Recent Changes - Search:

Welcome to CAVI, the Cisco Academy for the Vision Impaired.

Course Fees Linux Wiki HTML Wiki Documentation Index PmWiki FAQ

Edit SideBar

Audio Ins and Outs

Introduction to Audio Ins And Outs

  Welcome, and thanks for your interest in the CAVI audio editing fundamentals course! If you are currently enrolled in it, please go to the Student Area to access your exclusive notes and audio. If you aren't but would like to take it, read on.   Audio Essentials GoldWave Reaper Complete  

What is This Course about?

This course will teach all the fundamental aspects of audio in a manner easily understood by those who are blind or vision impaired. By the end of the course, regardless of initial skill level and your particular area of interest, , you will be able to get the best possible audio quality out of what is available to you in the most efficient way, without extravagant spending on equipment or software.

The aim of the course is to ensure that, whether completely new to the world of audio or an old hand, you will take away valuable new skills and knowledge you can start implementing in projects right away.

Like all of our courses, it is offered entirely via the internet so you can reap the benefits from the comfort of your own home. .  

What is Covered?

The course is divided into three modules so you can tailor it to suit your particular needs. Each module will have its own wiki page with written notes and there will be assignments so that you can practice what you've learned and track your progress

the emphasis for all three modules can be changed to coincide as closely as possible with prevailing student interests.

Module 1: Audio Essentials

This module is vital for anyone starting out in audio, but may also appeal to those wishing to expand their knowledge of audio theory and available hardware. It's aim is to improve your knowledge and practices so that you see the most professional sounding results in the shortest possible time.

On completing this module, you will have learned:

  • How to record and handle audio safely, i.e. at levels that will not damage your hearing.
  • The properties of sound, such as how its frequency relates to pitch etc.
  • How digital audio works and the parameters that dictate its quality.
  • How to make informed decisions regarding what audio quality to work at in given situations, considering factors such as hard-drive space and the end user's needs.
  • the pros and cons of lossy compression formats such as MP3.
  • How to get the most out of your current audio set-up and what else is out there that would suit your budget. This will include a discussion of:
    • different microphone types, their possible pick-up patterns and their ideal applications.
    • Mixers, audio interfaces and sound cards.
  • How to place your microphone to reduce noise from your environment, you yourself and electrical interference.
  • How to identify different types of interference, as well as other audio defects so that you can neutralise them.

In order to proceed to either or both of the two remaining modules, you must either take this module or demonstrate an understanding of most of the concepts described above via a short placement test that will be administered at the start of the course.


Students will then have the opportunity to attend a class on the different types of effects that can be applied to audio, regardless of the modules they choose. This class will briefly describe and demonstrate the most popular types of effects audio producers use e.g. compression, equalization, delay, reverb etc.

the final two modules will be run concurrently.

Module 2: Single-track Editing

Single-track editors are vital to sound designers, podcasters, journalists and field recordists. They can even be used to produce simple mixes.

This module will plum the depths of what can be achieved with a single-track editor as never before in a CAVI course.

We will be using Goldwave, though, since many of the concepts to be taught are transferable, you are welcome to use your editor of choice if you prefer, though bear in mind that instructors will not be able to provide the same degree of support for software not explicitly covered in the course.

On completing this module, you will have learned:

  • How to record audio.
  • How to monitor, set and adjust levels correctly to prevent distortion, an inaudible signal or too much background noise.
  • how to make invisible edits.
  • When and when not to edit.
  • inserting markers to bookmark your project.
  • How to apply effects.
  • How to apply the same process or processes to a large number of files at the same time.

All this work will culminate in a final project, in which each student will have the chance to present a piece of work produced using a single-track editor.

Module 3: Reaping with Osara

Reaper is an extremely powerful and versatile multi-track digital audio workstation, which, thanks to an accessibility extension called osara, is ideal for blind and vision impaired audio producers in all fields.

Recent developments in Osara mean that even more features have become accessible as this module will demonstrate.

On completing this module you will have learned

  • how to configure Reaper to taste.
  • How to record audio.
  • How to monitor, set and adjust levels correctly to prevent distortion, an inaudible signal or too much background noise.
  • How to manage, organise and save large projects.
  • How to render different parts of a project to different file formats and qualities.
  • How to make invisible edits.
  • When and when not to edit.
  • How to work with items and tracks.
  • How to make and compare multiple takes of a performance.
  • How non-destructive editing works so that, even if something goes badly wrong, you will be able to salvage your project.
  • How to apply effects.
  • What an effects chain is and how it should be set out to achieve certain results.
  • How to reduce CPU load and improve workflow efficiency by grouping tracks into folders or using effects sends.
  • How to use sends for complex effects and signal path routing for side-chain compression, gating, vocoding etc, as well as parallel effects processing to give your projects more character.
  • How to enliven your projects and give them that extra sparkle by automating effects.

All this work will culminate in a final project, in which each student will have the chance to present a piece of work produced using a multi-track editor.

What will not be covered?

  This course is designed to give those new to the world of audio a firm grounding in concepts. As a result, methods of audio editing specific to various products will not be taught by staff. Our focus will primarily be targeted toward working with Goldwave and Reaper.  

For example, concerning compression: We will discuss its meaning, show examples of it in popular media, explain and demonstrate the hazzards of overcompression, break down compressor settings like attack/release, threshhold, makeup gain and so forth, and show how to apply a compressor in Reaper and Gold Wave for demonstrative purposes. We will not show how to add compression to a track in ProTools/Sonar/Sound Forge, or tell you what specific compressor or compressor settings you should use for your track in class.

If you wish to follow along with our instructors, use the software our instructors use. This includes Gold Wave and Reaper. If not, the documentation provided by the program you choose should be sufficient.  

Are students allowed to collaborate?

You may collaborate on projects using dropbox or similar cloud services to allow concurrent work on projects. You may not collaborate with others outside of class (unless the extent of that collaboration is the outside indevidual providing them material for you to work on and collaborators are still expected to complete their own assignments.  

All of this stuff is so confusing! Help!

  There are several current and former students who have experience with multiple editing packages and situations. These gracious volunteers often host workshops after lectures, and are also available to answer questions on our audio discuss mailing list.

As time goes on and more students add to the information contained in the CUCAT wiki, it will become an invaluable resource for instructions on these topics.

Searching the internet and reading forum posts is another way to obtain specific information you may need;

keep in mind that our community's specific expertese is in accessibility issues. If you are struggling with a general audio issue, no doubt many before you have done so as well and have documented their experiences on the web.

Finally, you can of course contact your instructors at any time durring the course to discuss any issues you may have.  

When is it?

Semesters begin in February and August of the current year.

Exact times are to be confirmed and may be influenced by a sufficient number of students living in a particular time zone.

What if I can't make class times?

It is of course strongly preferred that students attend classes so that they can ask questions as topics come up. However, lectures are downloadable so that you can access the material at a convenient time and instructors will be available to help you catch up.

  • Sections on what do I need to know and have I think are fine.


The price of the course depends on the modules you take.

  • Audio Essentials costs $50.
  • Single-track Editing costs $100.
  • Reaping with Osara costs $100.
  • or, for complete profficiency in all these audio ins and outs, take all three modules and receive a 20% discount, paying just $200.

These prices include:

  • Access to the relevant lectures including downloadable podcasts so that you can review the material at your leisure.
  • access to the relevant wiki pages, which boast ever-expanding archives of written and audio material.
  • Study groups on topics of your choice.

These prices do not include the price of associated audio hardware and software you may wish to purchase such as a microphone or audio editor.

No refunds will be provided except in special circumstances such as medical or other emergency situations.

the fea must be paid up front, i.e. before a module commences. If, however, your particular circumstances make this difficult, contact us and we'll see what we can work out.

Reserving Your Place!

  Head on over to the application form, at Complete it, and email it to rob at ciscovision dot org.  

  • Wasn't sure what to do about the where can I learn more section.

My question isn't answered here!

  Please send further questions to rob at ciscovision dot org. Thank you again for your interest!

Edit - History - Print - Recent Changes - Search
Page last modified on May 31, 2020, at 01:39 PM