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APRIL, 2000

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Originally we posted article entitled "Training in Your Underwear" in our October, 1998 issue.  The circumstances and the links have charged, so we are re-presenting the article, updated for the new Millennium.

Using the Internet wisely can mean that much of your study time learning recording & production techniques can be at home in front of your computer.  Your computer doesn't mind your manner of dress or undress.  The class begins when you are ready and there's no playing hooky because no one takes attendance other than yourself.
Recording Institute of Detroit began  posting training materials to the web with its launch of its Pro Audio Specialist Course.  An interactive training  demo has been posted since October, 1998 and the entire Pro Audio Specialist module was first posted at the beginning of 1999.    It's the first of several online study modules that have been posted by RID over  the last year.  For a $149 subscription  fee you can study course content of several Recording Institute Of Detroit classes  until you know the theory; the fee covers two years of access.  The posted content includes 3 full text books, three interactive study modules, a complete audio dictionary, interactive quick starts for several digital consoles, audio demos,  and a wealth of tips and short articles on recording for the beginning, intermediate or advanced students.  This training package is subscribed to by subscribing to my Alexander Advanced Recording Training Magazine.  Prices are raising to $199 in June of this year.
Online study has its drawbacks.  Its more work to study the theory alone by itself without the in-studio time.  It's harder but may make the study possible for those with time or financial or distance restraints.  Online study also has its advantages.   There is a world of resources out there on the net.  If you're studying about microphones, you can view microphones, read specification sheets, find out what other instructors say about microphones, chat about mics, etc... When you are studying online, because of hyperlinks, you can do such things as click on a word and up pops the definition in a separate small window.   To try this out, click on the word balance.
The purpose of this article is to familiarize you with the resources available and to provide some information how to find and judge the accuracy of the postings on the web.
Online Courses & Training By Schools

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If a valid (licensed or accredited) school offers training programs online, you can be pretty sure of the accuracy and completeness of the information.  For recording training, your best choice should be a school that has major programs in the subject.   To date the only school I know that actually has posted a recording study program online is the Recording Institute of Detroit.  The training site of Alexander Magazine is actually owned and run by Robert Dennis, but it is the official Recording Institute Of Detroit training site.
Introductory training and a sample of the Interactive study modules used at Alexander Magazine can be obtained with a free subscription to the sister magazine of Recording Engineer's Quarterly.  The front page of the site contains the links to subscribe.
I still don't know of any school, other than Recording Institute Of Detroit, that offers online training.  In my original article, almost a year and a half ago, there was a reference to one Australian school advertising that it would begin this service shortly.  Their opening statement on their online courses info page started out:  "Our courses will shortly be available on the Internet.  If you are interested in studying audio production on-line, register your interest by completing the form below" - A year a half later you still see the same statement posted.  RID offers the full theory content of courses online but to get a full certificate you still have to attend the campus for the hands-on portion of the training.
There are many, many colleges and universities that are busy putting complete courses online.  So far I haven't heard of a recording course on line by a university - but its just a matter of time until it happens.
Postings By Professional Recording Instructors

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There are several recording instructors that maintain sites for students or for interested non-students.  The "tip of the week" and "recording techniques" articles that appear on the Recording Engineer's Quarterly are examples of such postings.  But there are other, even more extensive, sites.

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The biggest posting I have seen by a recording instructor is the "home recording" page run By Kevin Becka.  In 1998, Kevin's guide page began: "Greetings and welcome to the Home Recording site at The Mining Company [now].  My name is Kevin Becka. I'm a recording engineer, educator, writer and musician. I've worked with Kenny G., Michael Bolton and many other industry professionals. To see my full bio, check out the faculty page at the Conservatory of Recording Arts & Sciences Web site.
Since that time Kevin has changed his employment and is now the editor for Pro Audio Review Magazine.  He still teaches through his site but now has more guest articles.
On the front page of his site, he has his current lesson link as well as his favorite articles and web links.  He posts 5 new links and one educational article per week, and he's been doing that since March, 1997.  On his web links page he has 18 category links, each of which lists 10 to 20 links in that category. I think you are getting the picture that this is a huge resource (but it navigates well).  You can visit Ken's site by clicking on his 1998 picture at the left. 

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Another very informative site is called Film Sound Theory posted by Sven E Carlsson who is "a Media Instructor at Birka Folkhögskola in Sweden."  His site starts off with the statement: "I am convinced that sound carries meaning in more ways than simply by accompanying a visible object or person."  Email:
If you want to know something about film sound, this is the site to visit. I count a dozen glossaries, 18 links to articles on his first page, 70 links on his link pages (including us). One of his links, Recording Technology History at, gives a fascinating history of recorded sound and 18 more related links. Our favorite article is An Introduction to Film Sound at  You can visit his site by clicking on the logo to the left.
Professional Associations

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Another excellent source of information is various "associations" and their postings to the web.  These associations will post articles in a specialty area as a public service for their little corner of the industry.  Usually there are some "free" postings that anyone can view and also some "member-only" postings that members can view.
Joining the association, and taking maximum advantage of the resource, can be at no charge or for a small yearly fee that covers the costs.  The information provided is usually high-quality and "the real scoop" because there is no or little commercial interest involved.  One such resource is Fact 42 Online, a site devoted to touring.  Their introduction begins:
"We started as a touring agency in Sweden with an Internet site. Now, a few years later, Fact42 On Line, is an independent source of information, directed towards the people in the touring & concert industry! What we do is supposed to be a free service and so far we have managed to keep it that way. We believe in the Internet being a free source of information!"
Visit them by clicking on their logo. Their best section is the Audio FAQ,   which are actually mini-articles on live sound & live setup.  Our favorite mini-article is:
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Another "association is two websites co-operating, such as Recording Institute Of Detroit working with The Recording Website.   Tips intended for both site readers can be seen by clicking on the above banners.   RID also provides articles and illustrations for RW posting and the RID message board is "powered by" RW.  You can also visit the Recording Website directly by going to
Helpful Subject Experts
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Another type of site is created by an expert in a suject who enjoys imparting knowledge for some less-than-obvious reason.  One such site has captured our attention and respect.  We have given it our Underwear Training Award for the best WWW training site in Internet ausio.

Copyright © 2000, by Robert Dennis, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED