Current 2016/17 Module Catalogue

Module Details

Module Code:
Module Provider:
Music and Media
Number of Credits:
Module Title:
Module Co-ordinator:
HAIGH C Mrs (Music & Med)
ECTS Credits

Module Availability

Semester 2

Assessment Pattern

Assessment TypeUnit of AssessmentWeighting %
CourseworkCoursework 1 - Two Assignments35
CourseworkCoursework 2 - Listening Assignment15
ExaminationExamination (2 Hours)50

Alternative Assessment


Qualifying  condition(s):

This module is core and will require you to pass every unit of assessment with a mark of at least 40%.

Module Overview

This module is intended to advance your understanding of the theory of professional audio systems engineering, professional recording operations and equipment, the practical operation of a range of recording equipment, and critical listening skills.


• Year 1 Audio Engineering and Recording Techniques A

Module Aims

• To advance your understanding of the theory of professional audio systems engineering.
• To advance your understanding of professional recording operations and equipment.
• To prepare you for the HE5 Recording Techniques modules.
• To advance your understanding of the operation of a range of professional recording equipment.
• To further develop your skills in critical listening.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module, you should be able to:

1.   Describe the principles of PCM digital audio, including sample and hold, PCM spectrum, aliasing, dither, and the Nyquist Criterion (C, K)

2.   Describe a range of A to D and D to A converters suitable for audio use (C, K)

3.   Explain the principles of parity, weighted parity, Hamming codes, and CRCs as used in digital audio systems (C, K)

4.   Describe the CD system, including frame format, channel coding, EFM, and subcode formats (C, K)

5.   Describe the technical features of a wide range of digital audio interfaces, including AES-3, MADI SDIF-2, ADI and TDIF (C, K, P)

6.   Describe the principles of operation and operational characteristics of omnidirectional, bi- directional, cardioid, variable directivity pattern, and "gun" microphones (C, K)

7.   Describe the principles of operation of moving-coil, electrostatic, and ribbon microphones(C, K)

8.   Recognise a wide range of professional microphones (C, K, P)

9.   Relate hearing mechanisms to stereo recording techniques (C, K)

10. Explain the requirements of a professional stereo system (C, K, P)

11. Discuss the requirements of mono compatibility, and quality monitoring (C, K, P)

12. Discuss the relative merits and disadvantages of co-incident pair, Decca tree, spot, and multi microphone techniques for commercial and broadcast recording of "classical" music and speech using both X/Y and M/S techniques (C, K, P)

13. Identify and describe the subjective effects of selected basic features of recorded balance (C, K, T, P)

14. Identify and describe selected spatial features of reproduced sound (C, K, T, P)

15. Identify and describe the subjective effects of selected digital audio sampling and quantisation artefacts (C, K, T, P)

In addition, you will have demonstrated the following professional and transferable skills:

•     Critical listening skills (T, P)

•     Group work (T, P)

•     Problem solving (T)

Key: C-Cognitive/Analytical; K-Subject Knowledge; T-Transferable Skills; P- Professional/ Practical skills

Module Content

Indicative content includes:

•     Digital audio principles

•     Digital audio interfaces

•     CD

•     Microphone operation

•     Stereophonic microphone techniques

Methods of Teaching/Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to: further develop your skills and knowledge in fundamental  audio  engineering,  allowing  modules  in  later  years  to  build  on  this  knowledge. Practical  and  critical  listening  skills  are  taught  in  small  seminar  groups  allowing  multiple feedback  and  interaction  points.  Techniques  and  style  in  academic  writing  and  citation  are further developed.

The learning and teaching methods include:

•     Two two-hour lectures per week

•     Five two-hour seminars on critical listening

•     Five two-hour practical workshops on equipment knowledge and operation

•     Guided reading

•     Coursework assignments and feedback


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide you with the opportunity to demonstrate  and


develop  knowledge  and  understanding  of  audio  engineering  principles  (Coursework  1  and exam).  Your  ability  to  apply  this  knowledge  and  understanding  depends  upon  your  Critical Listening skills, which are assessed in Coursework 2.


Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

•     Coursework 1 – one written assignment and one recorded assignment (addresses learning outcomes 1-2 & 6-12).

•     Coursework 2 – listening assignment: a class test to assess the identification of faults in audio (addresses learning outcomes 13-15).

•     2hr exam – written paper given under exam conditions (addresses learning outcomes 1-12).

Formative assessment

There are no formal formative assessment components for this module, but formative feedback will be given to you in tutorials and throughout seminar and practical workshops, and in the form of regular revision questions in lectures.


Written feedback will be given on both assignments in Coursework 1. You will receive verbal feedback on your practical work throughout the module, particularly in seminars and practical workshops.

Reading List


Last Updated

04 October 2016 by GODFREY L Miss (Qual. Enh. & S)