BSc (Hons) Entrepreneurial Audio Production

Keri Sinclair

connect with your sound, collaborate with creatives + create your space

From studio production and composition using the latest digital technology, to developing audio content for current games and visual media platforms, this course will equip you with all the vital skills you need to carve out your own niche in the creative industries as an entrepreneurial audio professional.

Brand new for September 2020, we will be launching our very own on-site project studio to give you the opportunity to experience setting up and wiring a studio, build a wide range of skills from acoustics of sound and audio manipulation to advanced recording techniques, as well as develop the necessary skills to construct your own professional project studio and workspace outside of Spirit Studios. 

Introducing new and exciting ways of working, we have put in place new technologies to help you develop your workflow, open up possibilities of collaborating remotely with other creatives across the globe, and establish your place within the industry. 

With entrepreneurial skills at its core, this course aims to give you the best chance of turning your passion for audio into a thriving career, with modules on professional development, industry knowledge and generating revenue through creative income streams, running through all three years of the degree course.

Course Content

Audio Recording Skills

This module will introduce you to a professional studio environment and help develop key skills essential to recording good quality audio such as signal flow and gain structure, microphone placement and using mixing consoles.

Using a wide range of equipment, you’ll explore methods of recording different sound sources and consider the psychology of working effectively with artists in a studio environment to get the best from clients and collaborators.

Project Studio Set Up

This module will teach you everything you need to know on how to set up an effective project studio environment relevant to the working practices of today’s audio professionals.

You’ll explore computer specifications, hardware and interfaces, software choices, monitor options and placement. You’ll also learn about acoustic treatment and how to adapt spaces effectively, resolve compatibility issues, and cost everything you need, whilst gaining knowledge of essential principles of sound propagation that underpins all audio production work.

Digital Composition Skills

Introducing you to music sequencing software and creative composition techniques, this module encourages you to experiment using a range of music technologies to produce a personal portfolio of compositions. The module includes training on virtual instruments, synthesis and sampling, as well as basic music theory knowledge to help you realise your creative potential and develop intellectual property in your own distinctive style.

Professional Development

This module encourages you to develop as an entrepreneurial audio professional through Continuing Professional Development. You will explore key entrepreneurial skills within the context of working in today’s creative industries, develop your critical listening skills, and produce a professional portfolio or showreel. This module also teaches you essential academic writing and presentation skills that you will use throughout your degree course and in your interactions with clients or collaborators as you move into the industry as a creative professional.

Sound for Visual Media

This module introduces audio post production concepts and workflows involved in creating sound for visual media such as film, television and online content. Foley, sound design, synchronisation and encoding formats will be taught alongside a range of production techniques. You will also learn how to work to a specific brief and within time constraints and deadlines typical of the industry.

Audio Mixing Skills

Introducing you to a wide range of industry-standard mixing and audio manipulation techniques, this module will teach you how to enhance compositions and audio productions to enable them to reach their full potential and achieve a distinctive and genre-appropriate style. Working with a combination of your own compositions and material provided by your tutor, you will learn about the creative and corrective possibilities offered by dynamic controllers, EQ, time-based effects, timing and pitch correction tools, as well as arrangement, compilation and remixing techniques.

Audio Post Production Techniques

Building on the skills and knowledge already acquired, you will develop essential skills for the production of a complete soundscape accompanying a moving image. This module includes content on tracklaying, automated dialogue replacement, surround mixing, advanced Foley practices, use of sound effects and audio reparation techniques.

Sound Design for Games

This module introduces you to the skills and workflows involved in designing sound for games. You will learn how to work with interactive audio that avoids repetitiveness and builds mood and suspense in gameplay, working with cues and loopable audio assets. In addition, you will be introduced to implementation techniques using industry-standard game engine platforms and explore how audio design differs between game genres.

Entrepreneurial Skills and Industry Experience

As part of your own career development, and with support from your tutor, you will undertake a period of work placement or professional engagement in the industry.

Before embarking on your placement, you will learn about professional standards and key skills required for industry success as an entrepreneurial audio professional, such as setting targets and working to deadlines, networking and communication skills, managing an online profile, becoming self-employed and setting up a business; while also exploring potential income streams from synchronisation opportunities, social media and streaming platforms, and royalty-based payments.

Advanced Recording and Mixing

In this module, you’ll take your recording and mixing skills to professional standards. With advanced mixing consoles and audio equipment, you’ll learn how to enhance compositions in a large-format studio environment, recording complex sound sources like ensembles and choirs, practising field recording, and developing professional mixing techniques and workflows. You’ll improve your analytical skills with critical listening and produce a project that promotes your individual style with a focus on innovation, whilst working within the parameters of a client brief.

Audio Mastering

Taking your finished stereo mixes to the final production master, this module will develop your skills in a wide range of current mastering techniques, and explore the creativity and sonic qualities achieved through both digital and analogue workflows. You’ll develop confidence in using EQ for tonal balance adjustments and corrections, applying compression and limiting techniques to achieve loudness and impact without compromising the dynamics of the mix. Finally, you will learn how to compile a complete production master to professional standards for current listening platforms.

Advanced Post Production

This module examines industry standards and conventions in preparing professional audio for visual media. With a focus on new and emerging formats, immersive audio, cinema loudness standards and broadcast conventions, you’ll learn to work on a range of formats and post production techniques, mixing your project to commercial standards.

Advanced Game Audio Practice

This module investigates interactive spatial audio within games, and the production techniques used for embedding and triggering interactive audio content. You will develop further skills in implementing audio for games, including an understanding of middleware, while gaining valuable professional experience in managing your workflows, your presentation, and justifying your creative choices.

Career Development 3

Exposing you to the range of career opportunities that are open to you across the creative industries, you will gain key skills relevant to entrepreneurship and self-employment as well as professionalism and employability. By undertaking a personal project which concentrates on preparing you for work as soon as you graduate, this module will help you understand how different businesses function in the music and audio industries, and how you can find your place within it and launch your career as you finish your degree.