About this Course
4.8
346 ratings
108 reviews
Learn about the music production process—including recording, editing, and mixing—and the tools available to you to create contemporary music on your computer. With the recent introduction of high-quality-low-cost software and hardware, the tools of music production are now available to the masses. Albums are made in bedrooms as well as studios. On the surface this is liberating. Anyone can make an album for the low cost of a couple pieces of gear and a software package. But, if you dig deeper, you will find that it is not so easy. Producing music requires knowledge, dedication, and creativity. Knowledge is where this course comes in. No matter what kind of music you are making, there is a large set of tools that you will need to use. Each lesson of this course will demonstrate a different set of music production tools, loosely following along the music production process of recording, editing, and mixing. We will start with some background on the nature of sound and how we perceive it. We will then examine the components necessary to record audio into a computer, so that you understand the devices that sound must travel through in a music production process. Once recorded, sound must be organized along a timeline, a process known as editing. It allows us to give the impression of perfect performances and create many of the sounds we hear in contemporary music. The contemporary editing tool is the Digital Audio Workstation (DAW), a piece of software that stores and organizes all the assets of a musical project. We will focus on the editing tools that are essential in contemporary music production and that all DAWs provide. After editing, sounds must be combined or mixed together, so we look to the mixing board—a very creative place if you know how to use it. We will explore the basic functionality of both hardware and software mixing boards, including volume, pan, mute, solo, busses, inserts, sends, and submixes. The mixing process, however, includes more tools than the mixing board provides on its own. Sound must also be processed, modified from its recorded state to fit the context of the music. We will look at compression, equalization, and delay, and examine the many audio effects that are offshoots of these devices and how they are used in a musical context. In the end, the music production process relies on your creativity. Creativity is a product of the mind and will stay there, unexpressed, until the right tools are used in the right way to share it with the world. If you have an idea in your head, it will take numerous steps, each with an important tool, to reach your audience. You bring the dedication and creativity, and this course will bring you the knowledge to make that happen....
Stacks
Globe

100% online courses

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.
Calendar

Flexible deadlines

Reset deadlines in accordance to your schedule.
Beginner Level

Beginner Level

Clock

Suggested: 6 weeks of study, 3-4 hours/week

Approx. 27 hours to complete
Comment Dots

English

Subtitles: English, Spanish, Portuguese (Brazilian), Chinese (Simplified)

Skills you will gain

Audio ProductionAudio RecordingMusicSound DesignAudio Editing
Stacks
Globe

100% online courses

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.
Calendar

Flexible deadlines

Reset deadlines in accordance to your schedule.
Beginner Level

Beginner Level

Clock

Suggested: 6 weeks of study, 3-4 hours/week

Approx. 27 hours to complete
Comment Dots

English

Subtitles: English, Spanish, Portuguese (Brazilian), Chinese (Simplified)

Syllabus - What you will learn from this course

1

Section
Clock
1 hour to complete

Welcome to The Technology of Music Production

Welcome to the course! Here we will cover all the details about the course and what you'll need to know to get the most out of your experience....
Reading
1 video (Total 4 min), 5 readings, 1 quiz
Video1 video
Reading5 readings
A Note From Loudon10m
Connect with Your Classmates10m
Getting to Know You10m
Course Resources10m
A Course Certificate10m
Quiz1 practice exercise
What Are Your Goals for this Course?8m
Clock
3 hours to complete

Sound and Signal Flow

We will start with some background on the nature of sound and how we perceive it. We will then examine the components necessary to record audio into a computer, so that you understand the devices that sound must travel through in a music production process....
Reading
18 videos (Total 82 min), 3 quizzes
Video18 videos
Propagation2m
Amplitude7m
Frequency5m
Visualizing Sound13m
Connections Overview1m
Microphone as a Transducer1m
Microphone Types3m
Microphone Frequency Response1m
Microphone Polar Patterns3m
Microphone Placement2m
Line Level and Gain Staging3m
Cables6m
Interface5m
Microphone Connection and Gain5m
Analog to Digital Converter2m
Pickup Connections10m
The Digital Audio Workstation (DAW)3m
Quiz3 practice exercises
The Nature of Sound30m
Microphones & Cables30m
Signals30m

2

Section
Clock
6 hours to complete

The DAW

The contemporary editing tool is the Digital Audio Workstation (DAW), a piece of software that stores and organizes all the assets of a musical project. We will focus on the editing tools that are essential in contemporary music production and that all DAWs provide. ...
Reading
27 videos (Total 117 min), 2 readings, 4 quizzes
Video27 videos
Analog to Digital Conversion13m
Buffer Size6m
File Types5m
Project Folder6m
Project Checklist1m
Multitrack2m
Recording Audio9m
Zooming1m
Trimming2m
Separating and Cuttingm
The Grid2m
Fades2m
Cyclingm
Merging1m
Naming and Coloringm
Markersm
Comping7m
MIDI7m
MIDI Controllers7m
Software Instruments2m
MIDI Editing: Velocity2m
MIDI Editing: Quantization2m
Common MIDI Recording and Editing Functions14m
Wrap-up1m
Creating Your Assignments3m
Reviewing Your Peers' Assignments6m
Reading2 readings
Buffer Size Video Correction10m
Assignment Example10m
Quiz3 practice exercises
The DAW32m
Tracks, Files, and Editing28m
MIDI20m

3

Section
Clock
1 hour to complete

The Mixer

We will explore the basic functionality of both hardware and software mixing boards, including volume, pan, mute, solo, busses, inserts, sends, and submixes....
Reading
9 videos (Total 57 min), 1 quiz
Video9 videos
The Channel Strip10m
The Bus Concept2m
Effects Categories3m
Inserts5m
The Submix6m
Sends13m
Automation9m
Wrap-up2m
Quiz1 practice exercise
The Channel Strip, Effects, and Sends30m

4

Section
Clock
4 hours to complete

Dynamic Effects

Sound must be processed, modified from its recorded state to fit the context of the music. This week, we will focus on tools you can use to effect the dynamics of your tracks and how they are used in a musical context....
Reading
9 videos (Total 68 min), 2 quizzes
Video9 videos
Distortion7m
Dynamic Range Manipulation 4m
Dynamic Processors Overview4m
Dynamic Processor Parameters8m
Gate9m
Downward Compressor14m
Limiter13m
Wrap-upm
Quiz1 practice exercise
Dynamic Range & Dynamic Processors32m
4.8

Top Reviews

By PVJun 26th 2017

WOW, Awesome course Loudon! I'm learning lots of stuff I never knew, very much in depth and it takes me to the source of things I already knew but ignored where they generated from. Love it!

By AGJun 17th 2017

the best, Learned a lot from you guys, despite financial issues I now have my music production specialization certificate from an international organization! Thank you!

Instructor

Loudon Stearns

Assistant Professor
Contemporary Writing & Production

About Berklee College of Music

Berklee College of Music was founded on the revolutionary principle that the best way to prepare students for careers in music is through the study and practice of contemporary music. For more than half a century, the college has evolved to reflect the state of the art of music and the music business. Berklee serves distance learners worldwide through its award-winning online extension school, Berklee Online....

About the Music Production Specialization

This Specialization will give you the knowledge and tools you need to record and produce professional sounding music. You will begin by developing your identity, vision, and intention as an artist and producer. Next, you will learn the technical aspects of music production, including how sound is translated into audio signals, recording techniques, and effects such as reverb, delay, and compression. You will also learn how to use the industry standard Digital Audio Workstation, Pro Tools, to create professional recordings. Finally, you will apply the knowledge and tools you gained in a culminating 4-week Capstone where you will complete a project beginning at the pre-production stage through the recording, mixing, and mastering stages....
Music Production

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Once you enroll for a Certificate, you’ll have access to all videos, quizzes, and programming assignments (if applicable). Peer review assignments can only be submitted and reviewed once your session has begun. If you choose to explore the course without purchasing, you may not be able to access certain assignments.

  • When you enroll in the course, you get access to all of the courses in the Specialization, and you earn a certificate when you complete the work. Your electronic Certificate will be added to your Accomplishments page - from there, you can print your Certificate or add it to your LinkedIn profile. If you only want to read and view the course content, you can audit the course for free.

More questions? Visit the Learner Help Center.