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Thread: Audio Technology I course

  1. #1
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    Default Audio Technology I course

    Here's an outline for the Audio Technology I curriculum. It's a one year class that meets one hour a day. Designed for students ages 15 to 18.

    Your thoughts?

    Goals for Audio I

    Primary Goal: To give students a basic understanding of audio and the technologies involved in its capture, production and distribution.

    This will be accomplished by the students being instructed in the following subjects. Upon completion, students will:

    1. Know fundamentals and physics of sound: frequency, generation, propagation, dynamics, acoustics, reflection, diffraction, absorption.

    2. Understand how the human ear works.

    3. Understand the principles of sound reproduction.

    4. Understand the fundamentals of music. Keys, bars/beats, tempo, musical structure, forms and elements (V, CH, INTRO, BRIDGE)

    5. Be able to identify different musical instruments, both by sight and by their sound.

    6. Know the history of recording technologies, acoustic and electric. From cylinders of wax, wire, vinyl, tape and digital.

    7. Know fundamentals of electricity and electronics. Voltage, current, impedance, magnets.

    8. Understand the basic tools of audio recording and production: mics, EQ, compressors, recorders.

    9. Understand signal flow through a recording chain and a console. Know the different signal levels at different points in the recording path.

    10. Understand production techniques for audio, especially as it relates to different disciplines such as studio, live sound reinforcement, electronic news gathering (ENG), film, live recording and more.

    11. Understand digital technology and signal processing, including the use of Digital Audio Workstations. Include the study of converting sound to a digital signal and how to interconnect digital devices. Also includes sampling frequency, bit rates, digital formats, file formats.

    12. Understand the techniques and processes used for producing and recording music and voice, both live and in the studio.

    13. Develop critical listening skills which enable them to evaluate sounds, instruments, equipment and performance. By listening to prerecorded material and live instruments, students will learn to evaluate the following aspects of music.

    Frequency balance
    Characteristics of individual instruments (violin, guitar, piano, harpsichord, etc.)
    Differing sounds of various examples of the same instrument (solid body vs. hollow body electric guitar)
    Tonality
    Tempo
    Dynamics
    Pitch
    Focus (what the ear is guided to hear within a complex musical arrangement)

    This will be accomplished by listening to examples from the teacher along with student submissions.

    Time will be spent daily (weekly?) honing their listening skills.

    Recordings of solo instruments will be used to acquaint students with the sounds of different instruments from instrumental groups (strings, winds, brass, percussion) as well as subsets of those groups (drums, conga, bongos, tympani, etc.)

    These listening sessions will be accompanied by looking at a Real Time Analyzer that shows the frequency and dynamic content of the signal being auditioned to help students learn the frequency characteristics of what they are hearing.
    Lynn Fuston
    3D Audio

    Making beautiful music SEEM easy since 1979.

  2. #2
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    Looks very complete for a high school class. If that's a copy/paste from your master document... "priinciples" on item 3 is misspelled.

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    I would de-emphasize the RTA. It's just more confusion, and has little to do with what they hear. Same with frequency charts.

    Dr. Livitin's book, and "Mixing with your mind" should be included.

    Other than that, it looks great.


    DC
    Dave Collins Mastering
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3daudioinc View Post
    Here's an outline for the Audio Technology I curriculum. It's a one year class that meets one hour a day. Designed for students ages 15 to 18.

    Your thoughts?
    I would kill the "real time analyzer" aspect of the listening tests. There is already enough 'listening to music with your eyes' going on in DAW land. I don't thinking teaching students to 'listen with their eyes' is a great way to learn frequency characteristics and dynamic content...

    [edit - dang -- DC beat me to it one post earlier. Oh well, great minds think alike (on certain levels)...]
    Last edited by Todd Robbins; 11-04-2009 at 11:28 PM.
    Todd Robbins
    TX3 Productions, Inc.
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  5. #5
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    Slight disagreement guys. In covering the ballistics of a typical VU meter, it is really helpful to let the budding engineer see what that looks like in peak metering mode.
    "Death Therapy, Bob. Guaranteed cure."-Dr. Leo Marvin

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    I don't see a problem with teaching instrument frequency range using RTA. Anyone who tries to apply it to production techniques will learn quickly it has no value beyond the classroom.

    It looks like an ambitious curriculum, but if it's 150+ classroom hours, seems reasonable. Item 6 is oddly worded, acoustic and electric recording technologies? Maybe transducers and storage would be more appropriate?

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    Quote Originally Posted by JeffSochor View Post
    I don't see a problem with teaching instrument frequency range using RTA. Anyone who tries to apply it to production techniques will learn quickly it has no value beyond the classroom.
    As long as you teach them that it's a waste of time and energy to try to judge sound qualities by the RTA...

    "I can't believe how great that mix looks!"


    DC
    Dave Collins Mastering
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    Quote Originally Posted by SafetyCopy View Post
    Slight disagreement guys. In covering the ballistics of a typical VU meter, it is really helpful to let the budding engineer see what that looks like in peak metering mode.
    That's not what we're talking about.


    DC
    Dave Collins Mastering
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  9. #9
    Tim Julian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Collins View Post
    That's not what we're talking about.


    DC
    Shouldn't we really be saying 'that's not what we're typing about'?
    Tim Julian
    The Colour Field Recording Studio
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    "What d'ya mean more dynamics? We're playing as loud as we can!!"

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3daudioinc View Post
    Here's an outline for the Audio Technology I curriculum. It's a one year class that meets one hour a day. Designed for students ages 15 to 18.

    Your thoughts?
    One year, one hour a day,...for a school year, (not a calender year) right?

    That's alotta classroom time. I don't remember any of my high school specialty (electives?) subjects getting that much time. For a semester maybe, but not for a full year. I suspect if you divvy up the main sections of the outline to get a feel for how much time each section may have on average, it may give you an idea of how in-depth you can tackle each subject, and if certain sections may need to borrow time from other sections in order to cover each subject to your satisfaction.

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