MUSONIC 2820 - Sound Design for Film

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2014

Sound design for film involves more than just the creation of effects, encompassing a stratum of sound possibilities ranging from music to general ambience. This course will develop a theoretical and practical understanding of film sound and its use in underpinning the dramatic impact of cinema. This will be achieved by exploring the concept of film sound through lectures, tutorials and workshops. In particular students will examine a range of practical techniques such as: ADR, Foley, effects creation and film music composition, through producing all aspects their own short film soundtrack. Skills in production will also be developed, including sourcing and clearance of sound materials, mixing, delivery, management and quality assurance. In order to promote investigative learning and research, students will complete readings and listenings and perform practical exercises. The course has the following learning objectives: facilitate new understandings and exploratory approaches in sonic arts practice; extend knowledge and develop new artistic and technical skills in sound creation and design; and promote a learning process and reflexive skill set with regard to future practice, thus enabling students to adapt to the ever expanding and rapidly changing area of sonic arts and related areas of sound design.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code MUSONIC 2820
    Course Sound Design for Film
    Coordinating Unit Elder Conservatorium of Music
    Term Semester 2
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 4 hours per week
    Prerequisites MUSONIC 1000, MUSONIC 1220
    Course Description Sound design for film involves more than just the creation of effects, encompassing a stratum of sound possibilities ranging from music to general ambience. This course will develop a theoretical and practical understanding of film sound and its use in underpinning the dramatic impact of cinema.

    This will be achieved by exploring the concept of film sound through lectures, tutorials and workshops. In particular students will examine a range of practical techniques such as: ADR, Foley, effects creation and film music composition, through producing all aspects their own short film soundtrack. Skills in production will also be developed, including sourcing and clearance of sound materials, mixing, delivery, management and quality assurance. In order to promote investigative learning and research, students will complete readings and listenings and perform practical exercises.

    The course has the following learning objectives: facilitate new understandings and exploratory approaches in sonic arts practice; extend knowledge and develop new artistic and technical skills in sound creation and design; and promote a learning process and reflexive skill set with regard to future practice, thus enabling students to adapt to the ever expanding and rapidly changing area of sonic arts and related areas of sound design.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Luke Harrald

    DR LUKE HARRALD
    Phone. 83133402
    Email. luke.harrald@adelaide.edu.au
    Location. Schulz 11.10

    Chris Larkin
    Email: christopher.larkin@adelaide.edu.au
    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    Through successful completion of this course students will: 

    1) Develop new understandings and exploratory approaches in sonic arts practice;
    2) Extend knowledge and develop new artistic and technical skills in sound creation and design.
    3) Develop a reflexive skill set with regard to future practice, thus enabling students to adapt to the rapidly changing area of sonic arts and related areas of sound design.
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Knowledge and understanding of the content and techniques of a chosen discipline at advanced levels that are internationally recognised. 1, 2
    The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner. 1, 2
    An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. 1, 2, 3
    A proficiency in the appropriate use of contemporary technologies. 1, 2, 3
    A commitment to continuous learning and the capacity to maintain intellectual curiosity throughout life. 1, 2, 3
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    • Class handouts and weekly materials placed on MyUni.

    • USB 2.0 Stick or portable hard drive with enough capacity to store files associated with the course and formatted as HFS+ (OSX) or FAT (Windows – Do not use NTFS).

    • Stereo headphones with a 6.5mm male adaptor.
    Note – students must bring both their USB storage and Headphones (with adaptor) to university, as they are required for using the EMU Audio Suite.
    Recommended Resources
    Reading

    Burt, George (1994) The Art of Film Music. Northeastern University Press, Boston.

    *Costandinides Costas (2010) From Film Adaption to Post-Celluloid Adaption: Rethinking the Transition of Popular Narratives and Characters Across Old and New Media. Continuum International Publishing, London.

    *Guerin, Frances (2005) Culture of Light: Cinema And Technology in 1920’s Germany. University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, USA.

    *Hayward, Phillip (2009) Genre, Music and Sound :Terror Tracks : Music, Sound and Horror Cinema. Equinox Publishing Ltd, London.

    *Holte, James C. (1997) Dracula in the Dark: The Dracula Film Adaptions. Greenwood Press, Westport, CT. USA. Prendergast, Roy (1992) Film Music: a neglected art. Norton & Company, New York.

    Skal, David (1990) Hollywood Gothic: The Tangled Web of Dracula from Novel to Stage to Screen. Norton, New York.

    *Spandoni, Robert (2007) The Coming of Sound Film and the Origins of the Horror Genre. University of California Press, Berkeley, CA.

    *Sonnenschein, David (2001) Sound Design: The Expressive Power of Music, Voice, and Sound Effects in Cinema. Michael Wiese Productions, California.

    Stavrou, Michael (2003) Mixing with your mind: closely guarded secrets of sound balance engineering. Flux Research, Mosman, NSW.

    Note most of these books are available in the library. Resources denoted with * indicates the book is available as an e-reader through your university account.

    Websites

    Filmsound.org – Learning space dedicated to the Art and Analysis of Film Sound Design. www.filmsound.org

    Soundtrack.net – site and repository dedicated to film soundtracks. www.soundtrack.net

    Library

    The Music Library located in the Hartley building is an excellent source for music, literature and recordings: http://www.adelaide.edu.au/library/branch/eml/

    Music Resources Guide

    The Music Resources Guide contains quick links to key music databases for scholarly research and online listening. It also contains links to websites of publicly available online scores, collected editions, and professional associations. Here too you can find a regularly updated list of new books, scores, CDs and DVDs available in the Elder Music Library: http://libguides.adelaide.edu.au/music.

    Online Learning
    Learning materials and assessment will be placed on MyUni – refer to http://myuni.adelaide.edu.au

  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    The course structure and content is delivered through a range of classes and materials. Class delivery modes include a weekly seminar, tutorial and practical workshop. The classes in this course use a format where students are presented with theoretical and/ or practical content through the seminar. The theoretical content creates a topic framework that students will expand through discussions and exercises in the tutorial, and practically through the workshop. Students will also be expected to further expand the topics presented through using out-of-class resources in their own time. The resources will compliment, reinforce and extend the concepts presented.

    The classes provide theoretical explanations of film scoring and sound design concepts; their creative and technical application in various film styles; and their practical application in an audio post-production environment through supervised sessions using music technology.
    Workload

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    In addition to the required contact hours for this course, students are expected to play an active role in the practice, refinement and consolidation of their knowledge and understanding. For each hour of this course students will need to spend on average an additional minimum of 3 - 4 hours per week on readings, practice, self-initiated learning and research in order to pass the course.
    Learning Activities Summary
    The course structure and content will examine the areas below through weekly theoretical and/or practical demonstrations and exploration. The following list of topics is supplied as a guide, and may change depending on needs arising through the semester.

    Further detail regarding weekly content can be found on MyUni.

    Semester Topics

    Week 1 – Course Introduction, German Expressionist Cinema and the roots of the Horror Genre
    Week 2 – Sound Design Introduction: Audio Post-Production. Storyboarding a creating a sound plan
    Week 3 – Major Project Overview & Introduction to Non-Diegetic Musical Treatments
    Week 4 – Sound Design (Part 2): Breaking down the shot & considering Cues, Hitpoints and Synchronisation
    Week 5 – Foley Art (including practical exercise on the creation of sounds for student soundtracks).
    Week 6 – Designing Sound Effects; Environment and the Sound Scape
    Week 7 – Student Presentations
    Week 8 – Non-Diegetic Music Treatments (part 2)
    MID SEMESTER BREAK
    Week 9 – Non-Diegetic Music Treatments (part 3)
    Week 10 – Mixing and final production
    Week 11 – Where Next: Bridging film and interactive media art
    Week 12 – Student Presentations .
    Specific Course Requirements
    EMU Facilities Access Provisions

    This course will involve using the resources of the Electronic Music Unit (EMU). This includes facilities such as studios, recording spaces and digital audio workstations. For more information about these facilities and how to make bookings go to the EMU website: http://www.emu.adelaide.edu.au/

    Access and use of EMU is based upon the following: Users must complete and pass the EMU Guide Assessment (EGA). In order to pass the EGA users must receive a 90% or above grade. Users will have a maximum of 3 attempts at passing the EGA before being prohibited from taking the assessment further. If a user fails to pass the EGA after 3 attempts, or doesn’t pass by the end of week 4 of the course, they will not be permitted to continue the course and won’t be provided access or permission to use any of the EMU facilities.

    Users agree to and sign the EMU User Agreement (EUA). Users found in breach of the EUA will automatically have their access and booking privileges suspended. An initial breach will result in a 4- week suspension. Any subsequent breach will result in suspension until the start of the next academic year. Information is available on the EMU website: https://www.emu.adelaide.edu.au/intranet/emu_guide/ 

    Other Expectations

    Except where otherwise indicated by the lecturer, tutor or workshop instructor – mobile phones, laptops, PDAs, recording devices and other similar technology must be switched off before lessons or classes begin, and kept off for the duration.
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Summative Assessment Summary
    Name Type Due Weighting (%) Learning Objectives
    Paper Summative Week 13 35% 1, 3
    Portfolio Summative Ongoing across
    the semester
    30% 1, 2, 3
    Creative Project Summative 4pm, Tuesday Week 14 35% 1, 2, 3

    Formative Assessment: Tutorials will contain embedded formative assessment tasks that may include quizzes, student presentations, in-class exercises and homework that will enable students to engage with the practical and theoretical concepts presented in order to complete their summative assessments.
    Assessment Related Requirements
    Expectation & Penalty

    As per Conservatorium policy, active and positive participation in 100% of classes is expected.  A minimum of 75% of classes must be attended.  Failure to attend 75% of classes will result in the student failing the course.  Arrival after the scheduled starting time or departure before the scheduled finishing time may, at the lecturer or Co-ordinator’s discretion, be regarded as an absence.  Leave approval forms are available from the Music Office.

    Leave

    The Conservatorium recognises that extenuating circumstances may occasionally affect a student’s ability to participate in a rehearsal, workshop, class, lecture, tutorial or performance. In such cases leave may, upon application using the leave form (available from the Music Office Hartley Building G05), be approved by the relevant staff member.
    Assessment Detail
    Paper

    Students will produce an essay exploring approaches to sound design in the horror movie genre. The essay will explore the roots of horror in the silent era, through to contemporary films, and the impact approaches to sound in horror movies have had on the broader field of sound design. This assessment is due at 4pm, Tuesday week 13.

    Portfolio

    Minor assessment tasks will be set across the semester to support the creation of the major project. The due dates for these tasks are TBA by the lecturer during the semester through the workshop. Most tasks will be partially completed in the workshop and then completed in the student’s own time.

    Creative Portfolio

    Students will create the sound design for a segment of a film, with all students segments being combined at the end of the semester to create a complete feature film soundtrack. Each student’s segment will be between 5 and 7 minutes duration. Segments of the project will be due in weeks 7 and 12, with a final submission of the completed and polished project at 4pm, Tuesday, Week 14.
    Submission
    Assessments and Exams

    Students must be available during the identified University teaching, academic and examination periods. Students are not entitled to sit an examination or submit an assessment at another time, nor are they entitled to any other concessions if an examination or assessment conflicts with a planned vacation or special event. Results from assessments and examinations are usually sent to students via email and/or myUni.

    Late Submission

    Assignments which are submitted after the due date and time will incur a 5% penalty (from the assignment total of 100%) per day (24 hour period) for a maximum of 4 days (weekend days included). After this time the assignment will not be marked for assessment or feedback. Note – this does not apply to assessments where the assessment is conducted at a fixed time and location, such as an exam, practical test, performance or presentation.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/101/) course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

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