Year 2

Contemporary Music Applications

In this module you begin learning two new pieces of music software which you will begin to use to an greater extent in upcoming modules in Year 3: Ableton’s “Live” and Cycling74’s “MAX”. This ensures that you are already familiar with these software packages and can develop your skills further when you study modules more heavily focused on each piece of software respectively.

Electroacoustic Music Techniques

In this module, you enhance your skills and explore your creativity in compositional and production techniques - specifically those techniques made possible by contemporary PC-based audio/MIDI sequencing applications.

We focus on the creative use of these techniques and the technology involved in the creation of original compositions.

This is achieved through an exploration of the techniques associated with algorithmic composition, Musique Concrète, minimalist and ambient music.

We explored and reapply this in the context of modern, computer based compositional techniques.

We deliver the module as a series of lectures, built around demonstrations and practical exercises which you attempt in facilitated practical sessions in music labs.

Regular tutorials and seminars explore concepts, monitor progress and evaluate your work. Assessment is through a portfolio of original compositions.

Independent Study

This module provides you with the opportunity to explore a music technology related topic of your own choice, which must be realised using our own facilities. The precise area of study is negotiated with the module tutors.

Initial tutorials focus on devising learning outcomes for your study. Once the study is underway, you maintain on online blog to capture and record your progress.

You are supported by regular tutorials throughout the academic year. The study is assessed through a presentation to peers and practical outcomes, which students discuss and assess in a written study report.

Live Sound Techniques

The live sound industry requires strong technical knowledge, good time management, rapid and accurate sound engineering skills as well as strong people skills. This unique combination poses a challenge to students, whose skills are developed through practical hands-on experience. Assessment takes the form of practical assessments and also a Work Experience Portfolio, where students take part in several entertainment industry related events.

This module develops your technical and organisational skills in live sound production to prepare you for working with clients in a suitably equipped music venue.

You use a range of techniques including microphone placement, artist monitoring and PA systems, live mixing, and signal processing techniques in live sound environments.

You study a range of technical topics relating to venue characteristics, speaker systems, analogue and digital signal routing and the health and safety and legal issues relating to sound levels and electrical considerations.

You also focus on issues relating to organising and realising a range of different types of live events in cooperation with clients.

In lectures and demonstrations you investigate technical issues in the site theatres, recording studios and music labs. Regular tutorials and seminars explore concepts and monitor progress.

Mixing & Mastering Techniques

This module looks at the process of bringing together and preparing for release the numerous elements which constitute a piece of music. The module builds on previously studied audio capture techniques, as well as client and time management and creative and corrective processing is investigate, with assessment taking place via the practical application of the studied techniques in mixing and mastering projects spanning numerous genres.

Sound Synthesisers and Processors

This module explores the theoretical background of synthesized sound, and the systems and the techniques used to create and control it, both imitative and original.

Using state-of-the-art hardware and software in music labs, sound studios and control rooms, you acquire skills in sound synthesis, performance control and music programming through the theoretical and practical exploration of a range of synthesis, sound-sampling, audio signal processing and MIDI control techniques.

You use these skills to create ‘patches’, sounds, sonic textures and music, some of which can be manipulated in live performance using MIDI performance controls and controllers.

We deliver the module as a series of lectures, built around demonstrations and practical exercises which you attempt in facilitated practical sessions.