This Course encompasses using computer hardware, software and electronics to create and record sound for film, video and multimedia projects. Using these skills the student will produce sound designs for a 30 Sec. television commercial and an 10 min. online video.

Prerequisite(s): Basic keyboarding and some knowledge of Mac OSX operating system. Plus an interest in media production.

Class Location: B0907Multimedia Graphics Lab
Front Range Community College: Westminster Campus

Class Meets: Tuesdays 6pm until 9:40pm

Instructor: Jay Shaffer •  •  • 303 875-3958

Office Hours: Thursday 12noon-1pm B0906

Class Website:

Required Text:  Apple Pro Training Series: Soundtrack Pro 2 (Apple Pro Training Series) (Paperback)
by Martin Sitter # Paperback: 360 pages
Publisher: Peachpit Press;
ISBN-10: 0321502663

Materials Needed:  A set of headphones and an at least 2 Gig. Flash Drive for saving and transporting files

Important Dates: The final day you can drop this class with a refund is Sept. 08, 2009 and the final day you can drop this class without a grade penalty is Nov. 21, 2009 (no refund). FALL BREAK 2009 Nov 23-29 No Classes 

Class Objective: The aim of this class is to have you understand the principles of sound design as it relates to media production. At the conclusion of the class you should be able to use sound as an element in multimedia prodution and have a general understanding of the importance of sound in communication.

Everyone brings a different background and experience to the class and you are expected to help each other by sharing your knowledge with others. The material covered in this class might vary somewhat from the following schedule. It will be adjusted at times depending on conditions and where we are as a group in our collective experience.

Course requirements: Grading Rubric:

Class lab exercises will be graded on tool techniques.
Projects: You are required to present two projects.
            1. A soundtrack for a 30 second television commercial
Due at the beginning of Session #7  October 6
            2. A sound design for an online video
Due at the beginning of Session #14 December 1

Class time will be divided into approximately 1/3 lecture, 1/3 exercises and 1/3 lab time.
Your grade will be based on these projects and your class participation in a variety of lab exercises in each session.

Project deadlines are absolute, Projects will not be accepted after the due date except in extremely extraordinary circumstances (Hospitalization, death in the family, eminent destruction of the planet... you get the idea.)

Group critiques are meant to be learning experiences for all students.  If there are special circumstances that need to be taken into consideration, please discuss that with me in private prior to any critique.

Semester Grade Rubric:
Class Attendance: 30%
General class participation and completion of class lab exercises: 20%
Assignment 1: 25%
Assignment 2: 25%

Grading Scale A=90-100   B= 80-89   C= 70-79    D= 60-69    F=under 60


Session 1 - Sylabus and announcements • What is sound design? • Sound design, examples and  demonstration • Using OSX  basics

Session 2  - Fundamentals of sound, frequency, amplitude, phase, waveforms etc. • The digital audio signal chain • Transducers and microphones,  types and patterns. Assign project 1 Exercise: Round tripping from FCP and Exploring The Soundtrack Pro  Workspace

 Session 3  - Editing and mixing. Sound file editing •  Sound effect auditioning • Multi-track editing and layering. Mix-down and export Exercise: Fixing Audio Files, Working with the Frequency Spectrum

Session 4 - Introduction to recording • Setting up the computer for recording • Hooking up a microphone. Recording to the computer.  Recording a Voice. Exercise: Recording In Soundtrack Pro, Dialog Replacement

Session 5  - Editing sound for picture • Background, foreground, ambience and emotion. Exercise: Editing Multitrack Projects

Session 6  - Project Lab -- Project 1-Sound for picture. Exercise: Working With Content

Session 7 - Project 1 due - Project 1 critique• Assign Project 2

Session 8  -. Synthesizers and MIDI. Software instruments, triggered samples and Foley Exercise: Mixing Multitrack Projects

Session 9  -   Effects: Reverberation, delay and dynamics control Exercise: Conforming Multitrack Projects

Session 10 - Sound design through Synthesis.  making a unique sound

Session 11  - Spotting and cue list, Stems and elements

Session 12  - Application: Film, TV, video, theater, and games.

Session 13  - Project lab ---  10 min. video

Session 14  -  Project 2 view and critique . Portfolio CDs

Session 15 - Jobs and careers in sound design • Copyrights and Creative Commons•


Class Policies:
Important concepts will be presented in each class to help you understand this complex subject. If for some reason you need to miss a class, it is important that you “catch-up” on your own. I suggest you team up with a couple of class members who will help you if you need to miss a class.

You are expected to use only the Sound effects and Music included with The installed software on the classroom computers or music and sound effects  deemed by the instructor as not being a copyright infraction.
No food or drink is allowed in the classroom. There will be at least  a ten minute break per hour of class.
Cell phones must be silenced! Texting during lecture time is discourteous to the class and the instructor. If I think you are texting, it will hurt the  class participation portion of your grade and I may ask you to leave the classroom for the remainder of the session.

Plagiarism: Although in this class, the use of other’s material is allowed and expected from time to time (royalty-free licensed music and sound effects), there should be no plagiarism when producing final work or presenting one’s own ideas.  If you have a question, talk to me for clarification as to what is allowed for educational use in a Multimedia classroom or refer to the Front Range catalog where it states:

The Humanities Department strives for academic excellence and encourages all students to achieve their best. Moreover, the department promotes academic honesty and does not tolerate cheating or plagiarism. Cheating is defined as the practice of fraud or trickery, to violate rules dishonestly and to act deceivingly. Plagiarism is defined as presenting ideas or words of another as one’s own. As a college student it is your responsibility to fully understand the concepts of cheating and plagiarism. Instructors are always available to clarify for students the exact definition of cheating and plagiarism. Failure to understand these concepts does not excuse you from potential reprimand. According to Front Range Community College policy, consequences of cheating or plagiarism can result in an F on the assignment or exam, an F in the course, and/or dismissal from Front Range Community College.

In this class it means dismissal from the class and an automatic F.

Students with Special Needs:
Any student who requires accommodations because of a physical, learning, psychiatric, vision or hearing disability must contact the instructor and the Special Services office (303-404-5302) at the beginning of the semester. After the student has documented their disability with Special Services, please make an appointment with the instructor to discuss the accommodations.

NOTE: A list of private (those that are not free) tutors will gladly be provided to those who do not qualify for free tutoring services, or who wish to hire their own tutor.
How do I Qualify for Free Tutoring?
  1. Meet the prerequisites for the course for which you are requesting assistance or have assessment scores indicating you should be in that class.
   2. Be attending class regularly, including logging on, participating, and submitting assignments for online courses.
   3. Be getting a C or below in the class for which you are requesting assistance.
   4. Have attempted other resources for help, i.e. Learning Development Center, Math Lab.
How do I Request a Tutor?
  1. Download, complete and sign the Referral for Tutoring form.
   2.  Ask your instructor to sign this form. A tutor cannot be assigned without the instructor's signature.
   3. Those on the Westminster Campus may leave these forms in the red folder outside room B1208. Students at other campuses may arrange, at the front desk, to have them faxed or sent via intercampus mail to Special Services .
   4. You will be contacted by phone with several tutors' names and telephone numbers. If a message cannot be relayed via phone, then it is the student's responsibility to make other arrangements to get the information. For students at Boulder County campuses and the Brighton Center, the instructor will be contacted and given tutor names and phone numbers. Those students may then obtain the tutor list from their instructors. Call the numbers you have been given and discuss scheduling tutoring times. If times can't be worked out, call the Tutoring Office.


This syllabus is subject to changes as the semester goes along.