Accessibility statement

Introduction to Sound Recording - MUS00105C

« Back to module search

  • Department: Music
  • Module co-ordinator: Mr. Liam Maloney
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: C
  • Academic year of delivery: 2021-22

Module summary

This module prepares learners with the theoretical understanding and practical skills needed to make recordings of acoustic sources. Topics in acoustics, psychoacoustics and electroacoustics are covered in lectures and readings tasks. Regular practical sessions introduce the Department's studios and procedures for working effectively within them for recording and editing tasks.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Autumn Term 2021-22

Module aims

  • To introduce the key aspects of acoustics, psychoacoustics and electroacoustics that are required for a comprehensive and transferable understanding of microphone techniques.
  • To present approaches to microphone selection and placement for individual and stereo (coincident, near-coincident, spaced, baffled, binaural) capture
  • To provide practical experience in the conception, planning, execution and post-production of recordings of acoustic instruments in real spaces.

Module learning outcomes

  • Understand the acoustic, psychoacoustic and electroacoustic bases for contemporary microphone techniques.
  • Be able to make a recording of an acoustic ensemble in an acoustically ‘live’ space.
  • Be able to make judgements about the quality of such a recording and to make relevant adjustments to effect improvements.
  • Be able to create, and work from, an edit map marked onto a musical score and be able to employ techniques and technologies to render inaudible edit points.
  • Be able to describe, justify recording processes and reflect on outcomes in written work.


Task Length % of module mark
Basic recording and signal flow proficiency
N/A 40
Oral presentation/seminar/exam
Recording and mix
N/A 60

Special assessment rules


Additional assessment information

The first summative assessment is a short practical proficiency test that explores your understanding of equipment, connections, and standard recording set-ups. You will be asked to set up a limited collection of equipment and cables to perform a specific task in a specific manner.

The second summative assessment is a group recording of a departmental ensemble. You will be assigned a small group, an ensemble and a time slot in which to record. You will then be asked to individually mix the recording. You will submit an individual essay (no longer than 2000 words) detailing your process and justifying your rationale, and a critique of your outputs. You should submit:

  • 44.1kHz 16bit .wav file renders of your final mix OR a DDP image of your final mix
  • A Reaper or Wavelab session of your mix/edit/montage with all source files and additional files included
  • A Reaper session of your recording with all source files and additional files included
  • A written report no longer than 2000 words long
  • A digital copy of the score the ensemble used with your markups

Please refer to the assessment brief on the VLE for further information about submissions.


Task Length % of module mark
Basic recording and signal flow proficiency
N/A 40
Oral presentation/seminar/exam
Recording and mix
N/A 60

Module feedback

Written feedback within 20 working days of assessment date.

Indicative reading

Howard, David, and Angus, Jamie. 2009. Acoustics and Psychoacoustics. Oxford: Routledge.

Rumsey, Francis, and McCormick, Tim. 2009. Sound and Recording. 6th ed. Amsterdam ; London: Elsevier/Focal.

Rumsey, Francis, and McCormick, Tim. 2015. Sound and Recording: Applications and Theory. Oxford: Taylor & Francis Group.

Plack, Christopher J. 2013. The Sense of Hearing. Psychology Press.

Borwick, John. 1990. Microphones: Technology and Technique. London ; Boston: Focal Press.

Everest, F. Alton. 2007. Critical Listening Skills for Audio Professionals. Boston, MA: Course Technology/ Cengage Learning.

Moore, Brian C. J. 2012. An Introduction to the Psychology of Hearing. 6th ed. Bingley: Emerald.

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.