Lessons and Classes
For a listing of all our computer music classes, see our Computer Music & Music Theory course offerings.
Home Recording 101 (Class #: PP.400.010 01)
Home Recording 102 (Class #: PP.400.011 01)
Class will be held in the Multimedia Studio, 2nd floor, Leakin Hall building.
Once you’re ready to register for classes and/or individual instruction, please visit our registration page.
Home Recording 101 & 102
As accessibility to personal home studios has increased, the Preparatory Computer Music Department is pleased to offer Pro Tools recording classes. Group classes are designed to guide students from an introduction to MIDI to an understanding of the techniques required for recording studio production. Classes will be taught using a Mac computer running Pro Tools 11 or 12. Students will be required to purchase their own Pro Tools software using their own home computers (Mac laptop preferred) to complete homework assignments. Please see below for options on where to purchase academic-priced software. Curriculum includes MIDI, basic microphone techniques, mixing, plug-ins (i.e., compressors, EQ, delay, reverb), and home studio setup. Later in the semester, students will create/record their own songs. (Depending on skill level//interest, class may use the book Pro Tools 101 Official Courseware.) Each week, students will be asked as homework to mix an instructor-provided session file or assemble a new song. Class length will be 60 minutes for four or more students, or adjusted to 45 minutes for three students, or 30 minutes for two students. Minimum of two students.
- Comfortable using your computer, installing software, creating/playing mp3 files.
- Comfortable playing singlehanded on a MIDI (piano) keyboard (nothing virtuoso).
- A strong interest in music.
- Internet access so you can search internet forums for tech support when needed.
- Patience to work through various technical problems you will inevitably encounter in your studio.
Supplies needed in your personal home studio
- Laptop Computer of recent vintage (Mac laptop highly recommended! PC may work but will be much harder to setup.) Computer system requirements for Pro Tools version 12 can be found at http://avid.force.com/pkb/articles/en_US/Compatibility/Pro-Tools-12-System-Requirements
- Pro Tools Software (version is flexible) and an iLok. Academic-priced software available from Sweetwater Sound http://www.sweetwater.com/shop/pro-tools/ Current selling version is Pro Tools 12 $99 academic “annual plan” or $299 academic “perpetual license”. (An older version of Pro Tools could be purchased on eBay if desired, but then it won’t come with tech support.)
- MIDI-capable (piano style) Keyboard (hopefully with USB port. If your keyboard is old, may also need MIDI cables and a MIDI interface)
- Mic, Cable, and Headphones. Decent Speakers. Because most laptops have only a single combo jack (headphone/mic jack combined) you may wish to start with an inexpensive USB mic http://www.sweetwater.com/c981–USB_Microphones At $129 the Blue Yeti USB Microphone is a good starter mic – as it records in Mono or Stereo.
- Optional – If you choose to do multi-track recording, it will be very helpful to have a dedicated audio interface. Thunderbolt interfaces have lower latency than USB interfaces, and are therefore much easier to use, but they cost more. For example: http://www.sweetwater.com/c1089–Thunderbolt_Audio_Interfaces
If you don’t own some of these items, consider coming to the first class to get advice before you go out and purchase lots of gear. Keep all your receipts and original packaging so you can return mis-purchased items!
- Four students need to register for the class to successfully run at one hour.
- If only three students register, class will be 45 minutes long.
- If only two students register, class will be 30 minutes long. Minimum of two students