The assignment is performed in groups of three students. We encourage you to make new friends from other study programmes at KTH. New for this year is the possibility to build an audio device of your own, see Alternative C below.
Alternative A - article
You may choose to write an in-depth article for your group assignment. The article should be 8-16 A4 pages in length. Many pictures will require more pages. The audience for whom you are writing are future students in this course. There must be a list of references, similar in form to that at the end of Watkinson's chapters. There must also be an Acknowledgements paragraph describing how the work of writing the paper was distributed among the group members. The paper may be written in Swedish if you feel that this would improve the quality of the text. A Microsoft Word template with a suggested graphical layout is available in Swedish and English. Open it and then save it as a document file, GroupNN_Topic.DOC. A selection of your articles will be compiled together with earlier articles, into a dynamically changing supplement to the course literature. Using the template is voluntary, but recommended, and improves the chances of your work being selected for next year's anthology. If you are not using the template, use your group number X as the chapter number, and number pages, figures, tables etc as X-nn.
You will also present a summary of your article at the course finale on 8 December. All group members should be active in the presentation, which should be no longer than 20 minutes, including time for demos and questions.
The Internet is all good and well, but some knowledge is found only in libraries. The TMH library has a reasonable stock of sound books and journals. The library on level 4 contains journals and on level 5 you will find books. Please note that it is not permitted to remove any journal or book from the library – the material you need must be photocopied in place. For access to the library, please contact Sten.
Suggested topics for an articleSome topics which we have not yet seen, but which would be interesting:
You are welcome to re-use earlier topics if you like, if you want to gain insight into these issues yourself. If so, refer to the existing article and improve on it significantly. These have included:
Existing sound installations: Cosmonova, the Royal Opera, the Royal Dramatic Theatre, the Globe Arena, cinemas, sports arenas.
Broadcasting: surround sound at Sveriges Radio.
Types of sound systems: in churches, theatres, cinemas, cars, radio stations.
Applications/technologies: Sound in computer games, Speech in noisy environments, Audio on computer networks, Reverb simulation techniques, Data reduction techniques, Pro audio versus consumer audio, Binaural synthesis, HRTF’s, Mastering, Comparing DVD-Audio to SACD, Archiving sound.
The article should always account for
If you are describing a type of installation, there should be a case study of a representative system, including approximate costs of acquisition, installation, operation and maintenance.Vocational information
Improving the course laboratories
If you have suggestions for a new lab session for this course, why not make it your assignment and work it through?
Alternative B - audio programming
If you choose this assignment, you will use the PortAudio API from the programming language of your choice. Please see the course guide for details. Here are some programming resources:
AES introductory article and supplementary notes.
For OpenAL: Tutorial and Application (ZIP files)
For DirectX: Tutorial and Application (ZIP files)
We discourage the use of Java as the programming language, because the usual Java audio libraries hide the callback mechanism that we wish to demonstrate, and also contain some troublesome bugs.
PureData is downloadable from "http://puredata.info/" where there is also a lot of information. Choose the "pd-extended" download, version number 0.39.3. If you are unable to download at home, please contact me to reserve time in the TMH course lab, where PD is pre-installed and MIDI controllers are available. To save you some time in searching in the PD libraries, Marco Fabiani has made a PureData "starter patch" with a few suggested components, which you can use to start making your own patches more quickly. A "Getting Started in PD" guide can be found here.
Alternative C - build your own audio interface
With today's integrated circuit technology, it is possible to build a digital audio interface as a hobby project. We encourage those of you who like to use a soldering iron and electronic instrumentation to attempt to build a small USB-based custom audio device. You will be guided by Manne Tallmarken, who has done it before.