Music 303: Music Technology - Recording

Teacher: Andrew Frankhouse |
Extra Help: Thursdays, 3:00-4:30PM, Room 150

Students Please Note: Google Classroom will serve as the primary source for information and updates for this class.  Please follow the appropriate link below to your Google Classroom page:

Music 303-001: Music Technology - Recording:

Course Overview

Course Description

This hands-on course will explore the electronic tools, software, and techniques used to record and produce contemporary music. We will cover recording studio practices and concepts including signal paths, the physics of sound, microphone usage and placement, as well as mixing and mastering using a modern computer-based digital audio workstation (DAW). We will also discuss the use of microphones and audio technology in a live setting, for both recording and sound reinforcement. In addition to producing their own music, students will gain experience by running recording sessions for student and professional musicians throughout the semester.

Course Overview

Unit I

Signal Paths and Live Sound

Unit Goals

  1. Using classroom and auditorium sound systems, explore the fundamentals of audio signal paths.

  2. Understand the physical properties of sound, the types of transducers involved in audio technology, and the mathematical principles behind digital audio.

  3. Understand the electrical and practical differences between dynamic and condenser microphones.

  4. Explore best practices for the placement of instruments, speakers, and microphones in live and studio settings.   


Student Recording Sessions

Unit II

Reaper Fundamentals: Routing and Recording

Unit Goals

  1. Understand basic navigation and controls in Reaper (edit and mixer panes, transport and mixer controls, adding tracks, importing audio, etc.).

  2. Understand the fundamentals of routing audio through the DAW, including channel inputs and outputs.

  3. Explore best practices for setting levels and recording audio tracks, as well as importing pre-existing audio.  

  4. Use MIDI to record tracks using software instruments.

  5. Create drum tracks with Hydrogen and import them into a Reaper project.


Electronic Dance Music Production

Unit III

Post-production I: Basic Mixing and Plugins

Unit Goals

  1. Use fader and pan controls to balance levels and mix down recorded audio tracks.

  2. Experiment with basic effect plugins like EQ and Reverb to enhance and add depth to a mix.  

  3. Use overdubs to add texture and thicken the sound of a particular instrument or voice.


Electronic Dance Music Production (cont.)

Unit IV

Post-production II: Advanced Mixing and Mastering

Unit Goals

  1. Explore the nearly endless possibilities for routing signals within the DAW, including inserts, buses, and auxiliary sends.

  2. Use fader automation to create more meticulous mixes by compensating for level changes throughout the length of individual tracks.

  3. Incorporate advanced plugin techniques like compression to individual tracks and whole mixes.

  4. Master mixes using dynamics processing and equalization techniques


Recording and Mixdown of Professional Musicians