SHE Level 3
SCQF Credit Points 20.00
ECTS Credit Points 10.00
Module Code M3H620650
Module Leader Don Knox
School School of Computing, Engineering and Built Environment
Subject Audio Engineering
  • A (September start)
  • B (January start)

Summary of Content

This module is designed to provide students with knowledge and experience of audio signal analysis and audio quality assessment. Students are introduced to the theoretical bases of frequency and time domain audio representations and the principles of analysis algorithms based thereupon. This knowledge is expanded to encompass understanding and application of audio analysis algorithms, with the aim of establishing objective measures of audio signal characteristics and signal quality. Theoretical principles include human perception of sound, psychoacoustic principles and the subjective appraisal of audio quality. Advanced concepts surrounding the forensic analysis of sound in a variety of contexts are explored.


Principles and theory of digital audio signal encoding and maintenance of subjective sound signal quality. Physiological and psychological mechanisms affecting human perception of sound. Principles and operation of audio compression algorithms. Principles of audio signal frequency analysis. Theory and operation of audio analysis algorithms. Theory and principles of objective and subjective audio quality assessment. Design, development and execution of subjective listening tests, including experimental design and data analysis. Computer programming for the analysis and classification of audio. Indicative assessment: VLE-hosted class test, focussing on theoretical aspects of the module syllabus approximately half way through the trimester. 30% Practical assessment of skills and knowledge through design and development of an audio analysis and classification programme using professional programming software environments. 70%

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module, students should be able to:- Understand and evaluate theoretical concepts underpinning the frequency analysis of audio signals and the representation of analysis data. - Design, develop and implement a strategy for analysis of audio signals in order to extract salient information toward a given objective. - Critically analyse and discuss the results of audio signal analyses in the context audio signal comparison and quality assessment. - Appraise the physiological and psychological mechanisms which affect human perception of sound. - Statistically analyse data from audio analysis and assessment experiments, Interpret, present and explain results.

Teaching / Learning Strategy

The University 'Strategy for Learning' documentation has informed the learning and teaching strategy for this module. The student will be engaged in activity that aims to develop an active approach to their learning, a deep understanding of the topics being covered, and which leads to their meeting the module learning outcomes. Main module assessments are based around problem-solving and are open -ended in order to encourage divergent thinking. A wide range of learning materials is incorporated in order to facilitate broader and deeper learning. Flexibility and a personalised approach to learning is encouraged via, for example, online forums for student interaction with peers. Specifically, creation of a 'code surgery', an online forum where students can exchange ideas/questions surrounding the programming aspects of the module. Detailed, individual feedback on assessments is provided in timely manner, with focus on constructive guidance on continued development and improvement of the student's understanding of expectations and assessment processes. In order to facilitate flexible learning, all learning materials are made available through the University VLE. In addition, free or inexpensive software tools are specified in order to allow students flexible access to them

Indicative Reading

Etter, D.M. 2014. Introduction to Matlab. Pearson Eduction Ltd. ISBN: 9780133770018 Roads, D. 1996. The Computer Music Tutorial. The MIT Press. ISBN 978-0-262-68082-0. Giannakopoulos, T. and A. Pikrakis. 2014. Introduction to Audio Analysis: A MATLAB Approach. Academic Press Inc., London. ISBN: 978-0080993881. J.W. Beauchamp. 2007. Analysis, synthesis, and perception of musical sounds: the sound of music. Springer. ISBN 978-0387324968. International Telecommunication Union international technical standards recommendations. Bech, S. and Zacharov, N. 2006. Perceptual Audio Evaluation: theory, method and application, Wiley ISBN: 9780470869239.

Transferrable Skills

Computer programming skills. Written and oral communication. Problem solving. Critical analysis of theories, principles and concepts. Creativity, innovation and independent thinking.

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Practicals (FT) 24.00
Lectures (FT) 12.00
Assessment (FT) 18.00
Independent Learning (FT) 134.00
Tutorials (FT) 12.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Coursework 1 1.00 100.00 40% Practical