• Music Technology

BSc (Hons) Music Technology

UCAS code: J931 BSc/MT

Getting into the music industry is a tough gig, but our music technology degree gives you a foot in the door.

You perform in – and run – recording studio sessions. You create, produce, mix and master stereo and surround recordings. You perform and engineer live performances, programme sound synthesizers, set up and run student-led projects including a record label, promotion events or radio station, and create and dub music, sound effects and Foley to video and other media. You get involved in some exciting stuff using the latest state-of-the-art equipment and facilities. These include the same Avid hardware and software used extensively in the music industry, so you develop the skills you need as either a music producer or engineer.

Avid Authorized Training PartnerAs an added bonus, you can take the level 1 series Avid Pro Tools professional exams for just the cost of the courseware. Visit www.teesmusictech.co.uk / for the latest news, or search Facebook for teesmusictech. This is an award of Teesside University delivered in partnership with Middlesbrough College (campus code 2).

Modules

Year 1 modules

Audio and MIDI Recording Theory

You explore audio engineering theory, specifically mixers, balanced lines, phantom powering, sound quality, signal levels, metering, compressors, noise gates and equalisers.

You also examine the functionality of – and relationships between - the various components of PC-based audio/MIDI sequencing applications.

You explore the advantages and disadvantages of recording MIDI performance data (compared with recording audio signals) through a thorough examination of the MIDI specification.

Finally, we introduce you to digital audio theory and its relevance to music production and sound engineering.

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

The module is assessed through two assignments which contain written and practical elements.

Audio and MIDI Sequencing

You examine a wide range of compositional and production techniques that harness the vast array of creative options offered by audio/MIDI sequencers.

We provide you with the opportunity to develop the skills, knowledge and understanding to capture, edit, arrange and process (correctively and creatively) audio and MIDI programme material from a range of sources.

This is achieved through creative exercises and experimentation in music production, using digital audio workstations (audio/MIDI sequencers) with MIDI controllers and keyboards in dedicated music labs.

Learning strategies include demonstrations and facilitated, hands-on participation in a series of experiments and music production sessions.

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

Assessment is based on a portfolio of music lab exercises and a creative music production assignment.

Music Industry Project

This module explores the business side of the music industry, with a particular focus on the many new models of music promotion and distribution that have emerged as a function of digital and online technologies.

This helps you develop the skills you need to pursue a career in the contemporary music business.

You achieve this in the context of a group project, such as establishing, running and creating content for an internet radio station.

In this experience, you develop personal and team-working skills and explore issues relating to your career development.

You undertake short periods of research activity and work–based learning at local music businesses such as BBC Tees.

The module is supported by a diverse range of speakers from the music business - industry professionals who share their experience and offer advice.

Weekly lectures provide the framework for the main themes. Tutorials explore issues and examine real-world problems.

Assessment is through an individual presentation, a group presentation and a short written review.

Music Theory and Communication

This module ensures you have an appropriate level of understanding of music theory for a career in music technology, and facilitates musical communication within the composition and production processes.

You undertake practical exercises through a series of facilitated music lab sessions and use a number of music production applications with MIDI controllers and keyboards.

It also develops your verbal and written communication skills through, for example, investigations into the relationship between music, technology and popular culture.

You complete an essay and deliver an individual presentation to your peers, forming the basis of your assessment.

Recording Studio Engineering

Recording acoustic and electroacoustic instruments requires the acoustical separation and high quality monitoring of a professional purpose built recording facility.

This module provides you with the opportunity to develop the skills, knowledge and understanding to capture accurately acoustic and electroacoustic instruments,such as the voice, drums and guitars, in professional, state-of-the-art recording studio facilities.

Learning strategies include demonstrations and facilitated, hands-on participation in a series of practical exercises and recording sessions.

The range of topics covered includes microphones, mixers, digital audio workstations, analogue and digital signal routing and capture, establishing, maintaining and assessing signal quality, patchbays, gain structure, instrument specific and stereo recording techniques, metering, acoustical separation, monitoring, creative and corrective signal processing, client care and recording studio practice.

You participate in demonstrations, practical exercises and timed, sound engineering challenges with clients.

Assessment is through a portfolio of experiments and practical sound engineering challenges.

Sound and Perception

This module offers a theoretical and practical exploration of the relationships between music, sound in air (acoustics), the perception of sound (psychoacoustics) and sound as an analogue/digital signal (electroacoustics).

Time (waveform) and frequency (spectral) descriptions of sound are considered, and you investigate their interrelationship.

You are also introduced to acoustic ecology, to examine your personal relationship with sound and the environment, and to improve your sonological competence.

The potential health hazards of exposure to sound are investigated, and you test and analyse the frequency range of your own hearing.

 

Year 2 modules

Electroacoustic Music Composition

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.

Internet Authoring and Design

In this module you develop the necessary skills and knowledge to enable you to design, create and deploy websites using HTML code.

You gain an understanding of visual design principles, both graphical and textual, and their application to the Web. In addition, you investigate and implement Javascript and CGI scripting to enhance the functionality and interactivity of websites.

We explore visual design concepts, use of colour, layout, typefaces, proportion, visual hierarchy, design tools – image processing, graphic creation and layout tools.

You look at the world wide web – its history, introduction to IP / DHCP / DNS, domain registration and hosting issues. You study web page design, planning, information content, layout, accessibility issues including current legal implications, search engine optimisation.

We deliver this module entirely in the laboratory. There is one session per week in which lectures cover the theoretical matter. Laboratory exercises give you the opportunity to apply the theoretical material in a practical situation using the appropriate software tools. Tutorials are used to confirm that learning is taking place, including guided exercises and practical tasks incorporating examples of current industry practice.

You learn how to:

  • demonstrate a detailed knowledge of aspects of the discipline
  • critically analyse a variety of ideas, contexts and frameworks associated with the discipline
  • apply, question and relate appropriate knowledge and concepts to a range of activities
  • explore legal and ethical issues relevant to the generation of knowledge in the discipline.

Live Sound Production

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.

The module is assessed through a written assignment which explores relevant techniques and concepts, two timed practical exercises in a live performance venue, and a group presentation in which the practical exercises are evaluated.

Mixing and Mastering

Music Technology Investigative 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.

Sound and Music Synthesis

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.

It is assessed through two assignments which contain both written and practical elements.

 

Final-year core modules

Advanced Web Design

The use of databases to provide dynamic content for websites is now standard practice, enabling the design and construction of systems to provide and receive up to date information via a web browser.

You study advanced website authoring and investigate the principles, design and implementation of databases and their application to database driven websites.

We explore a wide range of visual and multimedia used to enhance websites and you develop appropriate technical skills to enable you to understand, produce and integrate a wide range of such media into websites and web-based applications.

We offer an introduction to database design, flat file databases, relational databases, database normalisation. We look at database integration systems – comparison and evaluation of current code and tag based web database integration systems then further study of the use and application of a current system.

You examine the application of databases to websites - using databases to provide dynamic content for websites, updating of website content using both database packages and web forms and content management systems. Plus multimedia design for the web – integration of audio, moving image and animation into the web environment.

We deliver this module entirely in the laboratory. There is one session per week in which lectures cover the theoretical matter. Laboratory exercises give you the opportunity to apply the theoretical material in a practical situation using the appropriate software tools. Tutorials are used to confirm that learning is taking place, including guided exercises and practical tasks incorporating examples of current industry practice.

You learn how to:

  • demonstrate a detailed knowledge of aspects of the discipline
  • critically analyse a variety of ideas, contexts and frameworks associated with the discipline
  • apply, question and relate appropriate knowledge and concepts to a range of activities
  • explore legal and ethical issues relevant to the generation of knowledge in the discipline.

Audio/MIDI Control

This module develops your knowledge, understanding and application of digital audio and of MIDI as a means of creative audio and performance control.

This is achieved through using Max, a cross-platform, visual, object-orientated audio/MIDI processing application.

With Max, you create a range of digital audio and/or MIDI ‘patchers’ that can be controlled by MIDI data.

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

Assessment is through a portfolio of assignments that contain both written and practical elements.

Creative Music Production: Techniques and Performance

This module develops your technical skills and understanding of creative music production through exercises involving advanced sound capture and manipulation techniques.

These exercises include surround sound capture and reproduction, remixing, mix reconstruction, advanced sampling techniques and advanced signal processing/MIDI/video control, using a range of software.

You achieve this in the context of a live event, such as an audio/MIDI/video performance or sound installation.

In lectures and demonstrations you investigate technical issues in site theatres, recording studios and audio/MIDI programming suites.

Regular tutorials and seminars explore concepts, monitor progress and give formative feedback on your work.

Assessment is based on plans for a live performance or installation, the live performance or installation itself and an evaluation.

Professional and Career Development

This module encourages you to investigate those aspects of the music business in which you aim to focus your career, and to develop a strategy that allows you to achieve this goal.

You create a career and personal development action plan based on a synthesis of your learning across the entire degree programme.

The module begins with a number of group discussion sessions. These are followed by regular one-to-one tutorials which focus on the investigations you make into your chosen career, and on the creation of your personal and career development plan.

This plan forms the basis for assessment on this module.

Project

This module extends the development of independent learning skills by allowing you to investigate an area of Engineering or Technology for an extended period. Training will be given in writing technical reports for knowledgeable readers and you will produce a report/dissertation of the work covered. In addition, you will give an oral presentation, a poster presentation or both. The topic can be in the form of a research project or a design project. Key skills in research, knowledge application and creation will be developed through keynote lectures where appropriate and self-managed independent study. Support will be provided through regular tutorial sessions.

You are assessed on your dissertation, project diary and presentation.

Sound and Music to Picture

The module develops your creativity, technical skills and understanding in the creation, editing, production and post-production of sound and music for video.

You work as a team in a group design project to create programme material that is synchronised to video.

Creating this programme material requires the development of skills, knowledge and understanding of sound design, dialogue replacement, Foley, music composition, surround-sound capture, reproduction and mixing.

You demonstrate your understanding of the technical issues involved in creating sound synchronised to picture, and analyse your experience of teamwork in written reports.

We deliver this module around demonstrations and practical exercises which you attempt in facilitated practical sessions.

It is assessed from the programme material created by the groups and from an evaluative report.

 

Modules offered may vary.

How you learn

Avid Authorized Training Partner You are taught by industry practitioners who help you acquire the skills and knowledge required to creatively use the latest technologies. Your study involves lectures, tutorials, laboratory classes and individual or group project work. All modules are delivered in our excellently equipped recording studios, control rooms and music laboratories.

How you are assessed

Modules are assessed by in-course assessment of a range of music-related media, written assignments and reports, individual and group presentations and live performances.

Career opportunities

Our students follow careers in sound/music production, sound capture (sound engineering), live sound production/engineering (gigs, theatre, events), sound design and processing/control, music for time-based media (film, video), broadcast (radio, television, internet), recording artists, music technology journalism and multimedia authoring.

Entry requirements

This course is only available for UK/EU students. Due to the delivery location the course is unsuitable for international applicants.

A typical offer is 240-280 tariff points which usually includes two A levels (or equivalent such as BTEC National Diploma). Relevant subjects are music technology, music or a science/technology-related subject. We're also happy for you to apply if you're a mature student and can demonstrate your skills and passion for the subject.

You're expected to come for an interview. You then receive an individual offer.

For additional information please see the entry requirements in our admissions section

What is KIS?

How to understand the Key Information Set

Course information

  • Length: 3 years
  • Not available part-time

2015 entry

  • Fee for UK/EU students: £9,000
    More details about our fees
  • Typical offer: individual offer following an interview or 280 tariff points. See entry requirements.

Contact details

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