Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit



Unit rationale, description and aim

The study of music is inextricably linked to the study of music-making technology. In contemporary practice ‘technology’ has come to mean electronic and computer-based technology that is used to create and/or record music, and teachers and performers require skills that allow them to make music using this technology.

Content of the unit includes basic microphone techniques, mixing, audio manipulation and effects, mastering and computer-based instruments, and the production of music for use in such settings as sound installations, contemporary popular and art musics, and music for film, video or the theatre.

This unit aims to equip students with specialist skills in the recording, creation and manipulation of musical sound using computer-based technology and to apply these to their music-making.

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1 - Apply knowledge of computer-based instruments to the creation of new sounds and ‘instruments’ (GA4, GA5, GA7, GA10)

LO2 - Apply knowledge of microphone and recording techniques to the recording of music (GA5, GA6, GA7, GA10)

LO3 - Demonstrate skills in music production (GA4, GA5, GA6, GA7, GA9, GA10)

LO4 - Demonstrate skills in the creation of new works using computer-based tools (GA4, GA5, GA6, GA7, GA8, GA9, GA10)

Graduate attributes

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

GA5 - demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession 

GA6 - solve problems in a variety of settings taking local and international perspectives into account

GA7 - work both autonomously and collaboratively 

GA8 - locate, organise, analyse, synthesise and evaluate information 

GA9 - demonstrate effective communication in oral and written English language and visual media 

GA10 - utilise information and communication and other relevant technologies effectively.


Topics will include:

  • a survey of basic analog equipment, particularly microphones and mixers
  • the applications of different microphone types and techniques to specific recording contexts
  • the development of skills in using digital tools such as virtual-studio, virtual-instrument and other software packages that record, edit, affect and manipulate digital audio

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

MUSC276 is focussed on the development of specialist skills in the recording, creation and manipulation of musical sound using computer-based technology. To better represent that the topic of the unit is the practice of music-making, it is conducted as a series of workshops combining short didactic segments focussing on core knowledge and theory embedded in longer practical laboratory- or studio-based workshops. In these workshops, students are supported in the completion of authentic practical activities that enable them to assimilate, explore and extend knowledge and skills. Appropriate hardware and software media have been specifically selected to maximise potential hands-on time.

Assessment strategy and rationale

The unit focuses on electronic and computer technology for music-making: creation, recording, and production, and the assessment tasks are examples of authentic industry applications of this technology.

The first assessment task is formative and requires students to create a short piece of music or ‘jingle’ which includes digital audio and/or MIDI tracks created using a computer-based digital audio workstation. This task encourages and directs students to develop knowledge of digital audio and MIDI file types, and basic skills in their creation and manipulation. It addresses learning outcomes 2, 3 and 4, and the knowledge and skills acquired and developed in this task scaffold into the following tasks.

The second task focuses on two technologies that are key components of much contemporary music practice: virtual studio instruments and digital samples. Students create a new virtual sampler instrument using manipulated original or source digital audio files. The potential applications of this new instrument are demonstrated in a very short piece of music sequenced by the student. This task addresses learning outcomes 1, 3 and 4.

The third assessment task requires the student to draw on all knowledge and skills developed in the unit by creating a significant musical work in response to a set of guidelines or instructions. An example may be using the digital audio workstation (and any other available technology) to create an underscore to accompany a given film clip.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Practical Task 1

Requires students to create a short piece of music or “jingle” that includes digital audio and/or MIDI tracks created using a computer-based digital audio workstation.


LO2, LO3, LO4

GA4, GA5, GA7, GA10

Practical Task 2

Requires students to create a short piece of sequenced music featuring a new virtual sampler instrument that uses manipulated original or source digital audio files.


LO1, LO3, LO4

GA4, GA5, GA6, GA7, GA10

Major Creative Task 

Requires students to draw on knowledge and skills developed in the unit to create a significant musical work in response to a set of guidelines.


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4

GA4, GA5, GA6, GA7, GA8, GA9, GA10

Representative texts and references

Australian Catholic University. Sound Studio Primer, Melbourne; Australian Catholic University. 2013

Crich, Tim. Recording Tips for Engineers: for Cleaner, Brighter Tracks. Fourth ed. 2017.

Huber, David Miles., and Robert E. Runstein. Modern Recording Techniques. 9th ed. Audio Engineering Society Presents. Milton: Taylor and Francis, 2017.

Hirsch, Scott. Logic Pro X Essential training 2020 available at:

Izhaki, Roey. Mixing Audio : Concepts, Practices, and Tools. Third ed. 2018

Owsinski, Bobby. The Mixing Engineer's Handbook. Fourth ed. Gale Virtual Reference Library. 2017.

Shambarran, Shara. Virtual Music: Sound, Music, and Image in the Digital Era. Bloomsbury. 2021.

Sutton, Evan. Logic Pro X: Virtual Instruments.2017 available at:  

Have a question?

We're available 9am–5pm AEDT,
Monday to Friday

If you’ve got a question, our AskACU team has you covered. You can search FAQs, text us, email, live chat, call – whatever works for you.

Live chat with us now

Chat to our team for real-time
answers to your questions.

Launch live chat

Visit our FAQs page

Find answers to some commonly
asked questions.

See our FAQs