Recording Arts & Show Production
The Recording Arts and Show Production program is designed to teach students the fundamentals of recording arts and show production, including live sound reinforcement and audio visual production. Students will receive hands-on education using up-to-date technology for all types of audio production.
A wide spectrum of professional audio is covered throughout several courses covering areas in both studio, location, installation, and live settings. In each course, students will develop their skills under the mentorship of industry professionals, preparing them for an entry-level position in the audio industry.
Students are graded and held accountable for each course they experience during their instruction at F.I.R.S.T Institute. Consistent drills, labs, tests, and quizzes keep students engaged in the information presented by the instructors. F.I.R.S.T Institute’s main objective is simple: to provide the highest quality education and inspire students to be successful in the career field of professional audio.
Prerequisite: Basic Mac and Internet competencies. High School level English or higher.
Delivery Methodology: Campus = 100% Campus
Average Class Size: 16 Students
Upon successful completion of the program, graduates obtain a Diploma.
Thirty-Nine (39) Weeks – 1014 Clock Hours / 91.26 Academic Quarter Credit Hours
811 Hours / 81.11 Academic Quarter Credit Hours – Instruction 203 / 10.15 Academic Quarter Credit Hours – Lab
Students in our campus program are recommended to purchase a Creative P.A.K. to use during the course of their program and beyond. The digital media industry and its relevant technology are ever-changing, so specific items in your Creative P.A.K. may be updated from time to time. Specific items are not guaranteed. Contact the school for more information.
You can find an up-to-date list here. Total: $1650
Gear included in the P.A.K.
- Avid Protools Standard 1-Year Subscriptions
- Pace Anti-Piracy ILok USB-A 3rd Generation
- PreSonus Studio One 5 Professional
- PreSonus AudioBox USB 96 Desktop 2x2 Audio/Midi Interface
- Mackie CR3-X Creative Reference Series 3" Multi Media Monitors with Bluetooth
- Yamaha MG10XU 10 Input Mixer with Built-In FX 2 In/2 Out USB Interface
- Nektar Technology Impact LX25+ USB MIDI Controller Keyboard
- Shure SM57-LC Dynamic Instrument Microphone
- AKG P120 Desktop Vocal Recording Kit
- Auray MS-5230F Tripod Microphone Stand with Fixed Boom
- Zoom F1-LP 2-Input / 2-Track Portable Field Recorder with Lavalier Microphone
- Zoom XYH-6 - X/Y Microphone Capsule for Zoom H5 and H6 Field Recorders
- Zoom SGH-6 Shotgun Microphone Capsule for Zoom H5 and H6 Field Recorders
- Pearstone SM series XLR Male to XLR Female Microphone Cable 3'
- Sandisk 32GB Extreme UHS-I microSDHC Memory Card with SD Adapter
- EZQuest USB 3.1 Gen Type-C Male to USB Type-A Female Dongle Adapter
Students are required to be prepared for class. This includes having these items at all times: pen, writing paper/notebook, ID badge, and all required materials for their program. The following required items are not included in the tuition. It is the student’s responsibility to purchase the items for use on the first day of class.
- Hard Drive
- USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 drives only.
- Minimum storage size 1TB
- Example: Western Digital Elements Mac 1TB (Approximately $50 from Amazon, comes with adapter)
- SD Card
- Minimum size 16GB
- Maximum size 32GB
- Example: SanDisk Extreme Pro 32GB SDHC UHS-I Card (Approximately $15 on Amazon)
- Over-the-ear Headphones
- No ear buds permitted
- If no 1/8” to 1/4”adapter is packaged with headphones you will need to purchase one separately
- Example: Tascam TH-2 (Approximately $20 from Amazon)
Digital Audio Workstations, also known as DAWs are an integral part of the modern audio industry. DAWs are used in all aspects of the audio industry, from the recording studio to live show production. In this course students will be introduced to DAWs and will learn about the many exciting possibilities the audio industry has to offer. Learning the basics of computer technology and macOS is the starting ground for classes enrolled in the program. Students will move into the DAW, one of the primary tools of the audio industry. During their introductory course, students will focus on learning the industry standard workstation: Avid’s Pro Tools.
Through many hands-on exercises, projects, and detailed instruction, students will develop an understanding of digital audio editing, effects processing, mixing, audio production, sound design, and critical listening skills. After students have learned the fundamentals of digital audio they will move into advanced editing techniques, jingle production, and sound design. When learning with the use of creative projects, classes will learn about elastic audio, time compression, and expansion techniques in Pro Tools. Aligning audio loops and voice overs will be covered to create jingle productions. Students will also work on a sound design clip using audio and MIDI to create a unique sound design project for their demo reel.
RASP 101 – Digital Audio Fundamentals
- Pro Tools Editing Project
- Pro Tools Mixing Project
- Radio Spot Production Project
- Sound Design Project
Music producers must have a good understanding of music theory and artist interaction. In this course, students will be introduced to music production and an introductory course in music theory. Classes will learn about the theory and history of recorded sound, as well as developing a good foundation of music appreciation and diversity. Students will quickly move into music theory where they will learn about scales, key signatures, and structure. Once students have a good understanding of music theory, they will move into the music production software: Logic Pro. Students will learn about MIDI production first inside Logic Pro, but also see how to use those aspects within Pro Tools as well. Through many hands-on exercises, projects, and detailed instruction, students will develop a good understanding of Logic Pro and its endless creative possibilities. During the course projects, students will learn about MIDI and music production, as well as remixing and sampling techniques.
RASP 102 – Music Production
- Music Production Project 1
- Music Production Project 2
- Remixing Project
Working in the recording studio is a very fun and creative environment for audio engineers and music producers. Having a good understanding of all technical equipment in the recording studio is essential for any audio engineer. In this course, students will be introduced to industry-standard equipment and techniques including analog consoles, patch-bays, signal flow, outboard processors, and audio recording.
This course is different from the previous individual and solitary learning focus and places students into small teams to accomplish project goals. Students will work on several signal flow projects and will connect studio equipment through patch-bays. They will learn the techniques used for installing and connecting studio equipment with consistent drilling. Students will also cover industry-standard microphones and the fundamental microphone techniques used for recording vocals and various musical instruments. By the end of this course, students will have a firm understanding of the recording process, studio etiquette, signal flow, and teamwork.
RASP 103 – Recording Arts
- Radio Spot Project
- Podcast Production Project
- Recording Session Project
- Studio Design Project
This course is designed to implement all the knowledge of signal flow, microphone techniques, patching, studio etiquette and communication learned from the previous course to practical use. Students will produce a class production where they work together to produce a song from scratch. The students will work together to write the music and lyrics, then record live instruments and vocals. Following this project, the students will work with musical artists and bands to record and produce songs for a solo artist and full band.
RASP 104 – Recording Arts
- Class Production Project
- Solo Artist Recording Project
- Artist Development Project
- Performing Rights Organization Project
Audio engineers must have a good understanding of music production and the technical equipment used during the mixing process. Mix engineers must have good communication skills and an understanding of the terminology used in the recording studio. In this course, students will be introduced to the techniques of mixing various genres of music. Students will also learn about more advanced editing techniques, vocal tuning, sample replacement, as well as critical listening skills and mix analysis. During these mixing projects, students will align drums, add samples, tune vocals, and learn industry standard editing shortcuts that will improve their workflow. During the course projects, students will learn about mixing music for specific genres and will develop their ears through various critical listening exercises. Once students have completed these mixing projects, they will learn the process of mastering. Students will master their final mix project in the DAW, Studio One, as well as learn the techniques of restoring poor quality audio. Students will also master all projects that were produced in the previous courses which will be sequenced on their demo reel. By the end of this course, students will have a good understanding of advanced editing and mixing techniques, as well as audio mastering and restoration. Students will complete this course by producing an audio demo reel.
RASP 105 – Advanced Audio Theories & Applications
- Drum Replacement Project
- Vocal Tuning Project Project
- Audio Mastering Project
- Audio Restoration Project
"Location sound and field recording is an exciting industry for students to learn and experience. In this course, students will be introduced to location sound and the techniques used for capturing high quality audio on set. During the course, students will learn about set etiquette, synchronization, microphone techniques, field recording and camera framing. Once students have a good understanding of the techniques used to record high quality audio on set, they will learn interviewing techniques and how to scout a location for a shoot. Students will capture high quality audio using boom microphones, as well as, lavalier and plant microphone techniques learned in the course. Students will then transfer the audio recorded on set and use the editing techniques learned in previous courses to clean the audio and sync to camera. By the end of this course, students will have a very good understanding about working on set for TV and film, as well as, capturing audio using field recording techniques."
RASP 106 – Sound for Visual Media
- Short Film Project
- Interviewing Project
- Field Recording Project
Audio post-production and sound design have specific techniques when added to visual media like TV, cinema, and even the web. Students will learn about the creative process that goes into sound design and Foley. Foley is a method used to create sounds using everyday props in real time and in sync with prerecorded video. Students will also learn how to operate an industry standard control surface, record looping dialogue, create new original sound effects, compose a short score, and mixing for surround sound and Dolby Atmos. During each class, a specific audio post production technique is learned and then applied to the student's class project, which is posting audio to a scene from a film, video game, or television spot. By the end of the course, students will have scored, recorded dialogue, recorded Foley, recorded sound effects, and re-recorded two post projects.
RASP 107 – Audio Visual
- Voice Over Project
- Soundscape Project
- Audio Post Project
Live sound is one of the largest and most exciting aspects of the entertainment industry. There are many more career opportunities in live sound and touring than in any other area of the audio industry. It is essential for any audio professional to understand the principles of live sound. This course prepares our students for this career path. Classes will learn the theories and practices used in sound reinforcement, theater, and touring applications. Learning how sound systems work and are setup, along with live sound console operation, are the introductory topics in this course. As the course progresses, classes setup sound systems, use stage-plots, create artist monitor mixes, and front of house mixes for a live audience. Throughout the course, students will learn the invaluable skills of system setup and installation, troubleshooting, safety, maintenance, streaming, and playback systems.
RASP 108 – Show Production
- Full Production Tech Rehearsal Project
- Live Event Project
- Portfolio Project