module specification

MD5053 - Recording Studio Practice (2022/23)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2022/23
Module title Recording Studio Practice
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 15
School School of Computing and Digital Media
Total study hours 150
30 hours Assessment Preparation / Delivery
84 hours Guided independent study
36 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Group Coursework 35%   Group studio practice and individual 500-word reflective report
Group Coursework 65%   Group song recording and individual 2000-word technical report
Running in 2022/23

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Autumn semester City Friday Afternoon

Module summary

In this module you will learn studio-based music production skills, putting into practice the music technology theory and practice learned in MD4011. As such you will develop your understanding of sound and acoustics through developing your vocabulary of recording techniques and microphone types and placements.

You will cover the different classifications of microphones, learning their uses and properties, as well as developing your understanding of microphone positioning and the recording of different instruments. Through practical exercises and in-class workshops you further explore signal flow and the use of buses, inserts and groups in a studio environment. By doing so you will practice the use of patch bays, outboard processing, and analogue consoles, better equipping you for working in studio environments.

You will also expand upon the psychoacoustic principles already covered in MD4011 by making use of stereo, close and distant microphone placements. The practice in this module will further develop your critical listening skills and decision making in the production of sound and music.

This module aims to:
• Develop your understanding of sound and signal flow
• Allow you to work more effectively in a studio environment
• Gain the confidence in recording a range of instruments
• Expand your practice in Avid Pro Tools, enabling you to go on to work in most professional studio environments.

Therefore, on completion of this module you will be better equipped to explore potential works placements or internships in recording and audio production studios.


• Specifications of Dynamic, Ribbon and Condenser Microphones (LO1)
• Principles of microphone placements (LO1, 2)
• Drum recording techniques (LO1, 2, 3)
• Guitar and speaker recording techniques (LO1, 2, 3)
• Recording studio practice (LO2, 3)
• Studio documentation (LO4)
• Analogue recording consoles, outboard processing, and patch bays (LO2, 3)
• Monitoring and headphone mixes (LO2)
• Studio practice and health and safety (LO2, 4)

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Students teaching and learning will consist of weekly classes comprising a combination of seminars, and studio practice workshops totalling 36 hours of contact time. Students will be given the opportunity to engage in practical workshops in the Music Studios, including guided demonstrations and group production tasks.

The learning and teaching in classes will be supported by the University’s VLE and a blended learning approach, sharing class materials, recommended reading. Tutorials will also be offered to support students in the preparation of their assessments.

In addition, students will undertake independent study, including researching, assessment planning and studio practice supported by the music technical demonstrator.

Students will engage in reflective practice, reviewing their own, and each other’s recordings.

Learning outcomes

At the end of this module, you should be able to:

LO1. Demonstrate a good understanding of microphones and their uses in a studio environment.
LO2. Demonstrate effective working practices in a studio environment, for example by taking track notes and keeping a diary of works.
LO3. Set up and record a range of instruments using microphones and the analogue console.
LO4. Describe and explain your working practices with critical insight, demonstrating a clear understanding of sound and acoustics in relation to recording studio practice.

Assessment strategy

Group studio practice and individual 500-word reflective report – 35% weighting
In groups students are required to perform a selection of test recordings, analysing the results of different microphones and placements on a range of applications. Individually, students are then required to critically reflect upon the outcomes presenting clear conclusions and recommendations. 

Group song recording and individual 2000-word technical report – 65% weighting
In groups students are required to make use of the recording facilities and record a song using live instruments. Student can invite external musicians to record, but only following approval from the course leader. Each student is then required to write an individual 2000-word technical report on the process and outcomes.


Core Reading:
• De Santis, J. (1997) How to run a recording session. Emeryville, CA: Mix Books (Mix pro audio series).
• Eargle, J.M. (2006) Handbook of recording engineering. 4. ed., 1. softcover print. New York, NY: Springer.
• Gibson, B (2020) First 50 Recording Techniques You Should Know to Track Music. Hal Leonard.
• Huber, D.M. and Runstein, R.E. (2018) Modern recording techniques. Ninth Edition. New York ; London: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group.
• Massy, S. and Johnson, C. (2016) Recording unhinged: creative and unconventional music recording techniques. Milwaukee, WI: Hal Leonard Books, an imprint of Hal Leonard Corporation (MusicPro guides).
• Owsinski, B. (2017) The recording engineer’s handbook. 4th edition. Burbank, CA: BOMG Publishing.
• Rossing, T.D., Wheeler, P. and Moore, F.R. (2002) The science of sound. 3rd ed. San Francisco: Addison Wesley.