Assessment Guidelines

Assessment 1

1st production “free of stylistic constraints”, original OR cover:

Based on your research into how production styles have developed over time in response to technology and in response to aesthetic goals – produce an exploratory recording of 3 – 6 minutes, which  investigates, experiments with and is influenced by a range of recording and production scenarios that you’ve discovered.

It’s important that you’re not constrained by any particular style, so think of this more as a stimulating exercise in preparation for the very specific production emulation requirement of assessment 2.


The recording may be in any genre and the combination of instruments and/or voices recorded is entirely up to you.

As a suggestion you might include:

drums, bass, guitar/piano, voice

woodwind, brass, strings, percussion, synths

Treatment / Bounce

use anything that you feel compliments your recordings in producing the best possible sounding outcome

limit to below 0 dB – typically -0.2 / -0.3 or -1 dB if you’re paying attention to the ‘Mastered for iTunes‘ recommendations

Produce a 24 bit wav (to be supplied on CD-ROM or DVD-ROM)


Blog your findings with reference to the books, articles and interviews you’ve read, accounting for how the approaches to recording and production that you’ve discovered have influenced your work in the studio.

Include photos (with captions) of your set ups / microphone placements and screenshots of any software at your disposal to clarify production choices such as plug-ins / stems / master VCAs.


Assessment 2

2nd production “should consciously emulate a particular style of music production, either from the past or from the present day”, in an ORIGINAL piece:

Provide evidence (in your blog) of the production techniques you intend to use, with links to appropriate articles (detailing those techniques) and links to tracks where those techniques are clearly demonstrated (where possible).

Record anything you like that helps to demonstrate your production emulation.

Treatment / Bounce

produce a piece which clearly demonstrates the production techniques you’ve chosen to emulate

limit to below 0 dB – typically -0.2 / -0.3 or -1 dB if you’re paying attention to the ‘Mastered for iTunes‘ recomendations

explain your choice of bouncing to 24 bit / any sample rate (with no dither) or dithering your mix to 16 bit 44.1 KHz


The purpose of this task is to borrow present and/or past production techniques in creating your own, original production pastiche.

You may focus on one approach ie, using several techniques of one producer, or combine a variety of techniques used by different producers


Blog your plans, detailing your ‘production intentions’. Include photographs of mic placement and screen shots of aspects of your mix if they help to clarify your intended production goals. Embed audio clips in your blog to help demonstrate your production choices – maybe including a before and after clip if appropriate. Critically reflect and evaluate your production emulation.


Hand in

An audio CD, CD-ROM or DVD-ROM (ie. data rather than an audio CD) with bounces of your 2 assessments + a link to your blog.


Clarification on working collaboratively

Module Guide / Module Definition Form:-

“Working collaboratively by forming and recording their own musical ensembles, they make use of their technical knowledge to create two contrasting musical productions, which comprise the assessment for this module. One of these is free of stylistic constraints; the other should consciously emulate the musical character of a particular production style from the past or present, in an original piece of work.”

While students are encouraged to work in groups, each student is responsible for:

choosing the music recorded (in the case of the 1st production being a cover) and for originating the music for the 2nd production;

making all decisions on recording and production techniques adopted;

creating a blog to provide evidence of the above, accounting for plans/ideas, delivery (of those plans) and reflecting on the outcome (of both productions), with reference to producers and production techniques researched;

organising and directing musicians involved in the recording;

producing individual work.

NB:  Talk/communicate with one another.  Students’ musical attributes are listed on the Studio Production Blogroll

About Gareth Stuart 59 Articles
studio owning tonmeister/pro tools engineer/musician/producer, p/t university lecturer, dad/husband, ironman (triathlete) & keen skier

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