COURSE OVERVIEW

If you’re keen to launch a professional recording studio career as an audio engineer or music producer, this course teaches you everything you need to know to an advanced level. You’ll become competent at using the latest specialist studio equipment and technology, and will be confident working with musicians and artists to produce the highest quality recordings across a range of recording studio environments.

Despite being highly practical, this course isn’t afraid to explore the more theoretical concepts of audio engineering and music production, such as musical language, acoustics and psychoacoustics. These notions are used as a base to explain the more functional areas of the industry, including studio design, audio signal analysis and processing, microphone technology and application, live sound reinforcement and capture, and modular synthesis.

Spending plenty of time in ICMP’s cutting-edge recording studios over the three years of your course, you’ll become an advanced post-production professional, studying elements including ambisonics, binaural recording, spacial and multichannel mixing, ADR and dialogue audio editing, and Dolby Atmos.

Lessons take place in ICMP’s state-of-the-art recording studio facilities and Mac labs, and all teaching spaces and rehearsal rooms are equipped with high-quality production equipment. Gear includes top-of-the-range instruments, microphones, controllers, PAs, loop stations, vocal processors, effects pedals and more. Facilities can be booked outside of class hours for personal use, free of charge, seven days a week.

The course is highly collaborative, with regular chances to make music with your audio engineering and music production peers, or even those across other ICMP programmes. You’ll participate in real-world music events across all three years of your course, including masterclasses, gigs, songwriters’ circles, guest lectures, industry conferences, careers days and more.

In your final year, you’ll have the opportunity to choose an area of your course to explore in more detail, creating a professional production project such as an EP, creative collaboration or live performance piece harnessing your audio engineering and music production skills. You’ll graduate with the theoretical knowledge, music business know-how, creative drive and a whole host of advanced technical skills to successfully launch a career in audio engineering or music production.

PROGRESSION

This course will prepare you for a professional recording studio career in roles such as audio engineer, music producer, mastering engineer, mixing engineer, recording engineer and more.

Apply to study at ICMP via UCAS

UK Students - Apply via UCAS

If you’d like to study with us next year, then you’ll need to start thinking about submitting your UCAS application. The deadline for degree applications is 6pm, Wednesday 15th January 2021. UCAS codes for this programme are:  Course Code: TBC | Institution Code: i25
UCAS Application Information

Fees & Funding

Taking a music production degree course at ICMP makes financial sense too, with the fees for ICMP music degrees the same as those at many traditional universities - making studying music at ICMP in London great value as well as great fun. 

2021/22 Course Fees: £9,250 (UK & EU Students) | £13,000 (International Students)

Please visit our Fees page for information on access to Student Loans.

This course is subject to validation. For quality assurance and enhancement purposes, our courses go through a rigorous approval stage, known as validation. Validation is not guaranteed and should the course be significantly amended we will contact you and provide assistance to find a suitable alternative.

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Subject to validation, successful completion of the BA (Hons) Audio Engineering and Production at ICMP will lead to the award of Bachelor of Arts by the University of East London.

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UCAS CODES

Key facts

  • Career-focused course designed to make you industry-ready for a career as an audio engineer or music producer.
  • Taught in a professional music production environment using high-tech industry-standard facilities.
  • Equips you with advanced technical skills so you can work confidently in a professional recording studio environment.
  • Opportunity to assist in recording sessions at ICMP’s in-house studio.
  • Fosters your creative skills through regular collaboration with fellow student artists from ICMP’s rich artist pool.
  • Acquire entrepreneurial, business and networking skills, and learn how to market and promote your music.
  • The London location provides opportunities to showcase your production talents at top London events while immersing yourself in the global music scene.
  • Connections with the wider London music industry enables you to build an impressive musical network.

COURSE DETAILS

YEAR 1 (LEVEL 4)

YEAR 2 (LEVEL 5)

YEAR 3 (LEVEL 6)

During your first year on the course, you’ll develop a solid foundation of audio engineering and music production skills, along with a thorough understanding of music theory to match. Exploring concepts such as signal processing,  and critical listening will blend naturally with the study of practical real-world recording studio techniques like sequencing, audio editing and microphone technology. Your first year of study will set you up to successfully investigate a range of different audio engineering and production career options.

Theory of Sound & Audio Signal Processing

This module will introduce you to the fundamental principles of audio theory and its behaviour. You’ll gain an understanding of audio signals and how humans perceive sound, while learning how to manipulate and process audio  using a variety of audio signal processors and effects. With this key knowledge, you’ll be able to confidently operate key recording equipment in a professional audio environment, operating key studio recording equipment.

  • Frequency
  • Amplitude
  • Evolution of Recording Equipment
  • Sample Rates
  • Bit Depth
  • AD/DA Conversion
  • Decibels
  • Signal Chain
  • Using the Recording Console

MICROPHONE TECHNOLOGY AND RECORDING TECHNIQUES

During this module, you’ll be introduced to the science behind microphone technology, as well as the skills needed to operate professional recording equipment in a studio context. Using industry-standard hardware and software, you’ll have the opportunity to record a variety of different sound sources and gain a thorough understanding of how different microphone types behave. You’ll encounter dymanic mics, condenser mics and ribbon mics, and understand the advantages/disadvatntes of each of type. Topics include audio capture, single and multitrack recording  and critical listening. You’ll finish the module having gained a range of key decision-making skills which can affect the aesthetic of a recording.

  • Microphone Types
  • Polar Patterns
  • Frequency Responses
  • Phasing
  • Basic Drum Recording Techniques
  • Basic Bass and Guitar Recording Techniques
  • Basic Piano Recording Techniques
  • Basic Vocal Recording Techniques
  • Headphone Mixes for Musicians
  • Signal Flow
  • Organising a session
  • Fault Finding
  • Being a recording assistant

MIXING TECHNIQUES

Learning all the skills necessary to be a proficient mix engineer, you’ll explore a range of innovative mixing techniques while developing your sonic signature. You’ll have ready access to high-tech music industry-standard hardware and software, including a suite of plug-ins which allow you to get sonically creative and shape the sound of your mixes in a professional way.

  • Understanding EQ
  • Compression Overview
  • Stereo Placement
  • Low end mixing
  • Mid range placement
  • Mixing highs
  • Spatial FX
  • Side Chaining
  • Using Send/Returns
  • Submixing
  • Summing
  • Integrating Live Instrumentation to digital sounds
  • Automation

MUSICAL LANGUAGE, COMMUNICATION AND PRACTICE

Knowing how to communicate with performing musicians in the studio is something you’re very rarely taught. But this module gives you the skills and tools you need as a well-rounded music producer to guide your communication and professional relationships with all types of artists, musicians and performers. Through an analysis of key genres of contemporary music, you’ll explore topics including melody, harmony and arrangement, while you also develop your research, compositional and critical listening skills, equipping you with the skills to become a well-rounded sounds engineer and musis producer.

  • Basics of music theory
  • Songwriting Tasks
  • Production Tasks
  • Collaboration
  • Toplining
  • Creating instrumentals
  • Producer etiquette
  • Performer direction

Digital Audio Workstations (DAW)

This module will introduce you to the real-world industry-standard recording software used in commercial recording studios. You’ll gain an in-depth understanding of the technologies used for computer-based music production while covering topics such as sequencing, audio effects such as compression and EQ, sampling, audio editing, side-chaining, synthesis and a variety of other digital audio techniques. You’ll also explore the use of digital notation software for your creative projects.

  • Logic Pro Overview
  • Pro Tools Overview
  • Midi and Stock Instruments
  • Audio Editing
  • Recording Processes
  • Track States
  • Automation
  • Automation
  • Mixing Techniques
  • Submixing
  • Signal Chain
  • Using EQ
  • Using Compression
  • Send & Return FX

MUSIC BUSINESS, ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND PROFESSIONAL SKILLS

Across this insightful and contemporary module, which will be highly applicable to your future music career, you’ll gain an extended understanding of the music business and will start to map out your desired route into it. You’ll explore everything from music industry roles and revenue streams, to a range of professional and entrepreneurial opportunities. You will also learn music business concepts such as copyright, royalities and distribution and also develop your research skills while gaining a host of key transferable skills sure to help you forge a successful portfolio career in the music industry.

  • Understanding PRS
  • Understanding PPL
  • Online Profile and Portfolio
  • Monetizing Your Music
  • Syncs
  • Streaming Vs Sales
  • Networking Guides
  • Music Publishing
  • Labels
  • Management
  • Music Lawyers
  • Make Money From Your Music Now
  • Producer Points
  • Writing Credits
  • Rates of Pay
  • Record Deals Vs Publishing deals
  • Music distribution

Across your second year, you’ll further explore many of the skills, techniques, conceptual theories and business ideas you were introduced to in your first year of study. Delving more deeply into the world of sound design, you’ll discover creative synthesis and will have many fun opportunities to collaborate with fellow students using professional vocal editing software such as Melodyne. You’ll also have a hands-on go at live sound engineering for events and gigs.

Sound Design & Creative Audio Synthesis

This module will see you explore contemporary synthesis and the subtle nuances of sound design. You’ll gain a strong understanding of the many different types of synthesis, including subtractive, additive, FM, analogue synthesis and wavetable synthesis. By understanding synthesiser components, such as oscillators, filters, modulators,LFO, glide, velocity control  and envelopes, you’ll learn to design your own synthesiser patches and generate new sounds through manipulation by using sound design techniques to use across a variety of creative music contexts.

  • Oscillators
  • Envelopes 
  • LFOs 
  • Filters
  • Additive synthesis
  • Subtractive synthesis
  • FM synthesis
  • Foley recording
  • Wavetable Synthesis
  • Granular synthesis
  • Single Cycle sampling
  • Time manipulation and editing
  • Audio effect

STUDIO RECORDING TECHNIQUES

During this module, you’ll receive many opportunities to build upon the skills you’ve gained in your Level 4 studies while you further explore a board range of studio recording equipment and sound sources. You’ll learn how to capture stereo and multitrack recordings using music industry-standard audio hardware and software, and will be perfectly capable of operating a host of studio recording equipment both professionally and creatively.

  • Creating Samples from Recording
  • Orchestral Recording Techniques
  • Advanced Drum Recording Techniques
  • Advanced Bass and Guitar Recording Techniques
  • Advanced Piano Recording Techniques
  • Advanced Vocal Recording Techniques
  • Re-amping
  • Recording with Outboard
  • EQ on the way in
  • Console Mix Buss Compression
  • Blumlein Configuration
  • Spaced Pair
  • Mid-Side
  • XY
  • ORTF
  • Legendary Engineer Placement Techniques

AUDIO EDITING AND POST-PRODUCTION

While studying this module, you’ll develop the skills you need to edit audio to a high professional standard. You’ll learn how to clean up and repair damaged audio, become proficient at removing hiss, pops and clips, decrease background noise with room treatment and will gain extensive knowledge which allows you to add polish to your recordings. You’ll also explore how to use professional vocal editing music software, such as Melodyne, to help you produce innovative, professional-sounding recordings.

  • Noise Reduction
  • Cleaning Audio
  • Advanced Editing
  • Vocal Tuning
  • Vocal Comping
  • Restoration Tools
  • Recording Podcasts

Advanced Mixing Techniques

Building on the mixing skills you’ve gained in the Mixing Techniques I module in your first year, you’ll further develop your mixing proficiency and propel your technical know-how to the next level. You’ll study tonal and spatial balance while learning how to shape and texture your tracks to achieve your ambitious creative intentions.  You’ll further enhance your critical listening skills and will learn how to confidently finalise your mixes deliver them for mastering.

  • Mono Mixing
  • Top Down Mix Approach
  • Understanding Spatial FX
  • Mixing On Headphones
  • Mixing On Monitors
  • Advanced Compression Techniques
  • Mix bus Compression
  • Spectral slotting
  • Depth - Delays/Reverbs
  • Parallel Compression
  • Distortion & Saturation
  • Analogue Mix
  • Drum Replacement
  • Tape Emulations
  • 3rd Party Software
  • Mixing a variety of genres

Advanced Digital Audio Workstations (DAW)

This module is an extension of Digital Audio Workstations, explored during the first year of your studies. During DASII, you’ll further enhance your digital music production skills by learning a range of advanced digital audio techniques to maximise your capacity for music production work. You’ll improve your technical proficiency by getting hands on across a range of industry-standard music software, allowing you to assertively control and command any studio session.

LIVE SOUND ENGINEERING

This module will allow you to take your impressive sound engineering skills to the live arena. You’ll become proficient at capturing and mixing live sound using professional-standard music industry sound systems from analogue to digital mixing consoles, allowing you to take control of a variety of live event scenarios. This will open up a whole world of exciting potential career opportunities, including running live sound for gigs, corporate events, music festivals, theatre shows and other performance events.

  • EQ for live sound  
  • PA setup and implementation  
  • Stage monitoring  
  • Mic setup, technique, and placement 
  • Stage setup and protocols  
  • Live mixing for venues  
  • Live mixing for festivals 
  • Effects for live sound
  • Wireless, IEM (in-ear) and RF technology  
  • Live recording  
  • Digital vs analogue mixing in a live setting 
  • Technical specifications and band riders 
  • Remote mixing   
  • Venue acoustics  

In your final year, you’ll take your audio engineering and music production skills to a truly professional level. Studying advanced mixing, mastering and recording techniques, you’ll graduate confident in using the latest industry-standard equipment in a commercial studio environment. You’ll undertake an individual Production Project, choosing an area of interest and using it as a way to showcase your creativity. You’ll also have an opportunity to map out your career, creating a real-world entrepreneurial business plan you can use after graduation.

Recording Studio Design and Acoustics

Across this module, you’ll explore your understanding of the concept of acoustics and will learn how best to build a studio. You’ll have fun with studio hardware, including mixing consoles, studio monitors and outboard gear, and will discover how to acoustically treat studio spaces for optimum listening conditions. Studying acoustics and psychoacoustics, you’ll gain a host of professional practical insight into both, meaning a potential career in acoustic consultancy may be well within your reach.

  • Room Modes
  • Reverberation
  • Absorption
  • Diffusion
  • Sound Proofing
  • Room treatment
  • Building acoustic panels
  • Home studio setup
  • Iconic studio design
  • Equipment you need now
  • Acoustic Measurement software
  • Improving your listening environment
  • Monitor placement

Advanced Studio Recording Techniques

This module see you further develop your audio engineering skills in the context of a large format recording studio. You’ll study advanced microphone techniques and audio signal flow – the stages a sound goes through before you can hear it through speakers. Completing this module will give you the ability to capture professional and accurate recordings in a studio environment and confidently take control of large ensemble recordings.

  • Outboard mixing
  • Summing through the console
  • Recording with EQ and Compression on the way in
  • Big Sessions
  • Running a session
  • Workflow on multitracks
  • Advanced Placement techniques

Audio Mastering

This module will allow you to develop your audio mastering technique and ability to professionally master audio. You’ll use industry-standard hardware and music software to help train your ears to deliver high-quality finished masters across a range of industry specifications and formats. You’ll use reverb and harmonic enhancers in mastering, noise reduction, equalization techniques and multiband compression to finalise your musical projects. Throughout the module you''ll learn techniques that can be applied on any music style: rock, pop, EDM, country, hip-hop and many more.

  • Mastering basics
  • LUFS
  • Mastering for different formats
  • Mastering for YouTube/Spotify
  • Mastering with software
  • Mastering with Hardware
  • Genre Mastering
  • Multiband EQ
  • Limiting
  • oZone
  • Stock and 3rd party mastering
  • Finding mastering services
  • Mixing to master
  • Using references to master

Music Entrepreneurship For Producers

Across this module, you’ll develop the skills you need to turn your passion for music production into a career. You’ll explore a range of entrepreneurial skills and competencies to create a personalised real-world business plan. Your project will investigate a concrete way to make use of the music production skills you’ve gained during the course and can be utilised as part of your future portfolio career in music production.

  • Cold contact
  • Finding jobs
  • Finding collaborators
  • Creating a working profile
  • Working in the industry
  • You as a business
  • Writing Business Plan
  • Getting work experience
  • Promoting yourself as a professional

Creative PRODUCTION PROJECT

This module sees you undertaking a professional production project of your own choice as a way of increasing your knowledge in a specific area of interest. You’ll complete substantial research across your field of expertise and will be expected to use appropriate methodologies to deliver the production of an inspiring creative project – typically an EP, composition, live performance or creative collaboration project – but many more exciting options can be explored.

  • Project planning
  • Management frameworks
  • Case Studies
  • Researching portfolio
  • Collaborative working
  • Time management
  • Budgeting

TEACHING, LEARNING AND ASSESSMENT

You will be taught at our campus in Kilburn, utilising our live rooms, tech suites and in-house music studio facilities as well as classrooms and lecture rooms. You will have access to use these facilities outside of class time while you are a student at ICMP in order to rehearse and record your music.

You will be taught through a variety of teaching and learning methods including lectures, small group tutorials, performance workshops, music technology workshops tutorials and one to one instrumental tuition.

You will have access to the Student Services Department for support and advice concerning welfare, finance, personal development, safeguarding etc. You'll also have access to our Professional Development team ‘The Hub, who provide bespoke music industry careers advice and access to unique industry opportunities.

As a student of UEL you will also enjoy access to a range of UEL facilities, including the 24/7 multimedia libraries, with over 300,000 books, journals, audio-visual resources and archives, 500 electronic books and 25,000 electronic journals and databases.

Teaching and Learning

On the BA (Hons) Audio Engineering and Production programme you will be taught through a variety of lectures, seminar, workshops and demonstrations.

When not attending lectures, seminars or other timetabled sessions you'll be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. Typically, this will involve reading articles and books, working on individual and group projects, undertaking research in the library, and preparing coursework assignments.Your independent learning is supported by a range of excellent facilities, including our Learning Resource Centre, our many performance and practice rooms, and well-equipped tech suites.

Throughout the duration of your course your time will be split  between Teaching, Learning and Assessment and Self-study. We will confirm the exact split that you can expect from this programme when the validation exercise has been completed with UEL.

Assessment

Your knowledge and thinking will be assessed through reports, workbooks, presentations, essays, examinations and recordings. Your practical skills will be assessed through recordings, performance, composition and practical examinations, and your skills for life and work will be assessed through project pitches, coursework and presentations.

As an industry-centred provider it is essential that we do what we can to simulate the external environment for which we are preparing our students. We will therefore design assessment tasks that are authentic and meaningful, and that require students to apply relevant skills, learning and prior knowledge to tackle real-world, industry challenges. Emphasis will be placed on innovative and creative assessment design which inspires, challenges and motivates the learner to fully engage with the learning opportunities presented through assessment.

A full breakdown of how the programme will be assessed following completion of the validation process.

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS

Applicants will typically have A Levels, BTEC Diploma or Extended Diploma, or International Baccalaureate equivalent to 80 UCAS points, or an ICMP Higher Diploma.

In addition, you should hold a GCSE Grade C or 4 or above in English, or suitable equivalent, such as Level 2 Key Skills, Functional Skills or Adult Literacy/Numeracy.

International students will typically hold a relevant equivalent qualification –please check your qualification with our Admissions Team. In addition, you should hold a relevant English language qualification equivalent to CEFR  Level B2.

We also welcome applications from mature applicants who may have no formal qualifications but can demonstrate their suitability for study through appropriate skills and experience.

All applicants will be invited to attend an audition/interview.

This course is also available as a one-year Cert HE.

UCAS code W101Uni code i25

HOW TO APPLY

 Please apply via  the "APPLY NOW" link  below.

At any time during application process if you need help or further advice just contact our Admissions team who will be happy to assist you. 



By phone:
020 7328 0222

By email:
enquiries@icmp.ac.uk

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