Creative Recording and Editing Techniques in Music Production

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Authored by Enrique Gonzalez Müller

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Course Code: OMPRD-588

Next Term Starts January 14

3-Credit, Graduate Level Course

Creative Recording and Editing Techniques is a practical, in-depth study of essential and creative recording techniques as well as an exploration of advanced audio editing techniques and considerations. You will learn to maximize the emotional impact of recordings by focusing on the music-driven intersection of the technical and creative skills necessary to achieve professional sounding recordings in any setting, from professional recording environments, to portable studios with minimal gear. You will learn core and creative editing techniques meant to expand, repair, and maximize the emotional potential of any recording. You will also envision detailed aural objectives and expand your recording vocabulary and expertise in order to determine frequency, dynamic, spatial, ensemble, and arrangement choices in recordings. 

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Upon completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • Record and edit impactful and commercially-competitive recordings within both collaborative and self-contained contexts
  • Achieve professional standards of fidelity and musicality, in service of the project, by applying creative recording techniques
  • Envision detailed aural objectives in order to determine crucial frequency, dynamic, spatial, ensemble, and arrangement choices in recordings
  • Use multi-microphone recording techniques
  • Apply advanced DAW editing techniques
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Overview Syllabus Requirements Instructors Request Info

Syllabus

Lesson 1: Purpose of Music/Purpose of Music Production

  • Philosophy and Review: Recording - Purpose, Definitions, and Important Considerations
  • The Human Microphone - The Limits of Our Hearing
  • An Engineer’s First Questions–What Are We Recording? 
  • What Is the Emotional Objective?
  • Assignment 1: Choosing Your Recording Project

Lesson 2: Listening Environment and Recording Drums

  • Calibrating Our Ears and Listening Environment - A Practical Approach
  • The Paramount Importance of a Reference Mix
  • Workflow Efficiency in the DAW
  • Importing Reference Mixes and Preparing for Recording
  • Recording Level and Gain Staging
  • Assignment 2: Analysis and Signal Flow Testing

Lesson 3: Producing Drum Tracks 

  • Tuning 
  • Drum/Cymbal Choice
  • Performance Considerations
  • Drum Editing
  • Assignment 3: Recording or Programming Drums

Lesson 4: Percussion and Loops

  • What Are We Recording?
  • What Is the Emotional Objective?
  • Anticipating Symbiotic Issues
  • Mic Choice Considerations (Dynamics, Condensers, and Ribbons)
  • Percussion Editing
  • Assignment 4: Recording Percussion


Lesson 5: Bass 

  • DI or Amps or Both
  • Upright Bass
  • Other Low Frequency Instruments
  • Assignment 5: Recording Bass


Lesson 6: Guitars

  • Electric Guitars
  • Acoustic Guitars
  • Guitar Editing
  • Assignment 6: Recording Guitars

Lesson 7: Keyboards

  • Hardware
  • Software
  • Electric Pianos and Hardware Synthesizers
  • Acoustic Pianos
  • Software Synthesizers
  • Keyboard Editing
  • Assignment 7: Recording and Editing Keys

Lesson 8: Horns and Miscellaneous Instruments

  • Exploring Textures
  • Vocals: Lead
  • Vocal Editing
  • Assignment 8: Recording Pads

Lesson 9: Vocals

  • Backgrounds
  • Special Effects
  • Correct Vocal Setup
  • Recording Duplicate Layers
  • Advanced Vocal Editing
  • Assignment 9: Recording Vocals

Lesson 10: Recording and Editing 

  • Recording Special Effects
  • Recording with Varispeed
  • Reamping Interesting Spaces
  • Editing Special Effects
  • Assignment 10: Final Project

Lesson 11: Emotional and Technical Check-In During the Final Stages of Production 

  • Technical and Emotional Considerations
  • Preparing the Final Recording for Mixing and Mastering
  • Open Forum
  • Assignment: Final Project


Lesson 12: Next Steps

  • Review and Synthesis of the Topics Covered in the Course
  • Areas of Improvement
  • Final Course Reflections

Requirements

Required Textbooks

None required


Software Requirements

  • Any DAW (Pro Tools, Logic Pro, etc.)

Mac Users

  • OS X 10.9 Mavericks or higher (click here for system requirements)
  • Latest version of Google Chrome

Windows Users

  • Windows 7 or higher (click here for system requirements)
  • Latest version of Google Chrome

Hardware Requirements

  • High quality audio interface, with a recommended minimum of 8 inputs (Apogee, MOTU, etc.)
  • Selection of diverse microphones (5 microphones recommended: 2 dynamics, 1 match-pair of condensers, and 1 ribbon—Shure, Audio Technica, Rode, Neumann, Royer, etc.)
  • MIDI controller (M-Audio, Akai, etc.)
  • Professional pair of speakers (Focal, Dynaudio, etc.)
  • Professional pair of headphones (Sennheiser, AKG, etc.)
  • 500 GB free hard drive space
  • Webcam
  • Internet connection with at least 4 Mbps download speed (http://www.speedtest.net to verify or download the Speedtest by Ookla app from your mobile app store)

Personnel Requirements

  • Students will need to find 2-3 singers and 4-6 musicians to collaborate with and record for various projects. 

Instructors

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Author & Instructor

After graduating from Berklee College of Music in 1999, Enrique Gonzalez Müller started his career as a music producer and engineer at the Plant Studios, working with artists like The Dave Matthews Band, Joe Satriani, Joan Baez and Les Claypool. In his home country of Venezuela, he's produced many chart-topping albums for Caramelos de Cianuro, Viniloversus, Desorden Publico and in 2009 his collaboration with Los Amigos Invisibles won the band a Latin GRAMMY® Award for their album Commercial. In Italy, among many collaborations, Gonzalez Müller has produced, arranged and mixed albums for L’Aura and scored a #1 hit with "Teach Me Again" from Elisa and Tina Turner. In the US, he has recently worked with Jason Newsted (former Metallica), the Kronos Quartet, Nine Inch Nails and toured with Wynton Marsalis as well as many up and coming artists. In 2015, Enrique was the recipient of Berklee's Distinguished Faculty Award for his innovative work as an educator. www.siameseschool.com.

Questions?

Contact our Academic Advisors by phone at 1-866-BERKLEE (U.S.), 1-617-747-2146 (INT'L), or by email at advisors@online.berklee.edu.

We can also answer basic questions in the comments below. Please note that all comments are public.

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