Interested in a career in music? Learn everything you need to know about working with digital audio, including the digital signal path, compression, DAWs, MIDI, and mixing.
- Hi, I'm Matt Mayfield, and welcome to foundations of digital audio. Digital audio is the basis for practically every sound recording in the 21st century. This course was designed to introduce you to the concepts that underlie audio engineering, music production, and sound recording of any kind. First, I'll give you an overview of the essential concepts of what sound is, examine the way our ears hear sound, and break down the three domains of audio: acoustic, analog, and digital.
Then, we'll look closely at the analog signal path which all digital audio is built upon, including, analog connections, gain stages and metering, and I'll show you the differences between mic-level, line-level and speaker-level. Next, I'll demonstrate how the digital domain is built on top of the analog domain, and explore digital concepts like the sampling process, dither, and common file formats.
(electronic music) After that, I'll define the five main types of digital audio workstation, give you an overview of effects plug-ins and virtual instruments, and offer some rules of thumb to help you determine exactly what computer hardware you need and what you don't. Then, you'll see what MIDI is. How it compares to digital audio, the way that it captures the performance, but not the sound, and how MIDI can give you incredible creative flexibility.
Finally, we'll examine how digital audio can be processed and mixed using tools like automation, equalization, compression and more. By understanding the principles digital audio is based on, you'll be well prepared to accomplish anything you set your mind to in terms of recorded sound. So if you're ready to go, let's dive in to Foundations of Digital Audio.
The course starts with explanations of what sound really is and how we hear it, including discussions on frequency, amplitude, phase, and psychoacoustics. Matt explores analog audio signal path, explaining connections, gain staging, and metering. Next, he brings the audio signal into the digital domain, discussing analog to digital conversion, digital gain staging, file formats and compression, and dither.
Then the course digs into digital audio workstations (DAWs), explaining the concepts and misconceptions involved in digital recording systems. Matt describes how memory, CPU speed, and storage affect your DAW's performance, as well as how to manage computer resources and understand the plethora of file formats associated with digital recording. He follows with an overview of MIDI: how to generate, store, process, and communicate MIDI data. He wraps up with the audio processors that are often used for mixing in a DAW—including EQ, compressors, reverb, delay, and many others.
- What is sound?
- The three domains of sound: acoustic, analog, and digital
- The analog vs. digital signal paths
- Converting analog audio to digital
- Digital formats and data compression
- Understanding the five types of DAWs
- Recording performances with MIDI
- Mixing and processing audio with EQ, compression, and other effects