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Mixing, Mastering and Surround Sound

Course Code: MUSC 2270
Faculty: Language, Literature & Performing Arts
Department: Music
Credits: 3.0
Semester: 15 weeks
Learning Format: Lecture, Lab
Typically Offered: TBD. Contact Department Chair for more info.
course overview

Mixing, mastering, and surround sound are essential concepts for contemporary sound engineers. Using state of the art lab and studio facilities, students will learn to put the finishing touches on their recording projects. Students will have the option of taking the Avid Pro Tools 210M exam, to earn Pro Tools Operator level.

Course Content

1: Analyzing the Mix

Critical Listening and Mix Analysis

Intention and Concept

Making Adjustments

Adding EQ and Dynamics

2: Mixing Acoustic and Jazz Music

Song Analysis, Track Analysis, and Session Prep

Equalization (EQ), Balance and Panning

Signal Processing

Dynamics Processing

Automation, and the Finishing Touches

The Final Mix Delivery

3: Basic Mixing for Pop and Rock

Stylistic Analysis: Pop and Rock

Signal Processing in Pop/Rock Mixing

Song Analysis, Song Form, and Session Analysis

Mix Analysis: The Rhythm Section

Mix Analysis: The Vocals

Mix Analysis: The Guitars and Keyboards

4: Advanced Mixing for Pop and Rock

Tempo Maps

Beat Detective

Backing Vocal Treatment

Time Domain Processing


Bringing the Mix Together

Mix Automation

5: Mixing Electronica

Stylistic Analysis

Song Analysis and Song Form

Session Analysis and Track Assessment

Editing Loops

Creative Editing / Stutter Edits

Dynamics Processing in Electronic Music Making

Keyed Dynamics Processing Techniques

Parallel Compression and Mix Compression

Lo-Fi Effects: Adding "Dirt" and Distortion

6: Setting up a 5.1 surround sound mix room

Room design and setup

Selecting speakers and using delay

Room calibration with Pink Noise

Bass management options

7: Mixing for Surround Sound

Avoiding the ‘sweet spot’

Imaging and Panning

Use of Centre, Rear and LFE Channels

Creating Ambience

Distribution Formats


8: Mastering - Analysis

 The Mastering Process, Revisited

Mastering Job Analysis, Part 1

Mastering and EQ

Limiting and Loudness

Mastering Job Analysis, Part 2

Bouncing Down the Audio

9: Mastering - Dynamics

Dynamic Control and the Dynamics Module

Using Imaging Plug-ins

Applying a Limiter in CD Mastering

Mastering Job Analysis

 10: Mastering – Final Steps

Harmonic Exciters in Mastering

M/S Processing

Mastering in Electronic Music

The CD Assembly

Methods of Instruction

Lecture/demonstration. Students will work alongside the instructor; either in the large studio or Technology Lab. Students will be expected to complete regular assignments and projects outside of class time. These will be done in the large studio.

Means of Assessment

Quizzes (minimum of 2) 30%
Midterm project 30%
Final project* 40%

Learning Outcomes

Through lab and studio work, students will learn to understand and apply the following concepts:

1: Analyzing the mix

2: Mixing for Acoustic and Jazz music

3: Basic Mixing for Pop and Rock

4: Advanced Mixing for Pop and Rock

5: Mixing Electronica

6: Setting up a 5.1 surround sound mix room

7: Creating a 5.1 music and/or film mix

8: Mastering - Analysis

9: Mastering  - Dynamics

10: Mastering – Final Steps

course prerequisites

MUSC 2170 or permission of instructor.



curriculum guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester/year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

course schedule and availability
course transferability

Below shows how this course and its credits transfer within the BC transfer system. 

A course is considered university-transferable (UT) if it transfers to at least one of the five research universities in British Columbia: University of British Columbia; University of British Columbia-Okanagan; Simon Fraser University; University of Victoria; and the University of Northern British Columbia.

For more information on transfer visit the BC Transfer Guide and BCCAT websites.


If your course prerequisites indicate that you need an assessment, please see our Assessment page for more information.