The Origins of Sound Qualities - Course Curriculum


The Origins of Sound Qualities interactive PDF audio production course presents a 16 bit, 44.1 kHz WAV audio study of the complete signal path. It does so in an interactive PDF based format that employs virtually every style of music.

The “Producer’s Edition” of the course consists of 40 learning modules, divided into three parts which are delivered in a single PDF download. PART I of the PDF includes a link to a brief online test where you have the opportunity to ask questions. You can study at your own pace. The embedded “click-to-play” audio linked to text is a feature that ensures the information is delivered in an accurate, streamlined, and engaging manner. Some modules include embedded click-tp-play videos.

PART I begins by separating the recording signal path into 11 categories of components that can affect the sound quality. Then you’ll study the topics of playback systems and ways of listening. PART I ends with a series of audio monitor tests you can perform to gauge the performance of your playback systems. PART I builds a foundation for a more objective study of the engineering content in PART II and production content in PART III. All of the Focussed Courses include the Introduction, PART I, MODULE 22 and selected modules from the Producer’s Edition.

The Origins of Sound Qualities audio production course – Curriculum (Producer’s Edition)


Course premise, results and logistics

Parts and Learning Modules

—————— PART I – Audio Prerequisites

MODULE 1 – The Components that Comprise a Complete Signal Path

MODULE 2 – Playback Systems and Listening

MODULE 3 – Accurately Studying The Complete Signal Path

—————— PART II – Engineering – Audio Gear Formats and Designs

MODULE 4 – Analog / Digital Mixer Comparisons

MODULE 5 – Digital / Analog Recorder Comparisons

MODULE 6 – Microphone Preamp Comparisons

MODULE 7 – Solid State / Tube, Preamps and Compressors

MODULE 8 – Home Computer / Pro Digital Recorder

MODULE 9 – 24 bit / 16 bit, digital bit depths

MODULE 10 – Microphone Comparisons


MODULE 11 – Ambient hallway without  / with acoustical treatments

MODULE 12 – Sound source recorded indoors / recorded outdoors

MODULE 13 – Acoustically treated / untreated home recordings

MODULE 14 – Drum room mics on / drum room mics off

MODULE 15 – Room mics / hardware reverb

MODULE 16 – Room mics / native plugin reverb

MODULE 17 – Hardware reverb / native plugin reverb


MODULE 18 – Three real guitar amps / three modeled amps

MODULE 19 – Real guitar amp / modeled guitar amp with matching EQ

MODULE 20 – Standard student violin / 1708 Stradivarius violin

MODULE 21 – Drum Workshop drums / Pearl Export drums

——————– PART III – Production

MODULE 22 -Home studio / Commercial Studio – production overview


MODULE 23 – Unmastered / Mastered

MODULE 24  – Native plugins / Hardware, mastering loudness LUFS meters


MODULE 25 – Audio Production Overview, Theory and History

MODULE 26 – Arrangement “A” / Arrangement “B”

MODULE 27 – Execution – Bassists and Bass Guitars

MODULE 28 – Execution – Drummers

MODULE 29 – Engineering Drum Tracks and Mixes

MODULE 30 – Drummer “A” / Drummer “A” (engineering consistency)

MODULE 31 – Original bass and guitar parts / Re-arranged bass and guitar parts

MODULE 32 – Vocals / Vocals edited and tuned

Elements of Production – Summary and Caveats


MODULE 33 – CD / Vinyl recordings

MODULE 34 – CD / MP3 recordings


MODULE 35 – Whirlwind-Whirlwind / Canare-Mogami mic cables and snakes

MODULE 36 – Instruments recorded with Whirlwind guitar cable vs. Other cables

MODULE 37 – Whirlwind guitar cable / Other cables, turntable into preamp

MODULE 38 – Short oxygen free wire / Audio connectors, turntable into preamp

MODULE 39 – Short  / Long signal paths

MODULE 40 – Reference Tracks


The Origins of Sound Qualities – Producer’s Edition – curriculum end

PDF bookmarks and word search allow quick location of topics

PART I covers fundementals such as the speakers you’re listening to

PART II covers all the audio gear and acoustics

PART III covers Elements of Production!