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Sound Reinforcement - Forums for Live Sound Professionals - Your Displayed Name Must Be Your Real Full Name To Post In The Live Sound Forums => Education Opportunities: Classes, Seminars, and Training => Topic started by: Stefan Maerz on June 03, 2013, 09:13:51 AM

Title: Free Audio Engineering College Class Online
Post by: Stefan Maerz on June 03, 2013, 09:13:51 AM
Hi, for those of you that have not heard of Massively Open Online Courses (MOOC) (, they are essentially college classes you do online for free (not for college credit, simply the pursuit of knowledge).

An organization called Coursera ( offers quite a few different classes that might be of interest to audio folks: an audio engineering class, music classes, math, physics, and circuitry. There are also many classes unrelated to audio that may simply interest you.

Anyways, a class, "Fundamentals of Audio and Music Engineering: Part 1 Musical Sound & Electronics" ( starts today offered by the University of Rochester (through Coursera). I watched the introduction video and it seems to be about speaker design. I cannot vouch for this class as I have not taken it yet, however I have taken a computer networking MOOC and it was more difficult than my on campus computer networking class - it was certainly worth doing!

Anyways, as far as prerequisites are concerned: "The course employs high-school level algebra and trigonometry, no calculus is required." Furthermore the website suggests a 4-5 hour per week course load.

For more information or to sign up see:

Quote from: Syllabus
Course Syllabus
Week 1

Lesson 1: Introduction to oscillations and sound waves, simple oscillating systems, sound pressure, sound waves, the speed of sound, wavelength, frequency and pitch, sound pressure level, loudness, making sound, properties of musical sound versus “noise”

Lesson 2: Electronics fundamentals - charge, current, voltage, power, resistance, Ohm’s law, DC circuits, finding currents and voltages in simple circuits

Week 2

Lesson 1: Reflection and absorption of sound, resonances in air columns, resonances in enclosures and rooms, diffraction and diffusion of sound, reverberation, principles of designing a good music studio

Lesson 2:  AC signals, phase and complex numbers, capacitors, inductors, transformers, impedance, AC circuits and AC circuit analysis, simple filters (high-pass, low-pass, band-pass)

Week 3

Lesson 1: Transistors, vacuum tubes, opamps, amplification, power gain, single-stage amplifiers

Lesson 2: Converting sound to electrical signals –microphones and guitar pickups, converting electrical signals to sound – loudspeakers   

Week 4 

Lesson 1: Electric guitar electronics, pickup design, pickup placement and tone, volume control circuits, tone control circuits

Lesson 2:  Overview of a simple guitar amplifier, power supply, volume control, preamp, tone control, power amp section

Week 5

Lesson 1: Designing speaker enclosures, basic principles, interaction of speaker driver with the cabinet, why a cabinet at all?

Lesson 2: Speaker designs for home stereo, crossover networks, guitar amplifier (open) speaker enclosures, bass amplifier (closed and vented) speaker enclosures

Week 6

Lesson 1:  Building the guitar amplifier, how to solder, getting the amp to work - systematic testing and troubleshooting

Lesson 2: Visualizing sound waves, frequency content and tone, signal modification in electro-acoustic systems, tube amplifiers and distortion, wah pedal, talk box

Disclaimer: I have no affiliation with any MOOC platform or any (currently) associated university. I also got mod approval to post this thread a few months ago, I just forgot to do it then.