MUSA152-24S2 (C) Semester Two 2024

Acoustics and Recording Techniques

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 15 July 2024
End Date: Sunday, 10 November 2024
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Sunday, 28 July 2024
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Sunday, 29 September 2024


This course helps the student to develop skills in DAW operation, microphone techniques, and fundamentals of acoustics and digital audio required for complex multitrack recording projects. Students are taught how to apply these skills in a range of production situations, including orchestral, instrumental, and vocal ensemble recording. The concept of critical listening is also introduced, along with practical guidelines for noise and hearing management.

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.


MUSI180, DISC233

Timetable 2024

Students must attend one activity from each section.

Lecture A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Monday 11:00 - 12:00 A9 Lecture Theatre
15 Jul - 25 Aug
9 Sep - 20 Oct
Lecture B
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Thursday 11:00 - 12:00 E6 Lecture Theatre
15 Jul - 25 Aug
9 Sep - 20 Oct
Computer Lab A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Tuesday 09:00 - 10:00 Fine Arts 225 Computer Lab
15 Jul - 25 Aug
9 Sep - 20 Oct
02 Tuesday 10:00 - 11:00 Fine Arts 225 Computer Lab
15 Jul - 25 Aug
9 Sep - 20 Oct
03 Monday 12:00 - 13:00 Fine Arts 225 Computer Lab
15 Jul - 25 Aug
9 Sep - 20 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

Claire Benedict


Assessment Due Date Percentage  Description
Referencing Assignment 10%
Audio Manipulation Assignment 10%
Presentation 5% 3-5 minute presentation - Assessed in class
Video No Music 25%
Recording, Mixing, Editing Assignment 20%
Sound Design/Soundscape Assignment 30% With short written component

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 $942.00

International fee $4,663.00

* 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

  • MUSA152-24S2 (C) Semester Two 2024