BSc (Hons) Live Audio Engineering & Music Production

Keri Sinclair

live music
We are Engineers.

Monitor soundchecks, work with musicians and establish connections.

Whether it’s recording up-and-coming talent in the studios, working FOH at your favourite venues, or planning tours and living on the road that makes you excited to be a part of this industry, Spirit Studios will help you develop the skills that will make you invaluable to any session, gig or tour you work on.

From the very beginning of your course, you will learn to use industry-standard equipment in our professional facilities. And with access to our studios and our purpose-built live venue in your own time, you will have every opportunity here to perfect your skills and become confident in running sessions and dealing with artists, as well as build up a strong understanding of acoustics, stage monitoring and live event production.

Helping our students build the skills and attitude they need to get jobs or go self-employed in the creative industries is central to this course, and you will learn everything you need to know about breaking into the sectors you are interested in, becoming self-employed, maintaining work and building your professional profile. With career development modules running through all three years and an industry work placement as part of your studies, you will leave Spirit Studios as a well equipped professional with industry experience under your belt and an edge over the competition, giving you the best chance of success in the creative industries.

Apply now through Clearing via UCAS and plan your future with us this September.

Course Content

Live Sound Practice 1

Introducing you to the world of live sound, you will be working throughout this module with industry standard software and equipment in our on-site live venue. Covering everything from live signal flow and mixing consoles, on-stage microphone techniques and in-ear monitor systems, to PA components and mains distribution, you will also gain a British Safety Council Health & Safety Level 2 qualification, making this the perfect
starting point for you as a live sound engineer.

Studio Practice

Providing you with a strong foundation of studio recording skills, this module will introduce you to standard techniques and procedures used in professional recording sessions. Learning through practical sessions in our studios, your study will cover the technical aspects of capturing good quality audio, including signal flow, analogue mixing consoles, microphone types and techniques and how to improve sound sources.

Progressing from simple recordings to larger sessions with several artists, you will learn the essential skills of planning and running a session, as well as how to get the best from your artists.

Audio Concepts

Introducing you to the physics, characteristics and fundamentals of sound, the knowledge you gain during this module will be used to inform almost all of your decisions as a professional engineer. From frequency and amplitude, to phase, harmonics and psychoacoustics, you will learn the key aspects of audio theory and how to apply them in a practical setting. This module also introduces fundamental DAW skills, enabling you to develop confidence in manipulating and editing audio.

Career Development 1

With a focus on critical listening and analysis skills, alongside career and employability issues in today’s creative industries, this module will help you set and follow a Continuing Professional Development plan to enhance your skills and give you the best chance of success in the industry. This module also teaches you essential academic writing, presentation and research skills that you will use throughout your degree course and in your interactions with employers or clients as you move into the industry as a creative professional.

Networked Audio Systems

Introducing you to digital networked audio systems within live sound, you will learn to plan effective network solutions for sound at a live event. Using industry-standard software, you’ll gain experience in digital protocols and connectivity, while developing skills in designing audio networking systems, sharing audio inputs between multiple zones at a live event, and gain-sharing between FOH and monitor systems.

Live Sound Practice 2

Building on previous knowledge, this module will enhance your skills in live audio project planning, line checking and soundchecking, PA voicing, stage monitoring, audio processing, front of house (FOH) mixing techniques, and troubleshooting, whilst exploring more advanced workflows on digital live sound consoles; all of this in the context of current industry standards and professional practice, and in preparation for a live event that you will manage.

Studio Mixing and Music Production

Progressing into our more advanced studios, and through the use of signal processing, EQ and dynamic controllers, you will expand on your existing recording skills, and build your knowledge and expertise in professional mixing techniques. You’ll learn to identify issues and correct them using timing and pitch correction tools, as well as exploring the creative possibilities within mixing and developing your own individual production style.

Audio Manipulation

Providing you with a strong understanding of the creation, synthesis and manipulation of audio in composition, as well as looking at the legal and ethical use of samples, this module encourages you to be creative and use innovative techniques in your practical work. Using samplers, synthesisers, virtual instruments and MIDI controllers, you will rework an existing piece of music into a different genre, with a strong focus on composition skills, musicality and appropriate production values.

Career Development 2

As part of your own career development, and with support from your tutor, you will undertake a period of work placement within a professional environment in the creative industries. You will be encouraged to think critically about your professional practices and performance in both planning and execution, whilst learning about self-employment, networking, managing an online profile, professional communication and event planning.

Advanced Live Sound Practice

Focusing on the role of system technician, you will build on your knowledge of PA systems, exploring current PA design concepts to work towards designing one of your own for a real venue. You’ll consider a number of factors that will affect the resulting sound: from acoustics, frequency balance and environmental factors, to client specifics such as noise sensitivity and audience coverage.

You’ll get to grips with the requirements of professional PA systems, learn to safely rig and derig line array systems, and set up RF monitoring systems. You’ll also develop your live engineering skills to professional standards, culminating in a time-pressured line check, soundcheck and live mix delivered efficiently and effectively on advanced consoles.

Advanced Studio Practice

This module will focus on a range of advanced recording, processing and production techniques and employ more professional and complex equipment to enhance your employability skills. Based around Spirit Studios' most advanced recording and production facilities, you’ll learn how to record complex sound sources like strings, ensembles and grand pianos, and mix in large format studio environments combining both digital and analogue techniques. This module will develop your critical listening skills to a professional level and expand your career portfolio.

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.

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.