BBC radiophonic workshop techniques

Course Dates: 26/07/21 - 28/07/21
Time: 14:00 - 17:00
Location: Online
Explore and exploit techniques typical of a late 1950s electroacoustic music studio such as the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. Oscillators, filters, modulators, tape recorders and mixers will be studied via BERNA emulation software.
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
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Full fee £79.00 Senior fee £63.00 Concession £79.00

This course has now finished

Course Code: MK634

Finished Mon+Wed, day, 26 Jul - 28 Jul '21

Duration: 2 sessions

Please note: We offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. Just visit our online Help Center for more information on a range of topics including fees, online learning and FAQs.

What is the course about?

Exploring the history, context and practice of the mid 20th-century electronic music studio and the wider discipline of musique concrète. You will explore the techniques in a practical way using software emulations and pre recorded tape loops to create your own musique concrète pieces.

This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
- Earphones/headphones/speakers.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.

What will we cover?

• analysis of early electronic music and key musique concrète compositions
• the components that make up a musique concrète studio
• techniques employed in musique concrète composition.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

• understand the principles of musique concrète composition, relating these to historical context
• Use the components of an early electronic studio (oscillators, envelopes, filters, white noise generators and the mixer and tape loop techniques) to create original sounds
• create your own compositions out of tones generated by oscillators, tape loops, envelopes and noise generators.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

This course is aimed at anyone who wishes to learn how to put this exciting technology to creative use. You need basic understanding of musical concepts and IT skills (e.g. file management).

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

Tutor demonstration and explanation, class discussion, followed by practical work. You will present work in progress and receive feedback and support from your tutor and peers.
You will make best progress if you can work on your projects between sessions.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

You need a computer running the BERNA software, which simulates 1950s electronic music studio equipment. Available only from its developer Giorgio Sancristoforo [external website: scroll down to BERNA 2].
You can download and try for free, but the software only runs for 8 minutes at a time until you pay for your licence: €12 (pay by Paypal). There is a demo video [external website] so that you can see the basic functions before you purchase.

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

Visit our Music technology courses: overview blog to see the wide range of courses on offer, from music production and home recording to live electronics and sound art. If you already know what you are looking for, go straight to the listing of currently available course dates and times.
For further advice email the Music office.
Music also offers a wide range of instrumental, singing, ensemble, music theory, musicianship, songwriting and composition courses.

Max La Villa

Max’s musical training began in New York City where he was lucky enough to have major session musicians as neighbors in his building teaching him guitar as a child. By his early teens he was studying classical guitar, alongside theory and orchestration, at the High School of the Performing Arts. He relocated to Spain to further his classical guitar studies under the esteemed guitarist/ teacher Jose Tomas. While there Max ran a commercial recording studio, where he began immersing himself in the emerging digital technologies. After moving to London, he continued working as a session musician. He has recorded, toured and collaborated with artists including Kevin Ayers, Paul Weller, Perry Farrell (Jane’s Addiction), Jah Wobble, Carl Barat (Libertines) and Marc Almond. In 2011 he was commissioned to compose recitatives and an aria for a production of “The Coronation of Poppea” by the Théatre du Châtelet in Paris which centered around virtual instruments and sampling delivered by multiple computers live on stage with the players. Max continues working with artists of every genre in mixing, sound design, drum programming, bass and keyboards.

Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.