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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Edinburgh College of Art : Music

Undergraduate Course: Audio Crafting (UG) (MUSI10114)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh College of Art CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryOn this course you will develop familiarity with the core technologies that are used in contemporary sound production. Of particular emphasis will be a detailed exploration of the potential for sound recording, editing in the digital domain and processing sound to create new sonic structures. Imagine making Lego-like sound blocks that can be shaped and arranged into almost anything. This course will be particularly useful to composers, sound designers, sonic artists and visual designers seeking to learn more about sound and studio craft in general, and to take it much further forwards.
Course description This course covers a range of essential knowledge for those wishing to develop their skills in audio recording and sound creation. The course is future-facing so once the universal basics are covered, we quickly move towards more advanced approaches to capturing, processing and structuring sound (such as spatial sound signatures and 3D audio). The course works through a very detailed project brief that challenges its participants to respond in daring and imaginative ways, whilst ensuring that various audio standards are met.
The course therefore aims to;
- help participants to develop fluency and extend existing skills in recording, editing, processing and contextualising sound.
- provide opportunities to think about ways of exciting sound from objects to achieve specific results and also to look
closely at the way sound can be recorded and edited so that it may serve multiple purposes.
- understand the potential of sounds to be processed into new sonic forms via a range of approaches from digital signal processing, mixing, EQing, layering and cross synthesis in order to generate original works of sonic art.
- foster awareness and insight about the way sounds are described and entered into databases, how they should be categorised and explained so that search engines and artists can find and use the sounds.
Sound library production is a small part of the project however, the sounds themselves need to be used and participants will be expected to make extensive use of the sounds they submit to the library in a creative application for an imagined device, thing or scene.
This should;
- lead participants towards insight into collaborative processes with other practices, especially working with one another on gathering of complex sonic phenomona such as Impulse Responses and Ambisonic sound scenes.
- push sound designers, composers and others to develop their creative and expressive voice and to challenge them to apply abstract conceptual ideas introduced in lecture and tutorial sessions to their own works of sonic art. The aim is that these may end up in their professional and/or artist portfolio.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs There may be costs relating to the purchase of recording media such as SD cards.
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2022/23, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  20
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 22, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 5, Summative Assessment Hours 70, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 99 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Two projects worth 40% and 60% respectively.
Project 1: Development of a library of sounds recorded in the studio environment, implementing microphone technique and editing skills. Use of this library in a short creative sound piece. Submitted around week 5.
Project 2 : Using digital audio manipulation techniques develop a parallel library of digitally altered sounds by modifying the sound library created in project 1. Use of this library in a short creative sound piece. Submitted around week 12.

LOs applied as 1=30% 2=30% and 3=40% and each assessment covers all three LOs.
Feedback Formal feedback is provided in the assessment of each project. Feedback for Project 1 is made available in good time for you to apply any suggestions to to help improvie your craft in relation to Project 2. Additionally, feedback is offered in class via class review of specific work.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Work skilfully with professional sound recording and editing tools including microphones, audio interfaces, digital audio workstations and audio processing software.
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of the creative utility of sounds through the use of categorisation, metadata and an inventive approach to the creation of new sound libraries.
  3. Respond convincingly and imaginatively to the creative challenges posed by a detailed project brief while staying within specified constraints.
Reading List
- Chion, M. (1994). Audio-Vision: Sound on Screen. Columbia University Press.
- Collins, K. (2020). Studying Sound: A Theory and Practice of Sound Design. MIT Press.
- Rumsey, F., & McCormick, T. (2014). Sound and Recording: Applications and Theory (Seventh). Routledge.
- Sonnenschein, D. (2001). Sound design: The expressive power of music, voice, and sound effects in cinema. Michael Wiese Productions.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills - Ability to work with professional sound processing software tools.
- Experience of recording sound in a controlled recording environment.
- Ability to engage imaginatively in a creative task within tightly constrained bounds and to present the outcome to conform to precise specifications.
- Ability to interpret and apply a set of requirements pertaining to an audio-crafting task.
KeywordsSound Recording,sound editing,ambisonics,mixing,audio design,digital audio,studio techniques
Course organiserMr Roderick Buchanan-Dunlop
Tel: (0131 6)51 4320
Course secretaryDr Ellen Jeffrey
Tel: (0131 6)50 2430
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