Duration: 8 weeks, 2 hours per week

Course Description: This is an introductory course to music production on a computer based system, and is open to all students who wish to develop an introductory set of skills in this area. Cubase will be used as the Digital Audio Workstation platform. All participating students are required to have a legal copy of Cubase on their computers and are required to submit their respective license codes/serial numbers to the Registrar before they can be admitted to this course.

Course Objective: By the end of this course, students who complete the assignments will be able to do basic MIDI and audio recording, editing, mixing and signal processing using Cubase.

Grading: Attendance is required. Students must attend at least 90 % of the classes in order to complete this course. Weekly assignments will be given by the instructors and students must complete a final project involving the use of all skills covered during the course. Weekly assignments and the final project may be combined, i.e. students may work on the same project for all. Please refer to the MMA Bulletin for attendance and grading details.

Weekly Syllabus:

Introduction to Audio and the Project Studio
Basic concepts and terminology; frequency, amplitude, A/D and D/A conversion, Hz, dB, sample rate, bit depth... Components of a project studio; choosing and configuring a computer, audio interface, monitor speakers, microphones, keyboards, acoustic treatment...

MIDI basics; velocity, controllers, editors. Working with MIDI in Cubase. Recording of a live performance and entering notes thru other means. Editing MIDI, building an arrangement using the tools/instruments that come with Cubase.

Basics of working with audio. Recording of live performances using microphones and electric instruments. Basic editing of audio material. Working with Lanes in Cubase and creating a “comp track”.

Finishing a Song
Completing the recording and arrangement of a song by using Groove Agent, Loop Mash, Chord Assistant, double tracking, etc.

Introduction to Sound Processing
Working with sound effects and routing scenarios: Inserts, sends, groups. Linking channels, setting levels and panning.

Introduction to Mixing
Compressors, limiters, gates, de-essers... Types of EQ, its use in mixing (corrective vs creative, surgical vs broad, etc)

Introduction to Mixing (Continued)
Types of reverb. Basic parameters. Contextual uses for different genres. Aesthetic considerations in mixing. Automation.

Beyond the Mix
What is mastering? Typical workflows and conventions in the industry. How to prepare a project for sharing and further processing in a post-production environment.