Music Technology: Digital Music Production BTEC Extended Certificate

(equivalent to one A Level)

BTEC Extended Certificate | EDEXCEL

This course is designed to develop the skills of students with an interest in producing music. This qualification is equivalent to one A level, with a more practical focus than the A level equivalent. This course is suited to any student with an interest in the production, remixing, composition or mixing of music. Although beneficial, no previous Music or Music Technology experience is needed for this course, though having a genuine interest in music is essential. On this course there are five units of study:

 

 

 

Course details

What are the entry requirements?

A minimum of five GCSE subjects at Grade 4 or above, including English and Maths. Basic ability to play the keyboard and notation reading skills would be beneficial as would some previous experience of using music production software. An enthusiasm for studying the science of sound as well as music production.

How will I be assessed?

Assessment will consist of a range of activities including production of high-quality music to a brief, videos, presentation, podcasts, mixes, masters and written pieces.

Units 3, 10, 13 and 16 are assessed internally through coursework. Unit 6 is an external assessment completed over multiple sessions.

Grades achieved are Pass, Merit, Distinction.

What extra work can I do?

Keep up to date with emerging issues with the Music Industry. Try reading articles in Sound on Sound/Music Technology magazine so that you are aware of music production processes and how they are developing. There are also many interesting documentaries on BBC4 which you can watch via the iPlayer. 

What skills will I learn?

6.  DAW Production In this unit, you will explore how the features of a DAW can be used to create and develop your own music. You will understand some of the background principals of how a DAW works, along with the associated specialist and technical terms. To complete the assessment task within this unit, you will need to draw on your learning from across your programme. While this unit covers the fundamental elements of working with a DAW musically, there is much more you can go on to do. The ability to use a DAW competently is central in progression to higher education music technology courses, as well as professional work in recording studios, production, composing, film music and games.
13 Mixing and Mastering Techniques In this unit, you will gain experience in mixing down and mastering multitrack digital audio workstation (DAW) projects. You will also realise a sonic vision for a DAW project to achieve a desired sound.
These skills are an essential element of all aspects of the music and sound industry. They can open the door to many career paths, including mix engineer for music, mastering engineer, audio post-production for film and television, and elements of radio broadcast.
10 Remixing and Reworking In this unit, you will experiment with unique, creative digital audio workstation (DAW)-based techniques associated with remixing. The skills learned will enable you to manipulate music in highly technical and innovative ways, and you will create a portfolio of contrasting remixes and reworks using a wide range of creative audio and musical instrument digital interface (MIDI) sequencing techniques.
3. Music and Sound for Media In this unit, you will explore a range of music and sound creation scenarios that might exist in a typical portfolio for someone working in the music industry. You will create and produce music for games, films and apps, as well as create original sounds, noises and effects to support interactivity and action.
16. Commercial Music Production In this unit, you will develop the technical skills required to produce modern, commercially driven songs, and also explore the creative techniques which help to define the sound of commercial music. Commercial music reflects the tastes and values of the population, and continues to contribute significantly to the UK economy. This unit aims to equip learners with the techniques that will help them to compete in the world of popular music writing and production.

What is the difference between this BTEC course and the A level?

This course is primarily focused on writing and producing music digitally, with a deep understanding of how to use DAW software for this purpose. 

There is no studio recording area of study on this course, if you are interested in the use of microphones, recording approaches and sound engineering then the A level course is suitable.

What is the department like?

We run a stimulating, lively, energetic department in which experienced and enthusiastic staff set high standards both in examination achievements and in music-making activities.
Facilities:
Two Yamaha grand pianos
Baby grand piano
Four acoustic drum kits
One electric drum kit
Six practice rooms, each with an upright piano
80 seat recital room
Two well-equipped recording studios
A mastering suite
Two computer suites, each with 16 networked PCs and iMacs offering a variety of music software including Sibelius and Logic, and independent workstations for composing and performing. 
Future Careers and Progression

What are the progression routes for this qualification?

Music Technology combines well with many subjects, such as Maths, Media Studies, Physics and performing arts subjects. It is also ideal as a subject to be taken alongside Music.

There are a vast number of degree courses specialising in different aspects of Music Technology, including courses in composition for film, TV and video games, computer software and music production, recording, sound manipulation and the management of music businesses. Most of these courses lead directly into specialised careers.

Most of our students progress to top universities or conservatoires to continue their study of Music Technology. Our BTEC students have been awarded offers on the Tonmeister course at Surrey University. This prestigious course is widely considered to be the best sound engineering course in the world.

 

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In 2020, the Music Industry contributed £5.8 billion to the UK economy, generated £2.9 billion in export revenue and ensured 197168 full time jobs were sustained.

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