MUT-20007 - Record Production in Theory and Practice
Coordinator: Manuella Blackburn Tel: +44 1782 7 33298
Lecture Time: See Timetable...
Level: Level 5
Credits: 15
Study Hours: 150
School Office: 01782 733147

Programme/Approved Electives for 2020/21


Available as a Free Standing Elective





Open to students who can demonstrate previous experience with theory and/or practice of music production. You are expected to possess, at least a basic beginner-level working knowledge of LogicPro (we currently use version X) as multi-track recording and mixing environment.

Barred Combinations


Description for 2020/21

¿The essence of music is the sound of it. Crafting the sound of music is like painting with invisible colours¿ [DG].
What is the substance of excellent record production? On this module students will address this question engaging in theoretical reflection and practical studio work relevant to the production of recorded music. The lectures will cover a range of contemporary topics examining studio techniques and production aesthetics, including the pre-production/production/post-production chain that typically underlays the planning and realisation of a music track.
Students will be required to complete two coursework projects directly tied to the practical and theoretical aspects of the module:
1) Theory/Essay: here students will adapt approaches in literature discussed on the module, in order to analyse the aesthetic impact of production decisions and techniques on a track of your own choosing.
2) Production portfolio: here students will produce one or more music tracks. This will involve planning, organising and realising the sound recording, editing, mixing and mastering (if needed). You will take decisions on what musical parts need to be recorded and how. You will organise and direct the studio recording sessions. You will need to network with session musicians inside and outside the University; as producers, it will be your responsibility to find the artists you need for your projects and you will work with them in the Music & Music Technology recording studios. You will carry out the necessary editing, mixing and mastering of one or more tracks in order to reach quality standard suitable for record release and broadcasting.
You will carry out part of the project work in small groups (typically pre-production and production), whilst you will conduct post-production and reporting on your own, individually. As music producers you will face fascinating challenges: understanding the music, understanding the studio setup, managing the project, social interactions with your team and artists, turn your `vision' of the final music mix into reality using the available human and technological resources. You must be able and willing to quickly and efficiently network with friends and peers to achieve these ends, especially network with session musicians inside and outside the University.
You will find this module particularly useful to progress from your previous experience in sound recording and/or live PA equipment and/or mixing desks. If you do not have such experience you should contact the module leader to discuss admission to the module. You are also expected to possess a working knowledge of LogicPro (we currently use version X) with regards to multi-track recording and mixing. If you do not, you can familiarise yourself with LogicPro through self-study using video tutorials, guided tasks and interaction with your tutors. Please, note that the number of students admitted to this module may be capped by studio resources availability. Please note that you may be required to finish certain parts of the studio work early in the semester to avoid congestion of the facilities nearer the deadlines.

To provide students with an opportunity to develop their skills, contextual knowledge and awareness in the areas of music production and post-production.

Intended Learning Outcomes

analyse, appraise and critique the main sonic and musical features of recorded tracks from the repertoire; will be achieved by assessments: 01
comprehend and interpret specific concepts and topics relevant to the music production chain; will be achieved by assessments: 01, 02
demonstrate awareness and understanding of some important contemporary issues related to music production as covered in the subject literature. will be achieved by assessments: 01, 02; will be achieved by assessments: 01, 02
demonstrate knowledge and recollection of practical methods to carry out specific music production and post-production tasks using state-of-the-art tools and techniques; will be achieved by assessments: 02
demonstrate ability to plan and realise, in its various stages, a moderately complex music project;
will be achieved by assessments: 02
demonstrate awareness of the issues of time management and resource constraints involved in project work in the music industry; will be achieved by assessments: 02
illustrate concepts, rationale and working practices, relating them to the facts and theories covered during the semester.
will be achieved by assessments: 02

Study hours

16 hours of lectures
8 hours of small group workshops, demonstrations and individual supervision, with or without computer mediated methods of interaction with the assigned tutors.
22 hours of reflection, revision and consolidation of lecture, workshop and individual supervision content, research through bibliographical and computer mediated sources through individual or group study work
10 hours of listening (recommended works from the repertoire), reflection and revision of aesthetic and technical aspects based on lecture content, bibliographical and computer mediated sources
10 hours of practical work in the music studios on specific tasks, relevant to the theoretical and practical topics and techniques covered during the semester.
10 hours of reading and reflection on literature covering the theory and aesthetics of record production and post-production.
30 hours to research and write the essay for assessment.
40 hours to realise the final project for assessment.
4 hours to prepare and package the material for submission.

School Rules


Description of Module Assessment

1: Essay weighted 40%
Analytical review of music production topics.
Analytical review of music production topics. Analytical review of a topic relevant to the theory and aesthetics of music production techniques or a review of a track from the repertoire involving such analysis. Essay questions will be devised by students in consultation with their tutors during individual supervision meetings.

2: Project weighted 60%
Final music production project.
Project demonstrating familiarity with the theoretical and practical topics covered during the semester as well as ability to apply them to specific creative contexts involving the planning and realisation of a music track. The studio sound recording will be carried out in small groups. The mixing will be carried out individually. The report will be individual and will involve explanations on the planning and realization of the recoding project. In the report you will also demonstrate recollection and understanding of facts and concepts covered during the lectures and tutorials, answering a few questions in the fashion of a mini-take-away-test (usually 24-36 hours time).