PERF 1025 Sound Design

Credit Points 10

Legacy Code 102759

Coordinator Brendan Smyly Opens in new window

Description The subject 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

Discipline Music

Student Contribution Band HECS Band 2 10cp

Check your fees 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 mixing and mastering processes.
  4. Explore and use sound as a narrative tool and artistic palette.
  5. Record, edit and manipulate sound samples for use in sound design.

Subject Content

  1. Practical and theoretical examinations of digital audio workstations.
  2. Practical and theoretical examinations of field recording techniques for sound design.
  3. Practical and theoretical examinations of musical acoustics, sound synthesis and synthesiser patch editing for sound design.
  4. 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.

Type Length Percent Threshold Individual/Group Task
Applied Project 3 minutes 30 N Individual
Applied Project 5 - 10 minutes 40 N Individual
Quiz 10 minutes 30 N 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

Spring (2023)

Penrith (Kingswood)


Subject Contact Brendan Smyly Opens in new window

View timetable Opens in new window

Spring (2024)

Penrith (Kingswood)


Subject Contact Brendan Smyly Opens in new window

View timetable Opens in new window