Course Title: Ambisonic Modelling

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Ambisonic Modelling

Credit Points: 12


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


315H Architecture & Design


Sem 2 2011,
Sem 1 2012,
Sem 2 2012


City Campus


320H Architecture & Design


Sem 1 2014,
Sem 2 2014,
Sem 2 2015,
Sem 1 2016,
Sem 2 2016,
Sem 2 2017

Course Coordinator: Jeffrey Hannam

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 9785

Course Coordinator Email:

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

Ambisonics is a method of reproducing a recorded or synthesised sound field to create the illusion of hearing a true three-dimensional acoustic environment. As a result, ambisonics can be used to support a variety of professional and research based applications including; investigations into acoustic environments of real or imagined spaces, describing the acoustic ecology of landscape design and built environments, and to support the design of: virtual walkthroughs, representations of urban interiors, visual installation work, surround sound gaming, film and animation and interaction design.

This course does not require you to have any prior experience in ambisonics or sound design. However if you have previously undertaken the undergraduate companion course Spatial Sound Modelling, or any other sound and acoustic environments related courses you will have an opportunity to build upon that learning and integrate it into a complex self-directed design project.

This course is divided into two main sections. The first section introduces the core principles of ambisonics, providing you with hands-on experience in accessing and undertaking unique recording and synthesis techniques to support the creation of three-dimensional sound fields. The second section will apply these principles to model real-world spaces using freely available software technologies.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

On completion of this course you will have a broadened understanding of sound and the issues and techniques in modelling a three-dimensional sonic environment.

On completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • Apply complex ambisonic-modelling techniques through self-directed design projects.
  • Model a complex sound space using a variety of software technologies.
  • Identify a software approach to best support individual design practices.
  • Analyse, reflect and communicate concepts relating to the reconstruction of complex sonic environments using digital media in audio and visual contexts.

Overview of Learning Activities

Presentation of examples of unique and complex projects demonstrating ambisonic-modelling approaches from instructors and invited guests.
Formal instruction, demonstrations, site visits and structured exercises for establishing the knowledge required in applying ambisonic techniques using specific software and associated technologies.
A project where advanced ambisonic-modelling techniques are applied to a complex design scenario, proposed by you and related to your disciplinary domain.
Note: Given the highly practical nature of the learning activities ongoing class participation is strongly advised so that you encounter the full-range of materials and techniques presented over the duration of the course.

Overview of Learning Resources

Specific resources including readings will be made available to you at the start of the course.
This course uses the specialised spatial and ambisonic technologies and environments of the SIAL Sound Laboratory and freely available software.

Overview of Assessment

You will be assesed on how well you meet the course’s learning outcomes.

Individual Project Portfolio
In consultation with the lecturer, you will produce a portfolio for documenting your design ideas and aural experiences leading to the design of your final project. The portfolio will contain all aural, visual and written material collected over the duration of the course. Your portfolio will be used to support the results of your final project.

Preliminary project presentation
You will give a brief class presentation outlining your design ideas and the approach you aim to take to model the sonic environment for your final project.

Final Project
A final project proposed by you and related to your disciplinary domain provides an opportunity for you to assemble and apply ambisonic techniques explored through the course. Final projects will reviewed in class at the end of semester with audio presented over an ambisonic loudspeaker array.

Assessment criteria:
* Demonstrate a capacity to apply complex ambisonic-modelling techniques.
* Demonstrate an ability to model an advanced acoustic design schema and to document and communicate findings.
* Ability to a chose, model and implement an appropriate ambisonic-modelling approach demonstrated through the analysis, reflection and communication of key concepts relating to the reconstruction of complex sonic environments using digital media in audio and visual contexts.

Equitable Learning Services: If you have a long term medical condition and/or disability it may be possible to negotiate to vary aspects of the learning or assessment methods. You can contact the program coordinator or the Equitable Learning Services if you would like to find out more.

Assessment Policy: Your course assessment conforms to RMIT assessment principles, regulations, policies and procedures: