Apprentice Program

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Get out of the classroom and into the studio.

Our Apprentice Program gets aspiring audio engineers hands-on experience and one-on-one training with industry professionals and payment for assisting on real recording sessions at our studio. The unique crowdfunding process we’ve developed totally covers your costs to enroll in our Apprentice Program. Gain the experience to move your career forward without exhausting your financial resources to get there.


Train one-on-one with Industry Pros.

Our program includes a comprehensive curriculum with 20 one-on-one training sessions lead by our own expert engineering staff. We design your program based on your level of experience, which ensures a fast-paced learning environment where you don't need to compete with a large classroom of students.


Get paid to assist on our sessions.

Since we are a working studio, you'll get to assist on actual recording sessions with actual artists. We are proud to be able to compensate you for your time and help while working with our clients. This hands-on, on-the-job learning approach gives you the practice you need to refine your skills in a professional context.


Crowdfund with our team of experts.

Our team will help you design, launch and marketing a crowdfunding campaign at no cost to you, including the creation of a professional campaign pitch video. The funds we raise will cover all your expenses to enroll in our Apprentice Program.


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Audio Basics

In this introduction to audio, we'll discuss the science of sound, waveforms, frequency, amplitude, phase, the human hearing spectrum, audio signal basics, and more. You'll learn the basics of our studio set up, and how to check for phase on the console and in Pro Tools.

Signal Flow

This is one of the most significant topics of any audio curriculum. How is the studio wiring configured? From sound source to control rooms, signal flow is thoroughly explained and discussed. You'll be given the opportunity to mic an instrument and pull up signal on the console yourself, helping you to understand how our studio and many other alike are set up.

Digital Audio

We will will demystify digital audio, showing you many practical applications for things like sample rate, bit depth, Nyquist Theorem, quantization, and more.


With seemingly endless ways to skin a cat, you'll learn the many different types of microphones, and when and how to use them. You'll be given the opportunity to mic up different instruments and compare various mic configurations.


Learn the different types of EQ, and how/when to use them, practicing on the variety of equalizers, both analog/software based, we have in house. Polish your skills and practice some different EQ'ing methods. Apply EQ to a mix and we will critique your technique.


Take advantage of our nice collection of compressors, learning how and when to use them. You'll be able to apply compression yourself on different instruments to hone this important skill. this is an opportunity to practice different compression techniques. Apply compression to a mix and we will offer critique to aid your progress.

The Analog Console

While at first glance, the largest tool in the studio, the console, can seem quite the beast to tame; however, with the help of your mentor, you'll quickly gain comfort in using our desk, an important skill that will translate to other studios and consoles as well. We'll provide you with plenty of hands on experience with board throughout the program.

Pro Tools

Our studio is running 32 channels of HDX I/O (that's 64 channels total). From simple record functions and keystrokes to more complex editing, your mentor show you everything you need to know about Pro Tools, putting you in the driver's seat so you can learn the software hands on.

Time Based Effects

Reverbs and delays are so important when both creating a realistic environment for our recordings to live in, and making innovative, exciting mixes. Your mentor will break down how these effects work, and how to use them, giving you the chance to use our outboard and software based effects.

Microphone Lab

In preparation for your recording project, you and your mentor will mic up a drum set, guitar amp and bass amp, to practice mic'ing techniques before working with a real band.

Pre-Production Lab

This lab will prepare you for your recording project the same way a producer prepares a band for recording.Your mentor will bring in the band and the two of you will go through the pre-production process together, covering the following subjects:

  • How to prepare a project for the recording process.
  • How to work with a band to ready them for recording.
  • The typical role of a producer and engineer in pre-production.

Recording Lab

You and your mentor will record a song from the ground up with a working band. This is a great opportunity for you to apply the recording knowledge and engineer an actual recording session yourself. 


Now that you've recorded a song, your mentor will use this recording to show you mixing basics (balance, panning, effects, etc), setting you up with the base knowledge you need to do your own mix. After you've completed your mix, your mentor will offer you critique, and show you some advanced techniques to try in your future projects.

Mixing Lab

This entire lab is dedicated to your hands on, mixing your own recording, using the mixing information your mentor shared in the previous lesson, as well as your knowledge of EQ, compression, and effects accumulated throughout the program up to this point. This is a culminating point of our program, where you can really apply the knowledge you've acquired in a real mix session.


Whether or not you plan to pursue a career in mastering, it's so important to understand the mechanics of this process in order to approach recording and mixing properly. Your mentor will review the basic techniques used in mastering and give you an opportunity to apply these techniques in mastering your own mix.



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Mike Davidson / Owner / Producer / Engineer / Musician

Mike Davidson, owner of Plaid Dog, is a Boston based Producer-Engineer with 15+ years of professional experience, working with both established and up-and-coming musicians to create an artistic, professional, commercially viable product. Mike’s background as a musician and technical training as an engineer allows him to bring a broad skill set to his projects. While studying audio recording at Emerson College, Mike worked as the Live Mix Director at WERS 88.9fm, where he had pleasure of working with many local Boston artists, as well as many national and international touring acts. During and after Emerson, Mike worked to become a fixture in the Boston community, known for quality recording and creative direction.

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Bryan Fennelly / Producer / Engineer / Musician

Bryan Fennelly, Head Engineer at Plaid Dog, comes from a family of performers. His background as a musician provided the foundation for his career as a producer and engineer. Bryan’s years of interning and freelance work at various studios in the Boston area, combined with his time spent in the Sound Recording Technology program at UMass Lowell, helped to round out both his artistic and technical skills. Personable and perceptive, Bryan runs a relaxed environment for his sessions, encouraging inspiration and creativity every step of the way. Bryan has been working with Mike since 2011.


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