BSc (Hons) Studio & Live Music Production

Aisling Kiely

Sound checking, monitoring, mixing and mastering.

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 be taught using industry-standard equipment in our professional studios. And with access to both 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.

So whether you find yourself back stage managing a band’s tour, front of house monitoring sound for their shows, or in the studio recording their next album, you will be able to use your broad skillset to make the most of every possible opportunity when you graduate.

Main Image: MCR Live session with Giant Boys in Spirit Studio

Course Content

Studio Recording Techniques

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 signal flow, analogue mixing consoles and microphone types and techniques, while also working towards your Pro Tools 101 qualification.

Live Sound Engineering

Introducing you to the world of live sound, throughout this module you will be working with industry standard software and equipment in our on-site live venue. Covering everything from live signal flow and live mixing consoles, 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.

Music Production Analysis

Developing an awareness of various arrangement, instrumentation and production styles, while also evaluating the impact of digital systems and processing, you will gain key contextual knowledge of trends in music production, which you can then apply to your own creative work, while developing your overall critical listening skills.

Sound Wave Theory

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, through this module, you will learn the key aspects of audio theory, and learn to apply them in a practical studio setting.

Studio Production and Mixing

Through the use of signal processing and dynamic controllers, you will expand on your existing recording skills, and begin to build up your knowledge of professional mixing techniques. You will also put your knowledge of session procedure to the test, dealing with artists and other engineers while recording and mixing music to demo standard. You will also gain your Pro Tools 110 certification during this module.

Live Music Production

Focussing on technical specifications of a live music event, you will gain skills in line checking and sound checking, PA voicing, stage monitoring and wireless systems, audio processing, front of house (FOH) mixing techniques, and communication and artist liaison. Through this module, you will interpret technical specifications to plan and prepare for a live music event, and set up and operate effective monitoring systems for the artists.

Study Skills

Supporting your study across the rest of your course, this module will help you to develop your report writing and presentation skills, while also helping you to reflect on your practical work in other modules. This work will help to improve your time-management, goal setting and communication skills, which will support the rest of your degree study as well as your external projects when you graduate.

Studio Production Techniques

Progressing into some of our more advanced studios, you will develop a range skills in advanced microphone techniques, control surfaces and digital platforms, mixing automation and advanced audio processing techniques, including time correcting, tuning and pitch correction. You will then learn to integrate these into your recording and mixing sessions, working to a professional standard.

Music Production and Remixing

This module will introduce you to Logic Pro X as a DAW, while also providing you with new skills in editing, sequencing and remixing across various platforms. Your sessions will focus on MIDI processes and professional remixing techniques, while also researching leading practitioners in the field to inspire your own remixing projects.

Sound Synthesis

Providing you with a strong understanding of the creation, synthesis and manipulation of sounds in composition, this module encourages you to be creative and use innovative techniques in your practical work. Using samplers and synthesisers, you will explore the use of found sounds across a range of visual media, and work towards a creative composition using a combination of both hardware and software applications.

Events Planning

Focussing on the key aspects of live events, from budgeting and event safety, to stage management and tour management, you will work as part of a team to plan, organise and manage a live event, while effectively using networking and communication skills gained through your study on other modules.

Music for Games

Exploring both composition and production techniques for music within the games industry, this module will highlight the role of music as an integral part of the overall gaming experience. It will also identify the synchronisation opportunities open to music producers in the games industry, while also discussing the issues and processes of music publishing and intellectual property rights (IPR).

Digital Systems for Live Events

Introducing you to digital systems within live sound, you will learn to design virtual PA systems using industry-standard software, while also developing skills in virtual sound checking and audio networking systems. Through this study, you will work towards operating a digital live sound system, and recording and mixing a live gig to a professional standard.

Work Based Learning

Using the knowledge and skills gained through previous modules, you will now gain practical experience working within the music and audio industries. Through this module, you will secure employment at an appropriate level, to ensure you develop practical skills that are relevant to your chosen career path, making it the perfect opportunity to build up your professional network and put your study into context.

PA Design

Building on your skills in PA design, you will research into current PA system design trends to work towards designing one of your own for a real venue, while considering a number of factors that affect the resulting sound. From acoustics, frequency balance and environmental factors, to client specifics such as noise sensitivity and audience coverage, you will learn to design professional PAs and account for various issues in your set up.

Applied Music Production

Introducing you to new media to enhance your mixing skills, sessions will focus on the variety of playback options available to consumers and how to account for this in your mixes. From data compression for MP3 encoding, to 5.1 surround sound mixing to a commercial standard, through this module you will gain valuable knowledge in this area and have the opportunity to expand your professional portfolio.

Mastering Techniques

Advancing from stereo mixing, to producing the final production master, this module will introduce you to current mastering software and develop your skills in compression and EQ to a professional standard. You will also compare the creativity and sonic quality achieved through both digital and analogue workflows, and develop technical knowledge of track listing and compatibility before producing a production master audio recording in a range of formats.

Entrepreneurial Skills

During this module, you will research the music and creative industries, to source an entrepreneurial project that could be developed into a business or additional income stream. This will then highlight the range of career paths that are open to you, while also making you aware of issues surrounding self-employment. Sessions will cover key topics including market research, business types and legalities, project planning, professional ethics and more.

Project

Centred around you and your creative goals, this module will give you the freedom to plan and produce a project, relevant to the music and creative industries. Making use of knowledge and skills gained throughout your course, this will be your most substantial piece of work, and will allow you to develop a professional portfolio within a specialist field that really shows what you can do.