Course Title: Use instruments, equipment and/or electronic technology for making music

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2007

Course Code: PERF5048C

Course Title: Use instruments, equipment and/or electronic technology for making music

School: 345T Creative Media

Campus: City Campus

Program: C5168 - Diploma of Music Industry (Technical Production)

Course Contact : Adam Lovell

Course Contact Phone: 03 9925 4976

Course Contact

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Nominal Hours: 28

Regardless of the mode of delivery, represent a guide to the relative teaching time and student effort required to successfully achieve a particular competency/module. This may include not only scheduled classes or workplace visits but also the amount of effort required to undertake, evaluate and complete all assessment requirements, including any non-classroom activities.

Pre-requisites and Co-requisites


Course Description

Students will learn a range of technological skills for the making of music

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

CUSMGE03A Use instruments, equipment and/or electronic technology for making music


Ensure that equipment is used safely

Performance Criteria:

1.1 Monitor and use equipment within safe practice requirements
for own and others' safety
1.2 Comply promptly with emergency procedures where in place
and as required
1.3 Seek and implement appropriate advice and technical support to
ensure safe use of equipment
1.4 Check condition of equipment routinely to comply with safety
1.5 Identify faults in equipment and establish appropriate sources of
repair and maintenance as required
1.6 Report details of any instrument or equipment that is suspected
of being in unsafe condition, or is damaged in use, promptly as


Maximise benefit from technical support systems

Performance Criteria:

2.1 Communicate requirements for technical support systems
accurately and to the appropriate sources as required
2.2 Make effective and appropriate use of available technical
support systems and equipment as required
2.3 Identify constraints of support systems and equipment and
where appropriate adjust to performing or composing style
2.4 Plan and use opportunities to upgrade skills for using new
2.5 Plan strategic contingency arrangements to meet unforeseen
circumstances with supporting equipment


Use production techniques to shape personal sound

Performance Criteria:

3.1 Use equipment to enhance the sound quality of the composition
and/or performance and evaluate critically against planned
artistic and commercial outcomes
3.2 Use effects that are appropriate to the musical context to
enhance musical outcomes
3.3 Change instrument or equipment parts as necessary
3.4 Use stylistic techniques that are appropriate to genre, style and
context of the work
3.5 Where required ensure that microphones are placed
appropriately to produce and/or record the required sound as
3.6 Where required use equipment effectively to produce the
desired production characteristics


Using instruments, technology and/or equipment effectively

Performance Criteria:

4.1 Explore and analyse the operational capabilities and limitations
of equipment/technology for their effects and possible use in
developing creative work
4.2 Select equipment and/or instruments that will provide the
required music making outcomes
4.3 Use equipment and/or technology effectively to initiate, develop
and express ideas where appropriate
4.4 Set up equipment and/or instruments correctly to produce the
required sounds
4.5 Seek appropriate advice or assistance on instruments and
equipment where required
4.6 Maintain condition of instruments and/or equipment to ensure
effective use
4.7 Use equipment and/or instruments that are appropriate to the
physical environment and context of the work

Learning Outcomes


Details of Learning Activities

Students will study the process of constructing sounds and composing music using electronic music technology via a series of practical tutorials/demonstrations, theory based learning, discussions, and self directed research.

Teaching Schedule

Week 1        Orientation
Week 2Course Outline – Structure
Outline of Assignments and Assessment
Hardware/Software to be utilised
Review MIDI concepts from Cert IV. Summary of Protocols. OSX Core Audio/MIDI config. Midi in studio applications. Multiple device setups
Week 3 Inter application technologies. Rewire technology. Audio Units. RTAS review. Comparison of Logic and Pro Tools/ - audio/ midi/ plugins.
Week 4Tour of Soft Synth technologies.
Computer requirements and demands for optimising performance.
Typical Apps. Vintage equipment, Synths, guitar emulators.
Web based class & demos.
Week 5Basics of synthesis.
Overview of synthesis types and building blocks.
Practical session to create sounds in logic.
Week 6Practical session assignment 1 - Building Sounds.
Week 7Practical session assignment 1
Week 8Practical session assignment 2 - Composition
Week 9Practical session assignment 2
Week 10        Class Presentation/Discussion of Assignments 

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts


Other Resources

A set of web based resource links are provided below for this course.
Resource Links:

Part of an excellent 14 part series from Sound On Sound Magazine. A complete tour through synthesis. Worthwhile reading.

The official Apple description of the Audio Units format that lives in the OS X Hardware abstraction layer (HAL).

The official Propellerheads description of their rewire protocol used to interface 3rd Party apps into Pro Tools & alike. I.e. Reason & Pro Tools LE.

Basic intro/ reminder about the MIDI protocol and its main features.

Alternative basic intro to MIDI.

More detailed description of channel messages / and data format types for midi transmissions.

Good summary of synthesis types, FM/OSC/granular etc.

Overview of Assessment

Assesment will take place via observation, process diary, oral questioning, and submission of practical portfolio. Submissions will consist of sounds constructed using virtual instruments/synthesis incorporated into an automated composition.

Assessment Tasks

Task 1 - Designing sounds using virtual instruments/synthesis - 40%

Task 1.1 - 25%    ES1
Task 1.2 - 25%    ES2
Task 1.3 - 50%    SCULPTURE

Task 2 - Automated Composition - 60%

Task 2.1 - 20%    Inclusion of sound design elements, midi, and audio
Task 2.2 - 10%    Evidence of automation of levels
Task 2.3 - 10%    Evidence of automation of controllors
Task 2.4 - 10%    Balance of individual instruments
Task 2.5 - 10%    Overall level (mastering)
Task 2.6 - 10%    EQ/Frequency Spectrum balance of mix
Task 2.7 - 10%    Panning consideration
Task 2.8 - 10%    Use of dynamic processors
Task 2.9 - 10%    Use of effects processors

Assessment Matrix

Not applicable

Course Overview: Access Course Overview