Sound Design for New Media (DESC9117)


The objectives of this unit are to introduce essential sound design concepts including editing, synchronisation, rhythm and audiovisual counterpoint; to provide an overview of the sound design for visual media process including development an understanding of the historical impact of film 'factory', radio and television broadcasting production antecedents on the design language; to learn skills in track-laying, mixing and mastering audio for different media and genres; to learn essential sound recording skills; to learn the creation of various psychoacoustic effects and atmospheres; and to learn essential file management and archiving skills; to learn essential post-production skills in computer-based sound design in a studio environment. This unit is intended to give an understanding of the theory and practice of digital audio production for various visual media including digital video, web-based and interactive media. Using the industry standard ProTools software the unit will look at current computer-based tools and techniques available to the sound designer, as well as examine the various underlying strategies, processes, and sound design philosophies. The unit will offer a grounding in the history, theory and criticism of sound design and its applicability to current digital visual media. It will introduce conventional and non-conventional production models across a range of media production modes in broadcasting and multimedia.
The sound designer's role in the process of creation of meaning will be examined in cultural as well as technical contexts of compositional practices. It is anticipated that the unit will encourage debate about and a demystification of current production practices. It will aim at developing and extending production techniques towards an individual aesthetic.
At the completion of this unit students will be expected to: understand the aural medium, essential concepts and terms; have an overview of film 'factory', radio and television broadcasting production antecedents on the design language; be acquainted with the history, theory and criticism of audiovisual technology and design; develop an audiovisual language; understand spatial aspects of sound design; and develop technical and conceptual skills in preproduction, general miking techniques, post-synchronisation dialogue, editing dialogue, producing sound effects, multi-track laying, selecting music, creating atmospheres and various psychoacoustic effects, synchronisation and related issues, and mixing sound for vision.

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Further unit of study information


Seminars 3 hrs/wk


Class attendance (25%); participation and journal (15%); major project: initial proposal presentation and 1000 word assignment (20%), final project (40%)

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.