Department:Lancaster Institute for the Contemporary Arts
Level:Part II (yr 2)
Course Convenor:Mr T Rai
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Curriculum Design: Outline Syllabusback to top
During Term 1, through practical demonstrations and weekly exercises we will be working towards a good working knowledge of the studio's signal flow, spanning all equipment and connections across the four rooms that form the JHR recording complex and our other studios. List of covered topics include: Routing - patch-bay connections, digital connections and formats, headphone and monitor mixes, mixing console signal architecture, overdubbing, click tracks, and DI recording. Theoretical subjects regarding recording and mastering technique will be also discussed in order to support practical studies.
In Term 2, we will be fine tuning our understanding of the various stages of recording process and signal chain, to discover how we can interact with sound at each of these stages as appropriate for the given musical context, or as necessary to achieve a certain effect on the sound or to fulfill a specific (musical) function. We will look at and carry out case studies of how to record certain instruments; study sound processing and mixing techniques and strategies; and develop our ability to interact with sound through fusion of listening, application of theoretical knowledge and artistic vision. Besides recording and studio works several seminar sessions will be dedicated to the practical PA technique with a YAMAHA digital mixer.
Curriculum Design: Pre-requisites/Co-requisites/Exclusionsback to top
Educational Aims: Subject Specific: Knowledge, Understanding and Skillsback to top
This module builds on the foundation of sound recording and editing work as covered in MUSC124 'Sound and Audio Theory' in the context of digital multi-track studio work. The module aims to empower students to become informed studio practitioners with good communication and technical skills, along with an awareness of the larger context within which they are operating. Advanced theoretical issues regarding digital audio engineering, recording technique and PA strategy are introduced and discussed in the seminars. The application of the theory is first practiced in the seminars and then assessed through coursework.
The module aims to inculcate the students with the fundamental and advanced knowledge of:
a) studio recording procedures;
b) record, edit and mix digital audio;
c) the procedures involved in the use of digital audio workstations (DAW) in recording scenarios;
d) create finished final stereo mixes.
e) sound reinforcement setup and operation (including the use of digital mixers for live applications);
Educational Aims: General: Knowledge, Understanding and Skillsback to top
General aims of the module are to equip students with the knowledge and ability to:
a) respond to, and complete a creative or technical brief;
b) operate with a sensitivity to, and an awareness of, the given musical context;
c) devise a project demonstrating their understanding of the given topic through application of
theory and the use of appropriate examples where applicable;
d) work effectively in groups, both on research and practical tasks;
e) ability to communicate with a recording and performing artist(s) and translate relevant ideas
from artistic / aesthetic realm to technical realm and vice versa;
f) work in an informed manner - reflecting on their own practice.
Learning Outcomes: Subject Specific: Knowledge, Understanding and Skillsback to top
On successful completion of this module students will be able to...
a) plan, execute and evaluate multitrack studio recording sessions;
b) edit, process and mix digital audio;
c) describe and demonstrate an appropriate use of equipment used in digital audio
studio, in a given context;
d) demonstrate an understanding of the fundamentals of digital sound recording in
e) produce high-quality sound recordings of acoustic and electronic sources with the
studio equipment using miking and multi-tracking techniques suitable for the
given task and/or musical context;
f) possess the knowledge and practical skills to be able to manage and run a
g) devise a project demonstrating a theoretical understanding of a digital audio topic using
appropriate practical examples;
h) plan their workflow for both single studio session, and for larger projects that span
across multiple sessions;
i) have knowledge of the setup and operation of a live sound reinforcement system;
Learning Outcomes: General: Knowledge, Understanding and Skillsback to top
On successfully completing the module will be able to:
a) respond to and complete a creative brief or task using the appropriate tools and
b) work effectively with their peers on group exercises and assignments;
c) present the outcome of their practical work in an articulate manner.
Assessment: Details of Assessmentback to top
Coursework 100%. Two assignments.
Assignment 1 (recording of acoustic instrument(s)): 40%
Students are required to make a recording of a classical or jazz piece with appropriate post-production. The recording should not include any electronic elements (e.g. synthesized sounds) and should be submitted on CD. Alternatively, two pieces may be presented. The combined length of the recording(s) should be between 5 and 10 minutes. The recording(s) must be accompanied by a description of the strategy for recording and editing (maximum 4 pages of A4), and if appropriate, a score with editing notes. These documents will be assessed as proof of the practical application of theoretical issues discussed in the class.
Assignment 2 (recording of ensemble or band): 60%
Students are required to make recordings of two pieces or two tracks in any genre of music with appropriate post-production. The two tracks must be contrasting in character and should be submitted on CD. The combined length of the recordings should be between 5 and 10 minutes. The recordings must be accompanied by a description of the strategy for recording and editing (maximum 4 pages of A4), and if appropriate, a score with editing notes. These documents will be assessed as proof of the practical application of theoretical issues discussed in the class.
Curriculum Design: Select Bibliographyback to top
Francis, Rumsey and McCormick, Tim, Sound and Recording: An Introduction. 5th ed.
(Oxford: Focal Press)
Izhaki, Roey, Mixing Audio: Concepts, Practices and Tools. (Oxford: Focal Press, 2008)
Recommended reading for the module
Massey, Howard, Behind the Glass: Top Record Producers Tell How They Craft the Hits
(NP: Backbeat UK, 2000)
Owsinski, Bobby, Mixing Engineer's Handbook, 2nd ed. (NP: Cengage Learning, 2002)
General texts on recording
Borwick, John, Sound Recording Practice, 4th edn (Oxford: OUP, 1996)
Bartlett Bruce and Jenny, On-Location Recording Techniques (Oxford: Focal Press 1999)
Bartlett Bruce and Jenny, Practical Recording Techniques, 3rd Edition
(Oxford : Focal Press 2002)
Crich, Tim, Recording Tips for Engineers (Oxford: Focal Press, 2005)
Davis, Gary and Jones, Ralph, Sound Reinforcement Handbook, 2nd edn.
(Milwaukee: Hal Leonard Corporation, 1990)
Huber, David Miles and Runstein, Robert, Modern Recording Techniques, 4th edn
(Oxford: Focal Press, 1997)
Moylan, William, The Art of Recording: Understanding and Crafting the Mix
(Woburn: Focal Press, 2002)
Prochak, Michael and Tim, How To Get The Sound You Want (London: SMT, 2004)
Valenzuela, Jose, The complete Pro Tools handbook: Pro Tools/HD, Pro Tools/24 mix, Pro
Tools LE for home, project, and professional studios (Backbeat Books, 2003)
Eargle, John, The Microphone Book (Oxford: Focal Press, 2004)
Gibson, Bill, The S.M.A.R.T. Guide to Mixing and Mastering Audio Recordings
(NP: Thomson Course Technology, ND)
Gibson, David, The Art of Mixing:A Visual Guide to Recording,
Engineering and Production
Katz, Bob, Mastering Audio: The Art and the Science (NP: Focal Press, 2002)
Nathan, Adam, Multi-platinum Pro Tools (Focal Press, 2006)
Nisbett, Alec, The Use of Microphones (Oxford: Foal Press, 1993)
Pohlmann, Ken, Principles of Digital Audio (London: McGraw-Hill, 2000)
Woram, John, Sound Recording Handbook (1986)
Note! All software and hardware manuals are available in the JHR recording studio and/or on LUVLE site.
Curriculum Design: Single, Combined or Consortial Schemes to which the Module Contributesback to top
BA Music Technology BA Music, BA Popular Music Studies (optional module)