Course Title: Develop sound designs

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2015

Course Code: VART6065C

Course Title: Develop sound designs

School: 345T Media and Communication

Campus: City Campus

Program: C6104 - Advanced Diploma of Sound Production

Course Contact : Program Administration

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 4815

Course Contact

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

John Phillips
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

There are no pre-requisites or co-requisites for this unit.

Course Description

To enable the learner to gain the technical skills required to create, record and produce original sound effects from scratch using advanced synthesis techniques and basic microphone and field recording techniques.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

CUSSOU501A Develop sound designs


1. Interpret and confirm sound design briefs

Performance Criteria:

Participate in preliminary concept meetings with relevant personnel to discuss creative and technical sound requirements of productions
Continue liaison with relevant personnel until all sound requirements have been confirmed in the context of overall production requirements
Identify and confirm additional personnel needed to fulfill the sound design brief


2. Break down components of sound design briefs

Performance Criteria:

Identify and document the sound sources specified in the design brief to determine the content, quality and duration of the required sound components
Determine and where necessary document the creative and resource requirements for each sound component
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:

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
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
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:

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
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:

Develop sound design concepts taking into consideration the brief and the ideas generated
Determine the relevant sound components required to
implement the sound design in line with creative and
technical requirements
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
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
Present the sound design in a specification that best conveys the concept to relevant personnel, including those responsible for implementing the design
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

On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to record, develop, design and mixdown sound effects from development to final implementation. You will be able to create synthesiser patches, set up and utilise various microphone techniques and record in outdoor environments using field recording techniques.


Details of Learning Activities

Group Discussion
Location Recording
Dialogue Replacement
Fisticuffs and expletives
Sound Editing
Microphone recording
Sound to Picture


Teaching Schedule






Week 1

Introduction to unit & assessments

The Sound Designers

Cinema Sound
Surround Sound

 LAB Element 1
Week 2

Surround Sound Formats
OMF & AAC - Transferring audio between video & audio apps
FCP > OMF > LOGIC / PRO TOOLS  - Assessment U1

 LAB Element 1
Week 3
Sound Design / roles in film sound production
Sound Design strategies
 CLASS Element 2
Week 4
Surround Sound in Pro-Tools
Surround Sound in Logic Pro
 CLASS Element 2

Element 3
Week 5
ADR / Location Recording Assessment
 CLASS Element 3
Week 6
Logic Pro
Prac Assessment work
 LAB Element 4
Week 7
Logic Pro
Prac Assessment work
 LAB Element 4
Week 8
Interleaved v Multi-Mono Files
File Management
Bass Management
Matrix v Discrete
 CLASS Element 5
Week 9

 Surround Sound demonstration & instruction in Pro Tools
Class will be divided into two groups for this session

 STUDIO Element 6
Week 10
Surround setup prac
Class will be divided into two groups for this session
 STUDIO Element 2
Week 11
Logic Pro
Prac Assessment work
 LAB Element 1
Element 2
Element 3
Element 4
Element 5
Week 12
Logic Pro
Prac Assessment work
 LAB Element 1
Element 2
Element 3
Element 4
Element 5
Element 6
Week 13


Class will be divided into two groups for this session

 STUDIO Element 1
Element 2
Element 3
Element 4
Element 5
Element 6
Week 14


Class will be divided into two groups for this session

 STUDIO Element 3
Element 5
Element 6
Week 15


Class will be divided into two groups for this session

 STUDIO Element 1
Element 3

Element 5
Week 16

 Final Prac / Editing session


 LAB Element 1
Element 2
Element 3
Element 4
Element 5
Element 6
Week 17
Assessment and Review
LAB Element 6

While your teacher will cover all the material in this schedule, the order is subject to change depending on class needs and availability of speakers and resources.

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts

Sound Design for King Kong movie*
Logic Pro 9*
Zoom HR4 Recorder*
* all resources are provided


Other Resources

It is recommended that all students bring the following to lab sessions:
* A 2GB+ USB Flash Drive; preferably 8g, ideally an external firewire / Thunderbolt hard drive
* A pair of closed ear headphones with 3.5mm jack + 6.5mm jack adapter

Overview of Assessment

Students will be able to create, record and produce original sound effects from scratch using advanced synthesis techniques and basic microphone and field recording techniques.

Assessment Tasks

Overview of assessment

Course assessment tasks will include class based practical exercises, location recording work, and project work undertaken in the computer lab and recording studio for submission.

You must submit all pieces of assessment in order for your competency to be assessed in this course.

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

To demonstrate competency 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 assessment.

You will be assessed using the following methods:

Ungraded assessments

* Assessment U1 - OMF PRAC A (Completed in class 2)

* Assessment U2 - Pro Tools Surround Session set-up (Due Class 14)

* Assessment U3 - Knowledge Test (>= 50% correct required) (Due / Sat Class 16)

Graded Assessments (refer to rubric for assessment details)

* Assessment G1 - ADR & FOLEY ASSESSMENT (Due Week 15)

* Assessment G2 - OMF TRANSFER ASSESSMENT (Due Week 15)

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 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 Competetancy Achieved-Graded
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

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 a submission cover sheet for every piece of submitted work, including online submissions. This signed sheet acknowledges that you are aware of the plagiarism implications

The major learning experience involves studio based exercises, demonstration and production. It is strongly advised that you attend all sessions in order to engage in the required learning activities, ensuring the maximum opportunity to gain the competency.

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

Student Progress:
Monitoring academic progress is an important enabling and proactive strategy to assist you to achieve your learning potential.
Student progress 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. Special consideration, appeals and discipline

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 go to Academic Integrity

Course Overview: Access Course Overview