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Semester 2 - 30 credits

2 Compulsory & 4 of 7 Options Subjects (6 * 5 ECTS = 30 ECTS)
  1. Psychoacoustics 2
  2. Research Methods & Innovation
  3. Electroacoustic Composition 2
  4. Contemporary Composition Theory & Practice 2
  5. Visual Music 2
  6. Programming Interactive Systems
  7. Audio Production Techniques
  8. Spatial Audio
  9. Motion Picture Engineering

Psychoacoustics 2

Dermot Furlong

On successful completion of this module, students should be able to discuss issues relating to auditory perception and music cognition. The aim of this course is to address the further phenomena of auditory perception, auditory scene analysis, and embodied music cognition. Topics addressed include conceptual integration, cross modal integration, spatial hearing, recording formats and spatial perception, room acoustics, gestalt theory, auditory scene analysis, and embodied cognition. (5 credits)


Research Methods & Innovation

Dermot Furlong

On successful completion of this module, students should be able to undertake an organized research project and present their results appropriately. They should also have an awareness of project funding strategies and organization. The aim of this course is to provide students with some insight as to what is involved in research studies, and how to effectively communicate research findings. Effective operation as project organizers will also be addressed. Topics addressed include scheduling research activities, writing research proposals, making effective presentations, and thesis writing. Project funding and economic organization. (5 credits)


Electroacoustic Composition 2

Enda Bates

In this second module. students are introduced to more complex topics relating to electroacoustic composition such as live electronics, augmented instruments, vocal processing and synthesis, spatial music, and the use of notation in electronic music. In this module, students are given more freedom to focus on their own particular musical interests and are encouraged to develop their own distinctive voice as a composer and performer. There are no restrictions in terms of the hardware or software that may be used, however, the use of live electronics is a particular focus in the first few weeks of the semester. Class discussions and student presentations are an important part of this module, and serve to develop each student’s ability to present, discuss, analyse and assess their own music, as well as the music of other composers.
Here's a video of some excerpts from our live electronics workshop from the electroacoustic composition 2 module. For this workshop, each student had to prepare and notate an etude for live electronics of some kind, which was then performed by one of their classmates. (5 credits)


Contemporary Composition 2

Ann Cleare

This module is intended for those wishing to concentrate on composition for traditional instruments, and their potential combination with electronics. The module examines in detail advanced techniques in instrumental composition, and composition that combines traditional and newer media.  Emphasis is placed on critically analysing harmonic, timbral, rhythmic and notational techniques current today, so as to enable the student to write critically informed original music of a high standard. In order to take this elective module, some amount of formal music training is required. (5 credits)


Visual Music 2

Maura McDonnell

Contemporary visual music is a time-based media art form increasingly being used in music concert performances, video art projection in art gallery spaces, theatre/opera/dance performance and audio-visual screenings in cinematic settings. There is a the trend in recent years for art, cinema and music disciplines to build relationships between the disciplines and to cross over boundaries of artistic expression, focusing on exploring methods and techniques and ideas from one knowledge area and applying it to another area. Visual music then embraces both audio and video production using digital technology with artistic and musical goals to realise creative, hybrid artistic works. The aim of this module is to explore the creative possibilities of the interrelationship between sound and image, by both examining historical and contemporary practice in the field of visual music and by planning, devising and constructing one’s own audio to visual interrelationships that will be explored and realised through two practical creative projects. (5 credits)


Programming Interactive Systems

Mark Linnane

Programming Digital Systems is a one-semester course taken by M.Phil. students. It covers intermediate to expert-level interactive multimedia programming topics, building on the Creative Coding module. Contemporary sensor devices such as Microsoft Kinect and Leap Motion are demonstrated with the use of the Processing coding language. Fundamental theories of digital systems and signal processing theory are introduced, but the focus is on practical application; the Arduino micro-controller platform is used for the rapid prototyping of ideas using physical computing components, sensors and simple electronic circuits. The course is intended to enable students to develop systems with rich interaction possibilities that realise their artistic intention through advanced programming techniques, electronic design and suitable signal processing. (5 credits)


Audio Production Techniques

Jimmy Eadie

The aim of this course is to introduce students to essential technical processes involved in audio production and its related areas of practice such as, ensemble recording, sound design for radio, film, theatre, live sound production and location recording. The objective of the module is to apply theoretical knowledge in practical contexts so as to expand the ability and analytical skills of the student. The syllabus will deal with creative strategies of production while also training students to listen critically to programme material. (5 credits)


Spatial Audio

Enda Bates

This module is intended for those interested in using spatial audio techniques in a variety of different contexts, including but not limited to; spatial music composition, cinema surround sound, virtual reality and 360 media, multimedia performance and interactive installations, audio production and recording, surround sound for gaming and mobile devices, sonification, auditory interfaces, and psychoacoustics. Students will need some prior knowledge of the fundamentals of DAW-based audio production, such as that presented in the Electroacoustic Composition 1 module in the first semester of the MMT programme, for example. This course is intended to enable future audio engineers, composers, researchers and sound-designers to clearly determine the optimal spatialization schemes and techniques for a given application and environment, as well as motivating further innovation and artistic creativity in the field. Students are presented with a wide variety of spatial content, both in class and also in additional listening sessions/concerts of contemporary and historical works of spatial electroacoustic music. The history of spatial audio is discussed, in terms of mainstream cinema and film, popular music releases on DVD, and a wide variety of contemporary/ electroacoustic music and composers. Students are encouraged to critically assess the strengths and weaknesses of different techniques to enable their effective and creative use of spatial audio, in different contexts. (5 credits)


Motion Picture Engineering

Anil Kokaram

Television has revolutionised communications in the 20th century and Digital Video as a medium has completely changed that landscape. Research and development in this area has inspired new industries in digital media creation, online video streaming and video media sharing. Industrial Light and Magic, The Foundry, YouTube, Netflix, Vimeo, Skype, Sky Digital are just a few of the well known large companies that now successfully operate in this space. This module prepares the student for a career in digital video engineering by concentrating on the advanced technologies that enable online video streaming and video analysis for cinema post-production. This means both work in statistical video processing and video coding. Statistical Signal Processing facilitates the formulation of advanced frameworks to solve common tasks in video processing such as segmentation and motion estimation. The module will also revisit topics in video compression first encountered in 4C8 and will investigate modern compression standards such as H.264, VP8 and VP9 with guest lectures from industry experts in YouTube and Google. The module also aims to develop practical skills in research, plugin development and testing that are common practice in companies developing tools for digital media. Students will be required to independently investigate leading research papers in the field and develop video processing plugins for Nuke (www.thefoundry.co.uk), a leading video-processing platform in the Cinema Post-Production industry.

A strong Engineering background is required to take this module. (10 credits)