Down the rabbit hole: What does this site cover?
What is Music Tech Student.org?
Music Tech Student.org teaches educators, students, and professionals basic and advanced concepts in music technology. There are plenty of places to learn traditional theory, composition, orchestration, musicianship, and all those other amazing skills. This is where you’ll learn how to apply music technology to those skills. Main site areas include music business, recording, digital music and live/installed sound. Below is a table that explains what is taught in each category.
Each section of Tech Beginnings contains the basics of what students and teachers should know, based on a mix of what is being taught currently in college music programs and what is needed in the industry itself. Each topic is written to be understood by anyone, regardless of previous experience with music technology.
The site also has a rolling, searchable blog feed in each of the advanced categories listed below.
Who’s Behind MTS?
The site and original content for MTS were created by Elias James and are based, in part, on the content and outcomes of the commercial music and music technology programs of Snow College and Southern Utah University, respectively. Elias is a graduate
As you’ve probably noticed, this site includes printable resources, usually in PDF format (like the
This site will often discuss the ideal gear/texts to use for specific scenarios. In each case, a link to view the gear on Amazon will be in the text/book image. Music Tech Student uses these in-text links as an unobtrusive alternative to banner ads; if you were referred to Amazon from our site, then buy anything from Amazon within 24 hours, MTS will get a small portion of the sale. If you appreciate these resources, consider purchasing gear through our site; it will help us keep content updated regularly as the industry changes (and boy does it change). Occasionally, other affiliate programs will be used, for example, the TrainYourEars app affiliate program; in each case, academic integrity is paramount; we will recommend/discuss whatever is best, even if there’s no reward on our end. Required statement: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
If you have any suggestions for improving MTS, please click the Feedback button at the bottom-right of the associated page and give us a constructive earful (it even lets you highlight what you’re talking about). Also, if you would like a master class from any one of a number of experts, custom teaching materials, a specific studio build, private tech lessons, or just some applied advice, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you.
There is an increasing and ever-changing amount of revenue streams available in the music industry. This section keeps students and professionals on top of it all. View it here.
Marketing and promotion are too important to ignore, especially for someone just entering the industry. This section includes tips and free resources for the budding musician or publisher to get their brand established online and in print. View it here.
Labels and Publishing
Since getting signed isn’t everything anymore, what are publishers for now? This section deals with the nitty gritty of music publishing, with large labels and single-person operations. View it here.
Touring is still the main source of income for many artists. This section gives insights into life on the road: what’s expected of everyone, how to treat your sound man, whether or not it’ll be worth it, etc . . . View it here.
Acoustics and Treatment
This could be a complex chunk of heady mathematics, but we’ll avoid that as long as possible. Instead, it glosses over the basics of practical acoustics, mostly as it applies to preparing a recording or performance space. Here’s the page.
Studio Setup and Gear
Once you have a great space, you’ll need some great gear. This section covers the main hardware required to produce music in a studio and how to set it all up. View it here.
This section covers how to record audio sources with mics, plugging in guitars, and dealing with other analog sources. It also covers the basics of setting up recording applications (track types, gain, etc . . .). MIDI and electronic music is covered in the Digital Music area. Here’s the page.
Mixing and Mastering
Once audio tracks are recorded, mixing and mastering gets them ready for the public. This area goes through audio effects in much greater detail and their use in getting a competent mix. Click here to go to it.
Even though some genres have moved away from traditional notation, it’s still used in a large part of the industry; it’s also definitely still in full force in academia. This goes over how to create great-looking scores in Sibelius and other notation programs.
This section covers a little of the expansive history of electronic music, it’s many genres and uses, and how it’s made today.
Film and game audio is always new, since it changes constantly. It’s also exceptionally fun for students.
MIDI is at the heart of music production. It makes things much easier for the beginner and more flexible for the professional. This section goes over the basics of MIDI and introduces the various instruments that can record it.
From simple speeches and conferences to small stages and grand arenas, live sound can be high-pressure or a breeze. This section will help you be more prepared for all the tension and excitement of a live gig.
Every restaurant, car dealership, public pool, school stage, concert hall and arena needs a sound system, and it can take a small army to put it all together. This section introduces distributive systems, DSP programming, control systems and other permanent installation considerations.
Rentals and Sales
Backline and sales are other sectors of the industry that are often overlooked in education. Unlike a lot of sales positions that mostly require business savvy and great people skills, audio sales also requires a deep and expansive knowledge of audio gear and its uses.
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