Sound Engineering for Beginners

Please note, our Sound Engineering Level 1 – for Beginners is now available online! This course is equivalent to a QQI (FETAC) Level 3. Please follow THIS LINK

The price has been slashed to €79.99, and if you quote coupon HALFPRICEINTRO you will get the course for an extraordinary €39.99!!


How to use the software effectively
How to use the hardware effectively
How to record with good levels and use meters to achieve this
How to use the 3 main processers: Reverb, Compresser and EQ
How to edit, so you can remove mistakes and unwanted noises from your recordings
How to mix your recordings
How to balance all the parts and enhance them using the 3 main processers, that is your reverbs, compressers and EQs
How to render your mixed song to different audio formats for going online, onto CD or to just save to your hard drive

(Full guidance will be given as to what equipment is needed and much of this will be covered in the very first lecture)

** A laptop
** An audio interface (discussed in Module 1)
** A microphone (discussed in Module 5)

Sound Engineering Level 1 is designed for students with no previous knowledge or experience, so it is perfect for beginners.
It is also great for people who have some knowledge, and who really want to understand why and how it all works.
It is excellent for musicians and singers who want to be able to record themselves well, and in the comfort of their own home without sounding like it’s recorded at home.
Liam speaks clearly and concisely, and has successfully communicated to many students where English is not their first language.


Introductory Video (Lecture 1) (2 minutes 16 seconds)

Module 1: Software & Hardware

Lecture 2 (12 minutes 43 seconds)
The Software used on this course, what it is called, what it looks like, how to put in the audio files (provided), how to open empty tracks, how to save a project, the different functions of the software and some of the functions of the track control panels.

Lecture 3 (9 minutes 21 seconds)
More about the Software, description of audio (.wav) files, how audio is represented, zooming and navigating the project, how to loop a section of the project, looking at the Arrangement View and the Mixer View.

Lecture 4 (5 minutes 59 seconds)
The hardware and how to get sound in to and out of the computer, the computer’s sound card and its limitations, external audio interfaces and how they work.

Lecture 5 (11 minutes 40 seconds)
Recording and audio levels, creating project folders for new projects, creating a new project, further explanation of snap control, first explanation of project settings dialogue box, how to save a project, how the meters work, optimum recording levels, naming the track, choosing an input, how to arm the track for recording, how to record the track and the save dialogue box.

Module 2: Reverb

Lecture 6 Reverb Theory (7 minutes 48 seconds)
What is Reverb, the speed of sound, the difference between echoes and reverb, what dictates how long reverb lasts and examples of different reverbs.

Lecture 7 Plugins (11 minutes 37 seconds)
What audio plugins are, how to install a plugin, what the terminology means when installing, how to put a reverb plugin into the project, how to adjust the parameters of the plugin and how to set up reverb times.

Lecture 8 Setting up Reverb (7 minutes 12 seconds)
How to set up reverb on a separate track, how to connect dry tracks to a wet track, how to set up a send and how to use a send shortcut.

Module 3: Compresser

Lecture 9 Compresser Theory (4 minutes 54 seconds)
What is a compresser, what is dynamic range, what does it do to audio and a visual explanation of the compresser at work.

Lecture 10 Compresser Practical 1 (11 minutes 38 seconds)
How to use a compresser, opening the compresser, an explanation of the 3 compresser meters, an explanation of the 5 parameters and how to compress audio.

Lecture 11 Compresser Practical 2 (10 minutes 34 seconds)
How to open the mixer window, how to resize the mixer, alternative ways to set the sends and inserts on the mixer, how to alter send volumes on the channel strip, shortcuts and signal flow.

Module 4: EQ

Lecture 12 Theory (11 minutes 50 seconds)
The frequency response of human hearing, what EQ means, what the EQ does and the different types of EQ.

Lecture 13 EQ Practical (14 minutes 38 seconds)
Some jargon explained, how to adjust EQ parameters, explanation of all the options in the EQ, practical applications, and a demonstration using EQ.

Lecture 14 The Three Main Processors (14 minutes 58 seconds)
Using the Compresser, EQ and Reverb processors together on one song, what we are trying to achieve, setting up loop points, setting up a compresser and an EQ on each of the tracks, how to improve body and clarity, creating a new track, setting up a reverb and setting up sends.

Module 5: Microphones

Lecture 15 Microphone theory (11 minutes 47 seconds)
What is a microphone, what is a transducer, what is happening when sound goes in to a microphone, the two different types of microphones: Dynamic and Condenser microphones, what the differences are between the types, how each work (diagrams to help explain), the advantages and disadvantages of the different types, and four important comparison aspects between the Dynamic and Condenser microphones.

Lecture 16 Audio Examples (11 minutes 46 seconds)
Comparing directly between Dynamic and Condenser microphones recording the same sound, a visual illustrating the correct positioning of each type of microphone, testing a Dynamic and a Condenser microphone recording the same sound, but at 3 different distances from the sound source, the pros and cons with each type of microphone, what you need to consider when buying a microphone with regarding your environment, budget and requirements, and some suggested Dynamic and Condenser microphones you may wish to purchase.

Module 6: Recording, Editing, Mixing & Rendering

Lecture 17 Using your Audio Interface Part 1: Software (8 minutes 07 seconds)
Explaining how to use your Audio Interface, how to access Drivers, how to change the Preferences to access the Audio Interface on the DAW, Recording Level reminder, adjusting the Reaper screen, how to set up for a Recording Session and how to keep all the recordings for a project in the same place.

Lecture 18 Using your Audio Interface Part 2: Hardware (11 minutes 07 seconds)
How to set up communication between the Audio Interface and the computer. setting up the Audio Interface, plugging in a Dynamic microphone and setting volume levels, plugging in a Condenser microphone, using a shock mount, using phantom power and safety advice, setting volume levels, plugging in an instrument, combi-inputs, and setting volume levels.

Lecture 19 Editing and Grouping (11 minutes)
How to group several tracks together using folders, the benefits and advantages of grouping, how to set up a folder, how to group tracks, how to set up effects to the group and how to do some basic editing.

Lecture 20 Mixing and Rendering (17 minutes 58 seconds)
How to mix a recording using the the software and the three main processers, as well as the reverb, the secret of helping the tracks stand out as well as blending the different tracks together, how loud to make your final mix, how and why to “time select” a recording to be rendered, how to render to WAV and to MP3 and what the differences are, congratulations for completing Sound Engineering Level 1, and see you in Sound Engineering Level 2!

Total time: 3 hours, 28 minutes, 53 seconds

Introductory video Lecture 1
Lecture 2
Audio Files
Legal Software