PERF 1025 Sound Design and New Electronic Media

Credit Points 10

Legacy Code 102759

Coordinator Brendan Smyly Opens in new window

Description The unit builds on the conceptual and practical work presented in Music Production, deepening students' understanding of technology in contemporary music and media arts practice. Students will study the digital field recording for sound design and composition, the basic principles of sound synthesis procedures and musical acoustics, and creative sound design and synthesiser patch editing. Technical concepts are contextualised within a critical survey of contemporary music and sound design practice.

School Humanities & Comm Arts

Student Contribution Band HECS Band 2 10cp

Check your HECS Band contribution amount via the Fees page.

Level Undergraduate Level 1 subject

Pre-requisite(s) PERF 1009 OR
PERF 1014

Equivalent Subjects PERF 1006 - Digital Musics 2 - Studio and Soundscape PERF 1019 - Sound Synthesis and the Sound Environment PERF 1018 - Sound Design

Assumed Knowledge

Ability to understand basic acoustics and technical terminology; ability to conduct effective stereo audio recording; ability to operate simple MIDI systems; ability to operate simple audio mixing consoles; ability to critically analyse electroacoustic sound and music works at a basic level.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:
  1. Apply basic musical acoustics terminology and sound synthesis concepts and methods.
  2. Design sounds using synthesiser patch editing.
  3. Incorporate basic DAW protocols and tools, including audio libraries, MIDI interface, in the final mixing and mastering process.
  4. Explore and use sound as a narrative tool and artistic palette.
  5. Record, edit and manipulate sound samples for use in sound design.
  6. Those attending Art of Sound will be able to: Participate meaningfully in Art of Sound activities and projects, working with students across the Music program to develop collaborative, technical and performance skills.

Subject Content

Practical and theoretical examinations of digital audio workstations.
Practical and theoretical examinations of field recording techniques for sound design.
Practical and theoretical examinations of musical acoustics, sound synthesis and synthesiser patch editing for sound design.
Critical listening and examination of contemporary music and sound design practice.


The following table summarises the standard assessment tasks for this subject. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated, where there is a difference your Learning Guide takes precedence.

Item Length Percent Threshold Individual/Group Task
Practical: Create synthesizer patches 3 unique sounds 30 N Individual
Applied project 1: Short electronic soundscape design 2 minutes 30 N Individual
Applied project 2: Substantial creative musical project 3 - 5 minutes 40 N Individual
Attendance: Art of Sound attendance N/A S/U Y Individual

Prescribed Texts

  • Hirsch, S (2020) Logic Pro X Essential Training, Carpinteria CA.:
  • J. Scott Giaquinta (2015) Up and Running with ABSYNTH 5, Carpinteria CA.:
  • Note: The above texts are supplied through the UWS site license

Teaching Periods

2022 Semester 2

Penrith (Kingswood)


Subject Contact Brendan Smyly Opens in new window

Attendance Requirements 80% attendance rate is imposed in all core subjects’ due to the nature of class activities that are aligned with subject assessments.

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