Introduction to Audio Recording

Curriculum Guideline

Effective Date:
Course Code
MUSC 1282
Introduction to Audio Recording
Language, Literature & Performing Arts
Start Date
End Term
Not Specified
Semester Length
15 weeks
Max Class Size
Contact Hours
Classroom related: 3 hrs per week Individual learning: 1 hr per week
Method(s) Of Instruction
Learning Activities

The instructor will devote three hours per week to lecture/demonstration. One hour per week will be spent working on lab assignments under the supervision of the instructor. Students will be expected to complete regular assignments and projects outside of class time. These can be done in the lab (Room 3220) or at home.

Course Description
An introduction to audio recording. Through lecture/demonstrations and hands-on studio work students will learn the fundamental theories and techniques of contemporary audio recording. Topics will include recording studio techniques, live sound reinforcement, and the use of MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) and loop-based programs. Students will record and mix a finished demo of their work.

No prior experience with computers or recording equipment is assumed.
Course Content
  1. A brief history of audio recording.
  2. Analog and digital audio concepts.
  3. Sound reinforcement techniques, including microphones, mixers, amplifiers and speakers.
  4. Basic recording techniques, including microphone types, recording media and outboard equipment.
  5. Editing and manipulating digital audio.
  6. Introduction to multi-track recording, including tape-based and hard disk techniques.
  7. Incorporating MIDI tracks and loops with recorded audio.
  8. Creative manipulation of sound, from Musique Concrète to current integrated music software.
  9. Mixing and mastering techniques.
  10. Setting up and troubleshooting a typical project recording studio.
  11. Recording live concerts.
Learning Outcomes

Through lecture/demonstrations and hands-on lab work, students will learn the basic theoretical and practical applications of audio recording. Emphasis will be placed on the creative and artistic use of these tools. Due to the continually evolving nature of technology, students will be expected to demonstrate an understanding of the basic concepts common to all recording software and hardware, and the ability to transfer their knowledge and skills to new situations.

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of important developments in the history of audio recording, along with an understanding of analog and digital audio theory.
  2. Record digital audio from microphones, synthesizers and other electronic instruments.
  3. Edit and manipulate digital audio using Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) software.
  4. Mix a multi-track audio project.
  5. Master a final project to compact disc.
  6. Use analog sound reinforcement and recording equipment.
  7. Demonstrate creative and inventive uses of the techniques learned in this course.
Means of Assessment
Tests (minimum of 2): 30%
Quizzes (minimum of 2): 20%
Midterm Project: 20%
Final Project: 30%
Total   100%
Textbook Materials

No texts or materials are required. All required hardware and software for the completion of assignments and projects is available in the lab (Room 3220) or studio (Room 3280). Students who wish to work outside the lab may want to purchase their own copies of the software used in class. A complete list of recommended software will be available at the first class session.


MUSC 1182 or permission of instructor