Pro Audio Essentials

  • Creative Direction & Concept Development
  • UX & Game Experience Design
  • Front-end Design & Development

Winner of the 2017 NAMM TEC Award for “Audio Education Technology”

Ear Training and Audio Production Learning Game

Winner of the 2020 NAMM TEC Award for “Audio Education Technology”

iZotope's Pro Audio Essentials is a game-based course for music producers to practice and improve their audio skills. This unique learning experience uses audio games, ear training, and videos to build the production skills that music makers use every day when recording, mixing, and mastering.


Originally conceived as a traditional online course for audio production (to be deployed in a traditional Learning Management System) the iZotope Content Marketing team's intentions were to help prosumer music makers produce better sounding recordings using iZotope's advanced audio production software. The learning challenge was to combine the teaching of core audio concepts (Equalization, Compression and Digital Audio) with skill based Ear Training. The end goal was to build brand awareness and loyalty among IZotope's expanding prosumer market.


Based on customer research and review of comparable learning materials along with concept validation testing, we combined the gamification of "ear training" with demonstration video content, to produce "Pro Audio Essentials." A free, online, game-based course for music producers to practice and improve their audio skills. Intended for use by people who are producing, mixing, and mastering music on a regular basis, it's fun and simple enough for non-professional hobbyists and aspiring prosumers.

“At iZotope, our goal is to drive audio quality that helps musicians realize their artistic vision, and we achieve this through cutting-edge, intuitive technology and a strong emphasis on education.”
— Mark Ethier, CEO iZotope

Learn, Explore, Practice, Challenge

Pro Audio Essentials offers a range of unique learning experiences that cover Equalization, Compression, and Digital Audio Basics. With the EQ series artists learn how to improve mixes and masters through a series of videos under ‘Learn’ from where students can put their new skills to the test with ‘Explore’ and ‘Practice’. From there, learners can move on to audio challenges where they can level up and earn badges as their listening skills improve.

“We were eager to evolve the current landscape of audio education —to help shift the balance from passive learning to active learning on foundational topics like EQ"
— Jonathan Wyner, iZotope’s GRAMMY-nominated Director of Education

Learn: Video Instruction Library

Developed by Grammy Nominated mastering expert Jonathan Wyner, iZotope's Director of Education, and produced by iZotope’s in-house media team, Pro Audio Essentials prominently features a series of videos covering the basics of equalization, compression, and digital audio technology.

Explore: Simulating the Software Experience

Modeled after iZotope's pro audio software, Pro Audio Essentials provides learners tools to explore the concepts of audio manipulation and tweak music in real time with audio tracks covering a variety styles and genres. The simulations enforce common terminology as well. Learners can watch a song transform into something "brighter" or "warmer" and understand exactly what that means and how the transformation happens.

Practice: Proficiency Through Gamification

Along with each core audio concept the user is presented with a series of successive audio challenges beginning with "practice mode." Users then progress on to time based audio challenges where they can level up, track progress and win badges as their listening skills improve. The idea is that as users practice and develop their skills, both beginning and experienced producers will reap noticeable benefits when recording, mixing, and mastering their own recordings.

2017 NAMM TEC Award Winner

In a new category for 2017, iZotope's Pro Audio Essentials was named the inaugural "Audio Education Technology" award winner. An online educational experience, it is the first of its kind in the audio education space, offering a unique combination of audio games, ear training and instructional videos that help music makers grow and develop in an interactive learning environment. More information on Pro Audio Essentials can be found at https://pae.izotope.com/.

My Role:

Creative direction and collaborative concept development, UX & game experience design, front-end design & development.

“For us, it’s all about helping music makers succeed, and we know that stronger skills lead to better-sounding tracks,... It’s a thrill to hear back from participants who feel they are improving, and that they’re eager to come back for more practice."
– Claire Harding Hollenbeck, VP of Education and Content Marketing


About Mindful UX

Hi, I'm Doren Berge – UX & product designer, creative director and design project leader.

I have an avid interest in learning process and instructional design. I believe interaction design and branded experiences should be imbued with an intuitive instructional narrative. Users are learners. "User centered design" is "learner centered design." I prescribe a pedagogical and empathetic approach to deliver intuitive product and brand experiences.

I am a seasoned and successful startup veteran. I have built and managed design organizations of all shapes and sizes. From global, multi-layer UX/FE teams to small-startup, ninja collectives. A "servant leader" I do everything in my power to lead teams to successful business outcomes and to help talent thrive and grow.

I am a “coding designer.” Passionately devoted to user experience design and "web-craft" since the very early days of the internet (1994 - the cave paining years). I practice Lean UX and Agile Development (CSM) and I am proficient in contemporary, front-end tools, technologies and workflow.

A visual designer by trade and formal training, I have served as an Adjunct Professor at Endicott College's School of Visual Communications, teaching a variety of courses in Typography and Web Design.

You can learn more about my background and experience at LinkedIn. Please do get in touch!

Thank you for visiting!