Lecturers: Andy Farnell - Koray Tahiroğlu
The course will introduce procedural audio with a specific focus on how new view of synthesis techniques can be applied to interactive sound objects for the purpose of arts and entertainment; virtual reality, game, new interfaces for musical expression and sound design production. The field of approach in this course will be more intersection on the related disciplines DSP, Psychology, Design and Physics with the principle description of everyday interaction with sounding objects. The procedural audio approach gives a new characteristics to the dynamic audio with modelling all the possible interactions and making the behaviours of the objects free which might be hard to achieve with recorded sound samples. The course further aims to provide knowledge in Psycho-perceptual and physically informed real-time sound synthesis with computationally and space efficient features. At the end of the course, students will write and submit their articles (min 1500 words) that they will build around the topics that will be discussed and presented during the course.
Assessment Methods and Criteria:
Course provides the opportunity to learn the basic skills and tools to create, process and organise sounds with a procedural audio approach. Procedural audio course aims to familiarise students with theoretical and practical knowledge of computational audio and sound processing in interactive content creation for game audio, interactive music systems and sound design production. The course consists of lectures and exercises.
Procedural Audio – 2022 Spring
Mon 16/05/2022 9:00 – 17:00
Procedural and Meta Creation
What is meta-creation and procedural audio? What are its technical, artistic and economic advantages? How does a philosophy of contingent form relate to tools and methods of production and use?
- Media – Static and Dynamic
- What is process?
- How does procedural audio relate to generative process
- Structure of procedural a) behaviour; b) model; c) methods; d) implementation.
How do we listen to, understand and construct sound? What features of sound affect us emotionally or informationally? This lecture lays a foundational understanding of sound, and the gap between the physical world of vibrating, sound producing objects, and our perception. Knowing the human side of analysis and synthesis will enable us as sound designers.
- auditory scene analysis
- listening strategies
- level of audio detail -LOAD
- quality of sound
- causality and procedural systems
- practicalities examples and exercises: a) masking; b) mixing; c) temporal masking; d) inband masking; e) present…
Tue 17/05/2022 9:00 – 17:00
Practise of Procedural Audio
We will learn about the steps to creating sounding objects for use in interactive software, analysing signals and behaviours, building models, and finding effective ways to simulate them using digital processing code.
- methods of analysis and synthesis
- developments of model
- adding behaviour
- integration – situating your procedural audio
- practicalities examples and exercises
Analysis and Synthesis I
Our first examples of a creating procedural audio code for a real problem. Here we will explore the relationship between physical and signal models of vibrating objects, and synthesise interesting and useful behaviours.
- FFt analysis – from signal analysis to model
- practicalities exercise (bell sound) and task (trumpet sound)
Wed 18/05/2022 9:00 – 17:00
Analysis and Synthesis II
In the second practical example we will see how iterative design allows the methods and behavioural control mechanisms to evolve and how we can generalise problems. For the cases of “fire” and “water” we discover they have a lot in common.
- physically informed model – based on physical analysis
- practicalities exercise (fire sound) and task (bouncing ball sound)
Implementing Procedural Audio in Game – UNITY
Taking the examples from the last two practical lectures, how can these be embedded into applications? We look briefly at options for turning Pd code into plugins. Specifically, an example of running procedural code in the Unity game engine is examined.
- code structure of game
- object – message relationships
- how game audio works
- practicalities exercise – unity + plugin pure data
- practicalities exercises – code structure of puzzle game a) libpd in Android b) libpd in iOS
Thr 19/05/2022 9:00 – 17:00
Procedural audio overlaps with generative music, and many game and interative applications use similar techniques to handle both. Here we look at more traditional musical issues, sequencing, interfaces, NIME, MIDI and much more.
- generative music
- working with dynamic game
- meta composition
- practicalities exercises – harmonic tree
Fri 20/05/2022 9:00 – 17:00
Real Time Control of Procedural Audio
Here we can see how elements of procedural audio be brought together in a simple interactive project, including embedded hardware. How can sensors, networks and synthesis software function together in a product or musical instrument?
- adaptive behaviour
- practicalities exercises – object to NIME – ocarina – shaker
You can download both Pd-extended and Pd-vanilla from
Readings – Text Books
Designing Sound by Andy Farnell
Machine Musicianship by Robert Rowe
The Theory and Techniques of Electronic Music by Miller Puckette
Useful Links – Documentation & Tutorials
FLOSS manual tutorials
- Media – Static and Dynamic