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BSc (Hons) Live Sound and Lighting Technology
Due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, examinations may be replaced by an alternative form of assessment during the academic year 2020/2021. Please refer to the Programme Specification on these pages for further details.
This course includes the sandwich year options of:
*No fees are charged for this year
Why choose this course?
- Our programme is Industry Accredited by JAMES, who represent the Association of Professional Recording Services (APRS), the Music Producers Guild (MPG) and Associate Industry Bodies.
- Develop excellent technical skills over the course of your degree, and benefit from our high quality studio, listening room, venue and sound resources including those by SSL, Yamaha, Avid, Focusrite, Quested, Genelec, Neumann, TLA, Lexicon and Drawmer to name but a few.
- Excellent industry input is built into the design of the degree awards from a huge number of areas within the wider music industry.
- The degree awards within the programme are designed to expose you to areas of music, sound and audio technology that you might not even know exist yet. "Coming to this course has really given my brain the kick-start it needed, and I'm beginning to see near endless possibilities with where I can go." - Glenn Osborn, second year student
- We have a strong record of students from the programme securing placement years between years 2 and 3 of their studies. Placement destinations include Focusrite, Sound Technology (a leading distributor of high profile brands for the Music Retail and Professional Audio industries), The Famous Company, and a number of recording studios.
- Every year, organisations and companies approach us to recommend our graduating students.
- Music business is woven into your degree study at every year giving you the skills to slot into the music industry (or create your own business).
- Organise and Participate ‘live’ projects, and our ‘JamJar’ showcase live events.
- Benefit from studying in creative arts school and collaborate with filmmakers and animators in realising fully featured, professional standard media projects.
- We have some of the best resources in the UK, including the 39 million pound entertainment venue – the Forum where our students perform, and engineer every month, and state-of-the art music studios and film and TV facilities in our 12 million pound building for Music, Film and media.
What's the course about?
This course is ideal for students who wish to focus through the lens of broadcast and live event support. Practical techniques are developed within a range of different spaces to suit differing audiences, and students on this award pathway and you'll have a number of opportunities to apply their learning within live contexts.You'll also engage with the latest light-projection mapping systems, as well as design and specify venue-based audio systems and solutions. Core modules studied alongside live sound and lighting technology alongside practice modules develop your techniques and approaches using a range of sound technologies. They'll also foster professional and industrial contextual immersion and awareness, and experience with specialisms within connected audio and sound-related fields.
What will I study?
Within the core modules, you’ll gain a solid grounding on a number of major DAW packages, as well as develop your creative and technical skills in mixing and effects processing, studio work and making your own virtual instruments. In order to develop your technical knowledge of connected audio specialisms, you’ll investigate acoustics, psychoacoustics, audio and Midi protocols and a number of sound projection systems whilst also using lab time to develop an understanding of audio electronics through building your own synthesizer for your own creative output. Music Business is also introduced where you’ll investigate various music business modules and contexts that connect what you are studying to the music industry.
In addition to the core modules, live sound and lighting technology students are also introduced to the sound stage lighting systems in both our Film Music & Media building and also the Universities prime entertainment venues. Focused work relating to the placement of both technology within the sound and lighting systems is introduced as is the management and control of signals throughout these systems.
In year 2 much focus is placed on developing your critical ear, and getting your music out there, with detailed work on developing both mixing and mastering techniques, and approaches to digital distribution and delivery. In addition students continue to develop their deep understanding of microphones and sound signal routing, including network-based systems using our state of the art Rednet enabled facilities. You will continue to hone your studio practice and understanding of the wider music industry. As a live sound and lighting technology student this goes hand in hand with dedicated development of skills in projection mapping and lighting and audio reinforcement from a broadcast perspective. You will also work alongside Audio Recording and Production students under the guise of event management where you will be tasked with support the delivery of a large scale live events, undertaking various roles including lighting and sound technician.
By year 3, the vast majority of our students have already formed a number of professional connections, and students are able to make use of these and reflect on their approaches within a dedicated field project. In addition, there is the final major project which under the supervision of a dedicated tutor allows you to specialize in your chosen area which could be for example album recording and production, software / hardware development, an experiment, or dissertation based study. Drawing on the programmes’ industry accreditation links, students also engage with a defined real-life / live project within the area of (or relating to) live sound and lighting technology. This is delivered and supported by sessions from a range of academic staff in addition to bespoke sessions from industry professionals who feed in external expertise, so as to support the realisation, process and achievement of the project as a whole. Typical projects include large track count mixing, audio and media work, and as such create opportunities for students to test and validate their live sound and lighting skills to a typical externally defined industry brief, including delivering to specification, deadline and budget. You will also have the opportunity to work on more complicated live events, and also gain a solid grounding in audio system design.
Key industry professionals regularly visit us to speak to our students. Recent Guest Speakers Include
- George Shilling (Mixing & Mastering Engineer, Cellist and Studio Owner).
- Matt Ingram (Drummer, Producer and Engineer from London, and Co-Founder of Urchin Studios).
- Alan Branch (Grammy Award winning Engineer, Producer, Writer and Musician).
- Gareth Jones (Huge modular analogue synth enthusiast, who has worked with a huge selection of artists, including making 5 LPs with Depeche Mode, and another 5 with Erasure).
- Mike Warriner (Commercial Director at Focusrite).
- Dan Cox (Award winning sound engineer, mixer and producer, and an executive Director of the Music Producer’s Guild).
- Bernard O’Reilly (Sound designer, sound effects editor and FX recordist).
- Neil Coomber (mixer, producer and engineer)
- Nick Watson (Mastering Engineer - Fluid Mastering)
- Richard Pryke (sound engineer / re-recording engineer - best known for his Academy Award for Best Sound for the film Slumdog Millionaire).
- Tony Platt (Audio Engineer).
- Dan Lancaster (Music Producer).
- Phill Brown (Sound Engineer, Producer - worked with Bob Marley, Jimi Hendrix, Dido, to name but a few)
- Alistair Meachin (Acoustics, Audio & AV Consultant – Harmonia Consulting Ltd).
- Ian Wallman (Producer, Composer, Mixer & Remixer).
- Nicky Bignell (Business Affairs Manager – Music, BBC Rights, Legal & Business Affairs).
- Kim Bailey (Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA).
- Cindy Truong (British Academy of Song writing, Composers and Authors (BASCA).
- Laura Young (Music Industry specialist on negotiating sales with recording, publishing and library companies.
Core modules studied alongside live sound and lighting technology practice modules develop students’ techniques and approaches using a range of sound technologies, as well as fostering professional and industrial contextual immersion and awareness, and experience with specialisms within connected audio and sound related fields.
BSc (Hons) Music Production sits within the overarching Music & Sound Technology Programme. There are four degree awards within this programme: BSc (Hons) Music Production, Bsc (Hons) Music and Sound Design Technology, BSc (Hons) Live Sound and Lighting Technology.
All courses share the same ethos, and you’ll have opportunities to work alongside our music composition and music industry management students too, ensuring you benefit from teaching and experiences within a large community of musicians, composers, technologists and performers.
Within the wider school of creative arts at UH, there are opportunities to collaborate with students from other creative areas, including animation and film and TV, allowing you to network with a broad range of creative industries.
Jake - My week at a Glance
My Week at a glance
Hi! I’m Jake, I recently completed the final projects of my degree in Music and Sound Design Technology and in this blog, I will give you an overview of a typical week in my third and final year at Herts. My average 3rd year week would usually include 2 days of lectures, one or two shifts at work and the rest of the week spent working on coursework and socialising with friends.
I only had 2 days a week of lectures in my final year which meant I could be very flexible with how I spent my time. I would always attend all my lectures and typically spend another 2 - 3 hours working on coursework on these days during the evenings. The rest of the week I would usually aim to work a similar number of hours, roughly 6, but this varied as I had other commitments. It is not necessary to work 6 hours per day but as I am aiming for a first-class grade, I felt this was enough for me to learn and practice everything I needed too without over working myself.
During my final year I worked at the Forum at UH as a live sound and lighting technician, something I really enjoyed doing as it was the first time working in a job related to my sound engineering course. Usually I would work 2 shifts a week, Wednesday night and Friday evening which worked out at around 12 – 15 hours a week, sometimes it was more and sometimes less. The fact the shifts were in the evening and at night was good as it allowed me to focus on my coursework during the day, but club nights would see me often working till 4am or later which did leave me tired the next day but this was part of the job and it was a great experience overall.
It was very important that I put aside time for myself to relax and socialize with friends and to take time out of all the work I was doing. Me and a friend from my course got into a routine of playing table tennis each night as a way to get some light exercise and to take a break from the coursework. Final year can be stressful sometimes, so it is very important to look after yourself by exercising, eating healthily (and enough!) and spending time with friends or relaxing by yourself
I think being at Uni is about finding the right balance of work and fun that works for you, it is a great way to practise self-discipline and time management and you will learn a lot about yourself.
Thanks for reading,
Jake - Guide to the facilities
As a sound engineering student, you have access to everything you need to prepare you for working in the industry. It is a very practical subject so having the right equipment, software and hardware, is vital for getting the hands-on experience you need. The majority of my work was done in the FMM, Film Music & Media, building which has computer labs with all the latest programs, surround sound ‘satellite’ rooms, an acoustically treated room for film sound, and many other musical spaces and practise rooms. You also have access to the Art and Design buildings where you will find fully kitted out music studios with performing and recording rooms with the latest mixing desks and computers, a foley studio which I used a lot for film, and the loan store. The loan store allows you to borrow equipment such as microphones, musical instruments and other equipment like video cameras and accessories.
Having access to these spaces was vital as part of my learning experience as there is no substitute for hands-on learning but Herts gave me everything, I needed to ensure I am prepared to start work or go onto further education.
I also had some lectures in the Forum where I learned about live sound and acoustics. I had the privilege to work at the Forum which gave me an even more extensive knowledge of live sound setups. The facilities at the Forum are incredible and working with such a high standard of equipment was always exciting. There are 2 music rooms in the Forum, the main auditorium which is a large capacity club room with a full lighting rig and a custom sound setup. There is also the attic which is a smaller venue which hosts Herts Jam which is a student run music event held 3 times a year. The Forum has seen some big artists and bands play there, such as Enter Shikari and even the music video for Ed Sheeran’s Lego House was filmed there.
As well as the specialist spaces, you have everything you would expect as a student like lecture halls and access to the library on campus where you can borrow books and magazines and use computers and printers. You also have access to the online library to check if they have a book and if it is available.
UH exceeded my expectations of professional equipment and facilities and I would highly recommend anyone looking to study music technology or sound engineering to consider Herts. Despite graduating during the Covid-19 outbreak and it being a strange time, I feel prepared for my future, whenever and wherever that may be!
Jake - Why I chose Herts
Why I chose Herts
When I attended the open day and had the subject talk, Herts was able to relay a confidence in their teaching abilities and the course itself, that other Universities I visited were not able to do. They really sounded like they knew their stuff, and this was backed up by statistics in student satisfaction and almost 100% of students being in further education or work within 6 months of graduating. The course itself also sounded more suited to me as it was a mix of creative and technical teaching compared to some Universities being much more technical and less practical and creative.
The facilities were impressive, and I could picture myself working in the labs and studios as we were shown around. I had never accessed any sound equipment before I had gone to Uni so seeing these facilities up close was a very motivating experience.
The course lived up to my expectations and I really enjoyed being taught there. The staff were very friendly and incredibly knowledgeable in their respective fields of work and I can’t see how it could have been improved.
I also felt that I could imagine myself at Herts much more than the other universes I visited. This may have been due to it being a campus Uni where most of the University is based on one campus. This made it seem like a true community and a busy, bustling place full of young people like me. The campus itself was very appealing due to the modern accommodation facilities and other stylish buildings and spaces. The College Lane campus has a very homely and connected feel due to the Oval building which sits surrounded by accommodation blocks. It therefore gave the impression of being very social which was appealing in itself as I was very excited about meeting many friends during my time there.
Another reason I chose Herts is its proximity to London. I love cities, especially London, and being so close was massively appealing to me. It was only 20 minutes on the train, and I took opportunities to travel there when I could, meeting family and friends and also working in the city centre on some occasions. It also meant traveling home was relatively easy as I could get a direct train to Manchester from London.
Going to a University far from my home was not an issue for me, if anything, it was more appealing as I like to experience living in different areas. It can be daunting moving far from your family, but you will meet so many people very quickly and soon, university will feel like your home.
Please note that some of the images and videos on our course pages may have been taken before social distancing rules in the UK came into force.