MUSA152-23S2 (C) Semester Two 2023

Acoustics and Recording Techniques

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 17 July 2023
End Date: Sunday, 12 November 2023
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Sunday, 30 July 2023
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Sunday, 1 October 2023


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.

This course aims to offer students knowledge of the principles and vocabulary of recording, editing and the influence of acoustic spaces, involving choice and placement of microphones, an appreciation of how acoustic signals are converted into digital, familiarisation with the common vocabulary of Digital Audio Workstations (DAWs). Students will gain critical listening techniques that inform audio recording and editing choices.

Topics covered in this course are:

Term 3
• Critical listening techniques and hearing management
• An understanding of related audio equipment and processes
• Practical sound and sound wave theory
• ProTools software: recording, editing, mixing and exporting
• Studio design and basic acoustics
• EQ – An understanding of audio frequencies and practical applications in manipulating them
• Audio reflections and reverberation
• Sound design

Term 4
• Practical recording and mixing a strings  
• Practical soundscape creation

Learning Outcomes

  • Analyse audio recordings utilising knowledge of hearing management and critical listening.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of principles and vocabulary of acoustics and audio recording
  • Produce and organise audio recordings using knowledge of common techniques of Digital
    Audio Workstations (DAWs).
  • Apply knowledge of recording techniques including microphones and their placement
  • Generate audio recordings for specific applications using understanding of spatial and
    binaural audio recording techniques.
    • 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 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

Claire Benedict


Assessment Due Date Percentage 
Referencing Assignment 10%
3-5 Minute Presentation 10%
Video No Music 25%
Quartet Recording, Mixing, Editing Assignment 20%
Sound Design/Soundscape Assignment with a Short Written Component 35%

Please check the course LEARN page for further details and updates.

Textbooks / Resources

Required Texts

Everest, F. Alton1909-2005 , Pohlmann, Ken C; Master handbook of acoustics ; Sixth edition; McGraw-Hill Education, 2014.

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

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $916.00

International fee $4,488.00

* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.

For further information see Humanities .

All MUSA152 Occurrences

  • MUSA152-23S2 (C) Semester Two 2023