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Audio Signals - MUS00059M

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  • Department: Music
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Jez Wells
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: M
  • Academic year of delivery: 2020-21

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Autumn Term 2020-21

Module aims

  • To introduce signals as carriers of information in acoustic, psychoacoustic, analogue and digital forms, their properties and behaviours (particularly with regard to the media through which they pass).
  • To explain common representations and measurements of signals in these forms.
  • To provide an in-depth understanding of the interaction of acoustic signals with enclosed spaces.
  • To demonstrate how signals can be meaningfully changed via manipulation of environment, medium or abstract representation.
  • To introduce Fourier analysis of audio.
  • To provide a basic skill set for the general purpose scientific computing program Matlab and the Digital Audio Workstation program Reaper (along with an introduction to its JS scripting language for audio processing).

Module learning outcomes

Subject content:

  • Students should understand all forms that a signal can take through the signal path from microphone to loudspeaker.
  • Students should be able to use common signal description and measurement standards.
  • Students should understand room acoustics as it applies to sound recording and the stages of a typical room impulse response.
  • Students should be able to create basic signal processing systems and produce useful representations of sound (in time, frequency or time-frequency as appropriate) and interpret them.

Academic and graduate skills:

  • Working to a specific product brief
  • Autonomous task planning, research and implementation
  • Ability to advance individual knowledge and understanding
  • Inter-personal communication skills
  • Initiative
  • Problem solving
  • Flexibility and adaptability
  • Commitment and motivation
  • Analytic skills
  • Self-management
  • Self-motivation
  • Organisation and planning
  • Time management and prioritisation
  • Engagement with the unfamiliar
  • Independent learning
  • Reviewing progress


Task Length % of module mark
Signal processing assignment
N/A 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
Signal processing assignment
N/A 100

Module feedback

  • Formative tasks: short informal feedback via email within two weeks
  • Signal processing task: Comments and breakdown of marks by end of week 7, term 2.

Indicative reading

  • Howard, David and Angus, Jamie Acoustics and Psychoacoustics, Focal Press
  • Watkinson, John Introduction to Digital Audio, Focal Press
  • Everest, F. Alton Critical Listening Skills for Audio Professionals, Course Technology
  • Borwick, John, Microphones, Focal Press

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.