Course Description & Info

T540 Sounds, Images + Interactivity
Indiana University, Department of Telecommunications
Spring Semester, 2012

Norbert Herber: (e-mail) nherber at indiana dot edu

Online syllabus:

Introduction & Background
It is customary for interactive media designers to communicate with their audience over simultaneous channels. Traditionally, the visual channel has been given the most attention. The recipe for immersion has relied on graphical wizardry to favor the creation of an experience that is visually compelling and engaging. This same kind of attention is missing in the sonic dimensions of a mediated, interactive experience, where the audio elements and overall aural design of these works is often not fully considered. Only through the thoughtful planning of responsive, adaptive, and interactive sound structures will there be the kind of audio and graphic synergy that enables an immersive experience to reach its full potential. This course aims to explore the concepts and techniques that bind the image + sound relationship in mediated environments of immersion and interactivity.

Course Information
This course will approach material from both theoretical and practical perspectives. So-called "traditional" media provide a foundation for the image + sound relationship. But it is essential to understand the discourse surrounding audio in interactive media, games, digital art, and contemporary music. Students will take a broad view of the following topics:

Careful study and consideration accompanies practical application. This course expects that students will explore their individual interests in sound and music on a more personal level. Students will work with contemporary digital audio and media authoring tools to conduct theme-based experiments and develop original media, music, and art works.

Introduce students to the power of audio as a means of communication and storytelling, and allow students to explore the interplay between sound and images

Provide students with a framework for thoughtful consideration of audio in an interactive environment

Explore various techniques of implementing an interactive audio design concept in the context of an interactive media production or artwork

Students are expected to have a working knowledge of digital audio and contemporary tools for computer-based recording and editing. Musical training or the ability to sing/play an instrument can be helpful, though not necessary. Experience with contemporary media authoring software is also expected.

Media Requirements
TV & DVD player; access to video or DVD rental
Internet access
Access to audio software (any will do): Sound Forge, Pro Tools, Peak, Quattro DSP, Audition, Digital Performer, Sonar, Cakewalk, Cubase, Logic, Soundtrack Pro, Garage Band, and so on.
Access to multimedia development software (any will do): Flash, Processing, Max/MSP, Jitter, Pure Data, FMod, and so on.