Module code: TON2014

Module Overview

This module is intended to provide you with a solid grounding in electro-acoustics with emphasis on the study of loudspeakers and microphones including use of single degree of freedom modelling.

Module provider

Music and Media

Module Leader

HAIGH Caroline (Music & Med)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 5

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 104

Lecture Hours: 40

Laboratory Hours: 6

Module Availability

Year long

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

Level 4 Acoustics and Computer Audio Systems A and B Level 4 Audio Engineering and Recording Techniques A and B Level 4 Electronics and Audio Signal Processing A and B

Module content

Indicative content includes:

  • Use of the single degree of freedom model in electro-acoustic devices

  • Deriving mathematical expressions for microphone and loudspeaker behaviour

  • Calculation of loudspeaker and microphone characteristics from physical parameters

  • Transduction mechanisms in loudspeakers

  • Operating principles of moving coil, electrostatic, ribbon and horn loudspeakers

  • Design of a loudspeaker using commercially available parts

  • Analysis of results of experimental data produced in class

  • Performance limitations of typical loudspeaker designs

  • Principles of operation of pressure, pressure gradient, combination, condenser, moving coil, and ribbon microphones.

  • Microphone specifications.

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Examination EXAMINATION (2 HOURS) 50

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide you with the opportunity to demonstrate academic writing skills, solution of calculation based problems, and application of theory to a design proposal.

Summative  Assessment

•      Two written coursework assignments based on Loudspeakers (addresses learning outcomes 6-9) and microphones (addresses learning outcomes 1-5)

•      2hr exam (addresses learning outcomes 1-9)

Formative  assessment

Formative assessment is provided though coursework feedback


You will receive written feedback on your coursework

Module aims

  • Familiarise you with the principles behind the operation of common transducers and how the alteration of various physical parameters will affect the performance characteristics of the device.
  • Familiarise you with the use of single degree of freedom modelling

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Describe the principles of operation of pressure, pressure gradient, combination, switchable and variable-output microphones KC
002 Describe the design of condenser, moving coil, and ribbon microphones KC
003 Describe and explain microphone specifications KCP
004 Mathematically describe the performance of a variety of microphones KC
005 Use mathematical modelling to investigate the effect of changing an aspect of microphone design KC
006 Describe the transduction mechanisms found in loudspeakers KC
007 Describe the operating principles of moving coil, electrostatic, ribbon and horn loudspeakers KC
008 Discuss the performance limitations of typical loudspeaker designs. KCP
009 Mathematically describe the performance of a loudspeaker unit. KC

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to: deepen understanding of loudspeaker and microphone design following on from HE4 introduction in Level 4 Recording Techniques.


The learning and teaching methods include:

  • A two hour lecture each non-practicals week

  • A practical loudspeaker measurement session followed by report writing and results analysis

  • A practical microphone measurement session to include directivity pattern, noise and proximity effect

  • Independent reading and research


Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list

Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: TON2014

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Music and Sound Recording (Tonmeister) BSc (Hons)(CORE) Year-long Core Each unit of assessment must be passed at 40% to pass the module
Music and Sound Recording (Tonmeister) BMus (Hons)(CORE) Year-long Core Each unit of assessment must be passed at 40% to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2020/1 academic year.