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Session: 2022/23

Last modified: 18/07/2022 11:14:53

Title of Module: Adv Audio Signal Processing

Code: COMP10008 SCQF Level: 10
(Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework)
Credit Points: 20 ECTS: 10
(European Credit Transfer Scheme)
School:School of Computing, Engineering and Physical Sciences
Module Co-ordinator:Robert  Goldie

Summary of Module

This module will provide a vehicle for further deepening the students’ practical exposure to more advanced tools and concepts of synthesis as utilised in music technology. Students will undertake the research and critical assessment of existing synthesis methods and utilise a visual programming language to develop a bespoke instrument of their own design.

Topics presented fall within the following categories:

  • Principles of Synthesis
  • MIDI Protocols
  • Research, design, and implementation of synthesis methods
  • Introduce various means of synthesis commonly used in sound design

  • Research and critique existing software synthesisers including modulation methods

  • Explore the various applications of MIDI for creative purposes within a visual processing language platform

  • This module embeds the key “I am UWS” graduate attributes and in particular: Critical Thinking, digital literacy, encourages autonomy and rewards creative innovation.

Module Delivery Method
Face-To-FaceBlendedFully OnlineHybridCHybridOWork-based Learning
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Term used to describe the traditional classroom environment where the students and the lecturer meet synchronously in the same room for the whole provision.

A mode of delivery of a module or a programme that involves online and face-to-face delivery of learning, teaching and assessment activities, student support and feedback. A programme may be considered “blended” if it includes a combination of face-to-face, online and blended modules. If an online programme has any compulsory face-to-face and campus elements it must be described as blended with clearly articulated delivery information to manage student expectations

Fully Online
Instruction that is solely delivered by web-based or internet-based technologies. This term is used to describe the previously used terms distance learning and e learning.

Online with mandatory face-to-face learning on Campus

Online with optional face-to-face learning on Campus

Work-based Learning
Learning activities where the main location for the learning experience is in the workplace.

Campus(es) for Module Delivery
The module will normally be offered on the following campuses / or by Distance/Online Learning: (Provided viable student numbers permit)
Paisley:Ayr:Dumfries:Lanarkshire:London:Distance/Online Learning:Other:
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Term(s) for Module Delivery
(Provided viable student numbers permit).
Term 1


Term 2check markTerm 3


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Learning Outcomes: (maximum of 5 statements)

On successful completion of this module the student will be able to:

L1. Demonstrate knowledge that covers and integrates most of the principle areas, features, terminologies and conventions associated with instrument creation and sound synthesis.

L2. Apply knowledge, skills and understanding, using a wide range of the principal professional skills, techniques, practices associated with instrument creation and sound synthesis

L3. Demonstrate some originality and creativity in the design and creation of instrument(s) for the purposes of performance and sound synthesis.

L4. Exercise autonomy and initiative in the planning and delivery of an audio software engineering project.

Employability Skills and Personal Development Planning (PDP) Skills
SCQF Headings During completion of this module, there will be an opportunity to achieve core skills in:
Knowledge and Understanding (K and U) SCQF Level 10.

· knowledge that covers and integrates most of the principal areas, terminology and conventions of sound synthesis
· detailed knowledge and understanding of specialist software for sound design.

Practice: Applied Knowledge and Understanding SCQF Level 10.

· Develop skills and practices in computer based sound synthesis which are specialised and advanced

Generic Cognitive skills SCQF Level 10.

· Consolidate knowledge, concepts, skills, practices and methodology in the production of computer based synthesised sound.
· Demonstrate some originality and creativity in the design of software instruments and the production of audio tracks.
· Integrate relevant knowledge from a variety of sources

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills SCQF Level 10.

· Demonstrate numeracy in the exercise of a computer language for audio synthesis.
· Generate and interpret a graphical representation of computer code for instrument design.
· Communicating effectively and appropriately in commercial style, numerate, written reports produced using standard office ICT equipment and software.

Autonomy, Accountability and Working with others SCQF Level 10.

· Exercise autonomy and initiative in utilising and extending the presented material using reference materials.
· Systematically identifying and addressing personal learning needs.

Pre-requisites: Before undertaking this module the student should have undertaken the following:
Module Code:
Module Title:
Audio Signal Processing
Co-requisitesModule Code:
Module Title:

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

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Learning and Teaching
This module will be delivered in a series of lectures, demonstrations and laboratory work aimed at the research, design, and development of a virtual instrument.

Module materials and seminars/workshops will discuss and demonstrate the design, usage, development, and implementation of skills required for the creation of a software instrument.

Lab work will consist of developing a ‘toolbox’ of elements of synthesis that can be repurposed, expanded upon and implemented as a framework for students to construct a complex instrument.

Research will be carried out in the subject area to provide an understanding of current approached and designs within the field to be presented and utilised in the design of the bespoke instrument.

Feedback will be provided throughout the module on lab work and on the design and development of the final product.
Learning Activities
During completion of this module, the learning activities undertaken to achieve the module learning outcomes are stated below:
Student Learning Hours
(Normally totalling 200 hours):
(Note: Learning hours include both contact hours and hours spent on other learning activities)
Lecture/Core Content Delivery12
Tutorial/Synchronous Support Activity16
Laboratory/Practical Demonstration/Workshop20
Independent Study152
200 Hours Total

**Indicative Resources: (eg. Core text, journals, internet access)

The following materials form essential underpinning for the module content and ultimately for the learning outcomes:

Software synthesis tools and associated documentation

Access to the Audio Editing and Simulation software packages and their Help documentation.

Access to standard office word processing and spreadsheet packages.

Intenet access

Cipriani, A (2020) Electronic Music and Sound Design - Theory and Practice with Max 8 - Volume 1. 4th edn. Contemponet

Cipriani, A (2019) Electronic Music and Sound Design - Theory and Practice with Max 8 - Volume 2. 3rd edn. Contemponet

(**N.B. Although reading lists should include current publications, students are advised (particularly for material marked with an asterisk*) to wait until the start of session for confirmation of the most up-to-date material)

Engagement Requirements

In line with the Academic Engagement Procedure, Students are defined as academically engaged if they are regularly engaged with timetabled teaching sessions, course-related learning resources including those in the Library and on the relevant learning platform, and complete assessments and submit these on time. Please refer to the Academic Engagement Procedure at the following link: Academic engagement procedure

Where a module has Professional, Statutory or Regulatory Body requirements these will be listed here:
Students must complete the assessment milestones laid out in the handbook in respect of the submissions. Students must attend formal lecture sessions and separate tutorial-group sessions.

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Supplemental Information

Programme BoardComputing
Assessment Results (Pass/Fail) No
Subject PanelCreative Computing
ModeratorDerek Turner
External ExaminerJ Paterson
Accreditation DetailsThis module is accredited by JAMES as part of BSc (Hons) Music Technology.
Version Number


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Assessment: (also refer to Assessment Outcomes Grids below)
CW1 (25%): Research and critical analysis of a chosen instrument and synthesis method
CW2 (75%): Planning, design, and developement of a software instrument and the creation of a user-manual
(N.B. (i) Assessment Outcomes Grids for the module (one for each component) can be found below which clearly demonstrate how the learning outcomes of the module will be assessed.
(ii) An indicative schedule listing approximate times within the academic calendar when assessment is likely to feature will be provided within the Student Handbook.)

Assessment Outcome Grids (Footnote A.)

Component 1
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Learning Outcome (4) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Essaycheck mark   254

Component 2
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Learning Outcome (4) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Portfolio of practical work check markcheck markcheck mark7540
Combined Total For All Components100% 44 hours

A. Referred to within Assessment Section above
B. Identified in the Learning Outcome Section above

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  1. More than one assessment method can be used to assess individual learning outcomes.
  2. Schools are responsible for determining student contact hours. Please refer to University Policy on contact hours (extract contained within section 10 of the Module Descriptor guidance note).
    This will normally be variable across Schools, dependent on Programmes &/or Professional requirements.

Equality and Diversity
This module is designed to provide equal opportunities for all students irrespective of their age, additional support needs, gender, sexual orientation, race, colour, nationality, ethnicity, religion, beliefs, or sexual orientation. Students may take differing viewpoints with respect to their cultural, religious or family backgrounds. Reasonable adjustments can be made if related issues arise.
UWS Equality and Diversity Policy
(N.B. Every effort will be made by the University to accommodate any equality and diversity issues brought to the attention of the School)

2014 University of the West of Scotland

University of the West of Scotland is a Registered Scottish Charity.

Charity number SC002520.