5 weeks - 200 hours
Students in The RecW's CORE Program build a strong foundation of skills and knowledge in music & event production. It is five weeks of concentrated training that emphasizes hands-on experience.
The curriculum is a combination of daily studio activities, event production activities and lectures.
In the studio, students build their creative skills through numerous music and audio projects. After a week of prep on gear operation, students progress to recording and mixing sessions. Sound-for-picture, editing, production and mastering projects are other parts of the hands-on studio experience.
The event production classes take place at the historic Majestic Theatre in downtown Chillicothe, Ohio. Classes begin with load-in, pa set up, ac power connection and distribution, speaker placement, front-of-house and monitor mixes on both digital and analog mixing consoles, microphone placement, cabling, crossovers, power amplifiers, pa management systems, pa tuning, truss assembly, lift towers, safety considerations, professional lighting consoles and fixtures, camera operation and switching as well as live video streaming.
The lectures in the first few weeks directly prepare students for their studio and event activities. In the later weeks, lectures explore broader areas of audio production and music industry topics. This expansion gives students more insight into shaping future career goals.
The RecW instructors deliver many of these lectures, and industry experts visit to discuss specialized topics. Special guest speakers also join the lectures series to share their stories, tips, and wisdom.
Our ever-evolving curriculum includes updates to Avid ProTools, Apple Logic, DOLBY ATMOS and Davinci Resolve fundamentals. LIVE EVENT audio, lighting & streaming… Midas, Chamsys, and Black Magic Design Controllers. Real concerts in a real theater - produced by you!
During the first week, students learn the fundamental operation of analog consoles and Pro Tools systems. Signal flow is emphasized so students gain a deeper understanding that will help them quickly adapt to other gear and software they'll encounter. Equalization, compression, limiting, delay and reverb are other important topics for the first week. Students ramp up their initial signal processing skills in the DAW lab. Microphone selection and placement are other fundamental skills. Students practice setting up for drums, amps, vocals, piano and other acoustic instruments. Getting the headphones set up is part of these prep sessions too.
The bands start rolling in during the second week of the CORE Program. Students apply the skills they learned in the prep sessions, handing all the hands-on duties of console and Pro Tools operation. The RecW instructors guide the workflow of the first few sessions, making sure that students also learn broader responsibilities that go beyond knobs, buttons and faders. Successful recording also depends very much on dealing with creative personalities and practicing smart and reactive workflow. Session management is gradually put on the shoulders of students as they gain more experience.
Music production skills have greatly expanded as digital technology has provided new options. A song's arrangement, tuning, timing and tempo used to be basically locked-in after recording. Now all of these qualities can be endlessly changed to the point that production can be a method of song creation unto itself. In addition, signal processing such as equalization, compression, delay, reverb and distortion are part of the radical changes that can take place after the tracks are recorded. CORE students initially learn and practice these production skills in the DAW lab. Editing, drum replacement, vocal comp and tuning are among the first assignments. Moving to projects in Studios B and D, students use the MIDI and loop capabilities of Logic Pro X to expand their production skills.
Mixing is an art form that has few rules and many approaches. Prep mixing sessions take place in the second week where The RecW instructors demonstrate a variety of approaches that are used by successful mix engineers. Being able to blend dozens of tracks with clarity and spectral balance is held up as the typical goal of a good mix. Students start their own "real" mixing in the third week. At this point, students have sharpened their signal processing and production skills so they can apply these abilities to their mixes as needed. Students have a wide selection of source material for their mixing sessions. They most often choose tracks from the bands they've been recording, but they can also pull tracks from The RecW's huge session archive. Rock, Pop, Hip-Hop, Blues, Electronic, Funk, Jazz, Country, Folk - CORE students can create a very diverse portfolio of mixes if desired.
Many alumni of The RecW pursue career paths in audio production for venues, fairs and festivals, movies, television, gaming, advertising, and corporate presentation. CORE students have an extensive series of projects that develop the skills needed for these areas of work. Avid's Pro Tools dominates the Sound-for-Picture industry as the software tool of choice and CORE students use it to complete their project. Avid also makes the highly integrated ICON D-Command console that students use as well. CORE students learn to record and mix narration, dialogue and foley performances. Music beds and sound effects are additional audio elements that students learn to synchronize to visual images and events.
CORE students learn to prepare finished mixes for various distribution paths such as CD or vinyl replication, mono or stereo broadcast, or compressed web content. iZotope’s Ozone is the primary software tool CORE students use for their mastering assignments.
Countless old tape recordings and vinyl records exist that still haven't made the transition into the digital realm. As this music is rediscovered, it is often in poor audio condition with noise, clicks and pops. Using iZotope's RX, CORE students have restoration assignments where they learn the skills needed to help old recordings sound clean and pristine.
In additional to outside bands coming in, students form their own bands. During the first two weeks, students have access to a rehearsal room where they work out original song ideas or practice song covers. Recording these projects starts in the third week. Even students that are non-musicians are encouraged to add a bit of performance to these sessions. One of the goals of these student projects is to gain experience from the artist's perspective. This can be helpful in developing better artist relationship skills for those that wouldn't normally find themselves on the other side of the glass.
Soldering & Cable Repair
Fixing cables is the most common repair task that The RecW grads might need to do for their own purposes, or as a job duty for an employer. CORE students learn proper soldering techniques and make a mic cable to put this skill to the test.
Skill Testing and Mix Critiques
During the last few days of the CORE Program, students take part in studio activities where they demonstrate the hands-on skills they've learned. All of the performance requirements are clearly defined to let student properly prepare. Students also have a final mix critique where they play select mixes for The RecW's senior engineering staff. Having these performance-measuring activities as part of the CORE Program completion helps students learn to handle the challenges they'll encounter moving forward in their careers.
Equipment Design & Operation
Console Signal Flow
Workstation Signal Flow
Control Room Signal Flow
Analog/Digital Signal Processing
Equalization and Filtering
Compression, Limiting, and Expansion
Reverb and Delay
Pitch Correction and FX
Microphones and Direct Boxes
Monitors and Amplifiers
Studio Techniques & Production
Sound & Hearing
Recording Session Workflow
Recording Drums and Percussion
Recording Guitars and Amplifiers
Recording Pianos and Keyboards
Recording Vocals and Ensemble
Music Theory and Song Structure
Mixing Session Workflow
Producing an Album Project
Recording Voice Talent and Dialog
Recording Foley Work
More for the Well-Rounded Audio Professional
Mastering and CD Duplication
Restoration and Forensic Audio
Project Studio Acoustic Design
Project Studio System Design
Recording Studio Business Practices
Live Sound for Clubs/Small Venues
Live and Location Recording
Music Business Overview
Independent Label Operation
Copyright, Music Publishing, and Licensing
Artist Development and Management
Career Launch and Job Search
What People Say About The RecW
Such an overwhelmingly positive experience. I’m truly going to miss this place and all the cool people I met here, instructors included. You will not regret your decision to come here.
– Stale Media
What People Say About The RecW
I'm finishing up with classes in a few weeks. I'm excited to get back home and put to use all that I've learned so far... I'll be leaving here more confident and armed with knowledge that's already paying off.
– Scott D.
What People Say About The RecW
Great school for digital, analog and live sound training. Also sound for picture. The education you receive for the money is the best you’ll get anywhere. The alumni speaks volumes.