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Coursera The Technology of Music Production

Berklee College of Music via Coursera

  • Overview
  1. Coursera
    Platform:
    Coursera
    Provider:
    Berklee College of Music
    Length:
    6 weeks
    Effort:
    3-4 hours a week
    Language:
    English
    Credentials:
    Paid Certificate Available
    Part of:
    Music Production Specialization
    Overview
    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.

    WHAT YOU WILL LEARN
    • Discuss the nature of sound, how it travels, and its properties
    • Set up your Digital Audio Workstation, record audio, and utilize basic audio editing techniques such as trimming, fades, and merging
    • Define the different categories of effects: Dynamic Effects, Delay Effects, and Filter Effects and use them effectively in a recording project
    • Discuss the role filters play in music synthesis and define how they effect the input signal
    Syllabus
    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    Taught by
    Loudon Stearns

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