Sound & Music Recording: Semester 1 | Recording Arts Canada | Digital Arts College

Sound & Music Recording: Semester 1


What is sound? How do we hear sound and music? How do different environments affect the characteristics of a certain sound? Why do certain sounds evoke different emotional responses from the listener? These are just some of the questions that are explored in our Acoustics course.

Participating in critical listening and analysis sessions, you will study sounds from a diverse range of sources in order to learn how the many different auditory impressions known as ‘sound' are created, measured and manipulated. You will learn how sounds, of all kinds are affected by different environments. You will also learn how to alter the elements and the perception of various sounds, and how to electronically modify them for the purposes of quality control.

Audio Consoles

The console is the nerve center that connects all the wiring, processors, recording devices, speakers, and workstations. It gives the engineer transparent control over the different tools so that they can be used to bring to life his/her creative vision.

Engineers must be able to work on the various types of analog, digital and virtual consoles. A thorough understanding of each console component, including signal routing, equalization, monitoring, automation, effects control, and operation of dsp cards and plug-ins is essential to every engineer.

Computers & Music

How can a musician sound like several musicians at the same time? Is it possible to make keyboards, sequencers and computers communicate with each other and behave as one powerful instrument that can be coordinated by one person? MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) is a digital serial language that can accomplish all of the above. Musicians no longer have to wait until they are in the studio to actually hear their work! They can listen and revise their projects then use MIDI as a flexible recording tool.

Signal Processing

An engineer is playing back a recorded vocal track. While being well recorded, it does not have any sense of space or character, and is not distinct enough to stand out in the mix from the other instruments in the recording. Equalization is applied to the vocal, making it sound more present and brighter. The loudest words are compressed so that the overall track can be raised in volume. The softest words are audible without the loudest words jumping out of the mix. The engineer selects a delay and reverberation program. The voice now sounds as if it was recorded from a stage in some concert hall – it has depth and a sense of its own space.

Signal processing devices are an essential part of every studio. Processors and the Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) provide the engineer with the tools to shape a sound as desired. An understanding of both hardware and software based tools and the ability to incorporate them effectively into the audio chain is essential for engineers and producers.