Course Title: Live Audio-Vision

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Live Audio-Vision

Credit Points: 12

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


340H Art


Sem 1 2006,
Sem 2 2007,
Sem 2 2008,
Sem 2 2009

Course Coordinator: Dr Philip Samartzis

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 5207

Course Coordinator

Course Coordinator Location: Bld 9.2.47

Course Coordinator Availability: Via Appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

This course explores the area of live audio-visual production through the implementation of the Max/MSP and Jitter object oriented programming environments. The course provides the necessary building blocks for student’s future work in multi-media settings from performance to installation.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

To instruct students in:

  • The history of, and current trends in, technology based audio-visual production
  • The fundamental building blocks of object oriented programming with a view to producing audio-visual outcomes
  • The potential to realise individual projects in sound and vision using extended techniques in Max/MSP and Jitter

Overview of Learning Activities

Each week the four-hour class will be divided into 2 hours of instruction followed by two hours of workshop-based learning. Toward the end of semester the students will be working primarily on their own final assessment projects with directed assistance.

Students will be required to present their final assignment progress to class with the requirement to show artistic rationale, technical methodology and to highlight specific difficulties.

Overview of Learning Resources

Reference Texts:
Roads, C 1996, The Computer Music Tutorial, MIT Press, Massachusetts.
Roads, C 2001, Microsound, MIT Press, Massachusetts.
Chion, Michel, 1990, Audio - Vision: Sound on-screen, Columbia University Press, New York.
Winkler, T 2001, Composing Interactive Music, MIT press, Massachusetts.
Rowe, R 1992, Interactive Music Systems: Machine Listening and Composing, MIT Press, Massachusetts.

Overview of Assessment

Task 1 - %20
Task 2 - %20
Final Assessment - %40
Participation - %20

Task 1: Construct a simple but functional virtual audio instrument using the techniques examined in classes 2-5. The instrument should employ synthesis and sampling techniques and be controllable from either an external interface or use of the on-board interactive capabilities of the lab machines (keyboard and mouse). Due beginning of class 7.

Task 2: Construct a simple but functional virtual audio-visual instrument using the techniques examined in classes 6-9. The audio component may be drawn from task 1 and the video component must use at least 3 techniques for the manipulation of video or open GL parameters. Due beginning of class 10.

Final Assignment:
Throughout the teaching period students are encouraged to formulate a project that directly informs or engages with their own artistic practice. This project will form the basis of the final assessment task. Articulating what it is you want to achieve in a clear and concise way is the first vital step in a successful project outcome.

Attendance and Participation:
Students are expected to attend ALL classes and participate actively in the learning process. Failure to do so will seriously impede the students’ ability to complete the set tasks outlined above. Students are also encouraged to work independently outside of the class time and return to classes with questions and comments about what has been presented.