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Clifton

Hunter
High
School
BTEC
Extended
Certificate

UNIT 7: EXPLORING COMPUTER SYSTEMS USED BY MUSICIANS


Unit Outline and Assignment Brief

Learning Outcomes By the end of the unit you should:

You will produce evidence to


be marked at P1 4, M1 4,
D1 4

Know how to select hardware and software components for a computer-based music creation system
Be able to set up and configure a computer-based music creation system in a safe manner
Be able to operate audio and MIDI software tools
Be able to realise musical ideas using music creation software.

STUDENT NAME:

________________________________________________

Assignment issued:

4th February 2016

Final Project Deadline: 4th June 2016


Check-in Deadlines: 11th March 2016
24th March 2016
20th May 2016

Unit 7 Exploring Computer Systems used by Musicians

TUTOR GROUP: __________

Clifton
Hunter
High
School
BTEC
Extended
Certificate

Primary Assessor: Mrs. Chase

Verified by: A. Nicholson

Unit content
1 Know how to select hardware and software components for a computer-based music creation
system
Software components: audio editors; loop-based sequencers; MIDI and audio sequencers; software synthesisers;
plug-ins; VST instruments; software patching systems
Hardware components: CPU; monitor; cables; input devices; audio monitoring; mixing equipment; backup and
storage devices
Software environment: eg operating system issues, program location and launching, filing systems, storage
Conventions
2 Be able to set up and configure a computer-based music creation system in a safe manner
Software configuration and set-up: audio set-up; audio clip/file management; software preferences
Hardware configuration and set-up: selecting components; interconnecting equipment; correct use of cables
and positioning of equipment
Health and safety considerations: correct wiring; not overloading electrical components; no food and drink in
the studio; loose wires taped to the ground
3 Be able to operate audio and MIDI software tools
Audio tools: aligning and editing audio files; dealing with tuning, timing and tempo issues; normalisation; effects
and other audio processing etc
Music software tools: using MIDI tracks; selecting MIDI voices; detailed editing MIDI events, using controller
messages
Program and file management: organising the production environment; an organised approach to file
management; planning and documentation
4 Be able to realise musical ideas using music creation software
Unit 7 Exploring Computer Systems used by Musicians

Clifton
Hunter
High
School
BTEC
Extended
Certificate

Musical ideas: effective editing of MIDI events and manipulation of audio material; using the software tools
effectively; the creative use of audio-processing facilities

SCENARIO

You are working for a large Cayman Islands based music retailer in their computer department. As part of your training you
have been askedA
to
investigate
some ofand
the best
options forup
music
hardware currently available.
Assignment
Choosing
Setting
a software
MusicandComputer
You have also been asked to setup one of the studio computer systems in the shop.
In this assignment you will select the equipment needed for a typical music computer system then compare two different
systems through research on the Internet. You will be looking at music software packages, operating systems and
hardware options such as laptops or desktop computers.
In the second part of the assignment you will setup a music computer by placing the equipment in the correct position and
safely making the right connections. You will configure the software to record and playback audio as well as sequence
audio and MIDI data.
TASKS
Task 1a: Make a list of the equipment needed to build a music computer system for a home studio. This system must be
able to record and playback audio as well as sequence audio and MIDI data. This equipment list can be based on the
computer system you have used to make music at school or college. You must include suitable music production software.
After making this list, draw a diagram that shows how each item of equipment is connected. (P1)
Task 1b: Use the Internet to find two different music computer setups. This could be a PC versus an Apple Mac or could
be a Laptop verses a desktop computer. You should choose two music software packages, for example Cubase and Logic,
then find two different options for hardware needed for music production in a studio.
Compare your chosen systems by looking at issues such as hardware speed, storage, upgrading and screen sizes, then
operating system and music software functionality and compatibility, Analyse the advantages and disadvantages of each
computer system basing your opinions on facts that can be backed up in your research. (M1, D1)
Task 2: Set up a music computer system. Your tutor will take apart one of the music computer systems you have been
using and it will be up to you reconnect it and configure the system to make it work.
You should try and do this without any help from your tutor and you should also be able to explain how you have
connected
and configured
system.
will be asked to discuss the safety issues involved in setting up computer
Unit 7 Exploring
Computerthe
Systems
usedYou
by Musicians
systems (P2, M2, D2)

Clifton
Hunter
High
School
BTEC
Extended
Certificate

Assignment A Choosing and Setting Up a Music


Computer

Check-in
Dates

1a: Make a list of the equipment needed to build a music computer system for a
home studio. This system must be able to record and playback audio as well as
sequence audio and MIDI data. This equipment list can be based on the computer
system you have used to make music at school or college. You must include
suitable music production software.
After making this list, draw a diagram that shows how each item of equipment is
connected. (P1)

11th March
2016

1b. Use the Internet to find two different music computer setups. This

could be a PC versus an Apple Mac or could be a Laptop verses a desktop


computer. You should choose two music software packages, for example
Cubase and Logic, then find two different options for hardware needed for
music production in a studio.
Compare your chosen systems by looking at issues such as hardware
speed, storage, upgrading and screen sizes, then operating system and
music software functionality and compatibility, Analyse the advantages and
disadvantages of each computer system basing your opinions on facts that
can be backed up in your research. (M1,D1)

Unit 7 Exploring Computer Systems used by Musicians

11th March
2016

Status

Clifton
Hunter
High
School
BTEC
Extended
Certificate
2: Set up a music computer system. Your tutor will take apart one of the music
computer systems you have been using and it will be up to you reconnect it and
configure the system to make it work.
You should try and do this without any help from your tutor and you should also
be able to explain how you have connected and configured the system. You will be
asked to discuss the safety issues involved in setting up computer systems (P2,
M2, D2)

24th March 2016

Grading criteria addressed by this assignment.


PASS Grade Criteria
P1

Identify the principal hardware and software components of a typical computer-based audio/MIDI
music creation system
MERIT Grade Criteria

M1

Compare the principal hardware and software components of a typical computer-based audio/MIDI
music creation system
DISTINCTION Grade Criteria

D1

Analyse the principal hardware and software components of a typical computer-based audio/MIDI
music creation system
PASS Grade Criteria

P2

Demonstrate how to set up and configure a computer- based audio/MIDI music production system
safely, with limited tutor support
Unit 7 Exploring Computer Systems used by Musicians

Clifton
Hunter
High
School
BTEC
Extended
Certificate

MERIT Grade Criteria


M2

D2

Demonstrate how to set up and configure a computer-based audio/MIDI music production system
competently and with total independence
DISTINCTION Grade Criteria
SCENARIO
Demonstrate how to set up and configure a computer-based audio/MIDI music production system
You are working as a music software demonstrator at a large Cayman based music retailer. Your boss
confidently, competently and with independence
has asked you to create some demo tracks to show of the capabilities of the music software.
In this assignment
will be creating a number
of short pieces of music in a variety of musical
Assignment
B you
Demonstration
Tracks
styles. The music tracks should demonstrate some of the technical and creative elements of the
music software you are using. You will create a music CD and a data disk which you can then use to
demonstrate the software. You will also keep a record of how you made each music track using screen
shots.
TASK
Task 1: Create three or more short pieces of music using the music software available to you. As these tracks are for
demonstration purposes it is important for you to first decide what techniques in the music software you want to
showcase. Here are some ideas.
Audio effects: delay, reverb, flanger, gate, compression
Mixing techniques: Panning, fading, grouping, EQ, automation
Audio editing and sequencing: copy, paste, split, normalise, note length, quantization
To gain the higher grades you will need to work independently and be able to demonstrate a range of techniques
within the music software including advanced techniques such as pitch correction, processing audio and correcting
timing errors. (P3, M3, D3, P4, M4, D4)
Task 2: Keep a record of how you made each track using screen shots to show specific techniques within the
software. Explain how you used audio and MIDI instruments, tools and effects within the music software to create
your music tracks. This is where you can explain your technical skills and highlight your creativity. (GC3 GC4 PMD)
Unit 7 Exploring Computer Systems used by Musicians

Task 3: Create a data disk containing your songs and an audio CD to play in a CD player. Use these to demonstrate
your technical and creative music software skills to your tutor. (GC3 GC4 PMD)

Clifton
Hunter
High
School
BTEC
Extended
Certificate

Assignment B Demonstration Tracks

Check-in
Dates

1: Create three or more pieces of music using the music software


available to you. As these tracks are for demonstration purposes it is
important for you to first decide what techniques in the music
software you want to showcase. Here are some ideas:

Audio effects: delay, reverb, flanger, gate, compression


Mixing techniques: Panning, fading, grouping, EQ, automation
Audio editing and sequencing: copy, paste, split, normalise, note
length, quantization

To gain the higher grades you will need to work independently and
be able to demonstrate a range of techniques within the music
software including advanced techniques such as pitch correction,
processing audio and correcting timing errors.
(P3, M3, D3, P4, M4, D4)

Unit 7 Exploring Computer Systems used by Musicians

20th May 2016

Status

Clifton
Hunter
High
School
BTEC
Extended
Certificate

2: Keep a record of how you made each track using screen shots to
show specific techniques within the software. Explain how you used
audio and MIDI instruments, tools and effects within the music
software to create your music tracks. This is where you can explain
your technical skills and highlight your creativity. (GC3 GC4 PMD)

20th May 2016

3: Create a data disk containing your songs and an audio CD to play


in a CD player. Use these to demonstrate your technical and creative
music software skills to your tutor. (GC3 GC4 PMD)

20th May 2016

Grading Criteria for Assignment B


PASS Grade Criteria
P3 Demonstrate the operation of audio/MIDI software tools with limited tutor support
MERIT Grade Criteria
M
3

Demonstrate the operation of audio/MIDI software tools, with total independence


DISTINCTION Grade Criteria

D3 Demonstrate the operation of audio/MIDI software tools with confidence, competence and
independence
Unit 7 Exploring Computer Systems used by Musicians

Clifton
Hunter
High
School
BTEC
Extended
Certificate

PASS Grade Criteria


P4 Produce musical pieces, using available techniques in audio/ MIDI computer software
effectively.
MERIT Grade Criteria
M
4

Produce musical pieces, using advanced techniques in audio/MIDI computer software


effectively.
DISTINCTION Grade Criteria

D4 Produce musical pieces, using creative techniques in audio/ MIDI computer software
effectively.

ASSIGNMENT REGULATIONS
1. Before handing in your work you should check that:

It is clearly marked with your name, date and assignment / task title.
All of the set tasks have been completed and declaration signed and dated
A reference list /bibliography, where necessary, has been included (at the end)

2. All assignments must be submitted inside of your portfolio folder to your tutor between the hours of 08:00 and 15:00,
Monday to Friday. Responsibility for submitting work on time and to the correct location rests with you. Late submissions
without legitimate reasons will be returned unmarked. No work will be accepted via email, unless prior agreement has been
Unit 7 Exploring Computer Systems used by Musicians

Clifton
Hunter
High
School
BTEC
Extended
Certificate
made with your course tutor.
DECLARATION BY CANDIDATE

I confirm that the work submitted is the work of the above named student. Any borrowed or quoted
material is referenced where necessary. This includes internet material.

CANDIDATE SIGNATURE

TEACHER SIGNATURE

____________________

____________________

DATE __________________________

DATE __________________________

Unit 7 Exploring Computer Systems used by Musicians

Clifton
Hunter
High
School
BTEC
Extended
Certificate

ASSESSMENT SHEET
NAME OF
CANDIDATE
UNIT TITLE

Computer Music Systems Used By Musicians

UNIT NO.

ASSIGNMENT
TITLE

Assignment A Choosing and Setting Up A Computer


Assignment B Demonstration Tracks

ASSIGNMENT NO.

Assessor Feedback
Grading criteria
NOT achieved

PASS Grading
criteria achieved

Assessor signature

Unit 7 Exploring Computer Systems used by Musicians

MERIT Grading
criteria achieved

Date

DISTINCTION Grading criteria


achieved

Clifton
Hunter
High
School
BTEC
Extended
Certificate
Assessor Feedback (Resubmission)
Resubmission of improved evidence will be subject to approval by the INTERNAL VERIFIER
Criteria for
resubmission:
IVs Signature.

Date.

Resubmission deadline: . (Within 10 working days of the assessment decision given)

Grading criteria
NOT achieved

PASS Grading
criteria achieved

Assessor signature

Unit 7 Exploring Computer Systems used by Musicians

MERIT Grading
criteria achieved

Date

DISTINCTION Grading
criteria achieved