Course Title: Develop sound designs

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term2 2012

Course Code: VART6065C

Course Title: Develop sound designs

School: 345T Media and Communication

Campus: City Campus

Program: C5216 - Diploma of Screen and Media

Course Contact : Program Administration

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 4815

Course Contact

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Matthew Voigt
+61 3 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

This course covers the performance outcomes, skills and knowledge required to develop sound designs from production briefs. Thorough understanding of the physical nature of sound is essential, along with research and creative-thinking skills to develop a range of options in response to design briefs.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

CUSSOU501A Develop sound designs


1. Interpret and confirm sound design briefs

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 fulfil the sound design brief.


2. Break down components of sound design briefs

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. Experiment with sound components to express 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. Design sound elements

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 completed sound designs

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

Upon successful completion of this course, you will have developed skills and knowledge required to develop sound designs from production briefs.

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

WeekClass contentAssessmentElements
1Orientation to the course, Introduction to Sound and sound recording equipment.  1
2Introduction To Film Sound Design. (Ben Burtt) Introduction to ADR, Foley, Sound Effects and Sound Formats. Assessment 1: Research Project handed out. 1, 2,3
3Class Presentation and discussion. Assessment 1: Research Project Due Today  1, 2,3
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 ,3
5Preparing a final mix.
Work on Assignment 2 and finish in class.
Assessment 2:
Music Remix
Due Today
 4, 6
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, 3, 4
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 Ad.
 5, 6
8Importing sounds into Pro Tools and file management.
Record Voice Over for Toyota Ad.
9Add music and Sound Effect for Assessment 4. 3, 4, 5
10Final Balance or voice over, music and sound effects for assessment 4.
Present Sound designs to the class.
 Assessment 4:
Sound Design for Toyota Ad.
Due Today
5, 6
11Introduction to fixing badly recorded sound.
De noising, de clicking.
12Midi Sequencing and using Software synths to design sound.
Discussion about Major Assessment.
13Work on sound for students major film.  1, 2, 4, 5
14Work on sound design for students major film.   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
15Work on sound design for students major film.   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
16Assessment week Assessment 5
Due Today

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts


Other Resources

You will require a personal hard drive.

Link to pro tools 9 reference guide:

Overview of Assessment

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

Assessment methods include:

  • Oral tasks
  • Practical tasks
  • Observation

Assessment Tasks

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).

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. 

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

You will receive feedback from teachers on your work. This feedback will also include suggestions on how you can proceed to the next stage of developing your projects.

Late Submissions
Please advise teacher in advance if an extension of time or special consideration is required for submission of work. Refer to the course Blackboard site for policy information including information on late submissions.

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

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;ompetency in this course, you will need to complete each one of the following pieces of assessment to a satisfactory standard. You will receive feedback on all assessments and a grade for the summative assessments.

Course Overview: Access Course Overview