Sound: Theory and Production  


September 23 - December 7, 2016
Office Hours @ VAF 511 - Wednesdays 1-2pm, Thursday 4:30-5:30pm

Sound design plays a crucial role in media production and has opened up new structural possibilities for narrative strategies. A critical and historical review of sound design and a production methodology component. Critical papers and sound-works, including those for short video projects, will be required. Prerequisites: VIS 70N and VIS 174. Open to media majors only. Two production-course limitation.

60% will be based on all assigned exercises and quizzes.
40% will be based on class participation in discussions and critiques

#1: Chaos/Tranquility - In groups of 2. Each group will use a flash recorder to record 1) a sound of chaos and 2). a sound or tranquility. Due Wednesday, January 7.

#2: #AlienTongue - From an original voice-recording, create the sound of alien-language.
Begin by writing & recording a message to someone you care about and then making the language sound as if it were coming from an extraterrestrial alien.

#3: “2001 Space Redux" - Using the film clips provided, remake the diegetic sound-design for the 1-minute scene.

#4: Dialogue + Design Assignment - Shoot & cut together a short scene (1-2 mins) in two spaces and create diegetic sound-design for both shots.

#5: Adaptation – based on one of the books from the list provided, create a sound-design project (this can be audio-only, or incorporate video/performance/installation elements).

Writing Assignment: Write a 6-page research paper about a sound-artist from a list I will provide. (must be printed out, on paper).

Extra Credit Production-Drills : Throughout the quarter, students will be assigned short, focused "production drills" designed to facilitate practice with the techniques learned in class. Each succsesfully completed production-drill will be awarded ONE point towards your final grade.


I will only accept assignments late if you have an excused absence from class or in an emergency situation about which you have spoken with me directly. Late assignments will be accepted at Instructor’s discretion.

Students are expected to attend all of every class meeting. “Absence” is a word describing “the state of being away from a place.” If you are away-from-class, you will be considered absent (notwithstanding absence due to illness). If you are ill, you may miss class provided you present official documentation indicating your illness (a note from student health-services will suffice).

Two absences = Lower final grade by one letter
Each additional absence = Lower final grade by an additional half-letter

Arriving to class late twice will be noted as an “absence.” Thus, arriving to class late four times will lower the final grade by one letter.


updated September 23, 2016