Sound Design for Interactive Media 2

Spring 2020

Instructor - Stefan Damian / or.ctanu|naimad.nafets#or.ctanu|naimad.nafets

Credits - 4 ECTS

Course Prerequisites

The course welcomes students coming from different creative and professional backgrounds and it is designed to relate to all levels of proficiency or aesthetic approaches. However, a basic understanding/experience with sound or music should elevate the discussion flow and outcome of the course.

Course Description

This course aims to provide students a high degree of awareness of the creative and expressive role of sound in various forms and mediums of Contemporary Art, New Media, Performing Arts, Music, Sonic Arts, and Installations. The course is designed for two semesters where the first semester is mainly focused around sound creation and transformation in three mediums: air, electric and digital, while the second semester is more oriented towards sound design and synthesis methods. After completion, students are expected to gain creative flexibility and apply their new skills in musical, performing, installations, interactive and New Media applications.
During the two semesters lectures will include notions of acoustics, psychoacoustics, critical listening, spatial sound, digital signal processing, musical discourse, editing and mixing, sonification and interactive sound design.

Course Objectives

Students in this course will pursue:
• Refinement of personal aesthetic taste and style.
• High level of understanding of various DAWs workflows (Steinberg Nuendo, Cycling 74 MaxMSP, Avid Pro Tools, Cockos Reaper, Ableton Live etc.)
• A good understanding of modern DSP Tools and acknowledgement of their creative possibilities
• Good control of recording techniques and diffusion techniques related to spatial audio and immersive sound.
• Sound Design and synthesis literacy.
• Good understanding of Interaction Design and tools (sensors, DIY interfaces, space)
• Ability of using sound design techniques to new media projects.
• Ability to create interactive installations and acousmatic narratives.
• A good understanding of other team members’ work , such as creative programmers, performers, musicians, space designers, light designers, animators, directors.

Course Structure

This course will be comprised of 14 weekly classes per semester, resulting in a final individual semester project proposed by each student. The project may be a blend between sound design, musical, interactive or New Media components. Periodic key assignments should contribute to the development of this final project.
The final grade will consist of 4 components:
• Class attendance and participation (25%).
• Execution of periodic assignments (15%).
• Final project presentation / accompanying description of the creative process involved (10%).
• Final project (50%).

Class Schedule

Week 1: Short history and introduction in Sonic Art. The Art of Noise, Musique Concrete, Electronic Music, Electroacoustic Music.
Week 2: Fundamentals of sound design. Oscillators, wavetables, envelopes, noise generators and filters.
Week 3: Additive and substractive synthesis.
Week 4: Amplitude Modulation (AM) and Frequency Modulation (FM). Effects and synthesis.
Week 5: Granular and concatenative synthesis. Applications in musical and interactive applications.
Week 6: Extended synthesis techniques. Blending different synthesis algorithms for creating new sonorities.
Week 7: Overview of interactive sound and installations.
Week 8: Sensors and data acquisition and processing methods. Accelerometers, Gyroscopes, Cameras and Touch Sensors.
Week 9: Sonification design.
Week 10: Interaction design. Mapping, thresholding and scaling rules.
Week 11: Interaction design. Gesture recognition and machine learning.
Week 12: Conclusions.
Week 13: Final project discussions / supervising
Week 14: Final project discussions / supervising
Final: Final Project Presentations.


Analysis, Synthesis and Perception of Musical Sounds, Springer, 2007 – Beauchamp, James W.
Computer Sound Design: Synthesis Techniques and Programming, Focal Press, 2002 – Miranda, Eduardo Reck.
Designing Sound, MIT Press, 2010 – Farnell, Andy.
The Theory and Technique of Electronic Music,World Scientific Publishing, 2007 – Puckette, Miller.
Electronic Music and Sound Design: Theory and Practice with Max/MSP, ConTempoNet, 2019 – Cipriani, Alessandro & Giri, Maurizio.
Electronic and Experimental Music, Routledge, 2002 – Holmes, Tom
Sensors and Transducers, Blackwell Scientific Publications, 1988 – Sinclair, I.R.
The Sonification Handbook, Logos Publishing House, 2011 – Hermann, Thomass & Neuhoff, John G. & Hunt, Andy.

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