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About the course

This heavily practical course is suitable for students who are serious about following a career in the music industry. You will be taught by industry professionals who will provide you with the skills, knowledge and experience to 'get out there' and start pushing your career forward, using a mixture of software and hardware.

You will study a range of topics, with year one providing you with the core skills to challenge your abilities in music production and composition, which we then build upon in year two, preparing you for employment or further study.

We will provide you with 360 knowledge of the music industry and teach you the necessary tools to develop you in to a well-rounded and versatile producer with an understanding of employment avenues within the industry.  

Entry requirements

Five GCSEs Grade 4 or above, including maths or English at Grade 3 or 4

We will invite you in for an interview, which will also require you bringing in a track you have produced (on any piece of software) to a good standard (details will be sent out once you apply). If you are successful during the interview stage and are offered a place on the course, we will  invite you in for a practical production workshop later in the year.

We expect a minimum of 95% attendance and full engagement in every lesson and will regularly be reviewing your progress to ensure this is the right course for you.

Any student aged 16 to 19 who does not hold a GCSE 9 to 4 in maths and English will need to continue to study these subjects alongside the main course.

Qualifications

You will complete this course with a UAL Level 3 Extended Diploma in Music Performance and Production (equivalent to 3 A Levels at A* for a distinction overall) Year one is graded as a Level 3 Diploma and year two as an Extended Diploma. Your final grade for year one will be pass, merit or distinction. For year two this will be pass, high pass, merit, high merit or distinction.

What you'll learn (core modules)

You will attend College for a minimum of three days a week but will be expected to work for an additional fifteen hours per week at home completing assignments, revising, researching, practising and preparing for lessons.

The following provides a guide outline for the course content:

Year One

Autumn

Spring

Summer

Sept – Dec

Jan – Mar

Apr - May

 

 

 

Drum Programming

Production

Extended Project

- Drum programming techniques in Logic

- Creating/editing/using drum sounds

- Using percussive loops

- Listening skills/analysing beats

- Different electronic genre programming tips

- Bass and basslines

- Intro to synths and synthesis

- The science of synthesis

- Creating drum sounds/bass/lead sounds

- Soft synths

- Using hardware synths

 

 

 

 

Science of Sound

Science of Sound

Extended Project

- The science of sound

- Introduction to the recording method

- Introduction to Pro Tools

- Setting up a new project, file management

- Microphone technology

- Speaker technology

- Mixing desks

- Digital Audio Theory

- FX: EQ, compression, and reverb

- How to mic up guitars and drums and vocals

- Editing audio

- Basic mixing

- Acoustics

- FX: delay, and modulation (chorus, phaser, flanger, tremolo)

- Track automation

- Basic mastering

- Vocal editing

- Comping

- Time compression and expansion

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Music and Society

Music and Society

Extended Project

- Origin of music

- Origin and development of music notation

- Contribution of slave music to western music

- Origin and development of radio technology

- Origin and development of recording technology

- Origin of electronic music and synthesisers

- Origin of the Blues

- Origin of Jazz

- Origin and development of the electric guitar and bass

- Origin and development of the drum set

- Big Band and Swing music

- Further development of recording technology

- Origin and development of country and western music

- Origin of early Rock and Roll - Rockabilly

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Music Business for the Modern World

Music Business for the Modern World

Extended Project

- Do you dare to dream

- Structure of the music industry

- The changes and challenges of the modern industry

- Record labels

- Royalties

- Music synchronisation

- Music Publishing

- Writing a bio

- Writing a press release

- Using social media

- Marketing yourself and your product

- Developing a website

- Professionalism and work ethic

 

 

 

 

Listening Skills

Listening Skills

Extended Project

- Listening vs hearing

- How the ear works

- Identifying and analysing musical components in live and recorded music (structure, rhythm, harmony, tempo, texture, melody, tonality)

- Identifying and fixing faults.

- Identifying and analysing audio components in live and recorded music (EQ, compression, mix, blend, clarity, mastering, balance, effects, edits, audio spectrum, stereo field, )

- Individual mix analysis

- Identifying and fixing faults.

 

 

 

Music Theory

Music Theory

Extended Project

- Pitch, rhythm and clefs.

- Time signatures

- Intervals

- Constructing chords

- Extended chords

- Cadences

- Inversions

- Key signatures

 

 

History of Electronic Music

History of Electronic Music

Extended Project

- Decade by decade history of electronic music

- Personalities, inventions, music styles and experimentation from 1900's to 2000

- Continuation

 

 

 

 

 

Composition

Composing for film

Extended Project

- Structure

- Hooks

- Lyrics

- Melody Writing

- Dynamics

- Chord progressions

- Logic Pro

- Stylistic Elements/Genres

 

- Terminology

- Instrumentation

- Compositional techniques

- Instrument Ranges

- Sync

 

Year Two

 

Autumn

Spring

Summer

Sept – Dec

Jan – Feb

Mar - May

 

 

 

Home studio setup

 

Events Management

Major Extended Project

- Acoustic control

- Room design / modes / frequency response

- Microphone placement and selection

- Monitor type and placement

- Equipment connections

- Build it and they will come philosophy

- Aims and objectives

- Legal and licensing

- Logistical planning

- Financial consideration

- Risk assessments / H&S / Legislation

- Timescales

- Contracts

- Marketing and promotion

 

 

Advanced Production Techniques

 

Advanced Production Techniques

Major Extended Project

- Sampling

- Creative use of FX and processing

- EMP song structure

- Remixing

- Mixing Techniques

- Remixing hardware

- Advanced synthesis techniques

- sound editing and design

- Hardware synths and drum machines

- Combining hardware and software

 

 

 

 

Visual Design

 

Video Editing

Major Extended Project

- Photoshop

- Poster Design

- After Effects

- Keyframing

- Green screening

- Creating visuals for a live performance

- Premier Pro

- Transitions

- Colour grading

- Promo videos

 

 

 

 

Careers Development

 

Research Skills

Major Extended Project

- Freelancing skills

- Cost of living

- UCAS – how, what, why.

- CVs and personal statements

- Accounting and budgeting

- Tax, National Insurance, Pension, Insurance

- Legal and licensing

- Body language and networking

- The marketing mix

- Harvard referencing

- Primary and Secondary

- Undertaking research

- Academic conventions

- Creditability of resources

- Organisational skills

 

 

 

 

 

Foley

 

Sound Design 101

Major Extended Project

- Introduction of foley and sound effects

- Recording and performing live foley

- Sound editing/processing

- Creating genre sound effects (horror/sci-fi/fantasy/combat/comedy)

- Putting foley/SFX to picture

- Introduction to found sound

- Creating/recording sounds from everyday objects

- Unusual microphone techniques

- Introduction and use of contact mics

- Circuitbending and strange electronics

 


Benefits, skills and character strengths

We have a record label called 'Digital Saint Records' and commercially release compilations throughout the year on platforms such as Spotify, iTunes, Deezer and Amazon Music to name but a few. All students are given the opportunity to submit a track for consideration, and our in house A&R team review and select tracks. If you don't make the album, you will be given support to help you prepare for forthcoming releases. 

There are numerous opportunities to compose music for projects, perform in the local community and to attend a variety of music events throughout the year.

How will I be assessed?

Throughout the course you will generate a portfolio of evidence to show how you are developing as a professional producer. We use Google Classroom which allows us to provide you with ongoing formative feedback and discussion.  You will be producing practical work including compositions, remixes and sample packs in addition to presentations, mood boards, evaluations and research documentation.

We make our assignments industry focussed and relevant - we don't ask you to do anything which doesn't develop the necessary skills to be successful within the industry.

Your grade for year one and year two is based upon a large project of your choosing. You work on this at the end of each year, and so long as it fits within the boundaries of the qualification, this could anything from writing an EP or an album, remixing existing artists, composing for film, to going on tour, to marketing and promoting yourself as an artist - the list is as big as your imagination will allow.

Where will the course take me?

Following successful completion of the course, we have a range of course options available such as the Level 4 in Music Performance / Creative Arts Business and Enterprise as well as our BA(Hons) Degree in Creative and Commercial Music. We ensure that everyone has a clear plan for progression on to further study or employment.

Our ex-students tour the world as musicians, sound engineers and event managers. We have other students who work as professional composers for games, film and TV as well as artists in their own right. A career in the industry is not unattainable, there are numerous opportunities out there - the music industry is showing continued growth and is currently valued at £4.5bn.

 

Will I need any materials or equipment?

You will be required to purchase high quality closed headphones (with a large jack end),  a USB 3.0 memory stick/hard drive and stationery before the course starts.

Access to a personal Macbook/Laptop and software is ideal, but not a necessity.

I'm interested. What should I do now?

If you would like to find out more, please come along to one of our open events published on the college website or call the main college line.

Alternatively, keep an eye on our website or social pages for upcoming shows and events- we would love to see you there:

www.facebook.com/DigitalSaintMusic

www.digitalsaint.co.uk

Days & times

Starting September 2020


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