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Music Technology Project 1 - ELE00039C

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  • Department: Electronic Engineering
  • Module co-ordinator: Prof. Andy Hunt
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: C
  • Academic year of delivery: 2024-25
    • See module specification for other years: 2023-24

Module summary

This project enables a team of Music Technology students to work together on the technical creation of an electronic musical instrument or game. This project provides an opportunity to ‘learn by doing’ by applying theory into practice. It enables students to work systematically from high-level goals to detailed design and implementation. Students are encouraged to draw upon and integrate knowledge and skills learnt in other modules. The project will require students to address a real-life problem in Audio Technology. In doing so, they will be able to use creativity, technical and management skills to design, build and test a prototype of an electronic product for the creation of or interaction with audio / music . Students will work as part of a team enabling them to develop transferable skills such as problem-solving, time management, project management and teamwork.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Semester 2 2024-25

Module aims

Subject content aims:

  • To introduce students to the typical skills needed in group project working whilst designing and building an engineering solution to a technical specification

  • To immerse students in the design and creation of an audio engineering project, bringing to life synthesis and computing theory in a working product

  • To develop general learning skills in team working, research, business practice, intellectual property, impact of technology on society, ethics, and project management

Graduate skills aims:

  • To capture high-level customer requirements to produce a set of design specifications

  • To build and test an engineering solution

  • To integrate and apply theory into practice

  • To carry out independent investigations and research

  • To use creative and innovative thinking to solve problems

  • To develop skills in gathering and presenting information from reliable sources and technical writing

  • To develop transferable skills such as planning, time management team working, project management and ethical work practices

Module learning outcomes

Subject content learning outcomes:

After completing this module, students will be able to

  • Apply core technical and engineering learning to a project scenario and demonstrate key transferable skills

  • Bring together basic audio synthesis theory in a musical computing project, with appropriate electronic and computer interfacing to create an interactive audio product

  • Demonstrate the technical and practical impact of engineering design on new products on society

  • Evaluate the need for project management, ethical work practices and protection of intellectual property for business continuity

Graduate skills learning outcomes

After completing this module, students will be able to

  • Apply theories, laboratory, and programming skills to design, build and test a solution to an engineering design problem.

  • Create an outline project requirements specification, a work breakdown structure, and a basic risk register

  • Construct basic technical reports and identify reliable sources of information

  • Manage time and workload by functioning as a team to deliver on time

  • Reflect on the importance of team working and project management skills

Module content

Working in groups of about 4-5, the students will work to deliver on a given project brief. After submitting an initial report, students will continue to work on prototyping their electronic music product with a progress report submitted half way through the project. At the end of the project, the students will deliver a final report and present their findings through a formal presentation. It is important for students to work collaboratively by maintaining good communication and adopting good project management skills.

Music Technology students will be given a series of lectures to introduce the audiovisual programming language to be used for the project. Self-study lab exercises are given to allow students to gain familiarity with basic synthesis techniques. The project uses the same microprocessor and electronic technology as the Electronic Engineering students, but focussed on creating an interactive audio interface (musical instrument or musical game).


Task Length % of module mark
Final report (Individual)
N/A 60
Demonstration Video (Group)
N/A 20
Initial Report (Group)
N/A 10
Oral presentation/seminar/exam
Interim Presentation (Group)
N/A 10

Special assessment rules


Additional assessment information

Student teams will be asked to come up with a design for an interactive audio product. This would typically be a synthesiser with a multi-input user interface, or a musical game. The audio is produced via an audiovisual programming language, for which special lectures are provided for the Music Technology students only. Teams design a user-interface, which is typically made up of electronic components such as switches, knobs, sliders, accelerometers etc. These are electrically connected to the microprocessor, which reads the inputs and processes them (via code written by the students). The output from this is a set of messages in the international standard MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) format, which is used as an input to the synthesiser that the team has created in software. Thus students are able to design and construct a fully working interface for an interactive audio game or synthesiser instrument.


Task Length % of module mark
Project Specification & Individual report reassessment
N/A 100

Module feedback

'Feedback’ at a university level can be understood as any part of the learning process which is designed to guide your progress through your degree programme. We aim to help you reflect on your own learning and help you feel more clear about your progress through clarifying what is expected of you in both formative and summative assessments. A comprehensive guide to feedback and to forms of feedback is available in the Guide to Assessment Standards, Marking and Feedback.

The School of PET aims to provide some form of feedback on all formative and summative assessments that are carried out during the degree programme. In general, feedback on any written work/assignments undertaken will be sufficient so as to indicate the nature of the changes needed in order to improve the work. The School will endeavour to return all exam feedback within the timescale set out in the University's Policy on Assessment Feedback Turnaround Time. The School would normally expect to adhere to the times given, however, it is possible that exceptional circumstances may delay feedback. The School will endeavour to keep such delays to a minimum. Please note that any marks released are subject to ratification by the Board of Examiners and Senate. Meetings at the start/end of each term provide you with an opportunity to discuss and reflect with your supervisor on your overall performance to date.

Statement of Feedback

Formative Feedback

  • Regular labs allow you to engage with the electronic interfacing and programming material and receive verbal help and feedback on your coding and design.

  • Weekly quizzes on the module Wiki page help you to gain feedback on your understanding of the key module material covered in the lectures.

  • Emails to the Module Staff with Questions / Comments will be answered as soon as possible.

  • Questions can also be submitted at any time via the Question Box on the module Wiki page.

  • Weekly Meetings with the group’s Supervisor allows regular progress to be tracked, problems ironed out, questions to be asked, and plans to be made and checked.

  • Three Group Meetings are planned (spread out over the semester) to allow discussion with the Module Coordinator, and will focus on:

    1. your ideas and design,

    2. your implementation and organisation, and

    3. your testing and documentation.

Summative Feedback

You will receive a customised feedback sheet, showing the mark breakdown in each of the key areas being assessed:

  • For the Initial Report (Group): Product idea & Design; Specification; Group Organisation; Report quality.

  • For the Interim Presentation (Group): Quality of presentation; Demonstration of group work and cooperation; Artists’ impressions of final product; Answers to Questions.

  • For the Final Report (Individual): Detailed description of Product idea, Design and Specification; Descriptions of Individual Contributions; Critical Analysis of Group Organisation; Overall Report quality.

  • For the Demonstration Video (Group): Effective demonstration of working (or partially working) product; Video scripting, production & editing quality;

For each assignment, personalised feedback is given along with suggestions for improvement. The comments explain how well you have met the learning objectives, and also give you feedback about the things you could improve in future assignments.

Indicative reading

Some guidance notes, datasheets and wiki links will be provided to support the undertaking of the project.

Online tutorials and guides will be introduced for the audiovisual programming language along with custom-produced guided laboratory sheets.

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.