The idea of music technology is connected to musical and technological creativity. Thus, it is used to create new sound possibilities. This course is designed to train you in the art of music production by delivering exciting coursework projects and engaging you in the analytical study of associated concepts, theories and functions. Our studios are equipped with industry standard interfaces, microphones and software packages to enable you to hone your skills as a producer and as a recording engineer.
What will I study?
You will study practical methods of instrumental recording using microphone and DI techniques in addition to advanced methods of effects processing in Logic Pro X software. You will also study the underlying principles of musical composition as a basis for your own project, which you will complete in your second year of study.
It is important to study in detail the concepts, theories and functions associated with Music Technology that under-pin the practical elements of the course. These include processes such as compression and equalisation, synthesis including LFOs and envelopes, effects such as sampling, methods such as the wall of sound and concepts such as the loudness wars, and various pieces of hardware equipment such as mixing desks, microphones and DAWs.
Your study will prepare you for the completion of two pieces of externally assessed coursework and the completion of two externally assessed written examinations.
Music Technology students have many exciting opportunities to assist our professional technical crew at live events at the college. These might include rigging a stage for live performance, monitoring sound/microphone levels, operating a lighting board, overseeing technical rehearsals and setting up portable PA systems.
Performance is not assessed as part of the Music Technology A-level course, and therefore performers are encouraged to participate in the stunning thirty-piece SJD Jazz Band, in addition to smaller ensembles that will have the opportunity to showcase their talents in the annual Battle of the Bands competition.
Where might it lead?
The A-level in Music Technology equips students with countless transferrable skills, including problem solving and timed pressure, practical ICT application, creativity and technical understanding of brand new concepts e.g. microphone placement and DAW functioning. These skills are essential for students wishing to access popular higher education courses.
A-level Music Technology now falls under the STEM (Science Technology Engineering Mathematics) category of study. Students will undertake study of sound waves and voltage controlled synthesisers, and they will learn how to calculate reverb time and EQ curves, apply directional microphone techniques, acoustically treat recording spaces, combat phase issues on multi-miked instruments and analyse frequency spectrums and gain structures. This content allows students to demonstrate exceptionally high order thinking skills, which are incredibly valuable for their development.
Students wishing to study Music Technology in higher education have a wealth of opportunities available to them. They may wish to specialise in areas such as Music Production, Music Marketing, Sound Engineering, Recording and Mixing, Live Sound Application, Film/Television/Radio Production or Creative Sound Design. These courses can be studied at Universities such as The University of Huddersfield, The University of Surrey and the University of Salford to name a few, or they can be studied at specialist institutions such as LCM in Leeds, Futureworks in Manchester and Point Blank in London. Several courses now offer a year in industry, which is extremely valuable when establishing a career after university.