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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Edinburgh College of Art : Music

Postgraduate Course: Audio Crafting (MUSI11063)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh College of Art CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) 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 sound studio craft in general and to take what they already know much further forwards.
Course description This course covers a range of essential knowledge for those wishing to develop their skills in audio recording, editing, processing and structuring sound. The course is future-facing so once the universal basics are covered, you quickly move towards more advanced approaches to capturing, processing and structuring sound. The course is built around a pair of detailed project briefs that challenge you to respond in daring and imaginative ways, whilst ensuring that various audio standards are met.

The course therefore aims to:

- help you 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 features in both assessments. However, you will need to go beyond this by using the sounds in imaginitive ways. You will do this by designing and implementing a creative application for an imagined device, scene, or other platform.

This will:
- lead you towards insight into collaborative processes with other practices, especially working with one another on gathering of complex sonic phenomona.
- push you to develop your creative and expressive voice and challenge you to apply abstract conceptual ideas introduced in lecture and tutorial sessions to your own works of sonic art with the aim that these may end up in your professional and/or artist portfolio.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements Experience of using sound recording technologies (microphones, recording equipment etc.)
Experience of using sound editing tools such as Digital Audio Workstations or wave editors, mixing tools, digital or analogue.
If you are unsure whether you have the right skills to thrive on the course, please check with the course organiser before being registered to it.
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesExperience of using sound recording technologies (microphones, recording equipment etc.)
Experience of using sound editing tools such as Digital Audio Workstations or wave editors, mixing tools, digital or analogue.
If you are unsure whether you have the right skills to thrive on the course, please check with the course organiser before being registered to it.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  55
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 22, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 6, Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 6, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 162 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Two projects, each worth 50% of the course mark.

Project 1: Development of a library of sounds recorded in a studio environment, implementing various standard and non-standard microphone techniques and editing skills. Inventing and composing new sound forms with the library and accounting for your process with a short text or video description.

Project 2: Using digital audio manipulation techniques you will develop a parallel library of altered sounds by modifying and radically evolving a selection of source sounds from the pool of sound materials created by the whole class in Project 1. You will invent and compose new sound forms with the library and account for your process with a short text or video description.
Feedback Summative written and/or video feedback is provided in the assessment of each project. It will concern itself with points of craft, skill and the extent to which professional standards have been met, alongside consideration for the level of risk, imagination and detail shown in the creative and design challenges of the brief.

Formative feedback is offered via in-class review of your own work. This happens through the teachers and your peers. Processes like this involve listening to each other's work and offering one other comment, support and reflection. Staff show and comment on large amounts of preparatory work that you submit via interim tasks. This feedback is intended to directly inform your approach to the work you will submit for examination.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Evaluate the appropriateness of professional sound design software and hardware tools for specific audio crafting tasks.
  2. Evaluate sounds, explaining and illustrating their usefulness in creative design contexts.
  3. Assemble convincing and imaginative sound work within the constraints of an open-ended design brief.
Reading List
1. Chadabe, J., Electric sound: the past and promise of electronic music. 1997, Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Prentice Hall. xiv, 370 p.
2. Chion, M., C. Gorbman, and W. Murch, Audio-vision: sound on screen. 1994, New York: Columbia University Press. xxvii, 239 p.
3. Cook, P.R., Music, cognition, and computerized sound: an introduction to psychoacoustics. 1999, Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press. xi, 372 p.
4. Gibson, B., The AudioPro home recording course: a comprehensive multimedia audio recording text. Mix pro audio series. 1996, Emeryville, CA: MixBooks.
5. Gibson, B., Sound Advice on Compressors, Limiters, Expanders and Gates. 2002, Vallejo, CALIFORNIA: Pro-Audio Press. 79.
6. Gibson, B., Sound Advice on Equalizers, Reverbs and Delays. 2002, Vallejo: California. 77.
8. Howard, D.M. and J.A.S. Angus, Acoustics and psychoacoustics. 2nd ed. Music technology series. 2001, Oxford; Boston: Focal Press. x, 385 p.
9. Owsinski, B., The Mixing Engineer's Handbook. 1999: Mix Books, California, USA.
10. Rumsey, F. and T. McCormick, Sound and recording: an introduction. 3rd ed. Music technology series. 1997, Oxford; Boston: Focal Press. 384 p.
11. Roads, C., The computer music tutorial. 1995, Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press. xx, 1234 p
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills When you complete the course successfully;
- You will have the ability to work with professional sound processing software tools in imaginative and daring ways.
- You will be experienced in recording sound in a controlled recording environment and will have the confidence to devise non-standard ways of using these tools in order to create novel outcomes.
- You will be able to work creatively within tightly constrained bounds and to present the outcome conforming to precise specifications.
- You will be able to interpret and apply a set of requirements pertaining to an audio-crafting task, to communicate what you intended and explain what has been achieved to both specialist and general audiences.
- You will be aware of the importance and value of sharing your work and knowledge with your peers and with the wider audio world by developing work that can be used in professional and community contexts, parts of which you may choose to share online.
Keywordssound design,studio craft,sound recording and editing,sonic arts,studio composition,remixing
Course organiserMr Roderick Buchanan-Dunlop
Tel: (0131 6)51 4320
Course secretaryMiss Laura Duff
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