The Technology of Music Production

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Description

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About this course: Learn about the music production process—including recording, editing, and mixing—and the tools available to you to create contemporary music on your computer. With the recent introduction of high-quality-low-cost software and hardware, the tools of music production are now available to the masses. Albums are made in bedrooms as well as studios. On the surface this is liberating. Anyone can make an album for the low cost of a couple pieces of gear and a software package. But, if you dig deeper, you will find that it is not so easy. Producing music requires knowledge, dedication, and creativity. Knowledge is where this course comes in. No matter what kind of music you …

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Didn't find what you were looking for? See also: Music Production, Music Technology / Production, Music, Software / System Engineering, and Leisure.

When you enroll for courses through Coursera you get to choose for a paid plan or for a free plan

  • Free plan: No certicification and/or audit only. You will have access to all course materials except graded items.
  • Paid plan: Commit to earning a Certificate—it's a trusted, shareable way to showcase your new skills.

About this course: Learn about the music production process—including recording, editing, and mixing—and the tools available to you to create contemporary music on your computer. With the recent introduction of high-quality-low-cost software and hardware, the tools of music production are now available to the masses. Albums are made in bedrooms as well as studios. On the surface this is liberating. Anyone can make an album for the low cost of a couple pieces of gear and a software package. But, if you dig deeper, you will find that it is not so easy. Producing music requires knowledge, dedication, and creativity. Knowledge is where this course comes in. No matter what kind of music you are making, there is a large set of tools that you will need to use. Each lesson of this course will demonstrate a different set of music production tools, loosely following along the music production process of recording, editing, and mixing. We will start with some background on the nature of sound and how we perceive it. We will then examine the components necessary to record audio into a computer, so that you understand the devices that sound must travel through in a music production process. Once recorded, sound must be organized along a timeline, a process known as editing. It allows us to give the impression of perfect performances and create many of the sounds we hear in contemporary music. The contemporary editing tool is the Digital Audio Workstation (DAW), a piece of software that stores and organizes all the assets of a musical project. We will focus on the editing tools that are essential in contemporary music production and that all DAWs provide. After editing, sounds must be combined or mixed together, so we look to the mixing board—a very creative place if you know how to use it. We will explore the basic functionality of both hardware and software mixing boards, including volume, pan, mute, solo, busses, inserts, sends, and submixes. The mixing process, however, includes more tools than the mixing board provides on its own. Sound must also be processed, modified from its recorded state to fit the context of the music. We will look at compression, equalization, and delay, and examine the many audio effects that are offshoots of these devices and how they are used in a musical context. In the end, the music production process relies on your creativity. Creativity is a product of the mind and will stay there, unexpressed, until the right tools are used in the right way to share it with the world. If you have an idea in your head, it will take numerous steps, each with an important tool, to reach your audience. You bring the dedication and creativity, and this course will bring you the knowledge to make that happen.

Created by:  Berklee
  • Taught by:  Loudon Stearns, Assistant Professor

    Contemporary Writing & Production
Basic Info Course 2 of 4 in the Music Production Specialization Level Beginner Commitment 6 weeks of study, 3-4 hours/week Language English, Subtitles: Spanish, Portuguese (Brazilian), Chinese (Simplified) How To Pass Pass all graded assignments to complete the course. User Ratings 4.8 stars Average User Rating 4.8See what learners said Coursework

Each course is like an interactive textbook, featuring pre-recorded videos, quizzes and projects.

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Berklee Berklee College of Music was founded on the revolutionary principle that the best way to prepare students for careers in music is through the study and practice of contemporary music. For more than half a century, the college has evolved to reflect the state of the art of music and the music business. Berklee serves distance learners worldwide through its award-winning online extension school, Berklee Online.

Syllabus


WEEK 1


Welcome to The Technology of Music Production
Welcome to the course! Here we will cover all the details about the course and what you'll need to know to get the most out of your experience.


1 video, 10 readings, 1 practice quiz expand


  1. Video: Welcome
  2. Reading: A Note From Loudon
  3. Reading: Connect on Facebook and Twitter
  4. Reading: A Note From Your Teaching Assistant
  5. Reading: Getting to Know You
  6. Practice Quiz: What Are Your Goals?
  7. Reading: Recommended Software
  8. Reading: Course Certificates
  9. Reading: Learner Support
  10. Reading: Peer Review Assignment Guidelines
  11. Reading: How to Submit Your Assignments
  12. Reading: Grading Policy


Sound and Signal Flow
We will start with some background on the nature of sound and how we perceive it. We will then examine the components necessary to record audio into a computer, so that you understand the devices that sound must travel through in a music production process.


18 videos expand


  1. Video: Lesson Overview
  2. Video: Propagation
  3. Video: Amplitude
  4. Video: Frequency
  5. Video: Visualizing Sound
  6. Video: Connections Overview
  7. Video: Microphone as a Transducer
  8. Video: Microphone Types
  9. Video: Microphone Frequency Response
  10. Video: Microphone Polar Patterns
  11. Video: Microphone Placement
  12. Video: Line Level and Gain Staging
  13. Video: Cables
  14. Video: Interface
  15. Video: Microphone Connection and Gain
  16. Video: Analog to Digital Converter
  17. Video: Pickup Connections
  18. Video: The Digital Audio Workstation (DAW)

Graded: The Nature of Sound
Graded: Microphones & Cables
Graded: Signals

WEEK 2


The DAW



The contemporary editing tool is the Digital Audio Workstation (DAW), a piece of software that stores and organizes all the assets of a musical project. We will focus on the editing tools that are essential in contemporary music production and that all DAWs provide.


27 videos, 2 readings expand


  1. Video: Lesson Overview
  2. Video: Analog to Digital Conversion
  3. Video: Buffer Size
  4. Reading: Buffer Size Video Correction
  5. Video: File Types
  6. Video: Project Folder
  7. Video: Project Checklist
  8. Video: Multitrack
  9. Video: Recording Audio
  10. Video: Trimming
  11. Video: Separating and Cutting
  12. Video: The Grid
  13. Video: Fades
  14. Video: Zooming
  15. Video: Cycling
  16. Video: Merging
  17. Video: Naming and Coloring
  18. Video: Markers
  19. Video: Comping
  20. Video: MIDI
  21. Video: MIDI Controllers
  22. Video: Software Instruments
  23. Video: MIDI Editing: Velocity
  24. Video: MIDI Editing: Quantization
  25. Video: Common MIDI Recording and Editing Functions
  26. Video: Wrapup
  27. Video: Creating Your Assignments
  28. Video: Reviewing Your Peers' Assignments
  29. Reading: Assignment Example

Graded: The DAW
Graded: Tracks, Files, and Editing
Graded: MIDI
Graded: Presentation #1

WEEK 3


The Mixer
We will explore the basic functionality of both hardware and software mixing boards, including volume, pan, mute, solo, busses, inserts, sends, and submixes.


9 videos expand


  1. Video: Lesson Overview
  2. Video: The Channel Strip
  3. Video: The Bus Concept
  4. Video: Effects Categories
  5. Video: Inserts
  6. Video: The Submix
  7. Video: Sends
  8. Video: Automation
  9. Video: Wrapup

Graded: The Channel Strip, Effects, and Sends

WEEK 4


Dynamic Effects
Sound must be processed, modified from its recorded state to fit the context of the music. This week, we will focus on tools you can use to effect the dynamics of your tracks and how they are used in a musical context.


9 videos expand


  1. Video: Noise
  2. Video: Distortion
  3. Video: Dynamic Range Manipulation
  4. Video: Dynamic Processors Overview
  5. Video: Dynamic Processor Parameters
  6. Video: Gate
  7. Video: Downward Compressor
  8. Video: Limiter
  9. Video: Wrapup

Graded: Dynamic Range & Dynamic Processors
Graded: Presentation #2

WEEK 5


Filter and Delay Effects
Sound can be modified from its recorded state using tools that effect the actual quality of the sound. This week, we will look at equalization and delay and examine the many audio effects that are offshoots of these devices.


11 videos expand


  1. Video: Lesson Overview
  2. Video: The Delay Concept
  3. Video: The Delay Spectrum
  4. Video: Modulated Short Delays
  5. Video: Filters Overview
  6. Video: Mixing EQ
  7. Video: Medium Delay: Slap Back
  8. Video: Long Delay
  9. Video: Reverb
  10. Video: Width in Mixing
  11. Video: Space in Mixing

Graded: Delay and Filters

WEEK 6


Synthesis



We will explore the synthesizer, a major tool within the production of contemporary music. Learning how a synthesizer works will give you a language to describe sound. Music is a collaborative art form, so there is nothing more powerful than effective communication.


7 videos, 1 reading expand


  1. Video: Lesson Overview
  2. Video: Oscillators
  3. Video: Filters
  4. Video: Amplifiers
  5. Video: LFO (Low Frequency Oscillator)
  6. Video: A Language of Timbre
  7. Video: Wrapup
  8. Reading: Course Evaluation

Graded: Oscillators, Filters, and Modulation
Graded: Presentation #3
Graded: Final Exam
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