Course dates

Monday 15 Jan 2024
7.30-9.30pm | 10 weeks

Course overview

Led by our highly regarded and experienced tutor, Dr Marcus Leadley, our Introductory course aims to take you on a journey of exploration through the thrilling and ever-popular world of Field Recording.

Thank you so so much for the wonderful journey towards field recording - it's been just incredible and gave me so much food for thought. Lavinia Siardi, Autumn 2022

From techniques designed to offer a foundation, to a much-needed overview of a discipline considered vitally important in the fields of film and documentary sound, radio, scientific and ecology enquiry as well as art practice, this course is designed to offer you a solid grounding on which to build, and possibly move on to take our advanced course: Field Recording: Soundscape Composition.

To avoid disappointment, please book your place on the course 72 hours prior to its commencement.

Whether you’re a complete beginner, or whether you have some experience of basic hand-held recorders and wants to improve the quality of their recordings, this 10-week course is for you! You will learn through a mixture of workshops, lectures, field trips, and recording sessions, as well as gaining valuable hands-on experience.

Brief course structure

  • Week 1 - Lecture – Listening, Context and History of the Soundscape.
  • Week 2 - Lecture / Soundwalk – Listening, Context and History of the Soundscape continued and Soundwalk.
  • Week 3 - Lecture / Workshop – Portable Digital Recorders, Microphones and Techniques.
  • Week 4 - Lecture / Workshop – Recording ‘Hidden’ Sounds: Contact Mics, Coil Mics, Hydrophones and Ultrasound Detectors.
  • Week 5 - Field Trip.
  • Week 6 – Lecture/Lab – Field Trip De-Brief + Group Listening to our Recordings.
  • Week 7 - Lecture – Soundscape and the Socio-Political: Exploration of Arts Practices and Agendas.
  • Week 8 - Lecture/Lab – Introduction to Software and Soundscape Composition Basics: Importing Files and Editing Sound. Composing with Sound in the Studio.
  • Week 9 - Lecture /Lab – Equalization, Effects and Processing Sound + Composing with Sound in the Studio.
  • Week 10 - Lab – Composing with Sound in the Studio + Presenting Work and Feedback.

Intended Learning Outcomes

  • Theoretical, practical and conceptual knowledge in phonography and soundscape composition.
  • Transferrable skills that can be used in a number of different contexts, including sound art and fine art, as well as documentary.
  • An understanding of ‘site’ encompassing space, place and location
  • An awareness of audio and microphone techniques
  • An understanding of the current and historical contexts of phonography.

Technical Requirements

While the base-line technical requirement for taking this course is a computer and a recording device (mobile phone or other) you will, ideally, need either a decent set of computer monitor speakers or good headphones.

Weekly sessions will be held over Zoom.



Standard £370 Early Bird £314.50

Goldsmiths offers a 15% concession rate on short courses to Lewisham Local cardholders, Students and Goldsmiths Alumni. Please email for further information.

Booking information

Please note our short courses sell out quickly, so early booking is advisable.

Monday 15 Jan 2024
7.30-9.30pm | 10 weeks




If you have any questions about this course please contact shortcourses (

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Disability Support

We are committed to providing reasonable teaching adjustments for students with disabilities that may impact on their learning experience. If you require adjustments, please contact us at so we can respond to your requests as soon as possible.

Tutor information

Dr Marcus Leadley

This course is taught by Dr. Marcus Leadley, a sound artist, composer, curator and academic whose work explores the relationship between sound and place. He holds an MMus in Studio Based Composition and a PhD in Sonic Arts. The title of his PhD thesis is In Situ Listening: Soundscape, Site and Transphonia.  Dr Leadley is an experienced field recordist and his current research interests include phonography, soundscape composition and acoustic ecology.


About the department

The Department of Music encourages an atmosphere of open-minded debate and a commitment to all types of music from classical music and jazz to popular and electronic music. Our alumni play leading roles in the music industry and other creative fields. A hugely varied department, our former students have equally diverse lives - from classical musicians and Mercury Prize-winning pop stars, to lawyers, academics and administrators. We have a global track record for research that interfaces with historical studies, computing, audiovisual media, poetry and design. Our unique profile of research centres and units include the Sound Practice Research Unit, Contemporary Music Research Unit, Centre for Russian Music, Afghanistan Music Unit and the Asian Music Unit. We run many different ensembles, and an annual festival of eclectic, innovative and exciting work coming out of the Department: PureGold Festival. The Department also comprises excellent rehearsal and performance facilities including the Goldsmiths Music Studios, the Electronic Music Studios, the Council Chamber (with its Steinway Model D) and two suites of practice rooms.

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