Academic Catalog


Foothill College Course Outline of Record

Foothill College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Effective Term: Summer 2021
Units: 4
Hours: 3 lecture, 3 laboratory per week (72 total per quarter)
Advisory: Not open to students with credit in MUS 82A.
Degree & Credit Status: Degree-Applicable Credit Course
Foothill GE: Non-GE
Transferable: CSU
Grade Type: Letter Grade (Request for Pass/No Pass)
Repeatability: Not Repeatable


Introduction to Pro Tools with Avid Certification training material. Basic audio editing tools and techniques, plug-ins and mixing in the Pro Tools environment. Build sessions that include multitrack recordings of live instruments, MIDI sequences, virtual instruments, audio loops and beats. Practical experience with examples from major label recording artists and feature films. Understanding menus, windows, preferences and system configurations for Pro Tools in home studios and professional facilities. Introduction to automation, dialog editing and audio post production for film and video. Required for Avid Pro Tools Certification.

Course Objectives

The student will be able to:
A. Analyze the dynamic spectrum of a multitrack recording.
B. Operate a MIDI keyboard within the Pro Tools environment.
C. Explain the Pro Tools file system.
D. Evaluate and apply selection techniques for audio regions.
E. Create a stereo mix from a multitrack master using AudioSuite (file-based) plug-ins.
F. Create fade files from audio tracks.

Course Content

A. Study and analysis of mixing and mastering styles in the Pro Tools environment.
1. Multitrack mastering and editing.
2. Application of AAX plug-in effects.
3. Basic automation.
4. Panning and level assignments.
B. Planning and theory of multitrack masters in the Pro Tools environment.
1. Balancing mixes for transparency and clarity.
2. Masking and fattening stacked tracks for impact.
3. Application of signal processing for lead delineation.
4. Automation groups and master faders.

Lab Content

A. Track count
B. Elastic audio settings and rendering levels
C. Plug-in and bus considerations
D. Insert tracks and routing importing and exporting file types
E. Bit rate encoding
F. Bouncing audio to disk
G. Consolidating audio regions, etc.
H. Other items may include subjects such as number of plug-ins per insert track, bus assignments for efficient recording operation, and mastering compression settings

Special Facilities and/or Equipment

A. When taught on campus:
1. Classroom with 30 Pro Tools native systems.
2. 30 Apple iMacs.
3. Projection system for video and multimedia content.
B. When taught via Foothill Global Access:
1. On-going access to computer with email software and capabilities.
2. Email address.
3. JavaScript enabled internet browsing software.

Method(s) of Evaluation

Methods of Evaluation may include but are not limited to the following:

Written assignments that analyze, compare and contrast Pro Tools recording techniques
Designing and assembling a master recording that demonstrates an understanding of the Pro Tools environment
Tests on mixing and mastering theory as presented in the Pro Tools 101 curriculum

Method(s) of Instruction

Methods of Instruction may include but are not limited to the following:

Lecture presentations and classroom discussion of the techniques for producing audio in Pro Tools
In-class viewing of Pro Tools sessions followed by instructor-guided interpretation and analysis
Presentations of major music and post-production projects followed by in-class discussion and evaluation
Demonstration of techniques for recording, editing, and mixing audio in Pro Tools

Representative Text(s) and Other Materials

Cook, Frank. Pro Tools 101. 2020.

Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing, and Outside of Class Assignments

A. Written critiques and analyses of audio production projects including albums, soundtracks, television, video games and internet multimedia.
B. Written summaries documenting technical and artistic elements for corresponding submitted assignments and audio projects.
C. Written proposals, session logs, learning outcomes and reflections supporting submitted musical works and final master recordings.


Commercial Music