Online Personal Audio Engineering Lessons
DAW - Software & Hardware Lessons
Home Studio Consulting
For several years I was an instructor at Omega Studios Recording Engineering School in Rockville, Md. Since I started my freelance engineering career on 2001, I’ve been teaching home studio engineers how to make better recordings and mixes. These lessons are given to students in their own work spaces on their own gear. The pandemic has made safety a serious concern, but with modern technology, I have the ability to provide instruction while we maintain the ultimate in social distancing. I now have students all across the US.
I use Team Viewer (it’s free and available in both PC and Mac platforms) to connect with your computer screen and show you step-by-step how your DAW system works. I’ll teach you how to manage data, how to send your microphone signals to individual tracks, what all the options are on your mixing console, how plug-ins work (compression, EQ, reverb, etc.), and anything else YOU want to learn.
The curriculum consists of whatever topics you chose. Any software, hardware, or platform (PC or Mac.) Whether you are just starting out, or have things working well but want to improve your skills, I have 30+ years of studio engineering experience to share with you.
My rate is $40/hour. For beginners, the brain starts to overload with lots of new information, so 2 hours is usually enough to make your eyes glaze over. You could plan on multiple lessons and absorb as much as you can handle. But I’m flexible, so let me know what YOU want to learn.
Online Personal Audio Engineering Classes
I provide instruction in audio engineering for home recording. These are personalized, one-on-one recording lessons, targeting specific techniques or topics that you would choose. Here are some things to consider.
- Are you recording yourself at home and want to get better results?
- Thinking about recording at home but confused by all the equipment options?
- Planning on building a studio in your home or rehearsal space?
- Does your church or house of worship have a PA system but things just don’t sound right?
I’ve been a professional audio engineer for over 30 years, doing both studio recording and live show/event mixing. For 5 years, I was a recording engineer and instructor at the Omega Studios’ School of Applied Recording Arts and Sciences in Rockville, Maryland.
My free-lance audio engineering career began in 2001. Around this time, high quality recording equipment was becoming more affordable, so the number of home studios was increasing. I began receiving requests for home studio lessons. Now, teaching is often on my weekly schedule.
I’ve visited dozens of home recording studios to give hands-on, personal lessons. The advantage of this type of instruction is you learn how to operate YOUR gear in YOUR personal working environment. And now I can do it remotely on the internet.
Before I visit a client, I ask them to write down the problems, issues, and topics that they want to cover, and that becomes the lesson plan we follow.
Below is a list of topics that cover most aspects of music recording. I can cover any topic you select in any order you choose.
How to start a new project and where to store it
Data management skills are critical for smooth DAW operation. If you allow the DAW software to store projects and files where it chooses to, you could end up with a rat’s nest of files that make no sense and are difficult to organize and back up. Never move projects or audio files until you are an expert at data management.
Your computer audio interface
Understanding the software that came with it. How to change buffer/latency settings and why. Sample rate and bit depth adjustments. Equipment turn on/off procedure. Is your audio interface also the MIDI data interface?
DAW software basics
Adjusting metronome and tempo settings. Adding/deleting tracks and channels. Input/output routing. Adjusting listening levels. Getting headphones working.
Assigning an audio input source to a track. Adjusting the input (record) level. Unity gain. Phase reverse. What the faders do.
Recording MIDI or Virtual Instrument tracks
MIDI or instrument tracks need to have sounds assigned to them, MIDI channels selected, and MIDI data needs to be accessible. (If necessary – what is MIDI data and how it works.)
How to correctly import and export files so the DAW (and YOU) know where they are.
This is probably the main advantage of a DAW recording system. Copy, paste, delete, loop, repeat, duplicate, move, cross fade, fade in, fade out, envelope adjustment, pitch shift, transpose, reverse, time stretching, etc.
Unity gain, level adjustments, inserts, sends, pre and post, output routing.
How compression works, what limiting is, different types of equalizers and filters, how and where to add them to the signal path.
Reverb, delay, and other time modulation effects
How to get them connected, routed into the mix, and adjusted.
Groups vs. VCAs
What the difference is between them, and examples of when to use which one. Or maybe both.
Panning, EQ, FX, grouping, unity gain, levels, automation, routing.
Home Studio Construction
If you are considering building and equipping a complete recording studio within an existing space, I can help with design plans and equipment suggestions. Recording studios often go through renovations, to add or maximize space, and I’ve spent many hours swinging hammers, hanging drywall, and spreading paint. I’ve seen how good sounding studios are built, from empty spaces to grand opening parties. Home studio consulting services can help you create the space you need.
I can also give recommendations on recording gear upgrades. Computers, audio interfaces, software, outboard gear, microphones, headphone systems, whatever you have in mind. I might even have suggestions for equipment options that you never considered before.
If your church, synagogue, or house of worship, has a PA system, and things don’t sound right, I can help. Together, we can trouble shoot your PA system and help you optimize your sound gear. I can provide training to the head technician, or the entire audio staff if needed. I’ve helped churches all around the Washington DC area organize, clean-up, repair, and optimize their PA systems.
So, call me, email, or text me. I can help your home studio be more efficient, advance your recording and mixing skills improve, or make your PA sound better. Daytimes, evenings, or weekends are available.