Getting to grips with technology in media

Pupils get a taster in music creation & broadcast media operations

The Media Technology Group in the Department of Electronics & Electrical Engineering recently welcomed sixth-form pupils from Sacred Heart College in Crosby, giving them the opportunity to experience the operation of professional audio and TV equipment normally used by students on the BSc in Video Production & Streaming and the BSc in Audio & Music Production.
Dividing into three groups, a storyboard was created, enabling a PSC (Portable Single Camera) shoot to take place, which was then edited into a sequence to tell a story, supervised by programme leader Dr Karl Jones, with help from Kevin Johnston.
Meanwhile, the musical talents of Tony McKenna and Tony Lanigan were put to good use with a range of digital music technology, guiding the pupils in the creation of an appropriate musical score to accompany the sequence.
Finally, the pupils were directed by Dr David Ellis in the department’s multi-purpose studio and control gallery, creating a short TV programme presented by Colin Robinson, with the pupils’ teacher (Julie Askew) acting as the programme’s guest, whilst the pupils were controlling the signals and learning about the technical standards and operational procedures to which video and audio must adhere. The academic staff were assisted by three of their Level 6 students and one of their PhD students.
David Ellis explained, “Whether our media is delivered as ‘linear’ TV and radio, or by newer methods of ‘on-demand’ streaming (each of which bring their own technical challenges), the production quality still needs to meet specified technical standards to get ‘on-air’. The artistic intent is inextricably linked to the capabilities and operation of the technology that must deliver it. The pupils were involved in using a range of equipment and processes, such as ‘racking’ the studio cameras to maintain the correct video signal range and ensuring audio compliance to standards such as EBU R-128, which are normal requirements for TV broadcasting in the UK. Our degrees in Video Production & Streaming and Audio & Music Production obviously go into significantly more detail on a vast array of issues such as these and it's this blend of technical knowledge, combined with an understanding of operational practices and knowhow, that make our graduates sought-after in the industry.”
Julie Askew commented, “Our pupils have been hugely enthused by their activities today, using facilities which are not normally available to them. There has been a fantastic ‘buzz’ within the group and this experience has been an ‘eye-opener’ as well as enhancing their studies.”

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