Undergraduate Degree




DF​3008 Sound for Film

[Studio Contact Hours: 39 hours; Pre-requisites: If FIL then DF2000, If INT then DM2008; Academic Unit: 4.0]



If FIL then DF2000, If INT then DM2008

Academic Unit


4 AU

Course Description


Learning Objective

To deliver to students a practice-based introduction to the theory, application and function of sound in relation to film.


Sound is one of the key elements of a film. It plays an important role in sculpting its emotional landscape and its formal qualities are especially relevant in the support of filmic narrative. Through a combination of lecture and practice, this course will examine the fundamental elements of sound and the aesthetic principles of sound language and design in the support of a film. A component of this examination will be a study of significant precedents in the genre. This will include a technical examination of the processes of capturing sound in various recording media and environments and manipulating it in post-production audio engineering facilities.

Course Outline




• Intro to course

2 - 6

• Sound as a film component

• The role of the sound designer as a technical artist 

• Sound and audio engineering theory:

- Pitch, audio levels, frequency ranges etc

• The aesthetics of sound design:

- Identifying and avoiding sound clichés, designing meaningful and layered soundscapes etc

• Capturing sound in different media and environments: 

- On location and in studio, understanding and applying the use of different microphones, mixers and recording techniques


• Mid Sem review of assignments

8 - 12

• Basic protocols in the management and navigation of a post-production audio engineering facility. 

• Manipulating sound utilizing professional audio software and hardware tools to achieve an articulate sound language and meaningful expression, includes use of mixing, editing, cleaning, layering, sampling and synthesizing techniques.

• Use of synthesisers, music editing and mixing


• Final review of assignments

Learning Outcome

The students will have developed a creative confidence with traditional filmic media.

Student Assessment

  1. Final Assessment: 30%

  2. Continuous Assessment: 70% (of which at least 15% is participation)

Continuous assessment components may include:

  • Studio-based exercises and projects

  • Individual, group and team-based assignments


    1. Andy Farnell, Designing Sound, Applied Scientific Press

    2. David Sonnenschein, Sound Design – The Expressive Power of Music, Voice and Sound Effects in Cinema, Michael Weise Productions

    3. John Purcell, Dialogue Editing for Motion Pictures: A Guide to the Invisible Art, Focal Press

    4. William Whittington, Sound Design and Science Fiction, University of Texas Press

    5. Walter Murch, Audio-Vision, Columbia University Press