MA Advanced Music Technology

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Course summary

The MA Advanced Music Technology course aims to provide students with a higher level of understanding of the practical techniques and theory that underpin traditional and contemporary audio technology.

The course boasts an enviable range of studio facilities and staff who are actively engaged in the music industry. It focuses on cutting edge topics from ambient recording through advanced non-linear techniques, to the evolving arena of surround sound mixing and recording, and encompassing multi-media work and interface design. Graduates from the MA will enjoy an augmented skill-set that will place them at a distinct advantage upon entry into this fast paced, competitive and constantly evolving market place.

More information

http://www.uwl.ac.uk/music

Course detail

This course is based in studios with full professional specification, and you will get to work on both digital and analogue consoles, access the latest 5.1 surround and ProTools systems, experience other non-linear platforms and two-inch analogue tape systems.

There is film work too, including DVD authoring, and software-interface programming through Max/MSP, together with electro-acoustic composition and performance.

Modules

Semester 1

  • Advanced Recording Techniques
  • Digital Audio Interface Design for Music
  • Developing Your Career
  • Research Methods.

Semester 2

  • Multi-track Recording and Mixing for Surround
  • Interactive Music Technology
  • Advanced Non-linear Recording.

Summer

  • Masters Level Project

Semester 1

Advanced Recording Techniques
This module analyses how recordists 'capture' sound. It covers the history and theory of transducer design, and current and developing approaches to location and stereo/surround recording, including 5.1 and Ambisonics. We encourage you to conduct field test recordings of your own, and to experiment in practical studio sessions using the many techniques we discuss and the equipment we present to you.

Digital Audio Interface Design for Music

Computers and software-based systems are now central to most areas of music and audio technology. This module provides a practical introduction to the software design and programming techniques involved in designing these systems, focusing on Max/MSP, and the wide variety of uses to which this can be put to, in areas such as MIDI and audio signal processing, sequencing, generative composition, synthesis, and sampling.

Developing Your Career
This module is based around a personal development plan, you will create a career or business plan based on your personal goals. You will examine and investigate current social and consumer trends in the industry, and how your commercial and entrepreneurial skills should reflect and interface with today's music industry.
Lecture topics include:

  • basic accounting
  • marketing, promotion
  • publicity
  • communication skills
  • market research
  • technology.

The module includes breakout sessions that deal with the specifics of production-related careers.

Research Methods
This module provides a thorough basis for Masters level research methods. It addresses key areas in research in a music context, and broadens your knowledge of research tools. We cover topics such as:

  • initiating research
  • identifying and evaluating sources
  • identifying significant questions and relevant topics
  • presenting a critical stance
  • providing models for research through case studies and assignments.

The module also provides an overview of professional institutions and skills for publication.

Semester 2

Multi-track Recording and Mixing for Surround
In this module, you will create 'music for picture' in a surround format. You will study 5.1, 7.1, 10.2 and beyond, surround monitor formats, recording and mixing hardware and software, recording formats, console and screen recording and mixing options, the surround capabilities of non-linear platforms, planning, starting and finishing a surround mix, surround audio processing, automation, media and output file formats, and DVD authoring.

Interactive Music Technology

This module examines contemporary experimental composition and performance  techniques. You will study composers from Aphex Twin to John Zorn, and the likes of John Cage, Brian Eno and Stockhausen. After a brief look at electronic and electroacoustic composition and multimedia installations, you will create and present your own experimental work, at a public event at the end of the semester.

Advanced Non-linear Recording
In this module, you will research the modern hi-spec recording studio and the people who pioneered its use. We consider technologies and topics like Logic Pro vs ProTools, mono to multiple-channel, processing in the analogue and digital domains, and hardware integration with the virtual world. We also discuss pitch-correction and spectral deviancy. You will bring all this together in a large-scale, self-directed practical studio production.

Summer

Masters Level Project
This 40-credit module gives you the chance to undertake an ambitious, substantial, self-managed practical project that expands and enhances the skills and knowledge you will have acquired on this course. It will be on a topic of your choice - normally realising work you will have proposed formally in the Research Methods module.

Entry requirements

A 2:1 Honours degree or higher in Music Technology or a related subject, or substantial industry or prior experience in the field.

International students need to meet our English language requirement at either IELTS at 6.5 or above, and a minimum of 5.5 for each of the 4 individual components (Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening). Pearson PTE Academic at score 58 or above, or an equivalent secure English language test. In some countries where teaching is in English, we may accept local qualifications. Please visit http://www.uwl.ac.uk/international/your-country to check for local equivalencies. We offer pre-sessional English language courses, an International Foundation Programme and a Pre-Masters Programme if you do not meet these requirements. You can read more about these courses here - http://www.uwl.ac.uk/international/english-language-programmes

Fees

UK fees

Main fee
GBP3,500

International (non-UK/EU) fees

Main fee
GBP5,500
Find out if you are a home or overseas student.

Funding

Find out more about funding, scholarships and bursaries

Please note that fees given are per academic year unless otherwise stated, and may be subject to change. Costs can increase each year.

How to apply

Tips on applying

  • Applications can be made at any time for starting in either September or January. Applications should be submitted at least a month before these dates at the latest, however if the course fills up before these times, then no further applications can be accepted for that start-point, and so early application is advised.
  • On your application form, highlight the full range of your music technology endeavours, for example:
    • live recording
    • production
    • software programming
    • studio work.
  • Give as many details as you can in relation to why you would like to study this course, as well as any other relevant activities, for instance:
    • composition
    • performance
    • industrial experience.
  • Mature students should highlight previous employment that may positively impact on their application, for example if you have been working in areas of the music industry or even relevant ‘hobbyist’ activities.
  • After initial application, you will be asked to submit an audio portfolio that best represents the full range of your relevant achievements. Prepare for this in advance, and choose only the best example of each type of work that you have undertaken. Examples might be:
    • 1 x studio production where your role was producer
    • 1 x live recording when you acted as sound engineer 
    • 1 x video clip where you dealt with some part of the audio 
    • 1 x track where you acted as programmer.
  • Represent your own specific profile. Work in contrasting genres is encouraged for submission. Ensure that you submit an accompanying text that explains your particular role in each project, and highlights areas of which you are particularly proud.
  • If your application is successful and you are offered a place, accept promptly to secure the place.
Apply for this course

During the course

Special resources

As part of the London College of Music learning experience, you will be able to call on a diverse range of musicians to collaborate, record and network with in contemporary, pop, jazz, and western classical styles. This facility extends even further, to collaborations with students from media, moving image (video and film), digital animation and games-design backgrounds from across the University. Making the most of these opportunities can enhance your CV and professional network significantly before your course even finishes.

Facilities
This course is based in full professional-specification studios, and no other institution offers such high quality technical facilities. As well as hi-spec Pro Tools rigs with control surfaces, a Neve console, contemporary and vintage outboard and extensive software that includes Waves, Sonnox and NI, there are also specialist units, such as vintage outboard, Kyma, an RS8000 modular synthesizer, Ambisonics and a classic VCS3.

Teaching methods

Modules comprise a combination of lectures, workshops, seminars and tutorials. There are also masterclasses from staff, visiting lecturers and practitioners.

Learning materials

We provide module study guides and course handbooks, and you will have access to Blackboard, the University of West London's online learning platform.

Assessment

Exams

There are no exams currently in the MA Advanced Music Technology course. We assess modules in a variety of ways. Written work is usually in the form of essays, critical self-reflections and learning journals. Practical assessment varies according to the nature of the practice - for example, DVDs for surround recordings, CDs for audio, and some live installations or electro-acoustic performances. There are often at least two assignments for each module.

Student support

The University offers a wide variety of support mechanisms, from accommodation support to special support for disabilities. For this course, we provide academic support through the Learning Skills Development Scheme. You will also have a personal tutor, who will be an academic member of staff.

Teaching staff

 Students will be tutored by lecturers with experience at the highest levels of the industry who are actively involved in practice and research, and they can expect to enjoy the insights gained by many years of practical, creative and theoretical exploration of advanced audio technology systems.

What our students say

Sandor Jozsa – X-Factor, Eurovision, BBC, World Music Network and West

'My time at University of West London was extremely beneficial. With the invaluable guidance of a great team of lecturers I've broadened my skills and become more objective. My advice to future UWL students is to figure out what they really want from their lives, apart from a luxury apartment, a few sports cars and a supermodel girlfriend. Once you start a course that is appropriate to those goals, complete it with the strongest dedication, because these years will affect and determine your life - be the best you can and most importantly enjoy it!'

Jobs and placements

Career and study progression

When you have completed the MA Advanced Music Technology course successfully, you will have a broad range of skills - not only in this field, but also in related media like video, electronic composition and performance, and software design. Your technical mastery of the latest hardware and software will make you attractive to a wide range of potential employers.

MA Advanced Music Technology graduates work in many professional avenues, across a range of activities in the creative industries. Several have won Grammy nominations and awards.

Here are some examples of the professional roles our graduates have taken since studying this course:

  • Sound designer/composer, EA Games, Shanghai
  • Sound Engineer at Shepperton Studios
  • Senior Lecturer at LCM
  • Lecturer at BIMM
  • MD of A2Z Records
  • Freelance session musician/producer/engineer
  • Founder/Director of Sound Demon Ltd
  • Lecturer at CONEL
  • Lecturer and Technician at RUTC
  • Technician at Esher College
  • House Engineer-producer at Pocket Studios, Toronto
  • Work with Placebo, Radiohead, Snow Patrol and Dido
  • Sound editor and mixer at Radium
  • Audio Runner at Envy
  • Post-Production/Producer, incl. Britney Spears and a US no.1, for Rihanna and Eminem
  • Head of Higher Education at TMS
  • Sound engineer and post production of the movie Crimson Mask
  • Producer in Europe with several no. 1s/Live Sound engineer at various London venues
  • Writer-Producer for Bono, Dr. Dre, Nicole Scherzinger, 50 Cent and Alesha Dixon
  • Co-directors and founders and Head of Audio of RAW Video, with acts such as Florence And The Machine, Lily Allen, Beverley Knight, Babyshambles, Keane, Katy Perry, The Drums, Hot Chip, NëDubz, Sigur Ros and The Kooks, for clients such as: MTV, Channel 4, Virgin, EMI, Parlophone, Sony, Island Records and XL Recordings
  • Product developer for FXPansion
  • DJ and producer for Sensogram
  • AV Technician at Cork School of Music
  • Remixer for Beyonce
  • Producer of Orchestral sessions for Harry Potter and other movies
  • International production music composer/producer/Lecturer at East Surrey College
  • Production of backing tracks for X-Factor and Pop Idol
  • Freelance producer and engineer
  • Composer and Producer for TV and radio
  • Lecturer at Upper Austrian University of Applied Science
  • Lecturer at Limkokwing University, Malaysia.

Various students have worked creating music or audio for Rolex, LG, Coke, Reebok, Mercedes, Jaguar, Toyota, Nokia, VH1, MTV, CNN, The History Channel and Erste Bank.

Study progression

You may choose to continue your studies at PhD or DMus level.

View full course details as PDF

London College of Music

The London College of Music (LCM) is the largest specialist music and performing arts institution in the UK. We offer an impressive range of innovative courses, respected worldwide and delivered with creativity and passion.

Find out more about the London College of Music and see scholarships and bursaries offered by this School.