MUSA152-18S2 (C) Semester Two 2018

Acoustics and Recording Techniques

15 points
16 Jul 2018 - 18 Nov 2018

This occurrence is not offered


This course provides an introduction to the principles and vocabulary of acoustics, an appreciation of how acoustic signals are converted to digital, familiarisation with the common vocabulary of Digital Audio Workstations (DAWs) and recording terminology, and understanding of the principles of microphone placement, and of how to work with a recording engineer.

Topics covered in this course are:
Term 3
   Practical sound and wave theory
   Studio design
   EQ - An understanding of audio frequencies and practical applications in manipulating them
   Sound design for productions and sound effect creation
   Sound in various acoustic spaces
   Reverb and audio reflections
   ProTools software:  recording, editing, mixing and exporting
   Referencing audio
Term 4
   Recording and mixing strings
   Acoustic space design
   Setting up and operating a small to medium PA and mixer
   Setting up speakers in a theatre, hall or studio, zone control, delays, steering
   Practical soundscape creation

Learning Outcomes

Students who pass this course will have developed;
*  knowledge of principles and vocabulary of acoustics;
*  knowledge of how acoustic signals are converted to digital;
*  familiarisation with the common vocabulary of Digital Work Stations (DAWs);
*  knowledge of recording terminology;
*  knowledge of recording techniques including microphones and their placement;
*  basic knowledge of recording engineering.

University Graduate Attributes

This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attributes specified below:

Critically competent in a core academic discipline of their award

Students know and can critically evaluate and, where applicable, apply this knowledge to topics/issues within their majoring subject.


MUSI 180

Timetable 2018

Students must attend one activity from each section.

Lecture A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Thursday 09:00 - 11:00 Fine Arts 122 16 Jul - 26 Aug
10 Sep - 21 Oct
Lab A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Thursday 12:00 - 13:00 Fine Arts 225 16 Jul - 26 Aug
10 Sep - 21 Oct

Timetable Note


Student workload (150) hours will be allocated to:
*  24 hours attending lectures;
*  12 hours attending laboratories;
*  46 hours preparing for in-class assessments;
*  68 hours creating portfolio of works/remixes.

Course Coordinator / Lecturer

Stephen Compton


Hamish Oliver


Assessment Due Date Percentage  Description
Presentation 5% 3-5 minute presentation, 24 and 31 July 2015
Audio Manipulation Assignment 10%
Video No Music 25%
Referencing Assignment 10%
Recording, Mixing, Editing Assignment 20%
Sound Design/Soundscape Assignment 30% With written component


Recommended Reading

F.Alton Everest & Ken Pohlmann; Master Handbook of Acoustics; 6th; 2014.

Stavrou, Michael Paul; Mixing with your mind : closely guarded secrets of sound balance engineering; 1st ed; Flux Research, 2003.


Use of Technology
This course assumes that you have sufficient information and technology skills to confidently use a computer to access material for your course.  Your written work should be submitted typed, using standard word-processor software.  The School of Music has iMacs you are able to use which have all standard software required for the course.
You will be required to access our learning management system–Learn–and to become familiar with its tools.  Learn provides easily-accessible information about the course and assessments, topics and deadlines, and supports the learning you will gain from attending all lectures and tutorials.  For help using Learn, refer to:

Additional Course Outline Information

Assessment and grading system

The following shows how to translate grades to numerical scores:

A+  90–100;    A   85–89;    A-  80–84;    B+   75–79;    B 70–74;    B-   65–69;     C+  60–64;     C  55–59;     C- 50–54;     D  40–49;   E  0–39
In a course at 100- or 200-level examiners may grant restricted credit (R) which will be equivalent to a pass for all purposes except as a prerequisite.

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $834.00

International fee $3,600.00

* Fees include New Zealand GST and do not include any programme level discount or additional course related expenses.

For further information see Humanities and Creative Arts.

All MUSA152 Occurrences

  • MUSA152-18S2 (C) Semester Two 2018 - Not Offered