Audio Engineering & Acoustics (Principles)

Course Curriculum

The Advanced Diploma is an intensive one year programme which is taught across 48 weeks. The course is then divided into three terms, with each term building on the knowledge and skills you learnt in the previous term.

Using our progressive continuous learning method each module will cover historical and theoretical content alongside practical and technical skills so you develop a rounded knowledge and skill set within each area.

The breadth of the course means that alongside learning what equipment, techniques and microphones to use you also learn why you use them. This will help you develop your own expertise and understanding of how to create different sounds and effects.

Subject Areas

Within the diploma we cover all of the following subject areas: Acoustics, Computer, Copyright and Legal issues, Digital Audio Technology, Electronics and Analogue Equipment, General Business (Publishing & Marketing), Management Skills, Mastering, Microphones, Mixing and Critical Listening, Music Theory and Production, Production, Recording, Sound Theory, Studio Equipment and Signal Processing, Studio Etiquette and Musicianship.

Below you can browse through the three terms and see the breakdown of modules for each term.

Audio Engineering & Acoustics (Principles)

These are the learning outcomes for this subject area.

You will be able to:

• Recall key points in the history of musical synthesis;
• Synthesise instruments using additive, subtractive, FM, wavetable, vector and granular synthesis
• Synthesise instruments using physical modelling tools;
• Recall key points in the history of musical sampling;
• Identify and operate DAW samplers;
• Describe the basic principles of transduction;
• List the analogue devices that are commonly found in music production studios’ signal chains;
• Identify digital audio devices that are commonly used in music production;
• Describe the process of analogue to digital conversion in broad terms;
• Recall the elements that affect digital audio quality;
• Describe the basic principles of digital signal processing;
• Recognise the different types of digital audio files;
• Discuss the basic principles of digital audio data compression;
• Appraise the audio equipment interconnection strategies of small music production environments;
• Evaluate the calibration requirements of small music production setups;
• Describe the concept of standing waves;
• Calculate simple room modes;
• Describe how the volume and the absorption coefficient of the materials covering the surfaces of a
room affect the latter’s reverberation time;
• Calculate the RT60 of different environments;
• Create impulse response files for use in convolution reverb plugins;
• Identify the acoustic devices that are commonly found in recording studios;
• Appraise the acoustic qualities of materials;
• Recall key points in the history of recording studio design;
• Appraise the acoustic qualities of recording studios and other music production environments.

It’s been a life-changing experience really. I came with the willingness and hunger to learn and I left with the awareness of being not only a better producer and engineer, but a better person/human being. Once you’ve learnt all the techy stuff, you realise how much more essential it is to learn the emotional and psychological part of the game and how to deal with artists. And that only comes with passion, hunger and dedication.

Marco Spaggiari, Amsterdam Graduate 2018

It’s insane how inspiring it is to put fifteen musicians of all genres and backgrounds in one class and work on your skills together. I mean, Abbey Road brought me a lot of knowledge, a great network and practical skills – that’s what I signed up for. But it also gave me a bloody great time, tons of fun and sort of a second family.

Rudy Mackay, Amsterdam Graduate 2017

I definitely wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for this course, not only for the invaluable education but also for the good people at Abbey Road Institute Amsterdam, and everyone I’ve met along the year.

Kiko Medeiros, Amsterdam Graduate 2018

By day, you’re soaking in the knowledge of industry experts. By night, you practice what you’ve learnt in a playground of high-end studio equipment. What more could you possibly want?

Janice Wong, Amsterdam Graduate 2017

Abbey Road Institute is not a school, it is a high end production studio with a control room full of learners.

Théo Dorey, Amsterdam Graduate 2016

“Every day spent here felt like I was better than the day before. It is beautiful to think in colours, mix with flavours and develop a unique way to listen and understand music. Abbey Road is all about perspective and attitude, things which are taught so well between the magical walls of the institute“

Stefan Roscovan, Amsterdam Graduate 2017

From the moment I entered Abbey Road Institute Amsterdam it took me a total of 5 minutes to realise that I came to the right place. It has been one of the best experiences, meeting new friends for life from all over the world. You learn so, so much in just 1 year in an incredible environment, which has to be felt to understand.

Fabian Brummel, Amsterdam Graduate 2017