This free online course aims to provide you with tools for developing and refining the critical listening skills relevant to contemporary sound engineering and will be of interest to musicians, sound enthusiasts and experienced sound engineers alike.
There are many qualities required to be a skilled sound engineer: the theoretical knowledge of sound and audio, the technical mastery of studio hardware and software, and diplomatic people skills, for example. But perhaps the most obvious (and often overlooked) quality required of all sound engineers is the ability to listen.
Sound engineers must constantly evaluate the sound quality of individual sound sources in a mix and evaluate how these sound sources interrelate with one another. The ability to listen critically and make these judgments is a skill that must be learned through trial and error and repeated practice.
The course begins by examining the nature of sound and how properties of sound (frequency, amplitude, and sound intensity, for example) are expressed. The relationship between these physical properties and the more subjective characteristics of music such as pitch, loudness, dynamic range and timbre is then examined. The remainder of the course focusses on the signal processing techniques commonly used by sound engineers when mixing multitrack recordings – for example, equalisation, compression, and reverberation.
On completion of the course, you will have a thorough understanding of the workflow involved when mixing a multitrack recording and will have developed the critical listening skills necessary to make informed judgments regarding individual and overall sound quality.
Queen's University Belfast/FutureLearn
About the organiser
FutureLearn offers a diverse selection of courses from leading universities and cultural institutions from around the world. These are delivered one step at a time and are accessible on mobile, tablet and desktop, so you can fit learning around your life.
We believe learning should be an enjoyable, social experience, so our courses offer the opportunity to discuss what you’re learning with others as you go, helping you make fresh discoveries and form new ideas.
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