Course Title: Develop sound designs

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2017

Course Code: VART6416C

Course Title: Develop sound designs

School: 345T Media and Communication

Campus: City Campus

Program: C6151 - Advanced Diploma of Screen and Media

Course Contact: Program Administration

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 4815

Course Contact Email:

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Nat Bates
ph: 9925 4815

Nominal Hours: 50

Regardless of the mode of delivery, represent a guide to the relative teaching time and student effort required to successfully achieve a particular competency/module. This may include not only scheduled classes or workplace visits but also the amount of effort required to undertake, evaluate and complete all assessment requirements, including any non-classroom activities.

Pre-requisites and Co-requisites


Course Description

In this course you will cover the skills and knowledge required to develop an overall sound design from production briefs.

It applies to individuals with a good understanding of the physical nature of sound, along with research and creative thinking skills. They collaborate with other creative personnel to develop the overall sound or musical identity of a wide range productions.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

CUASOU503 Develop sound designs


1. Interpret and confirm sound design brief

Performance Criteria:

1.1 Participate in concept meetings with relevant people to discuss and determine creative and technical sound requirements for a production

1.2 Confirm sound requirements meet the overall production requirements in liaison with relevant people

1.3 Identify and confirm any additional sound design team members required to fulfil the brief


2. Break down components of sound design brief

Performance Criteria:

2.1 Identify types of sounds required, and determine content, quality and duration of each sound component

2.2 Determine and document resource and creative requirements for each sound component

2.3 Document and confirm roles of sound design team members


3. Experiment with sound components to express ideas

Performance Criteria:

3.1 Encourage and motivate sound design team members to generate ideas

3.2 Generate, explore and record a range of ideas and options to serve as a creative base for developing the required sound design

3.3 Select ideas with the most potential for technical and creative development of the required sound design


4. Assess creative ideas

Performance Criteria:

4.1 Evaluate selected ideas in terms of their viability, cost, technical feasibility and suitability to meet requirements of sound design brief

4.2 Select final ideas for the components of the sound design, based on what is needed to meet the overall requirements of the brief


5. Design sound elements

Performance Criteria:

5.1 Develop sound design concept, taking into consideration the brief and the ideas generated by the sound design team

5.2 Determine sound components required to implement sound design in line with creative and technical requirements

5.3 Establish clear relationship between sound components and objectives of sound design

5.4 Liaise with relevant people to incorporate additional requirements and ideas to achieve best sound design

5.5 Present sound design in required format to convey design concept

5.6 Confirm final sound design concept is consistent with brief and that potential difficulties are addressed


6. Evaluate final sound design

Performance Criteria:

6.1 Use appropriate techniques to evaluate whether final sound design meets the requirements of the sound design brief

6.2 Seek feedback and opinions from relevant people, and document results of evaluation

6.3 Communicate results of evaluation to relevant people, and use results to improve future practice

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, you will have developed skills and knowledge required to develop sound designs across a number of screen and media platforms.

Details of Learning Activities

In class learning activities may include, but are not limited to:

• lectures and/or lab work
• teacher directed group activities and projects
• concept development of group and individual projects
• group discussions and class presentations
• peer and teacher feedback
• WIP (work in progress) reviews
• self directed online, library and industry research
• self directed project production work and reflection
• class excursions to events and locations outside of RMIT

Out of class activities may include, but are not limited to:

• maintaining secure daily backups of all assessment and project data
• accessing online tutorial resources
• self directed online, library and industry research
• self directed project production work and reflection
• class excursions to events and locations outside of RMIT

Teaching Schedule


Class Content



Overview of course

Introduction to assessment tasks

  • Students are encouraged to download PCM recorder app

Overview of teacher’s freelance sound design experience.



What is sound design?

How to analyse audio visual material to reveal how the soundtrack works.

Parts of a soundtrack (music, atmos, sfx, dialogue/VO)

Ways to make a soundtrack

Recording (including foley)



Audio formats

Mono, Stereo, Surround

Sample rates, bit depths

File types (WAV, mp3 etc)

Homework - next class bring in a donatable foley object to record.



Audio Recording your foley prop

dynamic and condenser microphones, recording techniques

Close, normal, distant and reverberant recordings


A01 - Foley prop recording

Complete in class

Submit to Blackboard


Edit audio recordings

Acoustic theory - sound waves, amplitude, frequency.

Editing digital audio.

A01 - Feedback and review.



Sound design for animation

Designing sound for animation - no sounds come with the image, they all have to be created from scratch.

A02 - Sound design for animation

In class group assessment

Submit to Blackboard


Evaluate sound design for animation

A02 - Feedback and review.



Sound design for Triple Threat (TTT) game WIP

A03 - TTT sound design WIP (Work in Progress)

Feedback and review.


Sound design for game DUE


A03 (part 1) - TTT Game Individual sound design


Consolidation of Triple Threat Game audio - three into one

A03 - Feedback and review.



Sound design for Design Project 4

Studio class


Mid semester break


Sound design for Design Project 4

Studio class

A04 - WIP (Work in Progress) review


Sound design for Design Project 4

Studio class

Stereo and location recording atmosphere sound



Sound design for Design Project 4

Studio class

Dialogue and voice over recording



Sound design for Design Project 4

Studio class




Studio class / WIP

A03 (part 2) Group TTT finished game

A04 - Design Project 4 Sound Design


Feedback and review



Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts



Cancellaro, J 2006, Exploring sound design for interactive media, Thomson Delmar Learning, Clifton Park


Farnell, A 2010, Designing Sound, MIT Press, Cambridge


Gibbs, T 2007, The fundamentals of sonic art & sound design, AVA Academia, Lausanne.


Sonnenschein, D 2001, Sound design : the expressive power of music, voice, and sound effects in cinema, Michael Wiese Productions, Seattle


Other Resources

Students are encouraged to make full use of class time, open studio time and University computer lab resources. Please consult the RMIT University web site for details of access times and locations.

Other required resources include, but are not limited to: an A4 or A3 visual diary, drawing materials (pencils of various grades (1B & 2B), erasers, coloured pencils and pens, graphic markers such as Copic brand) broadband internet access, suitable digital media storage such as a portable hard drive or USB flash drive, with at least 32Gb capacity.

Headphones - professional studio headphones, preferably ‘closed’.

Overview of Assessment

Assessment for this course is ongoing throughout the semester. Your knowledge of course content is assessed through participation in class exercises, practical project work and through the application of learned skills.

Assessment Tasks

Assessment tasks in this course are Graded and Ungraded.

To demonstrate competency in this course you will need to complete all of the components of the assessment to a satisfactory standard. Once you have demonstrated competency, your final assessment task will be graded. For further information on the assessment and grading criteria, please refer to the myRMIT.





A01 - Foley prop recording - Record a small object suitable for use as a foley prop for making sound effects for a screen project.
Due week 3

A02 - Sound design for animation (group) In small groups you will create a sound design for the short animation clip provided. All sounds must be able to be produced by objects that have been collected in the class ‘foley box’. You will then exchange your completed sound design with another group – you will evaluate and attempt to produce their sound design, and they yours.
Due week 5



A03 - Triple Threat Game - A joint Game Project between the Design Games, Develop Sound Designs and Design Digital Simulations courses. Students will be required to develop their concepts from the initial Pre Production stage to the Final realised Production. The TTT Game will be developed using Unity Software for either a 2D or 3D environment.

  • part 1 Individual sound design - submit an individual design document detailing the sound design for the game
    Due week 8
  • part 2 finished game sound (group) - submit the finished game with finished sound
    Due week 15

A04 - Design Project 4 Sound Design - Develop a sound design for your individual Design Project 4 including an animatic or interactive walk through or game demo.
Due week 15

Graded assessment in this course uses the following grades:

CHD - Competent with High Distinction
CDI - Competent with Distinction
CC - Competent with Credit
CAG - Competency Achieved - Graded
NYC - Not Yet Competent
DNS - Did Not Submit for Assessment

Assessment Matrix

The assessment matrix demonstrates alignment of assessment tasks with the relevant unit of competency.

The assessment matrix for this course can be found on Blackboard through myRmit, or from your teacher.

Other Information

Please refer to the RMIT student page for extensive information about study support, assessment, extensions, appeals and a range of other matters:

Cover Sheet for Submissions:

You must complete and sign a submission cover sheet for every piece of submitted work, including online submissions.


Your learning experience will involve class-based teaching, discussion, demonstration and practical exercises

It is strongly advised that you attend all timetabled sessions. This will allow you to engage in the required learning activities, ensuring you the maximum opportunity to complete this course successfully.

Assessment Feedback:

You will receive spoken and written feedback on all your work.  Where relevant, this feedback will also include suggestions on how you can proceed to the next stage of developing your projects.

Student Progress:

Monitoring academic progress is an important enabling and proactive strategy designed to assist you in achieving your learning potential.

Adjustments to Assessment (eg. applying for an extension of time):

If you are unable to complete any piece of assessment satisfactorily by the due date, you can choose to apply for an adjustment to your assessment. RMIT University offers a range of adjustments designed to support you in your studies, including an extension of time to complete the assessment.

Academic Integrity and Plagiarism:

RMIT University has a strict policy on plagiarism and academic integrity. Please refer to the website for more information on this policy.

Credit Transfer and Recognition of Prior Learning:

Credit transfer is the recognition of previously completed formal learning (an officially accredited qualification).

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is an assessment process that allows you to demonstrate competence using the skills you have gained through experience in the workplace, voluntary work, informal or formal training or other life experiences.

Recognition of Current Competency (RCC) RCC applies only if you have previously successfully demonstrated competence in a unit of competency, and now require to be reassessed to ensure that the competence is being maintained.

Please speak to your teacher if you wish to discuss applying for Credit Transfer, RPL, or RCC for the unit(s) of competency addressed in this course.


Course Overview: Access Course Overview