Music Technology Year Two

Unit of Study - Music Technology 201

The following applies to Year Two Bachelor of Music students.


Unit Outlines

Unit NameMUSIC TECHNOLOGY: Sequencing
Unit CodeMUSTEC 201
Unit DescriptionIn this unit, students will learn how to:

• “Sequencing” 201 will develop students’ creative, technical, music knowledge and compositional skills when utilising and exploring sequencing software’s functions to create professional recordings.
• Knowledge and skills will be advanced in applying required manipulation and synchronisation of audio and video. This unit will develop students’ problem solving, critical thinking, research, creative and communication skills.
• Assessments and training of software and equipment will focus on applications and knowledge required in music industry-related careers.
Award(s)Bachelor of Music
Unit Duration1 Semester (12 weeks)
Year LevelYear Two, Semester 1
Unit CoordinatorBernadette Norton
Teaching StaffBernadette Norton
Core/ElectiveCore
Pre/Co-requisitesSatisfactory completion of Music Technology 101
Credit Points10 credit points
Mode of Deliveryx Face to face
x E-learning (online)
o Intensive/block mode (where the unit or a face to face component is delivered in a block)
x Distance/independent learning (un-timetabled)
x Full-time
x Part-time
o External
o Fast track
Student Workload
Delivery/ Contact Hours
No. timetabled hours per week:
Lecture - 1 hour
Practical Session – 1 hour
Tutorial - n/a
Personal Independent Study – 6 hours
Total hours per week - 8 hours
Resource Requirements• MIDI Keyboard (USB preferred, MIDI interface required if not)
• Computing resource requirements
• External Technical Help
Resources Provided• Soundation Sequencing Software (Cloud)
• Online streaming video and additional referencing videos.
• DVD’s are available upon request and given/posted to students
• Library resources (see prescribed or recommended texts below)

Unit Aims

The aim of this unit is to develop student’s knowledge towards the creation of music in sound production. Students will gain knowledge and understanding in music technology, and the use of equipment and sequencing software to a professional standard with the ability to apply this knowledge effectively to a range of situations. Students will be able to research current technologies and apply critical thinking and problem solving skills to create recordings of a high standard. Students will also gain knowledge of safe practices in the use of equipment and the ability to apply these practices. Students’ abilities will progress over the semester.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students are expected to be able to:

  1. Demonstrate sound knowledge of ICT sound production, musical equipment and sequencing with the ability to apply knowledge effectively.
  2. Research and evaluate current music technologies and equipment and use critical thinking skills to apply knowledge effectively.
  3. Communicate information and ideas effectively in both written and oral formats.

Teaching Outline

Year 3 Major
SEQUENCING
Weeks 1 to 3 semester 1
SEQUENCING
1. Introduction to sequencing software
a. Soundation Cloud
b. Audacity Live & PRO TOOLS
2. Introduction to Digital Boss Recording Mixer.
PRACTICAL SESSIONS
1. Create a basic 3 – 5 audio and MIDI recording
2. Create and edit basic 5 – 8 track recording using audio and MIDI
Weeks 4 to 6 semester 1
SOUND
1. Nature of Sound
2. Frequency & the Decibel
3. Acoustics & Soundproofing
4. Microphones & preamplifiers
PRACTICAL SESSIONS
1. Create, edit and only utilise external audio loops to produce a musical piece.
2. Create a mix of 3 audio tracks demonstrating editing skills and advanced knowledge of sequencing software
Weeks 7 to 9 semester 1
RECORDING
1. Recording Techniques
2. Instrument miking
3. Live and Studio recording
4. Classical in comparison to Modern music recording
5. Musicians and recording
6. Equipment
PRACTICAL SESSIONS
1. Introduction and basic use of effects and plugins in 1 recording
2. Create and edit an intermediate level 5 – 8 track recording using audio loops and MIDI tracks while utilising previous knowledge when using effects, EQ, sound manipulation in a recording
Weeks 10 to 12 semester 1
SEQUENCING
1. Effects & Plug-ins
2. Use of Bus sends
3. Delay and Reverb
4. Distortion
5. Pitch changing
6. Stereo or mono
7. Mixing
8. Mastering
9. Compression
10. Equalization (EQ)
PRACTICAL SESSIONS
1. Create a recording to a video trailer demonstrating use of editing and FX while using effects, EQ, sound manipulation, audio, MIDI, external loops and MIDI tracks.

Student Assessment

Assessment TypeWhen assessedWeighting
(% of total unit marks)
Learning Outcomes Assessed
Assessment 1
Type: Practical
Length: 2 minutes
Topic: Sequencing/Recording Task
Record one original live piece with 3 good quality tracks into 2 separate sequencing software programs. (Use of Soundation Cloud is compulsory). The piece is to demonstrate musicality at a basic to intermediate standard while students critically analyse the capabilities found in both software programs. Students are to use favoured sequencing software to create remaining practical assessments.
Semester 1
Week 3
10%1, 2
Assessment 2a
Type: Assignment
Word length: 3,000 words
Topic: Music Technology Research
Select a research topic related to music technology, and incorporate a review of products related to technology. Use effective arguments to draw a conclusion with recommendations.
Semester 1
Week 6
15%1, 2
Assessment 2b
Type: Research Assignment
Word length: 450
Topic 1: Nature of Sound
Research and present a submission based on your chosen topic in Sound. Discuss the history and progress of the nature of sound for your chosen topic/s and provide comparisons for different products.
Topic 2: Software and Hardware Proposal
Research and create a proposal recommending software and hardware that best fits the needs of your hypothetical scenario to a set budget.
Semester 1
Week 6
15%1, 2, 3
Assessment 3
Type: Practical
Word length: 2 minutes
Topic: Sequencing/Recording Task
Record one original piece with 4 good quality tracks (Tracks are to consist of pre-recorded audio loops only) into sequencing software demonstrating musicality, and using editing tools and plugins.
Semester 1
Week 9
15%1, 2
Assessment 4a
Type: Practical
Word length: 2 minutes
Topic: Sequencing/Recording Task
Create an accompanying musical background piece that compliments a video trailer of your choice. Record 6 good quality tracks (compulsory - 1 live mic track, 1 MIDI, 1 pre-recorded audio loop) into sequencing software using editing tools. Final mix should be to the standard of a professional engineer.
Semester 1
Week 12
30%1, 2
Assessment 4b
Type: Report
Word length: 450
Topic 1: Sequencing: Effects, Mastering, Compression and Equalization
Prepare a report on two or three effects that you have used. Reflect on how and why these were used and whether they met expectations and undertake further research on the development and history of the effects. Mastering, Compression and Equalization that analyses relevance, use, sound comparisons, history and development.
Topic 2: Recording Live and Studio Music
Prepare a detailed report on how to record live and studio music using a range of research resources, including practical experience.
Semester 1
Week 12
15%1, 2, 3

Prescribed and Recommended Readings:

Library Resources

A subscription to Oxford Music Online and to Grove Music Online which includes:

  • The Grove dictionary of American music (2nd ed.).
  • The new Grove dictionary of jazz (2nd ed.).
  • The new Grove dictionary of music and musicians (2nd ed.).
  • The new Grove dictionary of opera.
  • The Oxford companion to music.
  • The Oxford dictionary of music (2nd ed.).

Plus, updated content bibliographies, specially-commissioned articles only available online.

 A subscription to JSTOR Journals and books

A subscription to Lynda.com video tutorials

Reference Materials

Bowles, E.A. (2014) Instruments and technology. Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. Oxford University Press. Retrieved from:

https://doi.org/10.1093/gmo/9781561592630.article.49848

Case. A.U. (2013). Digital Audio Workstation [DAW]. Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. Oxford University Press. Retrieved from:

https://doi.org/10.1093/gmo/9781561592630.article.A2256346

Cooke, M. (2001). Film music. Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. Oxford University Press.

Retrieved from

https://doi.org/10.1093/gmo/9781561592630.article.09647

Davies, H. (2001). Sound effects. Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. Oxford University Press.

Retrieved from

https://doi.org/10.1093/gmo/9781561592630.article.47631

Fulton, W. (2012). Sampling and sequencing, hip hop. Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. Oxford University Press. Retrieved from:

https://doi.org/10.1093/gmo/9781561592630.article.A2225524

Mumma, G., Rye, H., Kernfeld, B., & Sheridan, B. (2003). Recording. Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. Oxford University Press. Retrieved from:

https://doi.org/10.1093/gmo/9781561592630.article.J371600

Ord-Hume, A.W.J.G., Weber, J.F., Borwick, J. & Shorter, D.E.L. (2001). Recorded sound. Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. Oxford University Press. Retrieved from:

https://doi.org/10.1093/gmo/9781561592630.article.26294

Pejrolo, A. (2012) Creative Sequencing Techniques. Oxford: Focal Press

Smith, B. (2014). Plug-in. Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. Oxford University Press.

Retrieved from

https://doi.org/10.1093/gmo/9781561592630.article.L2294622

Smith, B. (2014). Virtual instrument [software synthesizer]. Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. Oxford University Press. Retrieved from:

https://doi.org/10.1093/gmo/9781561592630.article.L2295003

Smith, B. (2014). Ableton. Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. Oxford University Press.

Retrieved from

https://doi.org/10.1093/gmo/9781561592630.article.L2261064

St. James, A. (2004). 101 Recording Tips. Milwaukee, WI: Hal Leonard.

Strong, J. (2014). Home recordings for musicians for dummies (5th ed). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

Taylor, C. & Campbell, M. (2001). Sound. Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. Oxford University Press. Retrieved from:

https://doi.org/10.1093/gmo/9781561592630.article.26289

Wang, O. (2014) Beat-making. Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. Oxford University Press.

Retrieved from

https://doi.org/10.1093/gmo/9781561592630.article.A2218626


#Course Learning Outcomes

On completion of the course the student should be able to:
Unit Learning OutcomesAssessments
1 A broad knowledge of the applied, theoretical and historical basis of the discipline1, 2, 31, 2a, 3, 4a
2A depth of disciplinary knowledge in a professionally applicable specialisation11, 2a, 2b, 3, 4a, 4b
3 An understanding of the processes of musical scholarship and research2, 32b, 4b
4The ability to work both independently and collaboratively in diverse and complex musical settings11, 2a, 3, 4a
5Effective written, verbal and interpersonal communication skills31, 2a, 2b, 3, 4a, 4b
6 Critical thinking and analytical skills appropriate to a range of contexts including further study2, 31, 2a, 2b, 3, 4a, 4b
7The ability to apply specific musical skills to a wide range of professional contexts11, 2a, 3, 4a
8 The capacity to apply technological and creative solutions to contemporary musical practices11, 2a, 3, 4a
9The ability to incorporate knowledge from the business and legal fields to a portfolio career in the music profession.NANA

#Graduate AttributeUnit Learning OutcomesCourse Learning OutcomesAssessments
1Deep disciplinary knowledge11, 21, 2a, 3, 4a
2The ability to apply knowledge and skills in innovative ways1, 23, 4, 81, 2a, 3, 4a
3A commitment to lifelong learning11, 62b, 4b
4Effective communication skills for diverse contexts351, 2a, 2b, 3, 4a, 4b
5The capacity to work independently and collaboratively141, 2a, 3, 4a