Module code: TON2022

Module Overview

This module will introduce you to audio signal processing and synthesis techniques using a combination of theory and application.

Module provider

Music and Media

Module Leader

DE SENA Enzo (Music & Med)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 5

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 120

Lecture Hours: 30

Module Availability

Year long

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

Level 4 Audio Signal Analysis Level 4 Computer Systems

Module content

Indicative content includes:

  • Linear time invariant systems, impulse responses, transfer functions and Bode plots;

  • Convolution of two signals;

  • The z-transform • FIR and IIR digital filters;

  • Designing digital filters;

  • Fundamentals of sound synthesis;

  • Specific sound synthesis techniques, including subtractive synthesis, and physical modelling;

  • Max/MSP patch design and implementation

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework Coursework 1 25
Coursework Coursework 2 25
Examination Examination (2 hours) 50

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide you with the opportunity to demonstrate and develop subject knowledge (exam) and programming skills (coursework).

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

  • Coursework – one computer-based practical assignment (addresses learning outcomes 1-2, 5, and 7-8);

  • Coursework – one computer-based practical assignment (addresses learning outcomes 6-8); and

  • 2hr exam – written paper under exam conditions (addresses learning outcomes 1-4).

Formative assessment

There are no formal formative assessment components for this module, but formative feedback will be given to you in lectures and practical workshops, and in tutorials as required.


You will receive written feedback on your coursework.

Module aims

  • This module aims to give you the necessary signal processing background for audio engineering, and to provide a theoretical understanding and a practical working knowledge of techniques for sound synthesis

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Perform convolution on two signals in both the time and frequency domains CKP
002 2. Calculate the impulse response and transfer function of linear time invariant systems and plot the phase and magnitude response CKP
003 Discuss the differences between FIR and IIR digital filters CK
004 Explain the principles and discuss the relative merits of different sound synthesis techniques CK
005 Design and test digital audio filters using a computer-aided approach CKP
006 Design and implement a sound synthesiser patch to a given specification CKP
007 Apply programming skills successfully PT
008 Apply problem-solving skills successfully T

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to: develop your knowledge and understanding of aspects of audio signal processing and synthesis, using a combination of theory and practice. This is developed via lectures and workshops, as well as by completion of practical programming coursework.

The learning and teaching methods include:

  • One two-hour lecture or workshop per week for 15 weeks

  • Guided reading

  • Coursework assignments and feedback

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: TON2022

Other information


Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Music and Sound Recording (Tonmeister) BSc (Hons)(CORE) Year-long Core Each unit of assessment must be passed at 40% to pass the module
Music and Sound Recording (Tonmeister) BMus (Hons)(CORE) Year-long Core Each unit of assessment must be passed at 40% to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2020/1 academic year.