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12th July - 8th August 2020

Music Technology - All you need to know

Note this is only a guide, not a guarantee.

Music Technology - All you need to know

Tutors:  Juan Jose Lopez
Weeks:  2 and 3

Course Details


This course will suit those who have an interest in music technology, including musicians wanting to make their own records at home and those who, having had some experience with music technology, want to bring the quality of their recordings up to a professional standard. While this will be a practical course, you will develop a working understanding of sound and music creation and how to channel this into a digital audio workstation to create professionally sounding multitrack recordings. You will gain general knowledge that will help in all kinds of music making settings such as stage, studio and rehearsals.


Course Notes


Apple Macintosh workstations will be available, however if you are able to bring your own laptop and audio Interfaces (DAWs) please do. Please also bring your own instrument where possible.

Day 1

  • Introduction - getting to know each other's interests, needs and level of knowledge.
  • Hands on experiments with sound - pressure waves.
  • Brief history of audio recording - wax cylinder, tape and acetate disc to vinyl and new digital formats.
  • Sound characteristics - volume (amplitude), envelope (ADSR), frequency (pitch), waveforms, tone colour and timbre.
  • Transducers - speakers and microphones types, line instruments, keyboards, sound modules and virtual instruments.

Day 2

  • Identifying your goal - listening to different styles and aesthetics, from the purity and clarity of classical recordings, to the loud distorted punk and thrash metal and everything in between. From Bach to Stormzy, each style demands a different approach.
  • Computers and audio interfaces.
  • Setting up a DAW for recording.
  • Sound formats - sample rate and bit depth.
  • Signal to noise ratio.
  • Signal routing - gain, nominal levels, sound effects and processors plugins.

Day 3

  • How to condition your recording environment and basic acoustic principles.
  • The nature of reverb, ambience sound and how to capture/cancel it.
  • Experimenting with acoustics, microphones, acoustic tools and their interaction.
  • How to make the most of your tools, resources and environment in practical terms.

Day 4

  • Apple Garageband with demonstrations on industry standard Logic Pro, DAWs.
  • Overdubs, recording a soloist/lead performer.
  • Recording yourself - participants to the course who are musicians are encouraged to bring their own instruments.

Day 5

  • Recap on signal routing, plug-ins and FXs.
  • Soundscape.
  • Mixing and mastering your recordings.
  • Critical listening session of student's final mixes.

What to bring:

  • Own laptops and audio interfaces (optional).
  • Own musical instrument (optional).

Work files produced by students during the course will be available to take home on a USB memory stick (provided).