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Spatial Audio & Surround Sound - TFT00007M

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  • Department: Theatre, Film, Television and Interactive Media
  • Module co-ordinator: Prof. Mariana Lopez
  • Credit value: 10 credits
  • Credit level: M
  • Academic year of delivery: 2022-23
    • See module specification for other years: 2021-22

Module summary

An exploration of the technical and creative opportunities of spatial audio, including multichannel recording techniques and mixing for surround sound.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Spring Term 2022-23

Module aims

To introduce the basic concepts of spatial hearing, recording, production and surround-sound reproduction.

To explore the possibilities and limitations offered by many of the common surround-sound formats found across the industry and wider field.

To explore the creative possibilities of working with multi-channel audio and surround-sound reproduction across different formats and delivery media.

To experiment with surround-sound location recording.

To develop an appreciation of spatial audio research and how it works with, informs, and is driven by industry requirements.

To work towards the completion of a major surround-sound work that must at least in part be informed by or adhere to current industry formats.

Module learning outcomes

Upon completion of this module students are expected to be able to:

Demonstrate an understanding of human auditory localisation mechanisms.

Demonstrate an understanding of spatial audio concepts.

Demonstrate an understanding of the most commonly used surround-sound delivery and playback formats.

Compare and contrast spatial audio recording techniques

Plan, carry out, edit and make use of location based multi-channel audio recordings.

Arrange, produce, demonstrate and author surround-sound audio works.

Highlight key directions for future spatial audio research.

Support their creative output with comprehensive and reasoned technical documentation as well as a reflective analysis of the finished work.

Indicative assessment

Task Length % of module mark
Individual Project
N/A 75
Project Report
N/A 25

Special assessment rules


Indicative reassessment

Task Length % of module mark
Individual Project
N/A 75
Project Report
N/A 25

Module feedback

Students receive feedback every week through formative tasks designed to monitor their progress. Formal feedback on the summative assessment is submitted in the summer term.

Indicative reading

McCormick, T. & Rumsey, F. (2002) Sound and Recording: An Introduction, 4 th Ed. Amsterdam and London: Focal Press.

Blauert, J. (1996) Spatial Hearing - Revised Edition. Cambridge MA: MIT Press.

Bartlett, G. and Bartlett J. (2002) Practical Recording Techniques. Amsterdam and London: Focal Press.

Holman, T. (2000) 5.1 Surround Sound Up and Running. Amsterdam and London: Focal Press.

Rumsey, F. (2001) Spatial Audio. Amsterdam and London: Focal Press.

Streicher, R. and Alton Everest, F. (2006) The New Stereo Soundbook, Third Edition, Audio Engineering Associates.

Begault, D. R. (1994) 3-D Sound for Virtual Reality and Multimedia. Cambridge, MA: Academic Press Professional.


Schoeps Microphones:

Ambisonics: http://www.ambisonic.net

Dolby Labs:

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University constantly explores 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. In some instances it may be appropriate for the University to notify and consult with affected students about module changes in accordance with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.