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The Recording Arts and Science Department

The Recording Arts and Science (RAS) major is designed to meet the expanding need for skilled audio technicians, producers, engineers and acousticians who possess both technical expertise and a sophisticated knowledge in music. The curriculum combines electrical engineering classes in electronics, digital signal processing and multimedia, with audio studies in acoustics, digital audio, recording and postproduction. 

The Conservatory Recording Studio is the classroom for RAS students to get more extensive practical experience in recording works ranging from jazz, rock, pop to orchestral repertoire. In addition to regular laboratory sessions with live musical groups of all styles, students participate in recording a wide variety of Conservatory events. Students are expected to work in the recording studio throughout the course of their candidature as part of the work-study programme. In the fourth year, students will need to complete graduation production design and an internship with a local radio, television, or recording company. 

This course is available for application as a 2nd major for students from other faculties in NUS. Students are required to have taken Physics and Maths at 'A'-levels or equivalent in order to qualify for consideration. 
 

Curriculum Components:

The RAS curriculum is conceived in two parts: Fundamentals and Core components.

Fundamentals (19 MC) form the basic first-year courses in maths, science (physics), and engineering (electrical) which establish a theoretical and practical underpinning for further studies in the technology of audio recording and production.

Core courses (61 MC) form the heart of the major study, building from basic concepts and procedures in recording to advanced courses in areas of production, post production, and acoustics. The Core section also includes Professional Studies courses (8 MC) which are common to all Conservatory students. 

Fundamentals modules include a full year of MA1505 Maths 1 and MA1506 Maths 2 as well as PC1431 Physics 1E and PC1432 Physics 2E in the first year. These courses lay the mathematical and scientific groundwork for further technical courses in engineering and acoustics. In the second year, EG1108 Electrical Engineering introduces concepts of electrical and computer engineering to prepare students for advanced work in electronics, computer-based production tools, and electroacoustics. 

Core modules may be considered as the primary courses that comprise the subject matter of the major. Two years of recording techniques courses (Basic Recording 1 and 2 in the first year, Multitrack Recording 1 and 2 in the second year) introduce the tools, concepts, and techniques of audio recording and production for both live and studio settings in stereo and multitrack formats. Issues of acoustics, session procedures, microphone techniques, mixing console theory and operation, signal routing, and analog and digital audio signals are all covered in a practical and hands-on format, along with lectures and readings. Starting in the second half of the second year, specialized modules in Audio Mixing, Audio Mastering, Digital Audio Media, Audio for Media, and Production Styles and Techniques focus on particular areas of production and post-production techniques, tools, and concepts. They build upon the common themes of the Recording courses and introduce advanced applications while reinforcing and refining knowledge and techniques. Production Listening is an ear-training course for audio engineers and provides a focused set of experiences around aural perception and comprehension of signals and production techniques. 

Further Core modules in various aspects of acoustics form a coherent sequence building from the first-year Fundamentals modules to develop a sophisticated understanding and command of the physical principles of sound and audio technology. Acoustics and Psychoacoustics introduces the physics of sound and the perception and cognition of sound. Musical Acoustics and Architectural Acoustics and Acoustical Measurement delve into the specific areas of the acoustics of musical instruments and the acoustics of studio, performance, and listening spaces. Electroacoustics covers the physical principles at work in common electrical and electronic systems in audio production, including transducers and amplifiers. 

Two courses in Communications and New Media - NM1101E Communications, New Media & Society, and either NM2216 Introduction to Interactive Media or NM2210 Aesthetics of New Media - serve to locate the knowledge and experiences of audio engineering within the larger societal, professional, aesthetic, and technological frameworks of media, society, and communications. 
 

Core Modules:

Acoustics and Psychoacoustics

Musical Acoustics

Architecture Acoustics and Acoustical Measurement

Electroacoustics

Basic Recording (I and II)

Multitrack Recording (I and II)

Audio Mixing

Audio Mastering

Audio for Media

Digital Audio Media

Internship