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BCC MUS-160 Spring 2016:

MUS-160 Syllabus

Mus-160: Sound Engineering 1
Meeting: Room CS112 & AT-022
Section 01: MW 12:00 - 1:40
Section 02: TR 12:00 - 1:40

Instructor: Robert Greaves
Office: AT 022
email : GreavesRW @ SunyBroome.edu
Phone: BCC Department secretary at 778-5094
Website: www.SoundChisel.com
Office Hours: by appointment only.

Course Materials: Modern recording techniques, 8th edition (Huber and Runstein) and Critical listening skills for audio professionals (Everest) and a USB memory device 4GB or better.

Outcomes: Students completing this course are expected to understand various scientific principles and be able to relate them to the phenomenon of sound as it applies to the challenges of both live sound reinforcement and the recording studio. The student should acquire a reasonable grasp of (1) how acoustic energy can be understood in terms of fluid dynamics and other observable features, (2) various microphone designs including methods used to convert acoustic energy into electrical energy, (3) psychoacoustics of the human ear and brain that do not represent what sound is actually doing in an acoustic space, (4) how mixing and editing involves modifying not what we hear but what sound is actually doing in order for us to hear it differently (5) the basic technology behind analog and digital audio platforms, (6) numerous signal routing strategies and when they are used, (7) how sound is manipulated to create various effects, and (8) key characteristics of audio equipment and recording studio design. Additionally the student will become familiar with mundane tasks such as caring for equipment and repairing cables.

All Course Work: is required. I reserve the right to give a negative grade for any course work omitted.

Exams: there are three written exams counting as 60% of your grade. They are take home exams but do not kid yourself, MY TESTS ARE NOT EASY and my grading style is demanding. Make the effort and you will do well.

Attendance: is crucial to success in this course. Missed material is difficult to make up. It is highly recommended that you read the relevant chapters PRIOR to the lecture devoted to that chapter.

Critical Listening Labs: There are 10 Critical Listening Labs (CLL) to reinforce experiencing relevant concepts. These are to be completed outside of scheduled classes and labs on your own time.

Pro Tools Labs::A few Pro Tools labs during scheduled class time will cover the basics. However, you are expected to spend additional personal time working with Pro Tools in this classroom when proctors are present so you can familiarize yourself with its capabilities – this is the only way you can complete your final project. This is not a course on Pro Tools. However, an ability to use Pro Tools is essential for Sound Engineering 2, 3 & 4.

Final Project: Using a voice and/or an analog instrument, each student will create a Pro Tools project using the iMacs. This project requires full documentation for each step of the process in detail to be presented at the end of the course. This project is 20% of your grade.

Pop quizzes: You will be quizzed on previous lecture(s), Critical Listening Labs, and reading assignments. Count on it! Quizzes are 10% of your grade.

Important dates: classes begin Jan 27; last day May 20; break 1, Feb 17; break 2, Apr 14 - 18

Class, Topics, (Date)

  1. 1 Introduction (Jan 27)
  2. Huber Chapter 1 (Introduction to Recording) (Jan 29)
  3. Huber Chapter 2 (Basic Acoustics sound and hearing) CLL (Feb 3)
  4. Huber Chapter 2 (Basic Acoustics sound and hearing) (Feb 5)
  5. Pro Tools lab 1 CLL (Feb 10)
  6. Huber Chapter 3 (Studio Acoustics & Design) (Feb 12)
  7. Huber Chapter 4 (Microphone Design and technology 1) CLL (Feb 19)
  8. Huber Chapter 4 (Microphone Design and technology 2) (Feb 24)
  9. Microphone Application Lab (Feb 26)
  10. Pro Tools Lab 2 CLL (Mar 3)
  11. Huber Chapter 5 (Analog Recording) (Mar 5)
    Take home Exam 1 (chapters 1, 2, 3 & 4) due back class 13
  12. Huber Chapter 14 (Audio Production Console) (Mar 10)
  13. Huber Chapter 6 (Digital Recording and technology 1) CLL (Mar 12)
  14. Huber Chapter 6 (Digital Recording and technology 2) (Mar 17)
  15. Exam 1 results discussed in class CLL (Mar 19)
  16. Huber Chapter 15 (Signal Processing 1 part 1) (Mar 24)
  17. Huber Chapter 15 (Signal Processing 2 part 2) (Mar 26)
  18. Signal Processing Lab, Pro Tools LE CLL (Mar 31)
  19. Huber Chapter 21 (Recording the band) (Apr 2)
    Take home Exam 2 (chapters 5, 6, 14, 15) due back in class 21
  20. Huber Chapter 21 (Recording Session 1) (Apr 7)
  21. Huber Chapter 21 (Recording Session 2 CLL (Apr 9)
  22. Huber Chapter 17, 21 (mixing levels & placement) (Apr 21)
  23. Exam 2 results dicussed in class (Apr 23)
  24. Audio Cables (soldering lab 1) CLL (Apr 28)
  25. Audio Cables (soldering lab 2)  (Apr 30)
    Take home Exam 3
    Chapters 17, 21) due back in class 27
  26. Final Project Lab 1 (May 5)
  27. Final Project Lab 2 CLL (May 7)
  28. Final Project presentations 1 (May 12)
  29. Exam 3 discussed (May 14)
  30. Final Project presentations 2 (May 19)

Grades: Exams 1, 2 & 3 = 60%; Critical Listening Labs = 10%; Quizzes = 10%; Final Project = 20%. Letter grade break down: 69 = D; 71 = C-; 76 = C; 79 = C+; 81 = B-; 86 = B; 89 = B+; 93 = A-; 94+ = A

Everest, F. Alton. Critical Listening Skills for Audio Professionals. Boston, MA: Thomson Course Technology, 2007.

Huber, David Miles, and Robert E. Runstein. Modern Recording Techniques. 8th ed. Boston: Focal Press/Elsevier, 2010.

Disclaimer: Technical difficulties or other arising situations may require the instructor to make reasonable modifications to the syllabus.

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