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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Edinburgh College of Art : Architecture and Landscape Architecture

Postgraduate Course: Interactive Sound Environments (ARCH11010)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh College of Art CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course looks in detail at non-linear sound design scenarios, particularly those that pertain to computer game audio. However, the course introduces notions of non-linear and open-ended sonic structures by exploring contemporary listening habits and recent changes brought about by listening on headphones, ubiquitous and portable music devices and podcast-based distribution.
Students on this course will progress from designing sound for a podcast, learning webskills, binaural sound processing and creative sound design to learning how sound design is constructed in computer games and ultimately, implementing their own sound design in a computer game-like environment.
Course description Lecture Topics subject to change

1. Introduction to non-linear sound structures
2. Podcasting and headphones
3. Sound in the Unity Game Engine
4. Sound in computer-games Introduction to FMOD
5. Advancing with FMOD
6. FMOD in detail
7. Seminar: The cinematization of computer-game sound
8. Sound Spatialisation or configurable composition
9. Guest Lecture (note: may be on a different day and time to accommodate speaker)
10. FMOD hints and advanced tips
11. Project development and individual supervisions
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2014/15, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  50
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 24, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 12, Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 3, Online Activities 12, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 1, Other Study Hours 24, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 120 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Submission 1 - Non-linear series of short podcast episodes, published online, downloadable to a range of podcast players; 40%
Submission 2 - Computer game sound design constructed in non-linear scripting languages such as FMOD or other computer-games audio environment; 60%

Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
Skills in programming and designing interactive sound environments.
Understanding of technologies used in complex computer games environments.
Ability to translate adventurous design ideas into a plausible presentation.
Reading List
1. Rob Bridgett, From the Shadows of Film Sound, Cinematic Production & Creative Process in Video Game Audio, Collected Publications 2000-2010 (, 2010),
2. Karen Collins, Game Sound: An Introduction to the History, Theory, and Practice of Video Game Music and Sound Design (Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press, 2008).
3. From Pac-Man to Pop Music: Interactive Audio in Games and New Media, Ashgate popular and folk music series (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2008).
4. Jens Blauert, Spatial Hearing: The Psychophysics of Human Sound Localization, Rev. ed. (Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press, 1997).
Additional Information
Course URL
Graduate Attributes and Skills Non-linear sound design, web design and XML file structure.
Additional Class Delivery Information Tuesday afternoon 2pm-4pm (occasional tutorials, 11am Wednesday mornings, to be advised).
Most lectures and tutorials will take place in the Graduate School Sound Lab, School of Arts Culture and Environment, Alison House, 12 Nicolson Square, Edinburgh, EH8 9DF.

Students advance through a series of lectures, demonstrations, practical project work, exercises and critique in a group context. Full attendance and punctual arrival is expected of all students whether auditing the course or taking it for credit.
KeywordsComputer Games Sound Design, Non-linear sonic structures, audio programming, interactive sound desig
Course organiserMr Martin Parker
Tel: (0131 6)50 2333
Course secretaryMiss Emma Binks
Tel: (0131 6)51 5740
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