Digital Audio Systems (DESC9115)


The objective of this unit is to provide both a strong theoretical understanding of digital audio and practical experience in applying these principles to digital audio systems. This unit offers a systematic approach to understanding digital audio systems. Beginning with basic principles the unit provides a knowledge base for understanding advanced digital audio components, systems and techniques. Examples of everyday audio signals are used and characterised in terms of their temporal and spectral properties. Practical application is emphasised and is supported through laboratory exercises that include programming as well as the use of current hardware and software packages. Topics include: digital principles, digital systems, sampling and quantisation, 1-bit and multi-bit conversion, digital signal processing, filtering, spectral analysis, sampling-rate conversion, data compression (MPEG, etc.), effects processing (echo, reverb, etc.), virtual reality audio, mixing, editing, digital audio storage and transmission formats.
Having successfully completed this unit the student will have the tools to understand what happens to a digital audio signal when a given process is applied to it; how to best apply this process and how to successfully combine digital audio components.

Our courses that offer this unit of study

Further unit of study information


Lectures 13 x 1.5 hrs, Labs 13 x 1.5 hrs


Two written review assignments (40%); one laboratory report (20%); weekly lab assignments (20%), 4 x in-class quiz (20%)

Faculty/department permission required?


Study this unit outside a degree

Non-award/non-degree study

If you wish to undertake one or more units of study (subjects) for your own interest but not towards a degree, you may enrol in single units as a non-award student.

Cross-institutional study

If you are from another Australian tertiary institution you may be permitted to underake cross-institutional study in one or more units of study at the University of Sydney.