MSc Audio and Music Technology

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Overview

Overview

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What Our Students Say:

"The facilities at York such as the Mac labs, the studios and the media suite as well as all the speakers, microphones, headphones, instruments and mixing desks are all first-class. The AMT programme at York is a place where you experience a lot, gain a lot and enjoy a lot." Fei Sha

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The MSc in Audio and Music Technology is a one-year full-time taught course for graduates who wish to enhance their skills to go on to a career or further research in the varied fields of audio processing, room acoustics, interactive music and audio applications, voice analysis and synthesis, audio programming and other music technology related areas.

The MSc is designed for:

  • Graduates of courses in Music Technology or Tonmeister
  • Graduates of courses in technology, mathematics, science, engineering or computing who can demonstrate music performance or music production skills
  • Graduates of a related subject who can demonstrate an understanding of music theory/digital audio, skills in music production or performance and technical experience or an aptitude for the technical aspects of audio

The course aims to:

  • Provide students with a thorough grounding in scientific theory and engineering techniques as applied to digital audio technology
  • Develop an understanding of audio processing and acoustic analysis as it relates to speech, singing, music and room/environmental acoustics
  • Provide practical experience of audio software programming in a variety of coding languages and a creative approach to audio analysis and synthesis
  • Develop communication skills for academic and public engagement purposes, in a variety of writing styles, or for oral presentations

There is a particular emphasis on practical application of theoretical aspects of audio signal processing and acoustic analysis and the programme also helps students to develop other skills such as critical analysis and evaluation, synthesis of theory and practice, creative problem-solving, design and implementation and oral and written communication skills.

The course is also designed to enhance your employability and to prepare you for entering the world of work or research after graduation. Some of the ways we do this are:

  • Personal Professional Practitioner module dedicated to enhancing your employability, self-promotion and transferable skills, whether you go on to work in industry or running your own business.
  • Hands-on experience of event and project management including the opportunity to design and deliver two events on campus.
  • Project Development module furthers your skills in promoting your work/research to the public, presenting to an audience and developing a project plan.
  • A substantial piece of individual research or development project, which you undertake over the summer under supervision from a staff member.
  • Student section of the Audio Engineering Society regularly runs events with external speakers from the industry - a chance to network with the professionals.
  • Group work in some modules allowing you to put your team work and management skills into practice.

Content

Course Content

The MSc in Audio and Music Technology incorporates audio processing and acoustic analysis as it relates to speech, singing and music and room/environmental acoustics. It also covers digital signal processing, acoustics and psychoacoustics, music listening skills and audio analysis and programming. There are two pathways through the course, allowing students to specialise in Analysis and Programming or Audio Technology.

The table below shows at what stage of the course the various modules are taught.

Autumn termSpring termSummer termJuly - September

Audio Signals and Psychoacoustics

 

Music Perception & Critical Listening Project Development

 

Research Project

 

OPTION PATHWAY
Analysis & Programming
OPTION PATHWAY
Audio Technology
iOS Programming for Audio**

Audio Acoustics & Applications

And Either

Music Performance Analysis Systems

Or

Physical Modelling Synthesis

 

Production Techniques, Technologies & Aesthetics

And

The Musicology of Production

(Music Department)

Personal Professional Practitioner

** Students who are graduates of BSc Music Technology, University of York, who have previously taken a similar module at H level, will take Audio Algorithm Design and Implementation as an alternative

The MSc is of 12-months duration, starting at the beginning of the Autumn term (late September) until the following September. For term dates, please visit the University term dates page.

Click on the links below to find out more about each module.  Please note that the detailed module contents and timetabling are subject to change.

Autumn term

Audio Signals and Psychoacoustics

Knowledge and Understanding:

Audio signal processing, acoustics and human hearing system; sound sources, acoustic environments and wave propagation; audio signal detection and conversion to electrical signals; signal representation, analysis and visualisation; acoustic and psychoacoustic theories relating to audio and music production including acoustic properties of instruments; room acoustics; timbre perception; pitch perception; 3-D sound; perceptual testing methodologies.

Discipline-related Skills:

MATLAB programming language and Pure Data for audio applications; developing and applying theoretical knowledge to design processes; specifying, designing and implementing a process in software.

Delivery and Assessment:

Lectures and Computer Practical Sessions. In class test and coursework.

Transferable Skills:

Analytical skills; Numeracy skills; Problem solving; Reviewing progress; Independent learning. Independent task planning and implementation; Written communication skills.

iOS Programming for Audio

Knowledge and Understanding:

Novel interactive musical and audio Apps for iOS devices such as iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch.; iOS architecture and programming environment; The XCode Integrated Development Environment; Objective C programming language; iOS simulator.

Discipline-related Skills:

Design programs for mobile devices; Test iOs programs; Document software specifications and programs ; Create innovative audio software; Assess user-interfaces.

Delivery and Assessment:

Lectures, Tutorials, Practicals. Continuous assessment. (Programming exercise and research paper).

Transferable Skills:

Problem solving; Lateral thinking; Reviewing progress; Autonomous task planning and implementation; Creativity and innovation.

Personal Professional Practitioner

Knowledge and Understanding:

Business forms; business law; 'Event' management; Personal financial management; Personal professional development; Creativity; Personal business effectiveness: Strategic planning and thinking; standards and compliance requirements; public engagement, marketing and promotion.

Discipline-related Skills:

Negotiating skills; developing skills in facilitation and creativity.

Delivery and Assessment:

Lectures, Practicals and Self Study. Continuous assessment. (Design and manage a group event, personal marketing pack and business pitch).

Transferable Skills:

Problem solving; Communications skills, oral presentation skills; Group working and Interpersonal skills; Project planning and development; Self-management and self-motivation; Independent learning; Creativity and innovation.

Spring term - Option Pathway Analysis & Programming

Music Perception and Critical Listening

Knowledge and Understanding:

Critical listening skills and psychoacoustic theory; rhythm, tempo, pulse, melody, harmony, voice leading, timbre, musical forms, textures; musical structure; tuning systems and temperaments.

Discipline-related Skills:

Critical listening skills; critical evaluation of a portfolio of chosen music or sound art.

Delivery and Assessment:

Lectures and Practicals. Continuous assessment. (Seminar Presentation and Report assessed.)

Transferable Skills:

Group learning; Autonomous task planning and implementation; Analytical skills Collate and summarise data from a variety of sources.

Audio Acoustics and Applications

Knowledge and Understanding:

Analysis and synthesis of audio, music and acoustics audio signals - voice signals or room acoustics; use of analysis to inform, manipulate and synthesize acoustic signals for specific applications.

Discipline-related Skills:

Current analysis techniques, including their merits, limitations and appropriate applications; objective analysis techniques to verify the results from measurement/simulation; demonstrations for playback and evaluation by an audience.

Delivery and Assessment:

Lectures, seminars, workshops and Practical Sessions; Presentation and short research paper (with audio examples).

Transferable Skills:

Team working; Independent working; Report writing; Research strategies including critical thinking and literature review; Presentation skills; Analytical and numerical skills; Communication skills; Healthy voice use and vocal hygiene; Problem solving.

Music Performance Analysis Systems

Knowledge and Understanding:

Real-time visual feedback systems for musical performance.

Discipline-related Skills:

Music information retrieval, performance analysis and perception; document software specifications; user-interfaces.

Delivery and Assessment:

Lectures and Practicals. Continuous assessment. (Audio processing exercise and report assessed.)

Transferable Skills:

Creativity; Initiative and lateral thinking; Problem solving; Flexibility and adaptability Analytical skills; Organisation and planning; Reviewing progress; Oral communication skills.

Physical Modelling Synthesis

Knowledge and Understanding:

The development of physical modelling sound synthesis and its impact on the commercial market. An overview of physical modelling research. Physical modelling synthesis techniques - Kelly-Lochbaum; Karplus-Strong; digital waveguides, modal synthesis and spectral techniques; digital waveguides. Higher level techniques - multi-dimensional physical modelling and finite difference methods. Future directions for physical and spectral modelling research.

Discipline-related Skills:

Practical experience in developing physical and spectral modelling algorithms using a variety of software synthesis tools including Matlab.

Delivery and Assessment:

Lectures and practicals. Assessment by production of web-page tutorial report with accompanying sound examples.

Transferable Skills:

Research skills; Written communication skills; Analytical skills; Numeracy skills; Problem solving; Creativity and innovation.

Spring term - Option Pathway Audio Technology

Music Perception and Critical Listening

Knowledge and Understanding:

Critical listening skills and psychoacoustic theory; rhythm, tempo, pulse, melody, harmony, voice leading, timbre, musical forms, textures; musical structure; tuning systems and temperaments.

Discipline-related Skills:

Critical listening skills; critical evaluation of a portfolio of chosen music or sound art.

Delivery and Assessment:

Lectures and Practicals. Continuous assessment. (Seminar Presentation and Report assessed.)

Transferable Skills:

Group learning; Autonomous task planning and implementation; Analytical skills Collate and summarise data from a variety of sources.

Production Techniques, Technologies and Aesthetics (Music Department)

Knowledge and Understanding:

Contemporary aesthetics, and historical development of production techniques and technologies associated with rock, pop and dance genres. Operational understanding of time-domain, frequency-domain and dynamic range processing tools for audio.

Discipline-related Skills:

DAW software applications; Practical skills in recording and processing technology using recording studios for audio recording, mixing and mastering.

Delivery and Assessment:

Seminars, lectures and practicals. Guided Learning. Continuous assessment. (Multi-track distribution ready audio production)

Transferable Skills:

Autonomous task planning and implementation; Problem solving; Flexibility and adaptability; Commitment and motivation.

The Musicology of Production (Music Department)

Knowledge and Understanding:

Technological and musicological assessment of production techniques and outcomes. Analysis of audio productions and their wider context; Technical, methodological and phenomenological description of production styles within individuals, movements and cultures.

Discipline-related Skills:

Listening skills, systematic evaluation methodology, identification and critique of audio recording and production styles.

Delivery and Assessment:

Lectures and Seminars: Continuous assessment; Seminar presentation and essay.

Transferable Skills:

Autonomous task planning and implementation; Problem solving; Self-management; Analytical skills; Independent Learning.

Summer

Project Development

Knowledge and Understanding:

Research or programming project; current research literature.

Discipline-related Skills:

Organisation of MA/MSc conference; presentation of research to general public.

Delivery and Assessment:

Special Interest Groups and Individual Supervisions. Continuous assessment. (Extended literature review, presentation and dissertation/technical report assessed.)

Transferable Skills:

Planning and managing workload; Self-management and Self-motivation; Group working; Project planning and development; Risk management; Interpersonal skills; Oral communication and presentation skills; Time management.

Research Project

The MSc culminates in a substantial independent piece of in-depth research which contributes 60 credits towards your degree. The Project Development module helps you prepare for this independent work, by giving you the opportunity to practice relevant skills such as literature review, conference-style presentation of your project, and time management. You will work with a supervisor who shares complementary research interests, and together you will design an appropriate project, using the skills and techniques you have learnt in the taught modules.

Entry Requirements

Entry Requirements

Applicants are normally expected to hold (or expected to gain) the equivalent of a 2:1 honours degree or above from a university recognised by the University of York. We are willing to consider applications from students with lower qualifications, particularly when the student has high marks in relevant modules and/or appropriate industrial experience.

This degree should be either in music technology, or technology, mathematics, science, engineering or computing where candidates can demonstrate music performance or music production skills. We will also consider graduates of other subjects who can demonstrate an understanding of music theory/digital audio, skills in music production or performance and technical experience in audio processing or programming.

For applicants whose native language is not English, the minimum University English language requirements of IELTS 6.0 (with at least 5.5 in each of the four language components) or the equivalent are required.

 

Staff

Teaching Staff

The department prides itself on the quality of its teaching. Lecturers on the Audio and Music Technology MSc include the following academics. Click on the links below to find out more about the staff, their backgrounds, and research and teaching interests.

Facilities

Facilities

The course is supported by a wide range of facilities including:

  • Three recording studios and Digital Audio Workstation production rooms
  • Dedicated listening space with surround sound loudspeaker array
  • 6-sided anechoic chamber
  • Newly equipped Mac Workstation suite specifically for audio app development
  • State-of-the art equipment for voice analysis and synthesis
  • The opportunity to access audio facilities across campus including the 3Sixty (immersive audio visual space) and the Arthur Sykes Rymer Auditorium (Music Research Centre) as availability allows

Destinations

Careers and Graduate Destinations

The MSc Audio and Music Technology at York doesn't just give you an academic qualification. It is also designed to enhance your employability and to prepare you for entering the world of work or research after graduation.

Some of the ways we do this are:
left quote I have gained experience in coding, public speaking, event planning and a depth of knowledge in the scientific theory relating to my chosen subject area...right quote


Michael Lovedee-Turner (MSc Audio and Music Technology)

  • Work with industry standard tools to make you attractive candidates for prospective employers
  • Visits and careers talks from our industrial contacts
  • Research led teaching - providing exposure to cutting edge methods from acknowledged experts.
  • Training in research methods.
  • Hands-on experience of event and project management including the opportunity to design and deliver two events on campus
  • Opportunities to develop presentation skills and report writing.
  • Lifetime support from the University Careers Service
  • York Alumni Association provides support and opportunities to network with other former York students after you graduate.

QR code to link to Chinese Alumni WeChat pages.

For example there are currently around 500 active alumni attending social events and career talks in Beijing and Shanghai. Our networks are facilitated through WeChat with daily conversations occurring between alumni in China. To see our latest events in China please follow Yorkers_China . During the events in China you will find out how to join our WeChat groups.

Graduate Profiles

Have a look at our Taught MSc Student profiles to find out more about the career paths of some of our recent Audio and Music Technology graduates and how this programme prepared them for their future careers.

 

More information on destinations from across our MSc programmes can be found at Careers and Graduate Destinations.

Any questions?

Admissions Enquiries
Helen Smith

Postgraduate Admissions Tutor
Dr Stephen Smith

(+44) 01904 324485