This introductory course starts in the first semester and aims at laying the foundations of sound design practice and the principles of sound editing.
In the first part of this course, an introduction to sonology and the fundamentals of sound theory are presented. First, by means of some rudimental principles in physics (e.g. vibration and oscillation), students are taught the basic building blocks of sound and acoustics. Consequently, the ensuing lessons focus on aural perception, auditory cognition and psychoacoustics. This helps students to fully grasp how the mechanics of sound function, how DAWs function and complex audio projects are structured, how editing techniques are to be applied, how effects affect the source sounds, and how human hearing parses information conveyed in composite sounds.
The second part of the semester aims at putting these insights in practice. In this introductory class we look at the main functionalities of some Digital Audio Workstations, their basic operation, setup, features & applications. Students get hands-on training in how to setup their (digital) workspace and projects, how to navigate through various menus of a given Digital Audio Workstation, and how to organize, create and edit sounds.
The evaluation partially targets knowledge of the theory and vocabulary of working with sound, in part tests the operational skills of a DAW, and in part tests the ability to properly apply said knowledge to a basic audio project delivery. At the end of the course, students have a readily applicable understanding of the workings of sound, and how to alter audio parameters to fit an intended sonic construct.
Software used: Audacity, Steinberg Nuendo