, and other techniques for the analysis and study of audio signals and systems; time and frequency domain measurements; decibels in audio and acoustical applications; systems analysis of contemporary recording and synthesis technology using block diagrams and sequential flow charts; and black box analysis. Course topics include system setup and interconnections; MIDI interface and synchronization; aspects of digital recording consoles/mixers, such as paged architecture, I/O, word clock, sample rate, and bit depth; and basics of a DAW, such as the elements of hard-disk recording, track and file management, digital audio, and sequencing strategies. Assignment-based lab time required.

MP-214

1 credit(s)
Course Chair: Rob Jaczko
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer
Required of: MPED majors
Electable by: MPED majors
Prerequisites: None; MP-211 must be taken concurrently with MP-214
Department Code: MPE

This course focuses on developing critical listening skills, with particular emphasis on engineering analysis within the context of the popular music mix. Topics include: psychoacoustics of the critical listening environment; engineering techniques such as balance, panning, EQ, reverb, compression, delay and time-based effects; instrument identification; and stylistic comparisons of engineering and mix techniques. In-class listening analysis and concepts are reinforced through out-of-class critical listening assignments. An out-of-class audio ear training component is also a part of the course.

MP-215

1 credit(s)
Course Chair: Rob Jaczko
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer
Required of: MPED majors
Electable by: MPED majors
Prerequisites: None
Department Code: MPE

This course represents a step-by-step approach to the essential elements of effective records. Using in-class evaluation of demos, masters and commercial recordings, it takes students through an in-depth analysis and appraisal of the emotional effectiveness of recordings, with consideration for: artist identity, vision and intention; melody, lyrics and song form; arrangement, performance, and mixing. Several in-class presentations of student analysis projects are required.

MP-225

2 credit(s)
Course Chair: Rob Jaczko
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer
Required of: MPED majors
Electable by: MPED majors
Prerequisites: MTEC-111
Department Code: MPE

This course explores the industry standard Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI 1.0) specification, with an emphasis on musical projects designed to emulate professional practice and application. MIDI sequencing is done at computer-based workstations in the classroom, and outside of class using the student's laptop and MP&E Major Bundle hardware and software components. Studio-based labs during the semester introduce the student to collaborative working environments. Contemporary software programs, such as Pro Tools and Logic, are covered.

MP-226

2 credit(s)
Course Chair: Rob Jaczko
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring
Required of: None
Electable by: MPED majors
Prerequisites: MP-225
Department Code: MPE

This course addresses the increasingly hybrid nature of recording and mixing practices in music production. Through contrasts and comparisons, the course explores the impact on modern record-making of MIDI, music sequencing, sampling, extended frequency responses, file modification tools, and their effect on analog components in record-making. The course highlights why many current production teams seek the best of both worlds as they move forward in the creative process, beginning with digital sources, augmenting with analog components, editing on a workstation or laptop, moving to a large format console and ending up with a digital file, exploiting the DAW's functionality as a tape machine in the analog domain and its expanded creative capabilities in the digital domain.

MP-241

2 credit(s)
Course Chair: Rob Jaczko
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer
Required of: MPED majors
Electable by: MPED majors
Prerequisites: MP-211 and MP-214; MP-212 must be taken concurrently with MP-241
Department Code: MPE

This course introduces students to the aesthetic considerations and functional operation of equipment for multitrack mixdown of stereo masters. Topics include: common control room procedures and protocol; console and control room signal flow, control logic, and patching; balance; use of outboard signal processors; and documentation. Weekly out-of-class studio lab time consists of mixing prerecorded multitrack material. Audio ear training is also required outside of class time.

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