Academic Year 2016/2017 - 3° Year - Curriculum A
Teaching Staff: Mario Massimiliano Salfi
Credit Value: 6
Scientific field: INF/01 - Informatics
Taught classes: 48 hours
Term / Semester:

Learning Objectives

The course deepens the various applications of computer scienze to the sound, intended as a physical phenomenon, more than musical. After a thorough discussion about the sound, from an acoustic and psychoacoustic point of view, it ranges from the study, analysis and processing of concrete signals to the digitalization and compression techniques, from the MIDI networks, the editing of scores via "music XML", to the techniques of synthesis and virtual instruments. Some of the topics will be explored through seminars that will go into detail of the used technologies. During the course there will also be practical sessions, in which there will be carried out simulations and exercises on the computer, about what was seen during the theoretical lessons.

Detailed Course Content

1. Introduction to Acoustics

1.1 The sound.
1.2 Sound propagation in the air.
1.3 Sound properties.
1.4 Pure sinusoids combinations.
1.5 Amplitude-frequency representation.
1.6 The contents of a wave.
1.7 Waves shape.
1.8 The envelope of the sound.
1.9 Sound behaviour.

2. The decibel
2.1 Decibel definition.
2.2 Decibel in the audio world.
2.3 The inverse distance law.
2.4 Sound sources combinations.
2.5 Electric measures in decibel.
2.6 Standard Operating Level.
2.7 Dynamic Range.
2.8 Measuring decibels.

3. Equalizers and filters
3.1 Equalizers: general notions.
3.2 Bell equalizers.
3.3 Shelving equilizers.
3.4 Parametric equalizers.
3.5 Graphic equalizers.
3.6 Low-Pass and High-Pass Filters.
3.7 Filter slope.
3.8 Band-Pass and Band-Stop Filters.

4. Effects and signals processors
4.1 General notions.
4.2 Effects: reverb, delay, phaser, flanger, chorus, tremolo, vibrate.
4.3 The signal processors: distortion, exciter, wah-wah, compressor.

5. The noise
5.1 Narrowband noise: HVAC, electromagnetic emissions, interferences, vibrations.
5.2 Broadband noise: Thermal Noise, White Noise, Pink Noise, Brownian Noise.
5.3 Narrowband noise reduction.
5.4 Broadband noise reduction.
5.5 NR systems: dolby A, dolby B, dolby C.

6. Virtual Machines
6.1 Real-time synthesis and off-line synthesis.
6.2 Languages for virtual machines.
6.3 The notions of module and instrument.
6.4 Introduction to the CSound language.
6.5 GUI-oriented synthesis programs: Audio FX and Clam.

7. The use of the computer for musical notation
7.1 Introduction to the musical notation.
7.2 Editors.
7.3 Music XML.

8. Digital sound
8.1 Sampling.
8.2 Quantization.
8.3 Digital/Analogic conversion.
8.4 Home recording.
8.5 The sound card.
8.6 Audio compression: mp3 format.

9. The MIDI protocol
9.1 History.
9.2 The hardware interface.
9.3 MIDI networks examples.
9.4 The protocol and its sintax.
9.5 MIDI messages.
9.6 MIDI channels.
9.7 Structure of MIDI messages.
9.8 Channel messages: Note on, Note off, After touch, Pitch bend, Program change.
9.9 System Messages.
9.10 MIDI Files.
9.11 The general MIDI GM.
9.12 m-LAN.

10. The musical production
10.1 The recording studio.
10.2 From audition to master.
10.3 Home recording (Cubase SX Demo).

Textbook Information

  1. Vincenzo Lombardo, Andrea Valle
    Audio e multimedia –Quarta edizione
    Maggioli Editore
  2. Marco Sacco
    Imparare la tecnica del suono
    Lambda edizioni
  3. Davide Rocchesso, Federico Fontana
    The Sounding Object
    Edizioni Mondo Estremo
    Free Download:
  4. Davide Rocchesso
    Introduction to sound processing
    Edizioni Mondo Estremo
    Free Download: