AU380 -DAW II (Intermediate Pro Tools)



Course Description:

Students build on basics learned in AU200 and AU260 through hands-on training and projects related to the post production and music industries. They focus on increasing speed and efficiency using Pro Tools and the artistic side of editing and mixing. Projects for the course include: a full music mix; a remix of one song using software-based samplers and synthesizers; and a project using a short film in which students edit all the ADR and dialog, create and edit sound effects, music, and backgrounds, and complete a mix using proper post-production techniques for organization and editing. The course includes a Practical Audio Skills Exam, which tests student proficiency in all aspects of Pro Tools and running a digital audio workstation, and an exam on post-production terminology.


Course Objectives

Upon completion of this program students will be able to:

  • Discuss the hardware requirements for digital audio studios using appropriate computer terminology.
  • Define vocabulary and terminology used when dealing with digital audio workstations.
  • Identify ways of improving the performance of ProTools systems in different situations.
  • Identify ways of improving the performance of a Pro Tools/DAW system in different situations. 
  • Create session templates to facilittae the recording of music and post-production recording sessions.
  • Create Mac/PC or backwards compatible Pro Tools sessions.
  • Decomstatre the ability to set signal levels theourhg the use of gain stages to recod into Pro Tools.
  • Incorporate software based frequency analyzers and noise reduction software to apply and manipulate software based plug-ins to perform noise reduction on recorded audio tracks.
  • Integrate a MIDI keyboard to trigger samples from a software sampler.
  • Import and export Standard MIDI Files to and from ProTools and other sequencing software.
  • Discuss common techniques used to create and edit sound effects for post-production.
  • Increase speed and efficiency when using industry standard audio editing software.


Course Length: 10 Weeks


Credit Value: 4.0




I will be giving handouts and other resources throughout the quarter that you will be responsible for. 


My website has a lot of useful information that I created for this class:



Other Resources: Various handouts provided by the instructor


Attendance Policy: The departmental attendance policy allows students one absence without penalty.  Each absence after the first will result in a 5 point reduction in your final grade.  Tardiness and leaving class early will also affect your grade.  (Please note that there are no excused absences, although you may appeal a suspension to the registrar’s office.) When you are absent, you are responsible for making up missed work without delay.



Everyone is expected to be on time.

The instructor will start class promptly and assignments will be given. During the quarter, pop quizzes will be given during class. Be advised that if a quiz is given and a student misses it, he or she cannot make it up. Students are responsible for completing any assignments that were assigned in their absence. Excessive tardiness in this production class will cause a student to receive an F, a failing final grade. 


Class Policies:

  1. Instructor may change syllabus and course summary at any time. Students will be notified of any changes.
  2. Students are expected to attend ALL class meetings and be prepared to work for the entire class period.
  3. Students should always bring supplies, syllabus, textbooks and all handouts to every class period.
  4. Quizzes:  Any missed quizzes cannot be made up.
  5. Exams:  Students who arrive after the first student finishes his/her exam and leaves the class will not be given a test/exam.
  6. Phones must be turned off or set on vibrate. Do not answer your phone during class!
  7. No internet browsing unless it is part of the lesson.
  8. All work must meet Art Institute standards of academic integrity.
  9. Be professional.
  10. Be courteous.
  11. Be involved.






You are required to use the audio equipment & editing suites outside of class time to complete individual and group projects. Plan ahead. You can reserve your equipment & facilities two (2) weeks in advance. 






Standards for Grading



A (90-100)

Excellent to Very Good; comprehensive knowledge and understanding of subject matter; marked perception and/or originality


B   (80-89) 


Good; moderately broad knowledge and understanding of subject matter; noticeable perception and/or originality


C   (70-79) 


Satisfactory; reasonable knowledge and understanding of subject matter; some perception and/or originality

D   (60-69)

Marginal; minimum of knowledge and understanding of subject matter; limited perception and/or originality

F   (<60)

Failing; unacceptable low level of knowledge and understanding of subject matter; severely limited perception and/or originality; absences in excess of allowable limit




3 projects (30% of final grade; 10 points per project)

All projects should be turned in on a DVD on the date the project is due.

10 Quizzes (20% of your grade, 2 points each)

Practicum Exam (15% of your grade, 15 points)

Final Exam (15% of your grade, 15 points)

Participation (20% of your grade, 20 points)


Late Assignments:


Late assignments will only be accepted with the prior consent of the instructor.   The instructor will only permit the makeup of work due to a legitimate absence.


Academic Integrity: 


College guidelines for academic integrity are strictly enforced.  Copying materials or otherwise using the words, thoughts, audio/video/graphics files of others is plagiarism, which could result in various penalties ranging from project failure to administrative action. 


Academic Support/Learning Disabilities: 


Academic Support (tutoring) is provided to any student in need of tutoring.  Students who feel they are able to assist with tutoring this course should also contact their instructor and/or the Student Services Office.


Modules and Quizzes:


Each week will consist of different modules covering various techniques and skills for working with Pro Tools. We will cover the material in the modules in class and in labs, but you will be required to read material outside of class as well and take a quiz at some time during each week. You will have exactly one week to take the quiz online using eclass. You are allowed to use any notes you take or that are handed out by me. Anything discussed in class or from the assigned readings during the week is fair game for quiz questions. At the end of the week, if you have not taken the quiz, you will receive a grade of zero for the quiz. These can severely impact your grade, so set aside time each week to review materials and take the quizzes.


Week 1:

Lecture: Introduction; Syllabus; Review principles of audio and Pro Tools

Mod 1/Quiz 1.


Week 2: 


Mod 2/Quiz 2.

Lab: Project 1.


Week 3:


Mod 3/Quiz 3

Lab: Project 1


Week 4: 


Mod 4/Quiz 4.

Lab: Project 1 Due


Week 5: 


Mod 5/Quiz 5.

Lab: Project 2


Week 6: 


Mod 6/Quiz 6.

Project 2


Week 7: 


Mod 7/Quiz 7.

Lab: Project 2 Due


Week 8: 


Mod 8/Quiz 8.

Lab: Project 3 Work on final projects



Week 9: 


Final Exam Review 

Mod 9/Quiz 9.

Lab: Project 3


Week 10: 

Final Exam

Mod 10/No Quiz.

Lab: Project 3 Due/Final Critiques






1. Pocketing Project: Students will edit and mix a song given to them by the instructor. Special attention will be paid to the drums and the drum edit, but proper routing, gain staging, and processing will also be critiqued and graded.


2.  Remix: Students will create a dance remix version of a song given to them by the instructor using software plug-ins and instruments. 


3.  Sound Design for Animation: You will create a sound design for an animation. You will create all three stems (music, dialog, and SFX) for your animation and should demonstrate the editing and mixing techniques discussed throughout the quarter.