Sound Design for Visual Media


Term 1 Course Description


Intro to Mixing

Mixing is an essential to any finished Sound Design piece. And now that Pro Tools is the industry standard that encompasses a mixer it is imperative to know how to setup a mixer. In this course an emphasis on the basic setup of a mix inside of Pro Tools will be explained. Students will get to see older analog mixing concepts work inside of Pro Tools. By the end of this course students will have a basic mix ready to go and will then get to mix two clips from a television movie.


Intro to Pro Tools

The industry leading Digital Audio Workstation Pro Tools is introduced to students. Students will be guided through the different windows and basic capabilities of the Pro Tools software. Basic editing, mixing, MIDI and mastering are covered. An in-class post production based project will be completed.


Intro to Sound

Sound Design requires an in-depth knowledge of sound and it’s physical properties. This course will start by introducing students to the physics of audio. The difference between analog and digital audio is explored. A more thorough understanding of digital audio and its concepts are discussed once the physics of audio is finished. Once some understandings of “how” sound works, students get introduced to microphones, the first link in the chain of signal flow.Students will then pick up from there with setting up the analog room. Although most sound is now done completely in a computer, the basics of signal flow are essential to knowing how audio flows
in a given system. By completion of this course students should feel comfortable doing basic recording based on their knowledge of the physics of audio, microphones and analog signal flow.


Intro to Post Recording

Studio recording in Post Production audio breaks down into two main categories. Foley recording and ADR recording. The first four classes will concentrate on what foley is and how we record it. The next three classes will be focused on what ADR is. How we script the ADR prior to recording and finally using the script in an ADR session. There will also be a review of mics used for these types of recordings.


Intro to Portable Recording

Portable recording is the basis for many of the sounds in any good Sound Designer’s library. VFS wants to encourage all students to be prepared to record sounds at any time. This course will cover the 5 W’s of portable recording. As well, it will give the students some “hands-on” time with Portable Recorders. Students will have to complete a “shopping” list of sounds they need to record.


Portable Recording 2

This course is intended to build on what students learned in earlier terms with respect to portable recordings by introducing the students to better portable recorders and microphones. All students will learn the different portable recorders the school has. Added to that different microphone techniques will be explored.


Intro to MIDI

MIDI was created in 1983 and it changed music technology forever. This course will emphasis on the basic tools to record and edit MIDI information in Pro Tools and Reason. Students will understand the different applications for MIDI (Music, Post-Production and Game Audio). By the end of this course students will design sounds for a small clip, relying purely in MIDI instruments.


Term 2  Course Description


Intro to Game Audio

Game Audio is an emerging industry within the context of creating sounds for visual media. In this course students will be introduced to some concepts of Game Audio. Video Games are a non-linear medium and as such have an underlying engine driving the games sounds and visuals based made by the player. As such understanding this fundamental difference compared to post audio is essential.Students will also be introduced to previous technology concepts within the game sound industry as well as the new and emerging concepts, terms, methods & practices used to put sounds into a game. These concepts, terms, methods & practices will be explored and discussed.


Intro to Post Audio Editing

Post Audio editing is the basic of any Film or Television soundscape. All sounds put into a film are edited prior to being mixed. In this course the basic elements of audio editing are defined. An understanding of the different elements and what you’re trying to accomplish in each one is covered. As well the basics of “how to” start editing each element is covered.Defining the roles and importance of each element is necessary to complete the complex soundscapes of today’s films and Television shows. This course will start by spotting a show with instructors. From there subsequent classes will deal with each element individually.


Mixing 2

Building on the introduction to Mixing, Mixing II expands on how we setup and mix within Pro Tools. Students will review a stereo mix setup. Include in the review is how to setup your time based plugins (reverb, delays) as well as your dynamic based plugins (compressors, gates).
Once students have a basic setup a more in-depth analysis of what to accomplish in a mix will be done. Automation will be explored to expand the capabilities of a mixer as well as creating perspectives in a mix.


Intro to Sound Designing

Sound Design is a ubiquitous term meaning one some people and another thing to others. In this course we will review tools already introduce to students within the context of using them for creative needs. As well students will learn how samplers are used to create sound effects. This will also serve to re-enforce MIDI concepts.


MIDI & Synthesis 2

In this course the students will continue improving the skills learned during Intro to MIDI. Students will learn the use of different virtual instruments in Pro Tools such as Vacuum and Kontakt. The students will also learn how to use MIDI in Reason, and use some of its virtual instruments such as Subtractor, Malstrom and Thor. An important part of the curriculum for this course is Synthesis. The students will learn the basic concepts of synthesis and it’s different types: Additive, Subtractive and Frequency Modulated. Later they will put those concepts into practice using software and hardware.


Production Sound Mixing

Building on Post Recording I students will expand their knowledge of both Foley recording and Foley performance. As well students will review ADR scripting and recording. This course is primarily driven by practical implementation of previously taught theory.



Term 3 Course Description


Game Audio 2

Building on Intro to Game Audio, this course gets into more complex workings of game specific contexts and complexities. There is also an emphasis on workflow and how the industry structures its deadlines. This course aims to educate students on the nature of Game Audio constructs and interactive design principles


Sound Designing 2

The students will improve their Sound Designing skills with different workshops and projects. The students will gather sounds on the field and use those recordings to generate original content. Students will learn how to edit sound for Slow-Motion sequences. They will also use Side-Chaining to create whooshes


Pro Tools2

Building on the introduction to Mixing, Mixing II expands on how we setup and mix within Pro Tools. Students will review a stereo mix setup. Include in the review is how to setup your time based plugins (reverb, delays) as well as your dynamic based plugins (compressors, gates).Once students have a basic setup a more in-depth analysis of what to accomplish in a mix will be done. Automation will be explored to expand the capabilities of a mixer as well as creating perspectives in a mix.


Mixing 3

Building on principles taught in Mixing II, Mixing III introduces the students to significantly larger mix sessions with delivery deadlines and requirements. Students will review automation types and modes, as well as learning advanced compression and EQ techniques.The students will be working with main different location and ADR tracks to complete two short film mixes and a broadcast television mix.


Music Editing

Music editing is a form of editing that anyone can do regardless of their musical capability. Music is however an important component of most soundtracks. Understanding the importance and uses of music in a sound track, how editing music to fit or embellish an emotion is a useful thing as well as the role of the Music Supervisor and editor are exploered, Students will cover how to edit music, not compose, to benefit a soundtrack.


Term 4 Course Description


Post Mixing

Building on the Intro to Post Mixing Project, this course seeks to re-enforce the mix
template setup and pre-mixing philosophies. Students will also be introduced to some more mixing
techniques, including using EQs and reverbs


Intro to MAX/MSP

Students will be instructed in the basic principles of the Max/MAP visual programming environment. These classes will focus on the fundamentals of the Max component of the software in order to build a basic procedural music engine. Topics covered in class will include Max objects, messages, data flow, basic data types, pseudo random generators, MIDI formatting, encapsulation, data structures and user interface design. The final 2 classes will introduce the MSP digital audio extension and concepts such as signals, wavetable oscillators, amplitude and frequency scaling, envelope generators and additive synthesis.


Game Audio

Building upon skills learned in Terms 2 & 3, this course is designed to extend the students’ knowledge of specific audio requirements that pertain to video game production. Now with a basis for audio design as learned in the previous terms, this course delves into the more technical realm of real-time audio implementation and framework.A range of industry audio tools will be introduced and basic techniques will be explored. An emphasis on Wwise, one of the most widely adopted middleware audio implementation tools in the industry, will be the primary focus of the course.


Intro to Professional Skills

Intro to Professional Skills will give you the time and information to start deciding where your personal creative career path will take you. Sound Designers have the opportunity to have varied careers from Film and TV to Games and more. These can be union or non-union projects, independent productions to large franchises. Some will create their own content and be fully self-employed. Others will be employees for established companies while working on side projects of their own. Social skills, business etiquette and professionalism are all part of your future success and you will get current and relevant resources that will start you preparing for your career in the entertainment industry.


Post Audio Editing 3

Building on their audio editing skills for film and television by editing a very labour intensive car chase. The students will improve their Dialogue Editing skills with different workshops and project. Finally, the students will learn about Impulse Response Recording and Acoustic Spaces Sampling to create tailor made reverb.


Term 5 Course Description


Post Mixing 3

In this final mixing course the students will further expand their knowledge in proper audio levels, processing and final mix delivery. Students will be mixing the film collaboration edits to simulate real world workflow between mixing and editorial. Also, term 5 students will have the opportunity to work for Film Campus directors and producers to help achieve their vision of the films soundtrack.


Professional Skills 2

One choice facing many sound designers is whether to start and run their own independent business or seek employment at a larger studio/production company. This course demystifies the business, legal and regulatory requirements of contracting to help make that decision easier, while increasing participants’ financial literacy skills so work and life are easier no matter which path they choose. Students will learn how to develop budgets for projects ranging from ultra-low budget to major studio productions; how to protect themselves legally and financially; and how to negotiate any employment or other contract more effectively. In the final two sessions participants will also engage in extensive role-plays to prepare for behavioral interviewing scenarios.


Term 6 Course Description


3D Animation Collaboration

The students will have an online quiz to test their theoretical knowledge on different subjects learned throughout the year.


Final Post Production Project

The primary way students can display their new skill sets is by having a short visual project that all the sound has been created by the students. In this case students will pick a final visual piece and create the soundscape.


Final Game Audio Project

Students are given a unique, industry-relevant opportunity to work under a current audio lead for an Electronic Arts game title, creating original sounds instructed for use in a proprietary electronic arts tools.


Portfolio Production

Throughout the term students will be given classes on video editing and authoring tools such as Adobe Premiere, DVD Studio Pro, Compressor and others in order to show students how to build and author DVD’s so that they can compile a portfolio of the work they’ve completed at SHVFS.