Course Title: Develop sound design

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term2 2011

Course Code: VART5856C

Course Title: Develop sound design

School: 345T Media and Communication

Campus: City Campus

Program: C5216 - Diploma of Screen and Media

Course Contact : Adam Lovell

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 4976

Course Contact

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Matthew Voigt

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

Sound designers apply the skills and knowledge described in this unit. They work in live theatre, film, television and radio and are responsible for collaborating with other creative personnel to develop the overall sound or musical identity of productions.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

CUSSOU16A Develop sound design


1. Interpret and confirm sound design brief

Performance Criteria:

1.1 Participate in preliminary concept meetings with relevant personnel to discuss creative and technical sound requirements of productions

1.2 Continue liaison with relevant personnel until all sound requirements have been confirmed in the context of overall production requirements

1.3 Identify and confirm additional personnel needed to fulfill the sound design brief


2. Breakdown the components of the sound design brief

Performance Criteria:

2.1 Identify and document the sound sources specified in the design brief to determine the content, quality and duration of the required sound components

2.2 Determine and where necessary document the creative and resource requirements for each sound component
2.3 Confirm and document the role of personnel required for the process of developing sound design projects


3. Investigate and experiment with sound components for the
expression of ideas

Performance Criteria:

3.1 Cultivate and create an energy and environment that will promote the generation of ideas among team members and provide the motivation and incentive to bring ideas to fruition

3.2 Gather information from a variety of sources and generate, explore and record a range of ideas and options as a creative base for developing the required sound design

3.3 Transform and manipulate the ideas generated and select those ideas that have the most potential for technical and creative development of the required sound design


4. Assess creative ideas

Performance Criteria:

4.1 Contemplate and consider the ideas selected from the creative base, reflecting on and evaluating their viability, cost, technical feasibility and suitability to meet the requirements of the design brief

4.2 Continuously evaluate and verify creative ideas for the components of the design brief based on the overall sound design concept


5. Develop the sound design

Performance Criteria:

5.1 Develop sound design concepts taking into consideration the brief and the ideas generated

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

5.3 Establish a clear relationship between the use and integration of sound components and the function, context and objectives of the work to determine the sound design

5.4 As required, hold ongoing discussions with relevant personnel to consider, confirm and incorporate additional or changed production requirements and new ideas to achieve best sound design concept

5.5 Present the sound design in a specification that best conveys the concept to relevant personnel, including those responsible for implementing the design

5.6 Confirm final design concept with relevant personnel to ensure that implementation is consistent with the design and that potential difficulties are addressed


6. Evaluate the completed sound design

Performance Criteria:

6.1 Discuss and obtain agreement from relevant personnel on evaluation techniques to evaluate the completed sound design

6.2 Focus the evaluation on whether the sound design meets all aspects of the design brief, and on the viability of the implementation plan

6.3 Obtain detailed information and opinions from legitimate sources and document results for evaluation

6.4 Communicate results of evaluation to relevant personnel and use results to improve future practice

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to

Details of Learning Activities

Learning activities will consist of:
• In class activities
• Lectures
• Out of class research
• In class assessment
• Practicing using sound recording equipment
• Practice using sound recording and mixing software

Teaching Schedule

Week Class content       Elements
Week 1Orientation to the course, Introduction to Sound and sound recording equipment.  1.1, 1.2
Week 2Introduction To Film Sound Design. (Ben Burtt) Introduction to ADR, Foley, Sound Effects and Sound FormatsAssessment 1: Research Project handed out  1.1, 1.3
Week 3Class Presentation and discussion.Assessment 1: Research Project Due Today  1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 2.1, 2,2, 2,3, 3.1
Week 4Introduction to Sound recording and editing software (Pro Tools)
Introduction to Balancing concepts, Editing and Sound Effects.
Assessment 2:
Music Remix
Edit and Balance using Pro Tools.
 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3
Week 5Preparing a final mix.
Work on Assignment 2 and finish in class
Assessment 2:
Music Remix
Due Today
 4.1, 4.26.1, 6.2, 6.3, 6.4
Week 6Introduction to location recording and recording equipment.
Practice recording sound with shotgun mics to camera
Look at alternative ways of recording sound on location and capturing Foley and ADR.
Assessment 3:
Work in groups to capture sound
(In Class Assessment)
 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 4.1, 4.2,
Week 7How to source sounds for sound design and how to build a sound library.
Hand out brief on Assessment 4.
Assessment 4:
Sound Design for Toyota Add
 5.1, 5,2, 5.3, 5.4
Week 8Importing sounds into Pro Tools and file management
Record Voice Over for Toyota Add
 3.1, 3.2, 3.3
Week 9Add music and Sound Effect for Assessment 4 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 4.1, 4.2, 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 5.4
Week 10Final Balance or voice over, music and sound effects for assessment 4.
Present Sound designs to the class
Assessment 4:
Sound Design for Toyota Add
Due Today
5.5, 5.6, 6.1, 6.2, 6.3, 6.4
Week 11Introduction to fixing badly recorded sound
De noising, de clicking
 3.1, 3.2, 3.3
Week 12Midi Sequencing and using Software synths to design sound. 3.1, 3.2, 3.3
Week 13Discussion about Major Assessment
Work on sound for students major film
 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 4.1, 4.2, 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 5.4
Week 14Work on sound design for students major film  
Week 15Work on sound design for students major film  
Week 16Assessment weekAssessment 5
Due Today
5.5, 5.6, 6.1, 6.2, 6.3, 6.4

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts


You are advised to look at the course Blackboard site for ongoing updated information.

Other Resources

You will require a personal hard drive
Link to pro tools 9 reference guide


Overview of Assessment

Assessment tasks in this course include:
• Oral assessment (class talk)
• Practical assessment (mixing in pro tools)
• Visual assessment (observation of using equipment correctly)

Assessment Tasks

Assessment 1
Research Project

Analyse a 2–3 min segment of a movie of your choice and explain (as if you were the sound designer) what sounds are in the movies and how you went about getting them.
For Example:
• Was the dialog recorded live?
• How was it recoded? (Types of mics and recording equipment)
• Or was it overdubbed (ADR)?
• Why did it have to be re-recorded?
• What microphones were used to record the ADR?
• Where was it recorded?
• Was the ambience live or was it enhanced in post?
• If there were sound FX, how were they achieved?
• How was the background music recorded?
• Why was that kind of music chosen?

Then give a 5 – 10 min class presentation on your movies sound.

Elements 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3

Assessment 2
Music Remix

Using Pro Tools 9 software, edit and remix the “Susans lined up” file on blackboard.
You must show an understanding of audio editing, using panning, EQ, Compression and at leats 1 FX send.
Provide a final mix that is well balanced and that is different from the raw files.

Elements 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 5.4, 5.5, 5.6, 6.1, 6.2, 6.3

Assessment 3
Capture Sound

Using a Shotgun mic and boom, record dialog provided to the camera.
The audio should be clear and easy to understand and plesent to listen to. (No distortion or clipping, no noise floor, no over compression)
The assessment will be done in groups or 3 – 5.

Elements 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3

Assessment 4
Create a Sound Design

Use Pro Tools to create a sound design for the 60 sec Toyota ad. The ad should include a voice over, sound effects for all events and music to help create a vibe.

Elements 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 4.1, 4.2, 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 5.4, 5.5, 5.6, 6.1, 6.2, 6.3, 6.4

Assessment 5

You will be assessed on your final sound design on your major film project.
You will be marked on sound quality, balance, use of music and effects.

Elements 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 4.1, 4.2, 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 5.4, 5.5, 5.6, 6.1, 6.2, 6.3

Assessment tasks in this course are either formative or summative. Formative tasks provide the basis for ongoing feedback and can be considered essential building blocks for the more substantial summative assessment tasks. Summative assessment tasks in this unit are graded.
For further information on the assessment and grading criteria, please refer to the course Blackboard site.

To demonstrate competency in this course, you need to complete each one of the following pieces of assessment to a satisfactory standard.
Formative Assessment
1. Research Project. (Assessment 1)
2. Music Remix. (Assessment 2)
3. Capture Sound Cleanly. (Assessment 3)
Summative Assessment
1. Develop a Sound Design for a short Add. (Assessment 4)
2. Create a well balanced sound design for your major film assignment. (Assessment 5)

For further information on the grading system and criteria used, please refer to the course Blackboard site.

Grades used in this unit are as follows:

Grades which apply to curriculum-based courses:
80 – 100% HD High Distinction
70 – 79% DI Distinction
60 – 69% CR Credit
50 – 59% PA Pass
Under 50% NN Fail
Grades which apply to courses delivered in accordance with competency-based assessment, but which also use graded assessment:
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

Grades which apply to courses delivered in accordance with competency-based assessment (not graded)
CA Competency Achieved
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. These are available through the course contact in Program administration

Other Information

Special consideration Policy (Late Submission)
All assessment tasks are required to be completed to a satisfactory level. If you are unable to complete any piece of assessment by the due date, you will need to apply for an extension.
Please refer to the following URL for extensions and special consideration:;ID=qkssnx1c5r0y;STATUS=A;PAGE_AUTHOR=Andrea%20Syers;SECTION=1;

Course Overview: Access Course Overview