This course serves as an introduction to the recording facilities and technology at CCRMA. Through lectures and assignments students learn and practice various studio recording techniques. They also become familiarized with home and field recording practices. The course addresses various audio engineering topics: room acoustics, studio operation and maintenance, microphone selection and placement, analog and digital recording, audio editing and mixing, and audio effects processing (equalization, compression, convolution reverb, etc.). Prerequisite: MUSIC 101 or consent of instructor.
- Becoming familiarized with the CCRMA Recording Studio and equipment for future use.
- Understanding basic audio concepts and terminology.
- Developing critical skills and learning how to effectively discuss sound.
- Gaining working knowledge of basic audio technology including microphones, preamps, recorders, mixers, and DAWs.
- Practicing various recording techniques.
Enrollment in Music 192A is limited to ~12 students due to restrictions of space, facility usage, and time for project feedback. Enrollment priority goes to:
- CCRMA graduate students;
- undergraduates majoring in Music, Science, and Technology;
- undergraduates majoring or minoring in Music;
- those who have taken the prerequisite course Music 101.
Space permitting, other students who are non-majors and do not have the prerequisite may enroll. Enrollment will be discussed on the first day of class, Monday, January 2 and decided later that day.
After the first two weeks of remote classes, students are expected to attend all meetings in person. In special circumstances, if you are not able to come to CCRMA for a class but you feel well enough to join via Zoom, we will do our best to accommodate it.
All Zoom sessions will be recorded. Your enrollment in the class represents consent to recording and sharing the files with all enrolled students.
All students are expected to uphold the honor code and fundamental standard.
All assignments are expected to be submitted by the deadline. However, we want to be flexible during these unprecedented times. Please let us know if you have any sort of issues throughout the quarter, whether that is a technical difficulty or related to any other circumstances. We will do our best to assist. In exchange, we ask you to remain flexible with the schedule and course content as this may slightly change through the quarter to provide a better, customized learning experience for the class.
CCRMA RECORDING STUDIO
There will be absolutely no student access to the studio during the first two weeks of the Winter quarter. Starting on January 19, students will receive a CCRMA account and they will be entitled to book/use the Studio and its equipment for the remainder of their time at Stanford. During the Winter quarter, the Studio has dedicated times blocked for 192A students, which can be accessed on a first-come, first-served basis via this shared spreadsheet. We ask that you always make bookings on the day before at the latest (please no same-day bookings as that would disrupt other potential work in the Studio by CCRMA faculty/students).
Student collaboration is strongly encouraged and an essential aspect of the class! Please use the opportunity to play and record each other in CCRMA’s Recording Studio for the various assignments. We want to foster an environment where you can work together, share knowledge and skills, and have fun playing music.
Attendance (15% | 0.5% per regular session and 2% per feedback session)
Feedback sessions should not be missed! Active participation in class, especially in feedback sessions, will result in extra credit.
Studio care (5%)
Coiling cables properly, returning mics and other equipment to their place, keeping the studio clean, resetting changed states of the equipment to default after use, etc.
Music presentation (5%)
Share one song you enjoy with the class and talk about any of its recording/production aspects you find compelling.
Homework 1 (5%)
Set up a DAW multitrack session on your computer, and use the Audiomovers Listento plug-in to remotely record the stems of a song played back in the CCRMA Recording Studio. Export the song and submit it along with a screenshot of your DAW project.
Homework 2 (10%)
Record three sound files (10-30 seconds each) with three different types of microphone in the Recording Studio. Do not use acoustic instruments or voice as sound sources, but rather any non-musical objects (though the sounds may be musical, or noise-based). Write and submit a short description of your recording techniques and the sonic results.
Project 1 (15%)
Record a voice (speech, singing, beatboxing, etc.) with three different microphones, an acoustic instrument (piano, guitar, drums, etc.) with three different stereo techniques, and three impulse responses. Mix one vocal recording and one instrumental recording, then add convolution reverb with one of your impulse reponses. Write and submit a short report on your recording techniques.
Project 2 (15%)
Mix a song in two audibly different ways. Choose stems from the this library: https://cambridge-mt.com/ms/mtk/. Write and submit a short report on your mixing techniques.
Final Project (30%)
Record, arrange, and mix a track in any music genre (original or cover). Use only material recorded by yourself and/or together with your peers. Export your track, submit it, and present your process in class.
STATEMENT OF INCLUSION
It is our intention that this course serves students from all backgrounds. We view the diversity brought by students as an asset to the class. It is our priority to provide a safe and inclusive learning environment where all student contributions are valued. We welcome any suggestions for improving the effectiveness of the course for any student individually, so please feel free to let us know about any issues or wishes you might have.
If you feel offended by anything during the class, please voice out your concern either immediately or with us in private. Also, if there are any factors that interfere with your ability to participate in the class and complete your assignments, please inform us as soon as possible so that we can make arrangements.
We acknowledge the right of all people to be addressed and referred to in accordance with their personal identity. Therefore, please feel free to correct any use of a mistaken name or mistaken gender pronoun in relation to yourself. We will give students the opportunity to provide preferred names and pronouns in the first class meeting, and will do our best to address and refer to all students accordingly and support classmates in doing so as well.*
If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact your teaching team.
* This paragraph has been borrowed from Professor Patricia Alessandrini.
Students with Documented Disabilities: Students who may need an academic accommodation based on the impact of a disability must initiate the request with the Office of Accessible Education (OAE). Professional staff will evaluate the request with required documentation, recommend reasonable accommodations, and prepare an Accommodation Letter for faculty. Unless the student has a temporary disability, Accommodation letters are issued for the entire academic year. Students should contact the OAE as soon as possible since timely notice is needed to coordinate accommodations. The OAE is located at 563 Salvatierra Walk (phone: 723-1066), URL: https://oae.stanford.edu/.
- The Science of Sound Recording – Jay Kadis (ISBN-13: 978-0240821542, ISBN-10: 0240821548)
- Sound on Sound (Links to an external site.)
More resources will be provided in Canvas throughout the course.
Acid Arab: Musique de France
Against All Logic: 2012-2017
Alice Coltrane: Reflections on Creation and Space
Alvin Lucier: I Am Sitting in a Room
Amon Tobin: Fear in a Handful of Dust /// Long Stories
Antony and the Johnsons: I Am A Bird Now
Aphex Twin: Drukqs
Art Ensemble of Chicago: Urban Bushmen
Billie Eilish: WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO?
Boards of Canada: Tomorrow’s Harvest
Björk: Homogenic and Vespertine
Brian Eno: Another Green World
Brian Ferneyhough: Contraccolpi
Caroline Shaw: Partita for 8 Voices
Charli XCX: Pop 2
Clark: Playground in a Lake
Clairo: diary 001
CocoRosie: La Maison de Mon Rêve
David Bowie: David Bowie
David Lynch: Crazy Clown Time
Deftones: White Pony
Dmitri Shostakovich: String Quartet No. 8
Éliane Radigue: Naldjorlak III
Fever Ray: Fever Ray
Gardens & Villa: Gardens & Villa
Georges Aperghis: Récitations
Goldfrapp: Felt Mountain
György Ligeti: Atmospheres
Harry Partch: Delusion of the Fury
Hildegard Westerkamp: Kits Beach Soundwalk
Holly Herndon: PROTO
Igor Stravinsky: Le Sacre du Printemps
Jaga Jazzist: The Stix
James Blake: Overgrown
James Brown: The Payback
James Tenney: Koan
Jana Rush: Painful Enlightenment /// Pariah
Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller: Alter Bahnhof Video Walk
Jennifer Walshe and Memo Akten: ULTRACHUNK
Jimmy Edgar: Color Strip
JLIN: Black Origami
John Cage: Water Walk
Karlheinz Stockhausen: Gesang der Jünglinge
Kendrick Lamar: DAMN
King Krule: The OOZ
Kurt Schwitters: Ursonate
Lana del Rey: Born to Die
Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry & The Upsetters: Super Ape & Return of the Super Ape
Leonard Cohen: New Skin For The Old Ceremony
Lizzo: Cuz I Love You
Lykke Li: Wounded Rhymes
Massive Attack: Heligoland
Matmos: The Rose Has Teeth In The Mouth Of A Beast
Mark Applebaum: Pre-Composition
Miles Davis: Kind of Blue
Mount Kimbie: Love What Survives
MØ: Forever Neverland
Mykki Blanco: Mykki
Natasha Barrett: Hidden Values
Oneohtrix Point Never: Age Of /// Magic Oneohtrix Point Never
Peggy Gou: Hungboo
Pierre Schaeffer: Étude aux chemins de fer
Pink Floyd: The Dark Side of the Moon
Pixies: Surfer Rosa
Radiohead: OK Computer
Red Hot Chili Peppers: Californication
Rodríguez: Cold Fact
Ryuichi Sakamoto: async
Salami Rose Joe Louis: Zdenka 2080
Sault: Untitled (Rise)
Stefano Scodanibbio: Voyage that never ends
Stereolab: Chemical Chords
The Cinematic Orchestra: Man With A Movie Camera
The Knife: Silent Shout
The Shaggs: Philosophy of the World
The Weeknd: After Hours
Tom Waits: Swordfishtrombones
Tyler, The Creator: Flower Boy
Unknown Mortal Orchestra: Sex & Food
Vansire: Angel Youth
Yaeji: WHAT WE DREW
Yasunao Tone: AI Deviation
Yellow Magic Orchestra: YMO
Yussef Kamaal: Black Focus “Spontaneity and Flow”