Music Technology for Guitarists


Authored by Anthony Marvuglio


Course Code: OGUIT-110

Next semester starts September 23

12 Weeks

Level 1

Level 1

3-Credit Tuition


Non-Credit Tuition


This is an introductory course for the guitarist who needs to understand and use computer-based technologies applicable to performance and recording. This course will cover many aspects of digital music technology but is directly focused on guitar-related innovations. While Berklee Online offers other advanced courses in music production and mastering, this course is meant to support the student as a performer to succeed in completing the Online Guitar Major. 

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The instructor will present the material with examples, video clips, audio, and personal insights gained from years in the industry. The course will begin with a brief history of twentieth century recording technology, before exploring modern digital audio workstations and guitar modeling software. We’ll also delve into microphone techniques and how artists within different musical genres are using software environments to create music. By the end of the course, students will demonstrate a mastery of basic digital audio workstation (DAW) functionality and creative use of guitar amplifier modeling and effects processing. 

By the end of the course, you will be able to:

  • Explain the similarities and differences between analog and digital recording 
  • Assemble the hardware that comprises a digital audio workstation (DAW) 
  • Incorporate digital technology into guitar practice routines
  • Record guitar-related music projects using software and hardware
  • Utilize digital guitar technology in live performance
  • Use digital effects and amplifier modeling technology to enhance your guitar sound
  • Collaborate with other musicians remotely on recording projects
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Overview Syllabus Requirements Instructors
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Lesson 1: Introduction and Concepts

  • Analog vs. Digital recording; a Look Back and Comparisons
  • Tape Recording
  • MIDI Hardware Instruments
  • Microphones or Line Level Instruments
  • Assignment: Analog vs Digital

Lesson 2: Essential DAW Components

  • DAW Components
  • Input Impedance
  • Types of Interfaces and Options
  • Sample Rates
  • Speakers, Listening Environment, and Ergonomics
  • Hardware Requirement Authorizations
  • Guitar Modeling Software Installation
  • Assignment: Your DAW Environment

Lesson 3: Recording

  • The Recording Environment
  • Buffer sizes
  • Bars and Beats
  • Markers or Locators
  • MIDI tracks
  • Inserts
  • Recording Stereo and Mono tracks 
  • Assignment: Recording to Backing Tracks

Lesson 4: Plug-ins, Inserts, Latency and CPU Considerations

  • Plug-in Categories
  • Guitar Modeling Software
  • Amp/Effects (stomp boxes etc.)
  • Playing Live
  • Rehearsing
  • Recording
  • Assignment: Plug-Ins and Stand-Alone Application Usage

Lesson 5: Applying Concepts to Different Software Applications

  • Concepts for Using Multiple/Different Software Applications
  • Guitar Modeling User Interface
  • Tuner
  • Using Presets
  • Panning and Layering Textures
  • Assignment: Recording with Various Applications

Lesson 6: Backing Tracks, Transcription Software, and File Management

  • Transcribing and Learning Tunes
  • Playing Live
  • Modifying the Tempo of Backing Tracks 
  • File Saving Options
  • Assignment: Transcribe, Import, and Record

Lesson 7: MIDI

  • MIDI vs. Audio: What is the Difference?
  • MIDI Tracks and Assigning Software Instruments
  • Editing MIDI Data
  • Quantization
  • Pitch
  • Duration
  • Velocity
  • Control Messages for Changing Parameters
  • Assignment: Assign Software Instruments to the MIDI Tracks 

Lesson 8: Additional DAW Functions

  • Other DAW Functions
  • MIDI Loops
  • Punching In/Out
  • Re-amping
  • Editing
  • Assignment: Audio Loops as a Starting Point

Lesson 9: Mixing

  • Mixer Environment
  • I/O, Faders, Pan, Solo, Mute
  • Sends and Returns
  • Setting Levels and Groups of Instruments
  • Mixing Techniques Explored
  • Compressors, Limiters and Meters
  • Rendering tracks 
  • The Final Mix
  • Assignment: Mixing

Lesson 10: Microphones and Direct Boxes

  • Types of Microphones
  • Dynamic, Condenser, Ribbon
  • Polar Patterns and What they Mean
  • Frequency Response
  • Microphone Techniques for Recording and Live Performance
  • How to Mic Amps when Recording Multiple Musicians
  • Preamps (Analog and Digital Connections to the Interface)
  • Analog, S/PDIF and ADAT
  • Direct Boxes (DI)
  • Assignment: Putting it All Together

Lesson 11: Collaboration

  • Collaboration
  • Creating a Shareable Workflow
  • Cloud Sharing
  • Remote Recording Sessions
  • Assignment: On-the-Clock Recording Project 

Lesson 12: Controllers and Accessories

  • Hardware Options
  • Hardware Pedals 
  • MIDI and Hardware Controllers
  • Recording MIDI Control Messages
  • Recording Workflow
  • Assignment: Assigning MIDI control 


Prerequisites and Course-Specific Requirements 

Prerequisite Courses, Knowledge, and/or Skills
Completion of Music Foundations or Music Theory 101 or equivalent knowledge and experience is required. Students should be able to:

  • Play and manipulate electric guitar tones through an amplifier 
  • Demonstrate basic acoustic guitar tones and techniques
  • Have the basic ability to read music and/or tablature in common time signatures


  • No textbooks required


  • Digital Audio Workstation (DAW). Free options, such as GarageBand (Mac) or Cakewalk by BandLab (PC), are acceptable.
  • AmpliTube 5 or Max (student discount available within the course after enrolling)
    • Note: AmpliTube 4 Deluxe is acceptable if you already own it.
  • Waves GTR3
  • Native Instruments Guitar Rig 5 or 6 Player (free)
  • Recommended: Application that allows you to change the speed of an audio file without changing the pitch, as well as set custom loop points, such as Moises, Amazing Slow Downer, most DAWs, etc.


  • Electric guitar
  • Guitar amplifier
  • Instrument cable


  • Audio interface
  • XLR microphone suitable for miking a guitar amplifier, such as a Shure SM57
  • XLR cable
  • Boom or low profile microphone stand
  • One of the following studio monitoring options (both recommended):
    • Studio monitors (pair), such as JBL 305Ps or better, as well as necessary cables
    • Over-ear studio headphones, such as Sennheiser HD 600, Sony MDR-7506, Philips SHP9500, Audio-Technica ATH-M50x, etc.

Student Deals
After enrolling, be sure to check out our Student Deals page for various offers on software, hardware, and more. Please contact with any questions.

General Course Requirements

Below are the minimum requirements to access the course environment and participate in Live Classes. Please make sure to also check the Prerequisites and Course-Specific Requirements section above, and ensure your computer meets or exceeds the minimum system requirements for all software needed for your course. 

Mac Users

PC Users

All Users

  • Latest version of Google Chrome
  • Zoom meeting software
  • Webcam
  • Speakers or headphones
  • External or internal microphone
  • Broadband Internet connection


Anthony Marvuglio

Author & Instructor

Tony Marvuglio is Assistant Vice President for Academic Technology at Berklee College of Music, where he develops and implements strategies for supporting the academic mission of the college through the creative use of technology. An expert in information and music technologies, Tony works with deans, chairs, and faculty to support the college curriculum with appropriate hardware and software. He leads the Faculty Technology Services department that is responsible for faculty development in using technology through the Center for Technology in Music Instruction, and the Student Technology Services department that provides technical support services to students through the Student Computer Support Center.

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Tony is a professional guitarist and recording engineer, recently serving as mix engineer for legendary bassist, Eddie Gomez on his CD Per Sempre. Tony was an early user of computer and music technologies, and has presented on the use of technology in music education at MacWorld, the Technology Institute for Music Educators (TI:ME), the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) and the International Association for Jazz Education (IAJE) conferences. He continues to perform professionally as a guitarist in a variety of venues, almost always incorporating the use of available technologies. Read Less

What's Next?

When taken for credit, Music Technology for Guitarists can be applied towards the completion of these related programs:

Related Degree Major


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

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