Music Production & Engineering Courses
Flamenco Music: Recording and Production
This course explores the recording and production processes of various styles of flamenco music, as well the recording of the common instruments used in flamenco. The various processes of recording and producing flamenco music to be studied include live recordings, recording without metronome, editing, programming, mixing, and mastering. Discussion also focuses on the common instruments and sounds used in flamenco music, including flamenco guitar, cajón, palmas (clapping), dancing, voices, and wind and string instruments, and the microphones and techniques utilized in recording the particular instruments. Several palo (styles) of flamenco, such as bulería, soleá, tangos, fandangos de huelva, and malagueña will be analyzed, including recording methods, sound libraries, and instrumentation. The recording of the flamenco music ensemble is tentatively scheduled to be part of the class experience.
Freelancing for Producers and Engineers
This upper-level elective focuses on the technical, artistic, operational and business aspects of working in today's world as a freelance producer/engineer. The objective of this course is to foster a versatile, entrepreneurial approach to the diverse—and increasingly nontraditional—production opportunities that dominate today's business and cultural climate. The successful modern freelancer combines and transcends discrete industry roles with adaptation, improvisation, and creative problem solving in art and business. Students will refine and supplement skills learned in their previous courses, synthesizing a comprehensive, fluid skill set to service projects with a broad range of parameters, resources and goals. A series of hypothetical and practical scenarios will present students with widely varied objectives and parameters: client types, abilities and expectations; musical material, time and dollar budgets, and recording settings. The course will focus on in-class discussion and review of these projects, most of which will take place in-class, with both instructor(s) and students in the role of freelancers. Online materials will both assist in presenting information and act as an ongoing asset for the students after graduating. There will also be in-class discussions and online presentations from current professionals (including MTEC alumni) and a business tutorial, both in-class and on-line, focused on starting and operating a business.
Berklee Internet Radio Network Workshop
The Berklee Internet Radio Network Workshop supports students who wish to participate in the activities of the station, formalizing and identifying their participation in their transcripts. The course accommodates a wide variety of student skills and interests, directing participants into existing station committees: programming (DJs, production, scheduling, evaluation), promotion (public relations on campus and beyond), business and legal (maintenance of approvals, permissions, and licensing processes; organization of business flow within the station), and operations (technical backbone of station operations, e.g. website development, broadcast issues, recording, facilities development, and maintenance).
Applications of Loudspeaker Design
This course examines the technical attributes of loudspeakers that assist the recording engineer in creating the best possible product. Topics include basic components of loudspeaker design, driver parameters, sealed and vented enclosures, crossovers, studio monitors, and computer aided analysis systems. Theoretical information and hands-on methods are used to inform students about advanced speaker systems. Listening evaluation is also an important component.
Music and Sound Production for Games
As an introduction to game audio, this course provides a general overview of the stages involved in producing sound and music for games. It begins with an examination of the role of sound designer and composer, including the responsibilities associated with each. The course begins with typical studio effects and sound manipulation, and addresses technical hurdles encountered in an interactive environment. Advanced concepts and techniques such as recording custom effects, proper integration of audio, and mixing techniques particular to the gaming industry are experienced through collaborative team assignments. Business topics include scheduling, contracts, and finalizing a workflow are presented through out the semester. By the end of this course, the student will have completed full audio including sound design, dialogue, and music for cut scenes and a short game or portion of a game via readily available audio production, scripting, and interactive tools.
Architecture and Acoustics of Critical Listening Environments
This course provides advanced information and training in the science of acoustics. It examines advanced methodologies for the testing of acoustic spaces and properties, leading to strategies for acoustic manipulation and design. Using existing and past projects as source material, world-renowned studio designer John Storyk takes students through the acoustical design process, including both acoustical and programmatic considerations. He draws on pictures, charts, graphs, and recorded examples taken from real-world projects, both completed and in process, to highlight the challenges encountered and solutions devised for creating program-satisfying and acoustically correct facilities. These facilities encompass both world-class, multiroom studio facilities as well as smaller-budget project and home studios. This is an applications-oriented follow-up to the required acoustics class. *NOTE: this course meets four times for four hours over the course of the semester*
Studio Maintenance and Troubleshooting
This course focuses on beginner-level studio maintenance by combining lectures with hands-on lab activities. Electronic basics are introduced, including: voltage, alternating and direct current, resistance and impedance, capacitance, inductance, and electromagnetism. The principles of grounding, power supplies, analog and digital signal types, amplifiers, speakers, microphones, switches, and transistors are described. Basic repairs and troubleshooting in the field are discussed, including soldering. Students make a mic cable, S/PDIF cable, RC and RLC circuits, and assemble a simple signal processor such as a power supply, audio input/output circuitry, direct box, or a filter. Students troubleshoot their circuits using volt- and ohmmeters, oscilloscopes, and cable testers.
Advanced Digital Mastering, Editing, and Delivery
This in-depth, project-oriented class gives the student intensive exposure to the creative and technical issues involved in advanced music mastering, editing, and delivery. Topics include CD and DVD mastering, multichannel audio formats (5.1), internet audio, and the standards and practices of digital audio production. Students enhance their technical knowledge of advanced audio concepts and studio techniques while developing their ability to listen critically and creatively through hands-on projects. Further areas of exploration include audio restoration and forensic audio.
Hip-Hop Production for Records
This course is designed to focus on the musical, vocal, and technical production skills in hip-hop record production. Advancing the basic concepts of music production techniques introduced in Music Production for Records (MP-320), the course embraces the professional practices for record production in the hip-hop genre. Students are required to showcase their skills in weekly projects and a final original project.
Production and Business of Dance Music
This course allows the student to understand the history and business of dance music from its early disco format in the '70s and '80s to its wide variety of current styles and trends. Students write, produce, mix, and remix their work in the related style within the various dance music genres. In order to do this successfully, students are required to familiarize themselves with the current outlets for dance music (i.e. Traxsource, Beatport, In Grooves, etc.) and the current list of artists, producers, DJs, and remixers whose work can be found charted on these industry sites. A full understanding of the inner workings of this popular genre will be necessary for the students to be successful within this field. Three production projects are required.
Audio Implementation for Video Games
This course provides an immersion in the techniques and methodologies used in implementing sound and music assets into a video game environment. Covers the tenets of sound and music implementation as part of the game development structure. Project workflow, audio pipeline, and common middleware tools are used to mirror current audio practices in the video game industry.
Surround Sound Techniques and Practices
This course is a survey of the history and techniques used in producing surround audio. The focus is split between understanding surround tools (microphones, consoles and monitoring), surround acquisition (recording techniques), and presentation (mixing and authoring) in the context of audio for disc, video, games and broadcast. The course includes practical work to reinforce theoretical and technical learning. It addresses the aesthetic considerations of surround production relating to varying end uses, and examines the elements of music that invite surround treatments based on the compositional ideas and production values.