This course addresses recorded vocal performances and the technologies used to highlight and support them in modern record production and mixes. The course explores the sonic evolution of vocals as the focal point of modern recordings with a signature that has moved from simple mix placement, dynamics processing, and time based effects to advanced concepts in audio editing, synthetic processing, automatic and graphic pitch correction, time compression, time expansion, flex, and elastic audio. Through analysis and hands-on processing of selected projects, the student will gain an understanding of the many choices available to modern record producers as they record and mix with a modern tool set that includes the vintage Talk Box, the Vocoder, Auto Tune, Melodyne, Elastic Audio, Flex Time, Vocalign, tempo based editing, and a host of other file modification protocols that are readily available on most digital audio workstations.
This advanced engineering elective course introduces students to contemporary classical orchestras, as well as to nontraditional orchestras, such as period instrument, film scoring, or other large acoustic ensembles. The course explores recording techniques from historical (e.g. mono Koussevitzky recordings) through stereo and surround recording techniques. Through hands-on experience on the scoring stage, students will learn about the set up, recording, and mix of large ensembles.
This course gives the student insight into capturing the myriad drum sounds available by exploring different drum configurations, sizes, styles, and ambient spaces. The class explores getting great drum sounds at source and learning how to adjust, tune, and manipulate drums to perform at their full potential. Students learn how to capture that sound in recordings by utilizing the many microphone, mic pre, EQ, and processing options available in the studio. They also learn how to manicure, adjust, fix, destroy, and present drum sounds so that they are appropriate for the required song. Finally, the class covers the many editing, fixing, timing, and sampling options used by today’s top recordists. Mixing drum sounds, including those recorded by someone else, will also be covered.
This course explores the functional operation of Digidesign's DAW controller, the D-Control ES (ICON), used in multitrack mixdown of digital master recordings. The emphasis is on basic and intermediate operation of the hardware, with consideration given to critical listening and the aesthetics of mixing. Topics covered include overview and detailed instruction in operation of the surface, common DAW procedures and protocol, data management, signal flow, editing, and digital signal processing (plug-ins) in Pro Tools. Projects consist of mixing prerecorded multitrack files.
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.