Undergraduate Study

The Sound Recording Technology (SRT) program at the University of Massachusetts Lowell is one of the few programs in the U.S. offering this course of study, and provides the motivated student with the practical and theoretical background needed for success in the industry.

The goal of the program is to produce a musically sophisticated and sensitive professional, with sufficient technical knowledge to excel in today’s production industry and to easily keep pace with its rapidly changing technology. The program combines studies in physics, electrical engineering, computer science, and advanced mathematics, with traditional studies in music and at least nine courses in the art and technology of recording.

The program is supported by eight (8) studio/laboratory spaces. Its exceptional recording, editing, critical listening, video, testing, synthesis and multimedia facilities allow the student to become proficient at operating and creatively using a wide variety of equipment and technologies.

The faculty of the SRT program are well-trained educators and active industry professionals, drawn from the wealth of high-technology, broadcasting, recording, and production talent in the greater Boston area, as well as the region’s cultural and artistic communities.

The breadth of our SRT major program prepares a musically sophisticated graduate with a broad understanding of the technical aspects of the recording industry. The successful student’s understanding of the practical and theoretical aspects of the discipline, coupled with comprehensive music training, prepares him or her for a wide variety of professions.

MUSR.3010 Music, Technology and Society

Examines how recording technology has changed music and the relationships of music and society. The course studies and evaluates the application of technology to making music, to music listening, to styles of music, and to music’s roles in society, other art forms, and media. The evolving importance of technology in music over the past century is charted through the study of musical examples and through viewing how human values are reflected in this century’s timely music. Studies will be based on assigned readings, lectures and discussions, examination of current and historically significant music recordings, motion pictures and media pieces for this artistry, their use of available technology, and their impact on human values and society.

MUSR.3100 Introduction To Recording

The theory and usage of audio-recording/reproduction components are explored at a basic level and supplemented by hands-on experience. The aesthetics of recording media and their influence on society are discussed in relation to the artistic and commercial functions of the media. Individual research on a subject of interest to the student is required.

Pre-Req: MATH.1310 Calculus I.

MUSR.3500 Video Production

An introductory course in the fundamentals of video technology and production; encompassing signal transmission, tape formats, transduction, optical characteristics of lenses and cameras, production equipment and procedures, and post-production equipment and techniques; hands-on experience via video and audio for video projects. Permission of Coordinator and Chair.

Pre-Req: MUSR.3100 Intro to Recording.

MUSR.3600 Critical and Analytical Listening

The recognition and identification of timbral modifications and spatial characteristics. Aural analysis of historically significant and current music recordings for recording techniques, musicalbalance, performance intensity, sound quality and imaging. Development of critical listening skills and sound evaluation techniques.

Pre-Reqs: MUSR.3100 Intro to Recording and MUTH.2030 Aural Skills 3 or MUTH 2080 Musicianship & Analysis 3; Co-req: MUSR 3900 Acoustics & Psychoacoust, and MUSR 4100 Recording Production

MUSR.3900 Acoustics & Psychoacoustics

The physical attributes of sound and acoustic measurement; displacement, time, velocity, acceleration, force, energy, resonance, wave shapes and spectral energy distribution are examined for most instruments; acoustic properties of the ear and enclosed environments; acoustic measurements and instruments. The interrelationships and differences of physical acoustics and psychoacoustics are stressed.

Pre-Reqs: MUSR.310o Intro to Recording, MATH.1320 Calculus II, and PHYS.1010 Introductory Physics; Co-Req: MUSR.3600 Critical Listening

MUSR.4100 Recording Production

Intermediate audio production. Planning and executing recording sessions which involve a varietyof musical ensembles under diverse recording conditions; live-performance/concert recordings; multi-track recording, overdub, and remix procedures; application of informed musical judgment to the mixing process; and research in recording techniques. Laboratory required. Permission of Coordinator and Chair.

Pre-Req: MUSR.3100 Intro To Recording; Co-Reqs: MUSR.3600 Critical Listening, and MUSR.3900 Acoustics & Psychoacoustics.

MUSR.4110 Audio Theory

Advanced audio theory. An in-depth examination of the principles and operating specifications of the major components of the modern recording studio: mastering and multi-track recorders, mixing consoles, microphones, monitoring systems, and signal processing equipment. Recording projects and technical research. Laboratory required. Permission of Coordinator and Chair.

Pre-Req: MUSR.4100 Recording Production

MUSR.4200 Sound Synthesis 1

Sound synthesis equipment and techniques are studied and supplemented with sound synthesis studio laboratory work. The course will cover practices and principles of analog and digital sound synthesis and their historic origins, related audio equipment and applications, theories of sound samplers and sequencers, and an introduction to MIDI applications in sound synthesis and recording production. Permission of Coordinator and Chair.

Pre-Req: MUSR.4100 Recording Production

MUSR.4210 Sound Synthesis 2

Advanced sound synthesis techniques are studied and supplemented with sound synthesis studio laboratory work. The course will cover MIDI implementation in analog and digital sound synthesis, the historic origins of computer music and electro-acoustic music, live electronic music performance, audio equipment and applications of MIDI-based and functional devices and processors, advanced music production and sound synthesis via MIDI. Permission of Coordinator
and Chair.

Pre-Req: MUSR.4200 Sound Synthesis 1

MUSR.4300 Computer Applications in Music

Applications of computers to audio production is emphasized in studies of computer generated and controlled sound sources and devices, algorithmic composition, computer music, digital signal processing, advanced MIDI applications and programming, and computer synchronization of audio and video. Laboratory work required. SRT majors and minors. Permission of Coordinator and Chair.

MUSR.4400 Multitrack Production

24-track recording. Session planning and preparation, tracking process; microphone techniques and applications; incorporating processing; planning the mix and sound stage; MIDI applications, rough mixdown. Recording project required.

Pre-Req: MUSR.4110 Audio Theory

MUSR.4410 Advanced Multitrack Production

Advanced production techniques; tape machine calibration; automation and final mixdown; digital multitracking; SMPTE applications; premastering and mastering. Recording project required.

MUSR.4500 The Recording Industry

A detailed survey of the many career options of the audio-recording industry: position duties and responsibilities. Guest lecturers from diverse careers in the industry share their experiences, disciplines, and backgrounds. Permission of Coordinator and Chair.

Pre-Req: MUSR.3100 Intro to Recording.

MUSR.4600 Audio For Visuals

This course is designed to introduce students to the theory and practice of video post-production on non-linear digital editing platforms. These systems include Audio Vision, ProTools, and Sonic Solutions. Students are required to complete audio tracks for several video shorts and will learn about such diverse topics as SMMPTE, word clock, digital sync, DSP, blackburst, genlock, S/P-DIF, AES/EBU, digital recording and mixing, ADR, music beds, cues, FX, Foley recording, and random access theory and techniques. Permission of Coordinator and Chair

Pre-Reqs: MUSR.3500 Video Production, & MUSR.4110 Audio Theory

MUSR.4700 Recording Studio Repair and Maintenance

Hands-on experience in repair and maintenance techniques. Common minor repairs and routine maintenance of recording equipment; test equipment and tools; power supplies, op-amps, and low-noise amplifiers; distortion; analog and digital hardware; and interface considerations. Permission of Coordinator and Chair

Pre-Reqs: MUSR.4110 Audio Theory, EECE.2110 Fund of Electricity or EECE.2140 Fund of Sound Recording

MUSR.4930 Internship in SRT

Practical experience in audio-recording under the supervision of a professional firm. At least twenty hours per week for fifteen weeks is spent working at an entry-level position for a firm involved in audio.

Internship Guidelines
Internship Application

MUSR.4940 Senior Project In Sound Recording Technology

Advanced projects developed in consultation with faculty advisor. Typical projects include production of a complete record album, investigation of experimental recording techniques, and original research in recording technology. To be completed in place of 78.493 by students not choosing an internship. Permission of Coordinator and Chair

MUSR.4950 Directed Study in Sound Recording Technology

Individual work under the supervision of a member of the SRT faculty on a topic or area of production approved by the instructor and the Coordinator of SRT. Permission of Coordinator and Chair

Graduation Requirements

View the complete course of study.