MSc Audio and Music Technology

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Overview

Overview

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Audio and Music Technology combines science, technology and creativity to develop innovative audio applications for music making, recording, analysis and reproduction. Recent advances in digital audio technology have seen increased interest in surround sound for home entertainment and virtual reality, voice recognition and synthesis applications, as well as environmental and architectural acoustics. The MSc in Audio and Music Technology is taught by leading experts in audio research. You will have access to excellent facilities, including several fully equipped recording studios, a bespoke 50 channel loudspeaker array, a fully anechoic chamber and a newly updated Mac and iOS computer suite. You will gain a thorough grounding in scientific theory and creative engineering techniques in audio technology, audio analysis and audio programming. This will prepare you for further research or employment in the audio technology and digital creative industries, working freelance, or setting up your own business.

The MSc in Audio and Music Technology is a one-year full-time taught course and 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 is also designed to enhance your employability and to prepare you for entering the world of work or research after graduation.

Professional Development Framework

All our MScs programmes follow the principles of a carefully designed Professional Development Framework, developed in consultation with our Departmental Advisory Board, with key contributors from Industry, Research and Academia. This ensures that all students gain awareness of the essential skills that employers need and opportunities to develop their personal and team-based effectiveness. This begins with an Induction Week including an introduction to masters-level learning, and student team activities. Throughout the Autumn and Spring Terms students develop their personal effectiveness in a series of workshops (covering such issues as literature, research, referencing, teamwork, leadership, reflective learning, ethics, and business skills). These lead on to Interdisciplinary Masterclasses which cover key research and development cross-curricular topics in emerging technology.

All students are timetabled to be able to attend these sessions. Some programmes incorporate these Workshop and Masterclass elements as an assessed part of credit-weighted modules, but every one of our MSc students is encouraged to attend all sessions in order to develop their skills and to learn from people in different, but related, disciplines. In the Summer Term students are prepared for research methodology and digital literacy, and undertake regular developmental training in project management. This all leads to a major project (60 credit units) which is designed to give research and industry-relevant experience to individuals and teams as a key component of each programme.

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.

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

Autumn termSpring termSummer termJuly - September

 

iOS Programming for Audio

 

Music Perception & Critical Listening Project Development

 

MScResearch Project

 

Choose:

Or:

Voice Acoustics and Applications

Virtual Acoustics and Spatial Audio

Production Techniques, Technologies & Aesthetics

(Music Department)

Audio Signals and Psychoacoustics Interfacing for Audio and Music
Personal Professional Practitioner

 

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

iOS Programming for Audio

You will gain knowledge and experience of app development for audio tasks by surveying existing apps, and producing a novel, working audio/music app for iOS. You will become familiar with industry standard IDE software development environments and toolkits, using Apple’s XCode IDE, Swift language and external frameworks such as AudioKit for developing your own audio/music app for iOS.

Voice Acoustics and Applications

The module aims to give you the tools and understanding to analyse spoken and sung audio signals, and to use this analysis to inform, manipulate, recognise and synthesize acoustic signals for specific speech and voice performance applications. You will gain a solid understanding of the physiology of speech production, and understand and apply key principles of speech and singing. You will be able to accurately measure aspects of voice using several methods and data types, and to create phonetic and phonemic transcriptions of voice recordings.

Audio Signals and Psychoacoustics

You will learn the fundamentals of audio signal processing, acoustics and psychoacoustics that will provide a foundation for all other aspects of the MSc in Audio and Music Technology. This is delivered in the context of the core software development platforms we use for assessment and research work throughout the programme, MATLAB and Pure Data (PD), thereby also providing an introduction to some of the programming languages and methodologies you will be engaging with. You will develop a 3D binaural audio demonstration in MATLAB, including the design, analysis and simulation of basic digital filters to process your audio samples. You will analyse audio recordings using various signal processing strategies and develop a psychoacoustic perceptual testing application using PD.

Personal Professional Practitioner (Autumn and Spring)

This module prepares you for future roles in industry, research or self-employment.  You will be introduced to a variety of business models and be given the opportunity to practice vital employability skills such as self-reflection for personal effectiveness, team-work, leadership, self-promotion and marketing, public engagement and communicating science/technology to diverse audiences.

Spring term

Music Perception and Critical Listening

You will become familiar with current issues in the area of music perception and develop skills for critical evaluation of current research and methodologies. You will participate in a series of practical workshops and engage in practical listening skills, critical evaluation of sound/audio, and a hands-on exploration of musical structure/content as it relates to audio and acoustics. You will develop your critical listening skills in order to relate perceptual aspects of audio and music technology to theoretical concepts covered in previous modules.

Virtual Acoustics and Spatial Audio

You will gain a comprehensive understanding of the state of the art in spatial audio and surround sound systems and the fundamental audio processing involved. You will develop practical skills in the area of surround sound recording, processing and mixing for both loudspeaker and headphone based surround sound. The module also aims to give you the tools and understanding to create immersive virtual acoustic environments through acoustic measurements, room modelling and real-time audio processing for a range of applications from music production, cinematic sound, game audio and virtual reality.

Interfacing for Audio and Music

You will assess state-of-the-art research in Human-computer interfacing for audio, and select an appropriate individual topic. You will explore the history, present and future of interactive audio computing. You will work in a series of labs which take you from the fundamentals of electronic interfacing to a point where you can independently apply these skills. You will design and build a system which interfaces electronic sensors to a microcontroller using commonly available electronic components (such as Arduino, resistors, sensors etc).

Production Techniques, Technologies & Aesthetics (Music Department)

You will develop theoretical and practical knowledge of audio production. You will learn about contemporary aesthetics, as well as historical development over the last fifty years, of interventionist production techniques and technologies associated with rock, pop and dance genres. You will gain practical skills in recording and processing technology and critique of audio recording and production styles.

Summer

Project Development

You will assess state-of-the-art research in an appropriate individual topic in the field of audio or music technology. This module is designed to prepare you for your research project. Sessions are held which cover a number of generic skills needed to undertake a successful research project e.g. time management, literature review writing, and communicating your research both orally and in writing.

MSc Research Project

The MSc culminates in a substantial independent piece of in-depth research which contributes 60 credits towards your degree. You will conduct original research into digital audio signal processing, audio software programming or acoustic analysis, advancing the state of the art by applying specialist knowledge of engineering techniques and research methodology. 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:
"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..."


Michael Lovedee-Turner (MSc Audio and Music Technology)

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Where do MSc Audio and Music Technology do after graduating?

We've only been running for a few years but we already have former students working in companies from the UK and across the world. As more students graduate from this programme we expect this list to grow and grow:

80 Hertz Post Production and Recording Studios, Derby Theatre, Luky Studio, SAS Institute Ltd, Star Studio Foggia, Protirus and HTC .

We also have students each year who choose to pursue PhD study, either at York or elsewhere. Graduates from this MSc are trained in conducting original research and are therefore well prepared to undertake further study.

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
Prof. Stephen Smith

(+44) 01904 324485

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