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2010/1 Module Catalogue
 Module Code: TON2010 Module Title: RECORDING TECHNIQUES 2
Module Provider: Music and Sound Recording Short Name: MU2.RECTECH
Level: HE2 Module Co-ordinator: FISHER DM Prof (Music Record)
Number of credits: 20 Number of ECTS credits: 10
Module Availability
Assessment Pattern

Coursework (100% of total assessment)

There will be four items of practical coursework:

1.      45 second advert/presentation trail: Monday of week 8 of Semester 
2.      Edited studio session using “classical” techniques: Monday of week 2 of Semester 2

3.      Mix-down of multitrack studio “pop” session:  Monday of week 8 of Semester 2

4.      Extract (about 6 mins) from a location recording of a live, large-scale, acoustic ensemble, e.g. Orchestra, Choir, Brass Band, etc:  Monday of week 10 of Semester 2.


Your coursework must contain examples of your own unaided recordings.  This does not mean that you will have had no physical help with the recordings, or that there will have been no production input by others.  However, it does mean that you must have made all the recording and editing decisions; the decisions about which microphones to use, their directivity patterns and positions must have been made solely by you, though others may have rigged them under your direction; you must have directed the recording sessions; your hands must have been on the faders and other operational desk controls; you must have done all the editing, post-production, programming or other signal manipulation yourself and without help.  If in doubt, consult the Module Convenor for guidance.


It is essential that you consult TOI 7 Documentation required with Audio Recordings, before you undertake any recording sessions.



Because attendance at the seminar component of this module is compulsory, two marks may be deducted from your final module mark for each absence (or late arrival or early leaving) which is not covered by a medical certificate.  It is your responsibility to ensure that you sign the attendance register and to provide suitable evidence if you are absent for medical reasons. 


Module Overview
HE1 Audio Engineering, Practicals, and Recording Techniques
Module Aims

·        To continue the introduction to pro-audio of the first year course and develop your technical and operational abilities as a preparation for the Period of Professional Training

·        To give experience of planning and recording live concert recordings, and supervising a small team, via the Duty Tonmeister Rota (see TOI 1)

·        To provide a forum for constructive criticism of audio recordings made by you and other 2B students, so as to improve your operational abilities, artistic judgement and technical listening skills.


Learning Outcomes

At the end of the module you should be able to:

·        Describe the microphone placing necessary to make high quality professional recordings of all types of music

·        Assess the technical and operational quality of recordings of any type of music

·        Suggest ways of improving the quality of recordings by technical or operational means

·        Describe the steps needed to ensure that recording sessions are safe

·        Plan and execute location and live concert recordings to professional standards of any type or scale of “classical” music

·        Plan and execute classical studio session recordings of small to medium sized ensembles so as to ensure that a suitable professional quality edited master tape of the music can be made

·        Use post production digital editing facilities to prepare master tapes

·        Plan and execute studio recordings to professional standards of any type of “pop” music

·        Manage all necessary technical facilities (including all technical equipment in Studio 1) necessary to make professional quality recordings

·        Supervise a small group of junior staff so that they are kept gainfully employed

·        Contribute to the training of more junior students

·        React appropriately to recording emergencies during a live concert or studio session, taking the appropriate action, and directing your staff appropriately


Module Content
Methods of Teaching/Learning

You will find your own recording artistes and organise your own location recordings and both pop and classical sessions.  In all, you will need to spend about 150 hours in recording and subsequent editing.  Some of the material that you generate may be used during the seminars which are part of this module.


You will also be on duty to record official concerts in the Department (see TOI1).  You should be contacted by the first year Duty Assistant Tonmeisters (who will be directly under your supervision) in the week before each concert you are to record (see TOI1).  You should give them reporting times and places at which you require them.  At the concert you will supervise your assistants.  The Module Convenor will be available to offer advice.  After the concert you will ensure that the assistants make a CD copy of the master tape (see TOI 1, 4, 5, and 7).  On average you will spend 4 to 6 hours recording per concert; you can expect to be on duty two or three times in the academic year.


One hour per week during the Semester 1 and Semester 2 will be devoted to listening seminars.  During each seminar, any Tonmeister who has been on duty since the last seminar will arrange for appropriate equipment to be available in the Listening Room, TB7, (including sufficient chairs for the members of the course) to replay recordings made by them.  These recordings may include, but need not be restricted to, recordings of “official” Departmental concerts.  Over the year, you should attempt to demonstrate a wide selection of your own work, including pop, classical, location and studio recordings, especially those which have been edited.  Within the time available for each seminar, any second-year Tonmeister may offer recordings for comment.  Plenty of time should be allowed for discussion, which will be led by a member of staff.


Two hours per week during Semester 1 will be devoted to lectures.



Selected Texts/Journals

Eargle, J 1980: Sound Recording ( London :Van Nostrand)

Nisbett, A, 1993: Use of Microphones ( London : Focal Press)

Borwick, J, ed, 1996:  Sound Recording Practice, ( London : UOP)

The Journal of the Audio Engineering Society (AES)





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