Audio Recording


Dr. Mark Snyder
Fine Arts 207
(904) 256-7665
Office Hours M 2:30-4:00 PM, TR 2:30-4:30 PM, and by appointment.

Welcome to Audio Recording. The course will introduce you to the basics of audio recording. You’ll get to research the best methods to record each week and test your findings using different microphones/techniques and processors. You will get to record a duo for your midterm and a full band for your final!

Audio Basics: by Stanley Alten, Cengage Learning.

Additional Materials
Memory Stick or Hard Drive for storing & backing up your projects.

Studio quality headphones. Pick a pair from the list below. They don’t need to be from Sweetwater.

Course Goals
Students will have:

  • Experience recording all types of instruments and ensembles.
  • A basic introduction to microphone placement.
  • An understanding of recording many different instruments in multiple ways.
  • An understanding of recording studios, acoustic treatment and elementary acoustics.
  • Develop skills in audio recording as it is used in music, film and other media applications.

Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Understand the main components of the recording process.
  • Record music in a multitrack environment.
  • Understand different microphones, polar patterns and proper placement.
  • List and describe the signal chain and its importance.
  • Experiment with the recording process by applying new, different, or divergent approaches to it based on sound research methods.
  • Make the best recording based on the room they are in and the equipment they have.
  • Properly use microphones, mixers, processors and recorders.
  • Understand the basics of mastering, and proper studio procedures.

Class Participation & Attendance
Education is mostly experiential and therefore class attendance is critical. I go to great lengths to make this course beneficial to you even if you can’t see what it’s value is in the moment. Trust me and come to class!

Absences and Excuses
Each student is directly responsible for absences and for making up missed work.

Assignment Descriptions

In addition to the readings, there will be a weekly recording project that you and your partner will complete each week and upload to the class blog. You will begin by researching different techniques for recording each instrument and experiment with at least 3 different techniques and document your results giving your own analysis and opinions once completed.

There are 2 Projects that will demonstrate what you have learned from the readings, class discussions and your own research. The first project is your midterm and will be a duo recording of guitar or piano and voice that you will record, mix and master. Your final project, you will be combined with another group and you will be recording a full band that you will record, mix and master.

There are 2 tests that cover class lectures and the readings.

Students are expected to participate in the critiques of the projects that occur when these projects are played in class. Failure to do so will lower the grade of your project. Critiques are designed to offer insights, suggestions for improvement, support to encourage you to improve your work. Each of you will provide an affective grade for each of final projects that is averaged in with my affective grade and feedback.

In addition to the above requirements, participation will be measured against the following criteria:

  • Contribute original thoughts or ideas to the critiques.
  • Give relevant reasons to validate points.
  • Demonstrate openness to divergent points of view.
  • Be respectful of the perceptions of others.
  • Integrate material from previous units to formulate ideas and generate dialogue.

Projects will be graded by timeliness and the fulfillment of the requirements as well, but grades of A and B will be reserved for students going above and beyond the requirements and overall quality.

Students will be expected to spend an average of 6 hours per week on the readings, research and in the studio working on projects. All work will be completed and turned in on time.


August 29:  Introduction to the course & recording studio policies.
September 5: Chapter 6: Microphones & basic studio introduction continued.
September 12: Chapter 8: Mixers,Consoles & Control Surfaces. Electric Bass Recording due.
September 19: Chapter 9: Recording. Begin Chapter 7: Microphone Techniques. Male & Female voice recordings due.
September 26: Continue Chapter 9. Acoustic Guitar Recording due.
October 3: Continue Chapter 9. Begin Chapter 11: Signal Processors. Piano Recordings due.
October 10: Continue Chapter 11. Upright Bass Recording due.
October 17: Review – Test – Begin Chapter 13: Mixing.
October 24: Continue Chapter 13. Project I due.
October 31: Chapter 5: Monitoring. Electric Guitar Recording due.
November 7: Chapter 1: Behavior of Sound. & Chapter 2: The Ear & Hearing. Drum recording due.
November 14:  Chapter 3: Perception of Sound &  Chapter 4: Studio & Control Room Design. Woodwind recording due.
November 28: Chapter 10: Synchronization and Transfers & Chapter 12: Editing. String recording due.
December 5: Review – Test – Brass recording due.

*****Schedule may be ahead or behind at any point. Pay attention in class to make sure you are aware of important dates and times. The schedule will also fluctuate depending on how many of which emphasis are in the class.*****

Homework               40%
Midterm Project    20%
Tests  (2)                    20%
Final Project            20%

Academic Honesty
Students at JU are expected to adhere to the highest standards of academic honesty. Refer to the information on academic integrity and misconduct found in the online  JU catalog, p.101. Academic dishonesty will be handled appropriately by the instructor.

Student Support Services 
Students at JU are expected to adhere to the highest standards of academic honesty. Refer to the information on academic integrity and misconduct found in the online 2015-16 JU catalog, p.101. Academic dishonesty will be handled appropriately by the instructor.