Digital Music Technology BSc modules

Year one | Year two | Year three

Year one

Sound Analysis and Perception

familiarises you with the acoustical foundations of musical sounds. You will learn to describe musical sounds in terms of their temporal and spectral acoustical features and relate these to our human perception of musical parameters like pitch, dynamics and timbre.

Introduction to Studio Techniques

introduces you to the essential recording equipment and techniques you will encounter in professional studios. You will learn how to select and use microphones, mixing desks, recording devices and audio effects in order to create audio productions of professional quality.

Live Coding

explores the fundamentals of live coding and the syntax of live coding languages. You will develop the ability to control and affect computer code in real-time to bring a performability absent in much other audio programming practice.

Digital Music Creativity: Synthesis

introduces you to different sound synthesis techniques, both through the use of hardware and software. You will develop your auditory skills and become familiar with the methods and practices of sound design currently used in the audio production and multimedia industry.

Digital Music Creativity: Sequencing and Control Systems

develops your understanding of, and skills in using, digital sequencing software in conjunction with hardware/software control systems and protocols (e.g. MIDI, OSC, MaxMSP). You will work on practical projects to explore the use of sequencing systems alongside a range of control and controllable hardware.

Academic Fundamentals

will develop your written and research skills as you make the transition into university learning. By the end of the module, you will be able to search, read and critique suitable literature in your subject and know how to write for different contexts/audiences.

Audio Electronics Fundamentals

explores basic electronics and circuitry. You will develop an understanding of the underlying technology surrounding systems which capture, manipulate and distribute audio signals, and become more effective and innovative in using them.

Fundamentals of Digital Signal Processing

develops your understanding of the logic at work in digital systems and software that process audio signals. You will focus on learning the basic programming tools needed for the task, while concentrating on sonic and musical outcomes.

Year two

Further Digital Signal Processing

provides you with a more advanced knowledge of Digital Signal Processing (DSP) that is essential to understand the logic at work in digital systems and software that process audio signals. You will focus on digital filters—convolution, z-transform, transfer function, impulse responses—and their application in music and audio contexts.

Digital Music Creativity: Advanced Synthesis

introduces you to advanced synthesis techniques, such as modulation, FM, physical modelling and vocoding. You will widen the palette of sound timbres and textures you can create and develop a cutting edge approach to sound production used in audio-related industries.

Procedural Programming for Music

introduces you to procedural programming and its many musical applications, including music software development, audio processing plugins, and digital synthesisers. You will explore basic statement types and object oriented programming concepts and devise your own software.

Further Audio Electronics

develops those concepts introduced in Audio Electronics Fundamentals. You will explore analog and digital electronics and their application in audio equipment and devices, including op-amp circuits, digital logic, microphones, speakers and playback systems.

Electronic Instrument Building

teaches you how to build analogue electronic instruments. The emphasis is on building, experimentation and creating something playable, but you will also be encouraged to think about your instrument critically and holistically, including its performability, and how the user interacts with it.

Composing with Technology

builds upon the skills you have developed in Year 1 towards the creative application of technology in the creation of original works of musical composition or sonic art.

Performing with Technology

explores how technology can create new and innovative musical performance models, as well as developing existing ones. You will produce projects involving both solo and small group performances, and learn how to document and evaluate your work.

Radio Production

teaches you about the principles, techniques and practices that govern radio production. You'll use broadcast-standard radio production studios and Demon FM to develop your skills in audio recording and broadcasting.

Acoustics Fundamentals

covers how sound generation in musical instruments takes place, how sound is radiated into space and interacts with its surroundings. This knowledge allows you to make informed decisions on microphone choice and placement or the design and modification of acoustic instruments or spaces. You will cover a wide range of physical measures and will relate these to perceptual aspects such as loudness, reverberance and spatial impression.

Visual Programming for Music

introduces you to visual programming for a variety of applications, including graphical user interfaces for audio editing and mixing software and the creation of real-time visuals in 3D for representing audio.

Digital Audio Electronics: Sensors and Interfaces

focuses on the study of digital electronics and microcontroller systems, sensors and actuators. You will explore the relationship between hardware and software in microcontroller systems and applications of this technology in the context of audio equipment and devices.

Plugin Development

covers the theory and practice of plugins, while providing relevant tools and techniques that allow you to build your own. You will explore how plugins are an essential tool, whether you are replicating historical pieces of equipment in software form, or creating entirely new synths, effects and other audio devices.

Year three

Research Project

gives you the opportunity to undertake an in-depth investigation of a music technology topic of your choice and design, with support from your individual tutor. Choose between written research (a dissertation) or a practice-based investigation (a creative or technological ‘project’). You will develop important skills in independent research while deepening your understanding of an area of particular interest to you.

Advanced Digital Signal Processing

builds on your previous exploration of software solutions for digital signal processing of music and audio signals. You will devise and plan a comprehensive project, which will include filter design, digital waveguides and physical modelling, autocorrelation functions, and advanced signal analysis.

Algorithmic Music

introduces algorithmic programming methods and their many musical applications, which include automated composition and interactive musical tools such as automated accompaniment. You will learn about managing data structures, modelling of musical knowledge in these structures, and explore a variety of algorithms as well as how to apply them in musical contexts.

Acoustics Applications

applies your prior knowledge from Acoustics Fundamentals to design and control sound spaces. You will explore advanced approaches of spatial audio (e.g., binaural or ambisonics) and also engage in acoustics design and treatment by using computer-model simulations.

Sound Design

brings together music technology students with different technical and creative skills, who work collaboratively to devise and complete a specific and professionally-executed collaborative project over the course of the year.

Music Information Retrieval

enables you to explore digital techniques for extracting information from music. You will learn how music information retrieval can be used in a variety of musical applications—both commercial and creative—including for music recognition, recommendation, categorisation, transcription, and even music generation.

Spatial Audio Production

is an advanced study of technologies for the spatialisation of audio, which encompases ambisonics or Dolby 5.1 and new technologies such as Dolby Atmos and surround sound processing for virtual reality. You will explore the use of these technologies for both recording and presenting sound in artworks, recording studios and broadcast environments.

Advanced Audio Electronics

further develops your previous studies in the understanding of audio electronics, specifically exploring applications of this technology in the context of audio equipment and devices. You will analyse real-world examples and design and build your own electronic audio device.

Artificial Intelligence for Music

gives you the opportunity to explore how AI can be applied in music. You will explore a variety of artificial intelligence technologies such as learning, planning, optimisation, swarm intelligence, intelligent agents, and knowledge-based systems, and present their application in music.

 
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