This introductory Sound engineering course is composed of the first two levels of the diploma in sound engineering.
The first level is an introduction to professional sound technologies and systems. This section takes a closer look at the technologies and systems of the industry; their basic functioning and connections allowing for a better understanding of how sound works.
This is the basis for developing the necessary skillset and qualities in becoming a professional sound technician.
The second level goes on to take an in-depth look at the equipment and tools a professional must dominate to succeed be it in a recording studio, live performance, musical production, or post-production.
This course has a strong practical focus, making up for 65% of the 120 lecture hours that the course is made up of. On completion, students have the necessary foundation to continue specializing themselves in the field of their interest.
Audio chain: Presentation of the basic equipment and configuration of sound installation. Signal levels. Recording studio and live performance systems. Practical classes include: the wiring of a recording studio, inputs, and outputs of the mixing console, use of the patch-panel, cabin connections and microphones system
The physics of sound I: Definition, generation, and propagation of sound. Characteristics, measurements, waveforms, frequency, amplitude. The concept of decibel.
Transducers Microphones: How they work and their classifications. Technical specifications and directivity (polar graphs). Practical classes include Use of both dynamic and condenser microphones. Recording of battery, string-instruments, and voice.Loudspeakers. Technical characteristics. Systems. Amplifiers. Practical classes include the analysis of a loudspeaker system.
Music software – MIDI: MIDI's definition, music software, sequencers, configurations, and equipment (sound modules, controllers, connections, etc.), sound cards, basic applications. Practical classes include MIDI connections. Use and study of sequencers. Channel changes, the creation of melody, program changes.
Electronic I: Concepts of electricity: Ohm's Law. Volts, Intensity, Resistance. Types of current and power. Cables, connectors, and adapters. Signal balancing. Electrical connections and safety measures.
Mixing consoles: Segments and components of a mixing console (auxiliaries, subgroups, inputs, outputs, etc.). Configurations. Types of mixing consoles: SPLIT, IN-LINE, monitors, digital. Block diagram. Introduction to basic techniques for processing and mixing. Practical classes include an In-depth study of mixing consoles. Receiving and controlling signals. PFL. Auxiliary send, subgroups, and master. Multi-track recording and monitoring of instruments.
Sound cards and home-studio designs: Introduction to digital recording. Characteristics and design of sound cards. Management and storing of data. General configurations for music software and electronic music. Home-studios versus professional recording studios.
Recording systems: Professional recording devices/systems. Introduction to digital audio. Practical classes include HD System configurations. ProTools. Punch technique; manual and programmed punch. Appendix: analog recording systems. Distortion comparative between analog and digital.
Digital recording: Digitalization. Block diagram of Analogue-Digital and Digital-Analogue conversion. Digital communication formats. The clock signal. Synchrony in digital systems. Optical and magnetic digital recording systems. Recording directly to disc. Audio formats in applications. The digital production process.Practical classes include The digital studio: synchrony and connections. Editing techniques with Protools. The virtual audio chain. Loop sequencing; Ableton Live.
The physics of sound II: Classification of sounds. Sound properties. Evolution in time. Practical’s include microphones. Musical Acoustics.
Musical Acoustics: Musical instruments. Families. Characteristics. Attitude and harmonic. The relation between musical tones. Musical octaves. Correction of the timbre. Equalization. Musical concepts. Microphone placement. Capturing instruments. Practical’s include microphones. Musical Acoustics.
Processors 1 and 2: Timbre variation processors (equalizers). Dynamics processors (compressors and expanders). Special effects processors (flanger, chorus, etc.)Processor practical’s include: Equalization. Dynamics. Special effects.
Advanced MIDI: The binary system. MIDI messages. System messages. MIDI implementation. Practical’s include: synchronizing systems and MIDI control
Acoustics: Sound reflection and diffraction. Acoustic absorption. Reverberation and its basic parameters. Critical distance. The effect of ambient noise. Atmospheric factors. Reflection and sonorous reverberation in enclosures. Stationary waves. Isolation and acoustic conditioning. Introduction to acoustic treatment. Space processors (reverbs). Types of reverb and their parameters. Practical’s include Reverberation and Echo. The acoustics of spaces.
Audition and voice: Physiology of the human ear. The sensibility of the ear. The automatic auditory protection system. The relation between intensity and sonority. Binaural audition. The Haas effect. Masking. Effects of non-linearity in the ear. The human voice. Vocals.
Electronic II: Resistances. Condensers. The Bobbin. Other electronic components. Levels and impedance in systems.
Synchrony and automation: Types of synchrony. Practical configurations. The offset function. Automation. Practical classes include: Mixing using the software. Audio post-production on video. Mastering.
Synthesis and sampling: Introduction to audio synthesis. Block diagram of a synthesizer. Samplers. Practical classes include electronic musical instruments: synthesizers, samplers, and libraries. Digital studio: mixing and automation.
The sound industry: The recording studio. Live performances. Post-production and film. Recording industry. Samples and commercial brands.