Starting a new class can be stressful, especially if it’s an online class. Online classes come with their own set of required tools that will vary from course to course. Here are a few guidelines for the tools you will likely need before starting your course.
Computer and Internet
Obviously, if you’re taking recording engineer classes online, you’ll need a computer with a stable Internet connection. Without this connection, you won’t be able to download lessons or upload assignments. Your computer should also be powerful enough to handle the proper software.
Check before buying software, as it is a bit of a coin-flip on whether or not the course will provide your software, or require you to purchase the software. In either case, unless the class is specifically designed to teach you the software, it is a good idea to explore and familiarize yourself with the software before the class begins.
Again, this depends on the course. Many courses require access to a Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI), or other digital interface. This tool allows you to directly manipulate the data points of your audio files.
Speakers and Microphones
Investing in quality headphones, speakers, and microphones is a must for any aspiring audio engineer. Your speakers should have a wide range — pure highs, full mids, and deep basses — and should be suited for the specific kind of audio engineering you’re studying. Your headphones should be equally well balanced, with crisper distinctions for precise edits. You will usually need two microphones, a dynamic microphone and a condenser microphone. Your set up and priorities will all vary relatively dramatically depending on your application. If you’re working more in music, you will have very different needs than your friend working in Foley.
Building your toolkit is a fun and exciting part of beginning your recording engineer journey!