Course Structure

INSTRUCTION MODULE:

Theory:

The first four & half months of the audio program start with the theory classes. The modules that will be covered are:

Sound Theory

Sound theory implies the study of audio, its physical parameters and its perception to the human ear. It gives one an idea of how sound is received and interpreted by the human ear and how sound can be visualized as a model for easier understanding. The course explains the absolute basics of sound, the characteristics of the human ear and its ability to change a physical phenomenon to a sensory one. It also explains the various fundamental characteristics of a waveform that include amplitude, frequency, velocity, wavelength, phase, harmonic content and acoustic envelope. The study is made interesting with relevant listening exercises that illustrate the fundamental relationship between these parameters. Moreover, the students will learn about psychoacoustics, i.e. the human perception and interpretation of various sounds and sound sources.

Microphones

Microphones are the basis of converting acoustic energy into electrical signals. This is the primary method of translating sound from a phenomenon in air into the electronic domain. The students will learn the various classification of microphones that include dynamic, condenser, ribbon microphones etc, and their professional application in today's recording industry. The course also explains the various technical specifications of microphones and the factors one should keep in mind for selecting the right microphone for the required application.

Basic Electronics

The knowledge of basic electronics is extremely imperative for an audio engineer in the field. Apart from the basic know-how of recording and mixing music, it helps the engineer to know how to chase a signal and probably find faults or rectify technical errors and glitches in the signal chain so as to carry on a smooth recording and otherwise. The course provides brief but insightful knowledge on basic electronic devices that include capacitors, resistors, inductors, transducers etc. and their functions in an electronic circuit. Also, the course explains the general maintenance of electronic gadgets and the basic hardware know-how that include soldering electronic joints, cables and connectors.

Sound Reinforcement

Speakers, monitors, amplifiers etc. are parts of the system, which are responsible for converting audio in its electronic form back into sound waves in air, which in turn are perceived by the human ear. There are various types of speakers and amplifiers; each one has a different specification and use. The basic theory of sound reinforcement, the meaning and use of active and passive speakers, their crossover filter frequencies and the use of Digital Delay Line will be adequately explained to the students. Dynamic range and decibels will also be discussed in order to give the students an in depth knowledge in the use of its calculations that are necessary for speaker placement and calibration for live sound reinforcement.

Signal Processing

Signal processing is one of the most interesting aspects of audio. This is the part where the Sound Engineer can get creative to the fullest of his limitless potential and talent. It involves the use of dynamic, frequency and time-based effects for further enhancement of the audio signal in both the analog and the digital domain. The students will be taught how to use equalizers, compressors, reverbs, delay units and noise reduction systems in a conventional way and also how to apply them in the most unusual scenarios. The learning process is made fun and less stressful by citing real-world examples, learning from common mistakes and providing hands-on lessons on the relevant topics.

Studio Acoustic Design

Whether it is music recording, audio-for-visual or even for broadcast purposes, acoustic treatment and design plays a pivotal role in creating a good sounding production. Room acoustics, sound isolation, symmetry in control room, frequency balance, sound absorption, reflection and reverberation should be well considered to achieve the best possible acoustic results while designing a sound studio. The course explains the various aspects and calculations one should accomplish in designing a sound studio that starts from measurement of the room, physical acoustic analysis and treatment, assessing equipment based on the spec sheets and also selecting the necessary tools and instruments for the required purpose. Moreover, studio management and operations will be discussed based on an industry perspective.

Digital Technology

In today's world of ever changing technology where everyone has made digital technology a part of his or her lives, it is impossible to ignore the digital aspect of audio technology. Digital Audio is simply a process by which numeric representations of analog signals are encoded, processed, stored and reproduced over time through the use of a binary number system. This is the module in which the students will be introduced to words such as sampling and quantization that form the basics of digital audio. They will be taught the ever-changing hierarchy of the technology tree with its branches that covers protocols and standards such as AES/EBU, S/PDIF, TDIF, ADAT, connectivity and synchronization with various analog and digital recording media, recording formats and error correction. Also, the students will be taught how to handle digital equipment starting from basic computing to digital consoles and also in working with various computer platforms such as the Mac, PC and its connectivity with external devices using the Universal Serial Bus (USB) and Firewire. Moreover, the course explains the scope and potential of Internet Audio and the various audio compression standards and codecs that are invading today's multimedia and audio industry.

Stereo and Surround Sound

When records started hitting the markets, all that was played on the record was monophonic audio. Later, the wonderful new development of stereo came into being. This meant that a track would have 2 distinct signals that would form a stereo image in the minds of the listeners making it more realistic and human. But technology is something that never waits for anyone, and thus, yet another concept evolved: surround sound. This meant that we would receive audio from all around the ear almost as if to replicate the way our ears receive and interpret sound in nature. The course explains the various surround sound formats such as Dolby Digital, DTS, SDDS etc. that are really popular these days and will discuss the various compression standards and coding used by these formats. Also, the students will be taught on the placement of speakers and calibrating them for the required surround environment in order to achieve the sweet listening spot. Furthermore, the concept will be made clear with ample surround sound listening material and video tutorials. They will also be introduced to the art of mixing in surround sound.

Practicals

The practical classes and studio sessions will be conducted in the next five & half months of the program. The topics covered are:

Analog Console

Digital Academy offers its students a great opportunity to experience and learn the structure and signal flow in analog consoles. They learn the basic signal routing principles that form the foundation of a successful sound engineer. The students will enjoy the dedicated fader knobs, the warm sound and the immediate response of the sound to the tweak of a knob. Also, they will learn to insert external dynamics and effects processors in the analog chain directly from the analog console. Moreover, the practical sessions will help them understand the basic connectivity of analog consoles with Digital Audio Workstations (DAW) that are commonly used as the recording medium.

Digital Console

When the world has transformed into the digital domain, digital consoles are gathering momentum in a wide range of installed sound applications which offer a variety of functional advantages over the analog that include automated recall capability, flexible Input/Output settings, integrated signal processing and application of external control interfaces. The students will learn how to differentiate the digital theory from analog, the signal flow and connectivity of digital consoles with Digital Audio Workstations (DAW). Practice recording sessions will be conducted that consolidates the digital concept in each and every student. Apart from that, they will learn how a digital mixer can be effectively used to balance, position, effect and equalize its different audio channels into a good sounding sonic image that we call a mix.

Digital Audio Workstations

In recent years, the term Digital Audio Workstation has increasingly come to signify an integrated computer-based hard-disk recording system that commonly offers features such as:

- Advanced multitrack recording, editing and mixdown capabilities

- MIDI sequencing, edit and score capabilities

- Integrated and plug-in signal processing support

- Support for integrating software plug-in instruments (VSTI, AU and RTAS) and peripheral music programs (ReWire)

- Integration of peripheral hardware devices such as controllers and audio and MIDI interface devices.

The introduction of such DAW's have revolutionized the faces of professional, project and personal studios in a way that touches almost every life within the audio and music production communities.

Digital Academy offers integrated training to work with DAW's that include Digidesign Protools and Steinberg Nuendo, which are being widely used in today's audio post and music production industry. Students learn the art of recording, editing and mixing using DAW's and the implementation of plug-in and automation to tweak and manipulate audio to achieve the desired results. Moreover, they will learn the use of hardware interfaces and controllers in DAW's and their application in professional environment.

Miking Techniques

Recording is the preliminary step in an audio production. A decent recording comes from a decent source and a decent miking. Students will be taught a variety of miking techniques that include mono miking, stereo miking and multi-miking. They will record vocal and acoustic instruments using the various established miking techniques that are used widely around the world and will also learn in miking up the drum-kit. This module offers the students an opportunity in analyzing the characteristics of each miking technique and also experimenting and exploring newer techniques that suit the best for capturing the source signal.

MIDI

MIDI stands for Musical Instrument Digital Interface and MIDI sequencer is a software or hardware device designed to create and manage computer-generated music. MIDI programming is being widely used by most of the established music producers and composers all around the world. In this module, the students will learn the basic connectivity of Digital Audio Workstations (DAW) with samplers and MIDI controllers used for triggering MIDI messages that is recorded onto the DAW. They will learn the application of various MIDI record/edit modes and export functions in DAW’s. Furthermore, the students will be introduced into the new world of Virtual Studio Technology (VST) and the use of VST instruments for composing and programming computer-generated music, as well as the use of MIDI in synchronizing various audio equipment.

Audio Post-Production

Audio Post Production usually refers to audio that is synchronized with video. This applies to TV, Cinema, and Commercials. When the creators started realizing that the original, or production audio, lacks in performance or quality, it demanded the birth of audio post-production in studios. In this module the students will learn the application of Automated Dialogue Replacement (ADR) in which they will replace the original production dialogues with studio recorded ones and synchronize it with the video. They will be taught on recording foley and generating sound effects that come as a part of sound design for the video. Moreover, the students will also learn the addition of music and voiceover to the video.

Final Practical Project

Once the students have finished their practical classes, Digital Academy offers structured opportunities for the students to observe and participate in ‘real world’ workplace settings. Students have to record a band/artist and mix a song to create a production that they can use as a portfolio. This is the right opportunity where a student can make use of his potential in managing bands and actively participate and contribute to studio sessions. Finally, practical test will be conducted based on the submitted project. The practical project helps the students in adapting and modifying their skills and attitudes to the demands of the recording band and also helps in evaluating their own strengths and weaknesses.

The Digital Academy Student benefit:

- A command over both Pro-tools and Nuendo

- Strong base in Analog

- Complete knowledge of Digital Audio Technology

- Routing of tracks

- Focus on improvisation

- Field trips to Recording Studios and Radio Stations for a live experience

- Guest lecturers by renowned film personalities

Note:- Curriculum subject to change