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Audio Engineering I

Audio Engineering I is the class where it all starts.

See the Introduction to Audio Engineering I video (Quicktime 7)

Within the enormous realm of information that can be considered 'music technology', there are many different places where one could use as a starting point. My square one began with a Fostex Portastudio 4-Track machine and a high impedance microphone. Today, many students start with a (hopefully legal) copy of Reason and a computer badly in need of a RAM upgrade. Thus, there is no guaranteed "common knowledge" of anyone coming into the SRT program nor even in many recording or live sound environments. Audio Engineering I is the class that levels the playing field by explaining and demonstrating all of the foundational elements relating to acoustic sound and analog signal flow. We refer to this as the "base of the pyramid" and cover a very large amount of ground during the semester.

We also start perhaps the most important aspect of the entire program - audio engineering ear training. Knowing what all of the knobs, buttons and faders accomplish on an given piece of equipment is one thing, knowing WHEN and HOW MUCH to move them is something completely different. There is no "Make It Sound Good" button on any analog or digital device. If a recording is sounding bad, you'll need the aural skills to parse the sound into its components and figure out which aspects are the problems. Then you'll need the ability to turn that mental evaluation into a series of control commands that change the sound in one way or another. It isn't brain surgery, but it takes skill; this is the skill you learn and it all starts with developing your ears to identify the issues at first listen.

Audio isn't the most "linear" of our senses and it can get a little wierd. Did you know that if you play a tone loudly and then the same tone quietly you will perceive the pitch to be slightly higher when soft? Also, how can adding 3dB to a signal increase the wattage by 2x, but adding 10dB increase it by 10x? How is 1000 halfway between 20 and 20,000? If nothing in nature creates a pure sine wave, how is it that all sounds are comprised of sine waves? Can you really run away from sound?

Audio Engineering I explains it all and much, much more...