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Digital Recording 101

Prerequisites: familiarity with basic computer functionality, installing software, etc. Students who don’t own digital audio software should download the free version Studio One from the PreSonus website ( The course will be taught using this program, so students using another DAW may choose to download Studio One anyway.

Part 1: Getting Up and Running: This workshop will get you acquainted with the hardware and software needed to begin recording digitally, beginning with some fundamental acoustics and an explanation of how the gear works, from the analog side (microphones, speakers and headphones) to the digital side (interfaces, sample rate, bit depth and file formats).  Most digital audio workstations (DAWs) have a similar layout and commonalities in the way they need to be set up and manipulated, and we will cover those areas of crossover. By the end of this session you will be able to set up and use your home studio, whatever software and hardware you decide to use. Understanding how sound works and how the equipment that records it works goes a long way towards doing that recording effectively. $65, May 7, 4-6pm, see below for bundled prices for multiple classes. Schedule here:

Part 2: Making it sound good: Making a recording sound more professional involves at least some fundamental knowledge of production. That will be the focus of this workshop. Learning to use equalization, compression, reverb, gates and other effects will help you control your sound. Learning about MIDI and how to use and control sample sets and virtual instruments will open up a world of possible sounds for you to use in your music. We’ll get into more advanced operation of a DAW. Automation, track and master bus envelopes and why and how to pan for stereo imaging will both save you time and give your recordings more life. $65, May 14, 4-6 pm, see below for bundled prices for multiple classes.

Part 3: Recording strategies and post-production: In what order should you record your tracks? What’s a click track, do you need one and why does the sound you use for it matter? Where should you place the microphone or microphones for different instruments or voices and why? What is frequency masking and why does it make my song sound muddy? What does “mastering” mean and why is it important? Can I do it myself? These and other questions will be addressed in the final session, designed to help you get the polish you want on your masters. $65, May 21, 4-6 pm see below for bundled prices for multiple classes.

Compression 101: Compression is one of the most valuable tools in creating a mix, and also one of the least understood by beginners. It can be used to add punch to a rhythm section, add presence and clarity to vocals and other instruments, to control tone and to blend a mix together. This special topics class will cover the basics of compression, how it works, what it does, how to use it on several particular instruments and more broadly within the context of the whole mix as a blending tool. $65, June 4, 4-6pm see below for bundled prices for multiple classes.

Equalization 101: Equalization is fairly straightforward to understand, but difficult to use effectively to balance frequency ranges in a mix. This class will discuss different types of EQ and how to use a basic parametric EQ to clean up muddy mixes, create separation between instruments and voices, and drive or sculpt other effects like compression and reverb. $65, June 11 4-6pm, see below for bundled prices for multiple classes.

Creating Depth 101: Depth in a mix is the sense of foreground and background and the space between in distinct elements of the mix. Reverb is the tool most used to achieve this, but it’s not the only possibility. This class will explain different types of reverb and how to use effects like reverb, delay, chorus and even compression on individual instruments and voices to create depth within a mix and how to use reverb to blend them all together.  $65, June 18, 4-6pm, see below for bundled prices for multiple classes.


  • Digital Recording 101 (all 3 parts), Compression 101, Equalization 101 and Creating Depth 101 - $300 (use coupon code six-90 at check out)
  • Digital Recording 101 (all 3 parts) - $150 (use coupon code three-45 at check out)
  • Compression 101, Equalization 101 and Creating Depth 101 - $150 (use coupon code three-45 at check out)
  • Digital Recording 101 individual parts - $65 each
  • Compression 101 - $65
  • Equalization 101- $65
  • Creating Depth 101 - $65

Location: This class will take place at the instructor's home studio. Location details will be provided upon registration.

Instructor: John Heitzenrater


  • May 7, 4-6pm – Digital Recording 101, Part I
  • May  14, 4-6pm  – Digital Recording 101, Part II
  • May  21, 4-6pm  – Digital Recording 101, Part III
  • June 4, 4-6pm  – Compression 101
  • June 11, 4-6pm  – Equalization 101
  • June 18, 4-6pm  – Creating Depth 101

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