module specification

MD4011 - Music Technology Theory and Practice (2021/22)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2021/22
Module title Music Technology Theory and Practice
Module level Certificate (04)
Credit rating for module 30
School School of Computing and Digital Media
Total study hours 300
 
60 hours Assessment Preparation / Delivery
168 hours Guided independent study
72 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
In-Course Test 0%   Acoustics and Digital Audio in Class Test
Coursework 20%   500-word reflective essay
Project 30%   Group Ableton and Max for Live Project and Individual Report circa 1500-words
Group Coursework 50%   Individual Mixing and Mastering Project with Written Technical Report circa 2500 words
Running in 2021/22
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year City Tuesday Morning

Module summary

Module Brief:

This module introduces the knowledge and methods that form the foundations for developing the theory, professional knowledge and skills required as a studio-based Music Technologist.
Students learn through engagement in a series of practical projects and in class tests designed to gradually develop the relevant proficiencies in audio production, including acoustic and digital audio, microphones, recording techniques, audio editing, mixing and mastering.

By the end of this module the student will have worked with the main DAW’s available to them in their time at University as well as in the professional working environment.

Central to the module will be an exploration of the overlap between technology, creativity and self-reflective critical practice, using innovative and creative teaching and blended learning approaches the module acts to embed digital literacy at its core.

On completion of the module, students will have gained the knowledge, skills and basic practices of studio-based Audio production, allowing them to develop further at level 5.

Aims of the module:

  • To provide students with key knowledge in the science of sound in relation to studio-based production.
  • To develop students’ understanding of the processes within a recording studio including basic recording techniques, mixing and mastering with professional level DAW’s (digital audio workstations).
  • To develop students’ ability to describe working processes and to present work-in-progress for different audiences.
  • To develop students’ ability to be analytical, reflective and critical.
  • To introduce career-planning and documentation skills.

Prior learning requirements

N/A

Syllabus

The syllabus is organised to meet the needs of the two cohorts — Music Production and Sonic Arts — while at the same time contributing to integrate their practice as members of the same community: Music Technology.

Key subject areas:

  • An introduction to the Science of Sound and Digital audio – including principles of sound, waveforms, hearing and decibels, PCM (pulse code modulation) and digital sound. LO2,3
  • Introduction to the basic skills for producing music in a studio-based environment, including basic audio processing, mixing and sound editing LO1,2,5
  • Analysis of music production tools and techniques used by: engineers and producers and the analysis of reference works / a repertoire of styles and genres LO4
  • Introduction to professional standard music production software: Logic Pro X, Nuendo, Pro Tools, Ableton, Cycling ‘74 Max and Native Instruments Komplete. LO1,2
  • Introduction to the recording studios and sound recording techniques – including microphone types and selection, audio hardware, microphone placement, signal flow and studio practices LO1,2,3,4

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

The balance between independent study and scheduled teaching activities within this
module is 70% and 26% respectively (+4% in class test and assessment preparation/delivery).

Scheduled teaching follows the average contact time, per standard 30-credit module across the University, at 72 hours (3 hours per week). We have excluded from this total one week of revision for the in-class test and one week for the delivery. In addition to this the two weeks at the end of the module are dedicated to preparation for the Final Project submission, Presentations and Feedback sessions. The scheduled teaching is divided in Lectures, Workshops, and Seminars and they take place in the Computer Lab and in the Music Studios.

Independent study provides students with the opportunity to develop LO1, Students have access to the Computer Lab, AV Suites (part of the Music Studios), and Library facilities at London Met.

Blended Learning is maintained via Weblearn Course and Module pages with full documentation of the activities developed in class. Opportunities for reflective learning/PDP are promoted through feedback and written reports which are embedded in all assessments with emphasis on reflection of their work. Formative assessment and feedback is planned to address their learning development needs and to capture their learning achievements.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this module, students should be able to demonstrate:

LO1. The ability to manage their time and work independently towards defined objectives.

LO2. A basic level of skills, understanding and knowledge of technical working practices in studio-based music production.

LO3. The ability to describe their work in appropriate ways, and for different audiences, using the correct technical and musical terminology.

LO4. A basic level of analytical, reflective and critical skills and awareness. For example, by being able to write a self- reflective account of their work.

LO5. The ability to work with and learn from other students. For example, by working in group studio projects, by asking for and using constructive criticism.

Assessment strategy

Formative Assessment 1
Acoustics and Digital Audio In class test on week 4 – Formative Feedback
Questions will be covering all the music technology and science of sound theory topics discussed in lecture weeks 1 to 3.

Summative Assessment 1
500-word reflective essay – Delivery on Week 7 – 20% weighting of final portfolio
Students will be asked to produce a 500-word reflective account of their learning so far for delivery in week 7. In doing so they should consider their experience on the course, the feedback they have received in each of their modules and their own reflection on the formative feedback. Student should also include an account of the Acoustics and Digital Audio topics learned and how they relate them to their chosen field.


Summative Assessment 2
Group Ableton and Max for Live Project and Individual Report circa 1500-words - Delivery on Week 14 – 30% weighting of final portfolio

In pairs/groups students will be asked to develop Max for Live inserts, one Software Instrument and one Audio Processor. This will be followed by an individual project report, circa 1500-words

Summative Assessment 3 – Final Project
Mixing and Mastering Project with Individual Technical Report circa 2500-words – Delivery on Week 29 – 50% weighting of final portfolio

Individually and using a range of DAW’s, students are required to mix and master the provided songs in multi-track stem format. The individual 2500-word technical report should then provide a reflection on the project, what they have learned and the fundamental differences between the software’s used.

Bibliography

Core and Additional Reading list available on:

https://rl.talis.com/3/londonmet/lists/34B54B61-B610-6FDF-9FDB-583B7FB36D67.html?lang=en-GB&login=1