Sound Engineer Diploma Course Details

TRW level 1 full time – Duration 9 months. Click here for the level 2 details.

This course leads to the Rockschool Level 3 Music Practitioners Subsidiary Diploma (equivalent to A level).

Sound Engineer Diploma Course contents

Part 1

Sound Engineering and Music Production Foundation course (8 X weeks).

A comprehensive and concise grounding course covering all aspects of sound recording and music technology.

Structured so that by the end students have completed an original recording project. This is a group composition irrespective of musical knowledge.

The workshops are informal and involve interacting with others and the tutor as well as practicing on the equipment available. Seminars are given on all necessary theory and all relevant information packs are provided for students to keep. Additionally each person records their mix for each session.

Students are asked to bring tapes/records/CDs/MP3s of pre-recorded music for the class to analyse.

At the end of the course participants are able to analyse productions on most recordings, they are familiar with recording studio equipment, have acquired skills and techniques in their use for recording and production.

Text books are available at a reduced price.

Some of The Areas Covered by The Music Production Foundation Course:

  • Introduction to Microphones,
  • Patching,
  • M.I.D.I.,
  • Setting up recording studios,
  • Recording procedures,
  • Production techniques,
  • Signal flow,
  • Multitrack recording,
  • Mixing techniques,
  • Equalisation techniques,
  • Metering,
  • Sampling,
  • Synthesisers,
  • Reverberation,
  • Digital delays,
  • DAW Sequencing,
  • S.M.P.T.E. synchronisation,
  • Compression and Noise Gates
  • Digital vs Analog Formats,
  • Basic explanation of the music business, copyright laws, and a lot more…

Synth Programing and Sound Design:

A hands on module covering all aspects of Analog & Digital sound design and synthesiser programing.

  • A brief history of synthesis and synthesis techniques
  • Analogue subtractive synthesis and digital equivalents.
  • VCOs Oscillators
  • VCFs: Filter types: low pass, high pass, band, comb and notch filters,
  • VCAs: Amplitude
  • LFOs: Waveforms, rate, depth.
  • Ring modulation.
  • Envelope Generators. ADSR.
  • Bias
  • Key Follow
  • Using effects

There are up to 8 classic vintage synthesisers available for participants to work on including the rare Korg MS20, Roland SH101, Juno 106, Roland TB303, Roland JD800, JD990, XV2080, Casio CZ10, Novation Supernova.

Each person will have use of a different machine at each session so that experience is gained on as many different types as possible. Students will be able to record their sounds on to tape or sample disks for their own use or bring their own synths. This module prepares you to use various software instruments in part 2 of the course such as Kontakt, EXS 24, Halion and others included in Logic, Cubase and ProTools.

Sound Engineer Diploma Course – Part 2

Duration 16 weeks.

In addition to the subjects detailed below essential music theory such as Notes, Octaves, Tone & Semitone, scales, chords, progressions, bass lines and music business and law promotion, management, introduction to publishing are also be covered in this part of the course.

Music Sampling Techniques:

History of sampling including the Melotron, Fairlight and Akai products.
All the aspects of sampling,

  • editing
  • looping
  • programming hardware
  • Recycle
  • software samplers (Kontakt, Recycle & EXS24).

Multi-Track Recording and Microphone Techniques:

Covers all aspects of multi track recording and mixer use for acoustic recording such as

  • Analogue vs digital mixers, signal flow
  • Mic/line inputs, monitor inputs
  • Group outputs and master outputs.
  • Aux sends and returns
  • Connections: XLR, ¼ inch, phono, optical
  • Balanced & unbalanced connections
  • Cables, wiring, routing and patchbays
  • Lining Up,
  • Levels,
  • Routing,
  • Bouncing Down,
  • Dropping in and out.
  • Electronics, amplifiers, signal processors
  • Microphone types, placement, stereo techniques,
  • Recording acoustic guitar. Stereo miking techniques
  • Recording electric guitars, Using DI boxes. Bass cabinet miking. Recording techniques with guitar amplifiers. Types, settings. Fine tuning the sound.
  • Drums (with a session drummer), Setting up and preparing. Troubleshooting. Microphone selection and placement. Close miking, overheads, room mics and ambiance.
  • Vocals. Getting a good monitor mix, Microphone selection and placement for vocals. Double tracking, harmonising.
  • Advanced Effects and EQ use.
  • Electricity and audio, hums, earth loops, impedance matching.
  • Studio etiquette, producing a session
  • Recording a band
  • Overdubbing
  • Archiving and session recall routines.
  • Creating a rough mix

Cubase Tutorial:

Aspects of Cubase MIDI sequencing covered include:

Drum programming, bars, beats, how to produce different rhythms, often referred to as ‘Making Beats’

  • Key editor,
  • List editor,
  • Logical editing,
  • Arranging with Global functions,
  • Cut & Pasting,
  • Group track,
  • Using Controllers,
  • MIDI processor,
  • MIDI mixing, IPS,
  • Arpegiators & more
  • The mixer,
  • Automation,
  • Using plug-ins,
  • Audio & automation editing,
  • Channel assignment,
  • VST instruments,
  • Recording audio etc…

Advanced Music Production:

No matter what kind of music you work with the final mix is very often the biggest stumbling block. In this course we work with different styles of music and cover the details of integrating and balancing the sounds using all the facilities of the studio including

  • Ear training
  • Production analysis
  • Grouping tracks
  • Panning: when and how to use panoramic positioning controls
  • Advanced EQ: drums etc..
  • Compression. Attack, Release, Threshold and Ratio explained
  • Compressor types and their sound
  • Noise gates.
  • Ducking effects.
  • Types of reverb: spring, plate, digital, convolution
  • Reverb parameters: Early reflections, density, pre-delay and gated reverb
  • Delay parameters: delay time, feedback, hi-cut (damping)
  • Patching delays
  • Multi-tap, ping pong delay and other delay types
  • Chorus, pitch shifting, phasing and flanging
  • Microphone modelling and pitch correction software. Autotune.
  • EQing lead vocals.
  • De-essers
  • Vocal effects: reverb, delay, automatic double tracking (ADT)
  • Backing Vocals: creating submixes
  • EQ’ing, compressing and aligning background vocals. Vocalign.
  • Radio mixes
  • Mixing Dance, Rock, Acoustic, Dub and other styles.

Pro Tools Tutorial:

This powerful professional industry standard package is becoming increasingly popular. This course covers all the aspects of using the system.

  • Optimising your computer for music production with Logic Pro,
  • System requirements & soundcards,
  • External hard drives,
  • Hardware and software instruments.
  • Recording,
  • Importing
  • Editing,
  • Plug-ins,
  • Mixing,
  • Automation,
  • Bouncing down etc.

Logic Studio:

Logic Pro is the sequencing program used by professionals which is becoming increasingly popular. This course covers all the aspects of using Logic:

  • Optimising your computer for music production with Logic Pro,
  • System requirements & soundcards,
  • External hard drives,
  • Hardware and software instruments.
  • Audio Units and MIDI programming in Logic.
  • Drum programming, bars, beats, how to produce different rhythms,
  • The Environment,
  • Arpegiators,
  • Delay line
  • Arrange page,
  • Event list editor,
  • Piano Roll editor,
  • Hyper editor,
  • Importing audio
  • Audio recording,
  • Time stretching,
  • Editing,
  • Setting up for mixing,
  • Plug-ins
  • Audio instruments setting up, use
  • Automation
  • Bouncing
  • Mixing down
  • Exporting

Sound Engineer Diploma Course – Part 3

This is the final part of the Level 1 Diploma. In this section there are no more classes to attend, but nonetheless, a very important part of the diploma as this your chance to finish off any projects you may have outstanding. You have full access to either the main studio, or the workstations when they are available. Once you have finished all your projects you will have your final interview and assessment.

Besides catching up with your projects this is a great opportunity for you to consolidate all the knowledge you have learned over the whole year and really get to grips with it all by putting it into practice. The more time you spend in the studio or at a workstation, the more your confidence will grow as you become accustomed to using the equipment, and it will prepare you for your future career. You will also receive individual tuition if required. Take full advantage of this great opportunity.