Communication and Media Studies 246

COMS 246
Basic Audio Production

1. Catalog Entry

COMS 246
Basic Audio Production

Credit hours (3)
Prerequisites: COMS 130, COMS 146, or permission of the instructor

Instruction in the basic theories of audio production, including studio and remote recording. Training in the use of production equipment for radio, television and film (students must enroll in COMS 247 concurrently).

2. Detailed Description of Course

This course focuses on basic audio production theories and applications. Audio production requires an understanding of the principles involved in the recording and reproduction of sound through acoustical, electronic, and magnetic theory.

Students are exposed to audio production techniques used in, but not limited to, the radio, film, television and music recording industries. A variety of techniques for planning and executing student productions, including editing, signal processing, equalization, and noise reduction, are demonstrated. Studio and location miking techniques, multichannel mixdown concepts, interviewing, and musical instrument recording techniques are discussed in detail.    

Students are challenged to use this information in creative ways in order to develop their problem solving skills. Laboratory projects are designed to aid students in achieving this goal.

3. Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

This course will be taught using a lecture/discussion/laboratory format. Students study written materials covering course topics, view related videotapes, and discuss them in class. They apply this theoretical knowledge to specific audio laboratory exercises, which illustrate the course concepts and processes. Students are not merely tested on the course content, but are experientially involved. A contract grading system for projects is employed. This method of evaluation emulates "real world" production situations by holding students' projects to specific requirements, which must be met before the instructor grants approval. Project grades are based upon the number of projects completed and approved during the term.

4. Goals and Objectives of the Course

After successfully completing this course, the student will:
    1) Obtain an understanding of and be able to use the basic vocabulary of audio production.
    2) Acquire a basic understanding of the tools of audio production.
    3) Demonstrate proficiency with the skills basic to audio production including recording, editing, mixing, and
       interconnecting equipment.
    4) Gain an understanding of how the skills of radio production relate to other fields.

5. Assessment Measures

    1) Tests covering course content (readings, videos, lectures, etc.).
    2) Laboratory exercises in which students demonstrate a working knowledge of concepts and processes.
    3) Class participation, which demonstrates the acquisition of concepts and processes of basic audio terminology and

6. Other Course Information

Labs in this course follow a producer-oriented environment. In professional broadcasting, deadlines and time constraints constitute formidable barriers for producers. In an effort to be as realistic as possible, projects are completed under deadline pressure with a substantial penalty for assignments turned in late. A high level of professionalism is expected in the production of projects.

Review and Approval

May 2011