Studio production: fundamentals

SP101 - Studio Production Fundamentals
Duration 10-15 days

Designed specifically for radio and television broadcast technical production teams, this audio-focused course covers essential in-studio production skills, covering both the theory and the practical use of audio production equipment as well as giving the learner an appreciation for the various role players in the studio production environment from both client and crew perspectives.  
The course is run over three modules that can be flexibly scheduled around production team and studio priorities:

  • Studio Production basics: two days of theory, two days of practical starting with an overview of studio production, then covering studio etiquette addressing the hierarchy of the production and client teams, production workflow, and some detail pertaining to studio equipment: balanced and unbalanced connections, metering and calibration, microphone and pre-amp types and their practical use, the basics of mixing including inputs, dynamics, equalisation, filtering, auxiliary bussing, mono and stereo considerations, working with telephone hybrid units, monitoring, cue mixes and talkback, including protocols for director, presenter, floor manager, boom swinger and other team communications.
  • Mixing console basics: two days of theory and four days of practical hands-on experience using the broadcaster's own specific audio (and/or vision) mixing consoles, dealing with analogue and digital mixing theory, calibrating and working to broadcast levels, examining channel strips in detail: input selection, pads, impedance matching, high pass filtering, equalisation types and their use, auxilliary busses and their practical use for sub-mixes and effects routing, on board effect use, dynamics processing, reverb, delays and other time based effects, setting up mix-minus mixes and other cue feeds, monitoring with speakers and with headphones, locate and punch techniques, and practicing typical mix workflows for studio recording and production.  
  • Multiple microphone studio production: a five day practical workshop using multiple microphone set-ups for recording and producing a live or "near-live" music event, dealing with mic selection and set-up techniques for mono and multi-channel recording of most popular contemporary instruments, including drum and other percussion kits, electric bass DI and amplifier feeds, electric and acoustic guitar DI and amplifier feeds, acoustic piano, electric keyboards and samplers used through amplifier and speaker systems, ensemble and orchestral strings, wind, woodwind and brass instruments; also the selection and techniques for mic'ing vocal performers, including spoken word, male and female singers, choral ensembles and crowds. 

Targeted at experienced production team members as well as those hoping to enter the industry at this level, this course starts at a basic level and takes the learner to a level of competence where they can be productively deployed on the audio side of a real studio production environment.

While there are no specific language or academic pre-reqiuisites, it is assumed that the learner will have at least had some exposure to a studio production environment; the course is aimed at employees (full-timne or freelance) of a broadcaster or production facility involved in the production of content in a studio environment. 

When you complete this course you will be able to ...
  • Understand the studio production environment: the people involved and the usual equipment used to record and produce studio content
  • Configure and use a mix console in the studio production context while applying internal and external processing and effects for enhancing the audio production value
  • Start applying the microphone selection and technique guidelines you have practiced to real-world recordings of voice and common live music production instrumentation
  • Contribute productively to audio production in a studio context
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