Audio Equipment Maintenance Audio Signal Processing The Context 1: Sound Technology Professional Development 1

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1 Sound Technology The information contained in this document provides a summary of the content of each module. Please note this may be subject to change. Each student receives detailed Module Handbooks explaining learning outcomes for each module after they have enrolled. Module Information Year 1 Programme Credit Structure Level 4 Core Recording Skills Sound Technology Theory 1 Desktop Audio 1 Sound Reinforcement 1 Audio Equipment Maintenance Audio Signal Processing The Context 1: Sound Technology Professional Development 1 Core Recording Skills In this initial module you gain a solid foundation in the practical use and operation of modern recording studio technology. This is based predominantly in the recording studio environment and has been designed to ensure that much of the content is immediately transferable to other, more specialised areas. The module is of a practical nature and is part of LIPA's core philosophy that students can not only do something, but also understand why they are doing it and how it happens. This provides a strong theoretical backbone to your learning, with an emphasis on practical application. Sound Technology Theory 1 You gain the theoretical knowledge that underpins the practical techniques taught in the previous module and forms the foundation for many of the other modules on the course. Whereas the theoretical elements of Core Recording Skills are very much rooted in specific practical techniques, the theory in this module is intended to be applied to many general sound engineering applications. There is an element of mathematics that you are expected to understand and apply simple formulae using both calculators and spreadsheets but this will always be presented within the context of sound recording. Workshops will introduce spreadsheet based software techniques for dealing with the theory of audio signals and demonstrates audio and acoustic systems parameter calculation and graphing. Desktop Audio 1 This is an introduction to the paradigm of desktop recording and production. In recent years, the boundary between MIDI sequencing and non-linear recording systems has become increasingly blurred, and requires an understanding of both of these elements and their relationship to each other in order to use them to their maximum capability. 1

2 Starting with audio manipulation - you will be introduced to the industry standard recording and editing package, Pro Tools. Workshop sessions will build from simple editing tasks in a lab environment, to complex full HD mixes in a studio environment. As you develop your audio manipulation skills, you will also be introduced to the MIDI protocol. Starting with simple MIDI devices, you will be introduced to how MIDI data is recorded, edited and utilised within an industry standard sequencing package. Finally, you will investigate the integration of audio and MIDI in modern software environments through your coursework, which is structured to make you practically apply and demonstrate your understanding and knowledge of the desktop audio environment. Although the software and hardware systems have strong links with creating and producing music, being a musician is not a prerequisite for this module. Instead, the tasks you are asked to undertake are designed to develop your operational skills and understanding of these systems, and become creative in your application of them. Sound Reinforcement 1 You gain the practical skills and theoretical knowledge required to work in the field of sound reinforcement. Whilst there is some overlap in both theory and practice between this and studio based work, this module will place these in the context of live sound, as well as introduce you to new skills and techniques. These skills enable you to work effectively on collaborative projects later in the year. The majority of applications covered in this module centre around small to medium scale portable sound reinforcement systems in the context of popular music performance. In addition to utilising your technical skills, you are also given the opportunity to develop the interpersonal skills that are equally important in this, and other areas of sound production. Audio Equipment Maintenance This module is an introduction to the electronic principles, components and systems relevant to typical audio systems. It covers the theoretical and practical skills necessary to understand basic audio circuits, and to diagnose simple faults using standard audio measurement tools. It includes both a theoretical and practical element in using electronic test and construction equipment. Audio Signal Processing You enhance and build on your basic knowledge gained in relation to signal processing in Core Recording Skills. Primarily, you are provided with a detailed insight of the fundamental technical operation of software and hardware signal processing and their applications. This is broken down into three areas - design and building simple time based processors, using software based processing and finally, using studio hardware. This includes a significant amount of technical theory that provides you with a solid foundation in understanding the methods used to design and apply typical signal processing. You are encouraged to relate your technical knowledge with creative aspirations and demonstrate a wide range of processing techniques in different applications. The Context 1: Sound Technology This module provides a broad understanding of the complex relationship that exists between the economic, political and cultural influences that shape and are shaped by technology in the copyright industries. It also broadens your understanding of essential research and 2

3 writing skills through a combination of lectures and seminars supported by Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) content and online learning. Professional Development 1 This shared module provides the foundation for your journey towards sustained employment. Essential skills include an informed understanding of the event process, collaborative working and the realities of work in the performing arts. Underpinning these skills is a fundamental essential: being a learner. Year 2 Programme Credit Structure Level 5 Advanced Studio Techniques Desktop Audio 2 Sound Reinforcement 2 Critical Listening Sound Design for Film, Television and Video Sound Technology Theory 2 The Context 2: The Producer Professional Development 2: Sound Technology Advanced Studio Techniques Using advanced analogue and digital production consoles, you gain a deeper understanding of the specialist tools and techniques employed during the processes of professional music recording, mixing and mastering. This module introduces the notion of digital signal path in a studio environment, both in conjunction with analogue equipment and in natively digital studio environments. You are also introduced to the theory and practice of working with analogue multitrack, again in conjunction with modern DAWs. Choosing the appropriate technical tools and methods, you run a multi-track recording session for a defined genre. You then mix the resulting recording to an appropriate standard, making use of automation, EQ, effects and dynamics processors. Desktop Audio 2 Building on the skills and knowledge acquired in Desktop Audio One, you learn the additional areas that can be incorporated into desktop audio production, and develop some areas covered in the first year to a higher level. The module embraces 'music technology' in its widest sense by introducing you to the broad theoretical concepts that underpin sound synthesis and sampling, it also provides you with the practical skills to apply these concepts using software devices. Advanced areas of MIDI and sequencing are explored and applied, including synchronisation, MIDI timecode and the creation of simple virtual 'environments' for MIDI control. Sound Reinforcement 2 In this module, you build on and develop the skills and techniques learned in Sound Reinforcement 1. Whilst the previous year was based around small to medium sized portable sound reinforcement, and largely in a popular music context, this year addresses larger sound reinforcement systems in both fixed installations and portable situations. It also introduces you to the specific requirements of sound reinforcement and sound design in a theatrical and non-musical setting. In addition, more advanced technologies are 3

4 introduced, such as the use of RF systems for microphones and monitoring, active speaker management and measurement systems, digital mixing consoles and the use of sophisticated DSP based system processing. Critical Listening It is crucial that audio professionals actively and continuously develop and maintain their ability to listen and hear. The aim of this module is to encourage you to further develop your critical listening skills, but importantly, to contextualize these within the more subjective areas of music recording & production and other creative audio fields. It is important to note that 'audio quality' as a technical concept is separate from 'appropriateness of sound', and while highest audio quality is the sound engineer's responsibility, this may be tempered by other artistic or commercial requirements. This module explores these distinctions and encourage you to apply your findings to your own work. Sound Design for Film, Television and Video You gain the theoretical skills necessary to work with sound in the film and television industries. You learn the skills needed to effectively record and edit audio for picture, and you will be introduced to the idea of post-producing or 'sweetening' audio for TV and film. You are also be given a broad overview of the supporting processes and technologies involved in video and film production so that you can see where sound design fits into this process. Multi-channel (5.1) audio mixing and production also forms a significant part of this module. Although largely applied to Video and Television, these skills have applications in other areas, including computer entertainment, and increasingly music mixing. Sound Technology Theory 2 This module explores the fundamentals of specialist techniques and principles that are relevant to contemporary and emerging developments in the field of audio recording practice. It builds on Level 4 theoretical and practical modules such as Core Recording Skills and Desktop Audio 1. Whilst the core teaching methods are focussed towards practical applications, this is supported by a strong theoretical core and context. The Context 2: The Producer This module encourages you to view music production from the perspectives of the audience and the industry; adopting a primarily aesthetic and commercial view of music recording over the technical considerations. It aims to place music production within a cultural framework, both historically and contemporarily. Professional Development 2: Sound Technology You gain a wider understanding in generic and audio industry specific employment and enterprise skills (i.e. employment and business structures and practices, business and event planning, negotiation, self-employment, financial and tax planning, etc.). You consolidate generic and sector specific skills in the context of employment, career or enterprise planning. 4

5 Year 3 Programme Credit Structure Level 6 The Context 3: Research Project Final Portfolio Professional Development 3: Sound Technology 48 Credits Choice of 3 from: Advanced Live Sound Classical and Location Recording Composition and Arranging Desktop Audio 3 Multimedia Design Broadcast Audio Studio Design Video Production The Context 3: Research Project This is your opportunity to develop your skills in document searching, practical research, analysis and presentation by working towards the production of a substantial (6000 word) written article. The work should be clearly related to knowledge gained in the first and second year of studies and your research should reflect the high academic level appropriate for the final year degree standard. The subject matter can be chosen from a number of suggested academic and vocational avenues but it is a requirement that some practical work is conducted (e.g. experiments, surveys, listening tests, equipment building) as part of the project. A further aim is to give you an opportunity to develop specific knowledge in an area related to your own career aspirations. Final Portfolio You now consolidate your practical skills, knowledge and understanding in the planning, execution and delivery of a range of work that matches professional standards and practice. You produce and critically analyse a range of audio-related products to a standard comparable with similar professional products. As well as working with/for external agencies or clients in a professional manner you critically evaluate the planning and execution of a personal project in which you develop and execute a realistic working production schedule. Professional Development 3: Sound Technology You are encouraged to take a critical view of your career sector in order to identify potential progression paths. You actively plan and review your activities in relation to the skills and experiences valued by employers or clients in their sector. You conceive a plan for career development that embraces the professional principle of lifelong learning, and during this you are expected to prepare for, and undertake, a professional presentation (either a job interview or business funding interview). 5

6 Choice of 3 from: Advanced Live Sound Using your detailed knowledge and skilled use of speaker arraying technologies/methodologies, live digital consoles, automation, show control and digital audio distribution/networking you provide your technical input to major performances and shows. You independently design, rig and operate a medium to large-scale sound reinforcement system to support a specific production and undertake the responsibilities of Sound Designer, production sound engineer. You are expected to apply and critically evaluate your professional fault-finding skills to solve problems and apply solutions to a range of complex live sound situations. Classical and Location Recording This module introduces you to the techniques and working practices of classical recording techniques in a live performance situation. Unlike studio recording where every instrument is recorded on its own track and then panned, EQ'd and effected during the mix process, in this setting the minimum of equipment is often favoured and all decisions must be made before the recording. Often the perfect positioning of a stereo reference configuration will be the chief concern and main recording source. Within the project you are expected to edit and produce a CD of a classical recording to professional quality. Composition and Arranging This module is designed to take students who have already studied music theory further. The course aims to develop your knowledge of harmony and arrangement through a combination of seminars, workshops and practical exercises. Because of the written music elements in both the teaching and practical areas of the course, a solid foundation in music theory and performance is a pre-requisite. Although this module spends no time in the studios and most of its time in the rehearsal rooms, the skills that you learn here will be directly relevant to the production in a recording environment. Desktop Audio 3 This module builds on the skills and knowledge acquired in Desktop Audio 1 and 2. You gain knowledge and understanding of additional areas that can be incorporated into desktop production. You utilise advanced use of samplers and synthesisers from within a desktop environment. You explore advanced areas of MIDI sequencing and the creation of some advanced MIDI control environments. This advanced use of MIDI is useful in several areas of music industry such as bespoke MIDI environments within the theatre and customised live settings. Multimedia Design This module introduces elements of multimedia design and build with an emphasis on integration with audio. It will concentrate almost exclusively on those skills needed to design and create a multimedia project using Flash as a development tool. This course will go much further than the menu driven elements of these tools, you will learn in depth about the use of these programmes, including writing code in ActionScript. 6

7 Broadcast Audio You gain a deep understanding of the technical requirements, systems and operational considerations when working with audio for broadcast. Starting in the field of radio broadcasting, you configure a small format radio production studio to 'drive' live output delivered by others. You also explore audio in the context of television production in both studio and outside broadcast contexts and design an audio specification for a live television event to a defined brief. Studio Design You gain the core skills relating to the acoustic design and improvement of recording studio spaces. Much of your work will involve mathematical calculations and equations essential for understanding the physics in a methodical manner. Spreadsheet software will be introduced for the purpose of automating the design process and this forms a major part of the module. Depending on availability, guest speakers and site visits will provide unique insights into the field. Video Production This introduces you to the basic techniques, skills and ideas needed to produce short video programmes using video equipment to acquire location footage, paying due consideration to location choice, framing, sound and lighting. Although students are introduced to video technologies when studying sound design for film and television, this is intended to broaden the skill base by developing the expertise necessary to produce vision as well as audio. You are expected to demonstrate an awareness and commitment to professional codes of practice. V.1.1 November

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