Dynamic Audio for Digital Media


This module aims to introduce students to contemporary audio practices used in the context of interactive digital media. The module begins by presenting and analyzing a range of applications, such as audio enabled apps for mobile devices, new instruments for musical expression, web audio applications, game-based sonic art and physical audio-augmented environments. Through the course of the semester the students will develop the necessary design and programming skills, as well as aesthetic awareness, in order to interpret and address a creative audio project brief.


The aim of this module is to provide the student with a concrete understanding of the basic principles behind dynamic audio system design, implementation and deployment in different contexts, as well as introduce basic concepts of object-oriented computer programming.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this module the student should be able to:

1.  Analyze and contextualize an audio enabled application both technically and aesthetically.

2.  Program dynamic audio-enabled applications.

3.  Adapt ambitious design ideas into plausible final products.

4.  Solve problems arising when designing complex audiovisual environments.

Indicative Content

1 Timing

Linear and non-linear sonic structures.

2 Interface

An introduction to object-oriented programming through interface design.

3 Interaction

Designing simple interactions using basic user input through mouse and keyboard.

4 Sound

Sound synthesis and audio processing techniques.

5 Gesture

From gesture to sound: An introduction to gestural analysis and mapping methods.

6 Communication

Using OSC (Open Sound Control) and UDP (User Datagram Protocols) for communication between applications and devices over network.

7 Applications

An overview of current possibilities in building interactive audio enabled applications, mobile, web or desktop-based.

8 Chaos and Complex Systems

Markov Chains, Cellular Automata, L-Systems and Attractors used in the arts.

9 Hardware

Using dynamic audio with Arduino and Raspberry Pi

10 Advanced Inputs

Advanced user input methods: Sensors, cameras and game controllers.

Statement on Teaching, Learning and Assessment

This module will begin by introducing a range of dynamic audio examples that will be useful in deconstructing and understanding some of the challenges arising when designing complex multimedia environments. Students will have opportunities to see design frameworks in action through worked examples and case studies, and will have the opportunity to apply them directly in tutorial exercises. Delivery will be focused around one 1-hour lecture, which introduces the key concepts and theories relating to dynamic audio systems, and one 1-hour tutorial each week, where students will get the chance to apply the theory and work through a set of tutor-led examples. Students will be set additional programming exercises for completion outside of scheduled class time. Part of this course will also be seminars and/or hands-on workshops, depending on the students’ particular interests.

Teaching and Learning Work Loads

Total 200
Lecture 12
Tutorial/Seminar 12
Supervised Practical Activity 0
Unsupervised Practical Activity 20
Assessment 60
Independent 96

Guidance notes

Credit Value – The total value of SCQF credits for the module. 20 credits are the equivalent of 10 ECTS credits. A full-time student should normally register for 60 SCQF credits per semester.


We make every effort to ensure that the information on our website is accurate but it is possible that some changes may occur prior to the academic year of entry. The modules listed in this catalogue are offered subject to availability during academic year 2019/10 , and may be subject to change for future years.