BSc (Hons)
Undergraduate - Level 4,5 & 6

Live Sound

Online
Subject to validation
Close up of a Yamaha TF-5 console
Two dBs students help fly a Speaker array
Female student practicing front of house mix on a Yamaha TF-5 console

Our exciting Live Sound degree is highly practical, gear-heavy and packed full of industry opportunities to give you the skills and knowledge required for a successful career. We’ll teach you how to work with modern speaker systems, current mixing technology, acoustics, sound system optimisation, live sound production and elevate your listening skills and hone your professional practice.

Key Information
  • Where can I study?
    Bristol / Manchester
  • Start Date
    September 2024
  • Study Modes
    Full-Time
  • Course Length
    3 Years
  • UK/Home Fees (Per Year)
    £9,250
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Key Information
Key Information
Live Sound

Course Overview

The Live Sound degree will see you develop in-depth knowledge and the practical skills required to design, build and operate professional sound systems in a range of varied live event situations, such as festivals, small and large scale venues, theatres and other commercial events.

All practical elements of this course take place in our specially-designed teaching and performance spaces, in Manchester this includes the 1,300 capacity working venue New Century. Over the three years you’ll become confident in areas such as Front of House mixing, digital audio networking, advanced system optimisation, audio console operations, and immersive sound installations.

You'll be using professional-grade equipment from respected manufacturers such as LÁcousitcs, Allen & Heath, Martin Audio, Midas, Avid, Yamaha and d&b Audiotechnik, learning from tutors and our impressive roster of guest speakers who are at the very top of the UK’ Live Sound industry. In addition, you’ll have numerous work experience opportunities in a diverse array of live event situations, allowing you to apply your skills in real-world settings while gaining invaluable industry insights and connections.

Alongside these practical skills, you will also learn what it takes to work in the industry. While exploring how to set up your own business and generate self-employment opportunities, we will help nurture your confidence, team working skills and professional communication proficiency to maximise your chances of employment in the industry.

This course is taught by the dBs Institute and awarded by Access Creative College

This course is taught by the dBs Institute and awarded by Falmouth University

Course Details

You will study a total of 16 modules, including a final major project. Programme structures and modules can change as part of our curriculum enhancement and review processes

Close up of a digital Yamaha mixing console

Year Overview

Year 1

Module Breakdown

In the first year of your Live Sound degree, you’ll learn about the behaviour of sound and how it is affected by physical environments, develop your live mixing skills and delve into loudspeaker designs. You’ll explore the evolution of sound culture and bring together many aspects of live sound in the planning, production and execution of a live show.

Year 2

You’ll refine your live mixing skills, exploring digital processes and transition protocols, digital audio consoles and associated devices, synchronisation and time-codes and the use of VCAs and snapshots in audio-mixing. You’ll develop the knowledge needed to operate and tune a sound system to a specific environment and discover how technology can be used to deliver live experiences via digital means.

Year 3

In the final year of your Live Sound degree, you’ll deepen your understanding of monitoring and learn the skills needed to optimise the tuning of a system to create the best possible experience for an audience. You’ll also study radio frequency theory and operation and complete a research project that looks into your chosen area of the live sound industry.

How You'll Learn

Learning in both dBs' purpose-built spaces and public venues, you will become adept in live sound engineering; growing your skills in live sound production, system design, acoustics and more. You’ll get hands-on with a multitude of mixing consoles, working with some of the best speaker systems in the industry and develop your practical skills through practice-based workshops; while learning to evaluate and improve your work through group tutorials, and individual tutorials. Regular learning will come from lectures, seminars and our Virtual Learning Environment. In addition your learning will be supported by:

You will learn through:

  • Lectures and practical workshops
  • Masterclasses and guest lectures
  • Group and 1-2-1 tutorials
  • Access to extensive studio facilities and bookable equipment
  • Use of library resources and study spaces
  • Access to our Virtual Learning Environment
  • Access to supporting online resources including videos, reading and interactive activities

Assessments are 100% coursework, submitted in an electronic format to our virtual learning environment, and designed to reflect professional practice.

On average you should allow for between 40 - 50 hours per week for your studies of which approximately 25% will be taught (c.10 hours) and 75% will be self-study.

Why Choose dBs

Here at dBs Institute, we pride ourselves on creating a learning environment that reflects the industry that you want to work in. Our state-of-the-art facilities ensure that you are working on professional-grade equipment; our course leaders have years of industry experience to draw from and we foster a community of students and staff that inspires and encourages collaboration. Throughout your studies and beyond, we will also provide you with career support and guidance to reach your future goals.

Facilities

The Midas Verona 320 mixer in our live sound hall
Bristol
The Midas Verona 320 mixer in our live sound hall
Mixing a live show in the New Century venue (Credit: Honey Productions)
Manchester
Mixing a live show in the New Century venue (Credit: Honey Productions)
A guest workshop in our live sound hall
Bristol
A guest workshop in our live sound hall
Hands-on with the Yamaha MC7L mixer
Bristol
Hands-on with the Yamaha MC7L mixer
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    Why Choose a Online
    Degree at dBs

    Our online master's degrees offers a high-quality, immersive, and community-driven learning experience, led by industry experts who are passionate about their craft. With 24/7 access to course materials and resources, you can learn at your own pace from anywhere in the world. Plus, our hands-on projects will equip you with practical skills necessary for a successful career in the music industry.
    A female student works on her laptop

    Flexible study

    Enjoy the freedom to fit your learning around you. For online students, course content – other than one-to-one sessions – will be available to access whenever suits you. Video materials that have been created for online students will also be made available to students that select to study on-site.

    dBs Online tutor kris burton sits in front of our API desk at dBs

    Learn from the pros

    You will learn from tutors whose expertise extends across production, composition, sound design, sound engineering, label management, marketing and promotion.

    You’ll also have access to our extensive guest lecture programme, giving you the chance to meet leading industry professionals – ranging from respected producers and performers to specialist technical staff from world-class audio companies.

    Student working on a project at dBs Pro

    Industry Connections

    As a student of this course, you will be encouraged to apply for placements and opportunities with dBs Pro, our in-house creative audio company.
    This will allow you to further your experience and apply the skills you have been honing, as well as showcase your skills to clients and develop your creative own links in the industry.

    What our students say

    Who better to tell you about our course than students already doing the course? In this video, some of our latest cohort talk about their experience of the dBs online masters degrees.

    Tutors

    Bruce Turner

    Bruce Turner

    Module Leader
    We always learn something new when talking to Bruce. Specialising in production and performance, he’s passionate about exploring biomechanics and the science of sound.
    Skye Walters

    Skye Walters

    Live Sound Module Leader & Technician
    Skye is most at home behind a mixing console and has racked up an impressive list of credits as a live sound engineer across the UK and Europe.
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      Opportunities

      Engaging with our industry

      In our 20+ year history, we’ve built a strong network of contacts across the creative industries, that include AMS Neve, Solid State Logic, Avid and many more.

      Career support

      We strive to equip our students with the skills and opportunities to secure roles across the creative industries, and this goal underpins the student experience at dBs Institute.

      dBs Pro

      dBs Pro is a creative audio company with a difference - it’s dedicated to providing our students with real-world experience alongside their studies.

      Your Future Prospects

      Students progressing on from the live sound course will possess a vast expertise of every element that goes into producing live music to a high standard. By the time they graduate, our students have all found a niche role within the wider live sound industry that they will pursue at a professional level.

      In our career spotlight, we highlight a number of these roles and how this programme can equip you with the skills for any of them:

      Carreers

      The lifeblood of the show, Live Sound Engineers ensure that every element of the live music experience is perfectly tuned and neither the performers nor the audience ever misses a thing.

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        How to Apply

        Applying for this course is easy! Simply click the "Apply" button below to submit your application directly through our website.
        A member of our Admissions Team will then be in touch to discuss your suitability for the course, your interests and to arrange an interview.

        Applications for undergraduate degrees are made through the University and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). You can apply online through the UCAS website.

        Please note that the UCAS 'on-time' application deadline for equal consideration is 31st January 2024.

        UCAS Codes
        Campus
        Course Code
        Campus Code
        Institution Code
        Manchester
        W367
        J
        F33
        Bristol
        W359
        D
        F33

        If you would like to make an application for this course, fill in your details below and a member of our admissions team will be in touch to advise you through the application process.

        For detailed information on how to apply please take a look at our guide to making an application.

        Further Study

        Register your interest

        If you’d like to find out more about our postgraduate courses, please fill in the form below. Once submitted, a member of our admissions team will be in touch to discuss our postgraduate course offerings and the next steps of the application process.

        Please note, if you currently live outside of the UK and require a Tier 4 VISA to study in the United Kingdom, we are unable to accept your application for our on campus full-time or part-time postgraduate degree programmes. If this is the case, please apply for one of our online postgraduate courses instead.

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