Amidst the proliferation of desktop tools available to the modern producer, the traditional process of making music—that is, live performances by ensembles and bands—remains a unique and vital experience that can often yield more compelling results than what can be accomplished alone. However, these settings require a skill set largely unknown to those whose experience in the studio has been solitary. This course will help producers develop the capabilities necessary to succeed in collaborative production environments. The primary focus is on supporting and motivating creative work of writers and performers, coordinating complex projects with numerous participants, and managing the challenges and real-time decision making typical of collaborative recording sessions.
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 large- and small-format DAW controllers, including Avid's S5 digital console, used in multitrack mixdown of digital master recordings. The emphasis is on configuration and operation of the hardware, with consideration given to critical listening and the aesthetics of mixing. Topics covered include common DAW procedures and protocol, data management, signal flow, editing, and digital signal processing (plug-ins). 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.