Gain new skills & get a headstart on your career! 

Embark on a transformative journey to master essential audio skills in recording, production, and cutting-edge digital technologies with WAM Academy. Come join us in San Francisco for a hands-on experience with face-to-face sessions aimed at boosting your audio skills.

What is WAM Academy?

A formalized training program comprising two courses, Level 1 and Level 2, designed to acquire new audio skills and jumpstart your career. Upon completion of the workshop, participants will possess the knowledge and skills essential for creating audio recordings and mixes. These courses are taught by qualified recording engineers and aim to equip students with the necessary knowledge of audio production, recording, and mixing.

Upcoming  Courses – *Fall Academy will be offered In-Person only.   

2024 Academy Period



Registration Open Date


Times (PT)


Fall Level 1 Heidi Trefethen July 5

August 20 – October 8

Oct 8 – Soldering workshop (5:30pm – 9pm)

6:30pm – 9pm
  • 447 Minna St (4th floor), San Francisco, CA
Fall Level 2 Arielle Flinkman,
Lien Do
July 5

October 15 – December 10

Nov 12th – Studio Recording Session (5pm – 9pm)
6:30pm – 9pm
  • 447 Minna St (4th floor), San Francisco, CA
  • WAM Studio 542-544 Natoma Street, #C-1. San Francisco, CA 94103

Level 1: Basic Audio Production Course

Uncover the fascinating realm of sound through our comprehensive 8-class foundational series taught by Heidi Trefethen! This course provides a solid foundation for understanding the physics and science behind sound, ensuring you gain essential skills for basic recording, production, and digital technologies.

In this 8-class series you will:

  • Gain an understanding of the physics and science behind sound
  • Learn basic recording techniques, and about signal flow and the recording chain
  • Learn how microphones work and basic microphone selection and placement
  • Get hands-on experience with Pro Tools, exploring its features and capabilities for professional audio production
  • Learn how to solder and make your own cables!


  • Heidi Trefethen


  • 447 Minna St (4th floor), San Francisco, CA

We recommend taking Level 1 as a prerequisite to all other WAM classes.

Level 2 – Studio Recording, Production, Mixing, and Signal Processing Course 

Unlock your recording potential and put your skills into action in WAM’s professional recording studios. Immerse yourself in the art of studio consoles and processors while surrounded by a supportive and encouraging community. This intermediate-level course is designed to take your recording expertise to new heights in a professional studio setting. If you’re already familiar with signal flow, microphone types, and basic recording and mixing, this course is the perfect opportunity for you to take your skills to the next level.

This 9-class series covers:

In the studio:

  • Large Format Console Signal Flow & Patchbays
  • Auxes & Inserts
  • Headphone Mixes
  • Mic placement techniques
  • Learn how to run a recording session with a local Bay Area band

In the digital learning lab:

  • EQ, Dynamic, and Time-based processing
  • Editing and Vocal Comping
  • Hands-on access to Pro Tools

Level 2 Prerequisites:

Academy Level 1 or equivalent basic recording training, and Pro Tools 101 or prior experience is strongly recommended. Attendees should understand signal flow, types of microphones, and a basic understanding of recording and mixing going into this course.


  • Arielle Flinkman
  • Lien Do


    • 447 Minna St (4th floor), San Francisco, CA
    • WAM Studio 542-544 Natoma Street, #C-1. San Francisco, CA 94103

PRICING – Fall Enrollment Opens July 5

*WAM Members email for your PROMO code.


  • Early Bird Level 1 ONLY – $300
  • Early Bird Level 2 ONLY – $250


  • General Level 1 ONLY – $350
  • General Level 2 ONLY – $300
  • General Bundle (Level 1 + Level 2) – $600


  • WAM Member Level 1 ONLY – $300
  • WAM Member Level 2 ONLY – $250




Any Questions? Please email

Meet the experts behind the magic:

Heidi Trefethen is a recording and live sound engineer, producer, classical and jazz French Hornist, educator and composer. During her 31 years of work in the music industry, Heidi has worked with artists such as Shawn Colvin, Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin, Michelle Ndegeocello, Herb Alpert and Lani Hall, Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul, and Mary, and has a Concert Sound credit on PBS’ American Masters | Holly Near: Singing for Our Lives.

As a French Hornist, she has performed and given master classes in Italy, Thailand, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the UK, Canada. The LA Philharmonic, Il Teatro d’opera di Roma, the SFJAZZ Monday Night Band and several Bay Area regional orchestras are a few of the ensembles she has performed with. Heidi is a faculty member of the SFJAZZ Digital Lab, Women’s Audio Mission, the Institute for the Musical Arts and teaches private classes and lessons.

Heidi is also a GRAMMY® Voting member, Governor on the Board of the San Francisco Chapter of the Recording Academy. She is the San Francisco Chapters’ Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Ambassador to the National DEI Team of the Recording Academy. She is passionate about equality and creating a healthy environment for women of color, gender non-conforming and women-identified individuals in the music industry.

Lien Do is a Sacramento-born multi-disciplinary media artist living in the Bay Area. They hold a double bachelor’s degree from the University of California at Davis in Music and Design. Their expertise extends to a wide range of fields, including record engineering, ADR, music composition, production, editing, and mixing. Since 2015, Lien has been serving as the co-owner and co-head engineer of Different Fur Studios in San Francisco, alongside Grace Coleman. They are also the co-founder of LIEMA, a post-audio and film production company, and a core member of the queer Vietnamese media collective, Sunkissed Productions.

Lien is a professor of post-production film audio for the MFA Graduate School program SOCDOC at UC Santa Cruz. They have also delivered guest lectures at various institutions, including UCLA and other community groups. Also, they were featured as an artist in residence at SFMoma’s Open Space, where they presented a physics sound installation that explored the potential of harnessing Sympathetic Resonance through future climate change and its impact on communication.

Lastly, they are a music producer who operates under the name Leviathe working with various artists. Throughout their work, Lien demonstrates a deep commitment to accessibility, diversity, and inclusivity in the arts.

Arielle Flinkman (she/her), is an audio engineer, musician and DJ from San Francisco. She is currently the Studio Manager and Lead Engineer at Women’s Audio Mission where she runs the daily operations and recording sessions at WAM’s professional, world class recording studio. In addition to studio engineering, she has a background working as a live sound engineer around Bay Area clubs and venues.

She is also a WAM alumni and obtained her certificates in Studio Recording and Sound Reinforcement from the City College of San Francisco. Prior to working in sound, Arielle comes from a long background in A/V technology and film exhibition, obtaining her Bachelor’s degree in Media Studies and Film from the University of San Francisco in 2014. She has worked in film projection, A/V tech, and operations as Operations Manager of the Roxie Theater and as a technician with local festivals. Additionally, she is a vocalist and has been working as a vinyl DJ since 2013.

Women’s Audio Mission courses focus on increasing the gender balance in audio production and technology sectors since fewer than 5% of the population employed in these sectors are women and gender-expansive individuals. There are limited spots available in WAM classes, and they often sell out, so we ask that if you are not woman-identified (cisgender or transgender), nonbinary, or gender-expansive, you reconsider enrolling in the class. We will not turn anyone away, but please be mindful that if you take up a seat in the class, that is one less woman, non-binary, or gender-expansive individual that we can serve. We thank you for your understanding in advance and for joining us in our mission to advance women and girls in music production and the recording arts.

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Question: If I need to drop out of WAM Academy for unforeseen or emergency reasons will I receive partial reimbursement?

Answer: If for any reason WAM Academy participants have cut short their participation in academy classes their credits can roll over to a future academy session. Contact the WAM education coordinator to notify them should this happen. Unfortunately, WAM cannot offer reimbursements or refunds after classes have started. If you know that you will need to miss several classes, it may be better to purchase classes individually instead of investing in the Academy Bundle.

Question: Is WAM Academy only for people who want to work professionally in recording studios?

Answer: No, WAM Academy teaches the fundamentals of audio recording with hands-on experience in a professional recording studio. Materials covered in classes can help learners interested in DIY home-recording, podcasting etc understand the basics of audio production.

Question: Would I need to purchase my own ProTools subscription, or will WAM provide ProTools access?

Answer: No, you will not need to own Pro Tools, unless you are joining remotely. WAM has Pro Tools installed at our lab, and may also provide a temporary ProTools license available for the duration of the course.

Question: Are WAM Academy courses in-person/online or hybrid?

Answer: Level 1 courses are hybrid with most classes being online. Registered participants have access to recorded classes for 1 week after the live class date. In person classes for Level 1 are filmed and available for online viewing.

Level 2 courses are also hybrid but hands-on at WAM’s recording studio in SF and in the field. While students can follow class remotely they will miss out on the hands-on opportunity to actually set up microphones and work with a professional recording console.

Question: How do I register for Eventbrite classes as a WAM Member?

Answer: Once you register for a WAM Membership please email for your WAM member discount code to register for classes at checkout in Eventbrite.

Question: I already have experience with audio production. What WAM Academy courses should I register for?

Answer: Great! We would love to have you join our more advanced classes. Contact our team at to assess which courses will be most appropriate for your level of expertise. to assess which courses will be most appropriate for your level of expertise. You can register for WAM Academy Level II with the instructor’s permission. Also, consider applying for WAM’s internship program, which has lots of hands-on experience, industry connections, and offers a more intensive 3 month learning curriculum.