MSD students you need to follow

The unsung heroes of any media niche, these are the guys that have a perpetual supply of mood music. UTS' Music and Sound Design (MSD) students are a creative force to be reckoned with, and these are the students who will show you why. 

Music makes the world go ‘round - that’s a fact - but have you ever thought how it became so? UTS’ Bachelor of Music and Sound Design is a three-year (full-time load) degree, which is designed to develop the real-world skills of students for success in the digital sound industry. Through the learning combination of music, sounds and screens, MSD students have opportunities to work towards a career in sound design and production across media, which can range from popular music, to film, television, advertising, animation, web, gaming, interactive digital media, and locational sound.

Here are three MSD students who are making the most of their chosen degree.

Nigel Malcolm

Bachelor of Music and Sound Design

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My favourite piece at the moment is The Cosmicist, which I worked on with a Media Arts and Production Student here at UTS. The piece is a short abstract visual narrative that was inspired by the literature of American writer HP Lovecraft. It was created in response to a Music and Sound Design assessment asking for a sound design piece that was thought-provoking, challenging and unusual.

What's your favourite part about Music and Sound Design? 
The wide range of skills you are taught that prepare you for the huge range of different jobs available for Music and Sound graduates!

What part of the industry are you hoping to break into?
That's a good question; the opportunities are so diverse, so it can be tricky to head in one direction. At the moment I'm working in Live Sound, and am also hoping to work in the Film and Television industry.

What's the most challenging part of the degree? 
The course can require a lot of self motivation sometimes; there's so many opportunities to heighten your skills, you just need to take them! 

What advice would you give to someone who wants to do Music and Sound Design?
Having fun and messing around with different ideas and software is a great way to learn important skills in this course, so I'd just say to have fun, make lots of friends and don't be afraid to go out and test your skills! 

Alexander Jarman

Bachelor of Music and Sound Design

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What's your favourite part about Music and Sound Design? 

My favourite part of Music and Sound Design is the breadth of topics covered throughout the course. We've studied everything from podcasts, composing with unconventional sources, electronic music composition and sound synthesis and design. One semester I might be learning about an approach to music based on classical theory, and then the next I'll be learning about the physics behind different waveforms and their interactions. The degree obviously tries to approach the topic of music and sound from as many angles as possible, and this can be really eye-opening! 

What part of the industry are you hoping to break into?

Ideally, I'd love to work as a producer. I absolutely love working with vocalists to create fun, solid pop music and this is what I'm striving for career wise. Although, I am also drawn to film composition and composition in pretty much any context. As long as I'm challenged and allowed some level of creativity, I'm happy!

What's the most challenging part of the degree? 

The most challenging part of my degree would definitely be learning to accept learning about certain areas of the sound of music world that don't particular interest or pertain to my own interests and skills. The degree has to cater to all interests, so there's always going to be some topics which fascinate and inspire me and others which fail to do so. This can be challenging but also incredibly useful in teaching students to open their minds to more conceptual and alternative approaches to music and sound. 

What advice would you give to someone who wants to do Music and Sound Design?

Go into the degree with an open mind. Don't worry so much about your current skill set, and instead be open to any challenge that is presented to you. Some classes will be hard (Sonology burnt my brain to a crisp!) and some will be inspiring (Songwriting for Context and Screen Soundtrack Composition were two favourites of mine!), but all classes will teach you skills that can be applied to your own interests. Don't fight it if you're not initially engaged, find a way to make it your own.

Michael Zaluzny

Bachelor of Music and Sound Design (2015 to 2017)/Honours in Communication (2018)

  Recording footsteps. Supplied. To view Michael’s    showreel   , use password “ Silvera12”.

Recording footsteps. Supplied. To view Michael’s showreel, use password “Silvera12”.

I really love all the slow motion videos I created sound for, because it has no audio to begin with, so it allowed me to have free reign over it, and create some really interesting things.

What's your favourite part about Music and Sound Design? 

My favourite part of MSD was all of the avenues that the degree allowed me to take from working on music, to film, and video games. The teaching staff were also the most supportive teachers that I’ve ever had.

What part of the industry are you hoping to break into?

I’m hoping to break into the film or video game industry in the USA. I’ll be presenting my honours paper at Game Sound Con in LA on 9 - 10 October, so hopefully that will give me a boost to getting a job over there.

What's the most challenging part of the degree? 

For me, the most challenging part was trying to work out where I wanted to take it at the end. I knew I didn’t want to work in the music industry but that was it.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to do Music and Sound Design?

I would tell future students to keep an open mind about what they want to do. Don’t just focus on one corner of the audio industry. But also to have fun with the chances you’re given, and create some weird and different audio pieces, because that’s what employers often like to see.