Politecnico di Torino
Academic Year 2017/18
Sound system engineering
Master of science-level of the Bologna process in Cinema And Media Engineering - Torino
Teacher Status SSD Les Ex Lab Tut Years teaching
Masoero Marco Carlo ORARIO RICEVIMENTO PO ING-IND/10 36 12 12 0 16
SSD CFU Activities Area context
ING-IND/10 6 C - Affini o integrative Attività formative affini o integrative
Subject fundamentals
The Sound System Engineering course aims at providing the basic knowledge on physical acoustics, psychoacoustics and electro-acoustics, as well as developing the numerical and experimental analysis techniques applicable to the design and performance of sound capturing, recording and reproduction in various contexts, such as music and multimedia production, public address, performing arts, and broadcasting.
Expected learning outcomes
The Sound System Engineering course aims at providing students with knowledge on the following topics:
 Principles of Acoustics (physical acoustics, psychoacoustics, sound propagation in open and confined spaces, acoustic properties of materials, mathematical modelling of acoustic systems, etc.)
 Constructive and functional characteristics, performance parameters and application fields of the main electro-acoustic devices (microphones, loudspeakers, amplifiers, sound processing circuits, etc.)
 Methods and techniques of electro-acoustic sound capturing, recording and reproduction for various applications (music and multimedia production, broadcasting, public address, cinema, theatre, etc.)
 Methods and techniques of acoustic design of confined spaces (recording studios, auditoria, conference rooms, etc.)
The abilities the course intends to provide are:
 Ability to experimentally characterize the performance of key electro-acoustic devices and identify their fields of application
 Ability to characterize (with manual calculations, numerical simulations, or experimental measurements) the acoustic response of confined spaces
 Applying the techniques for acoustic correction and sound insulation of buildings
 Applying the acquired knowledge in areas such as the performing arts, broadcasting, public address, etc.
Prerequisites / Assumed knowledge
Assumed knowledge mainly concern Physics (Mechanics, Waves, Electromagnetism) and basic Electrical Engineering concepts.
1. Principles of Physical Acoustics and Psychoacoustics. Noise: effects and mitigation techniques (9 hrs)
2. Sound propagation in open and confined spaces, acoustic properties of materials (6 h)
3. Mathematical modelling of acoustic systems; characteristics of transducers and electro-acoustic systems: microphones and loudspeakers (6 h)
4. The electroacoustic chain: Definitions, quantities and units. The microphone. Preamplification ad signal transfer. Auxiliary equipment: Crossovers, Equalizers, Dynamic processors. Power amplification. The anlog-digital conversion (9 h)
5. Techniques for sound capturing, recording and reproduction; characterization of microphone response and speech intelligibility (9 h)
6. Experimental characterization of the acoustic response of confined spaces (6 h)
7. Design of sound recording studios; visit to an audio-video production company (6 h)
8. Design of theatres, auditoria and conference rooms; design of sound reinforcement systems. Numerical simulation techniques in environmental and architectural acoustics (9 h)
Delivery modes
Some of the lectures – which are delivered with the aid of powerpoint presentations and, sometimes, video and sound recordings – are given by professionals, sharing their experience in specific applicative sectors.
Experimental and numerical practices are delivered in the classroom or in the labs under the guidance of the instructors; students – individually or in small groups – get the opportunity to become acquainted with the use of measurement instruments and SW for experimental data processing and numerical simulations. An important opportunity is represented by the visit to a recording studio in which students have an opportunity to see a practical application of most of the technologies presented in the course. For all the above activities, the development of a written report is required.
Texts, readings, handouts and other learning resources
All course material is available online including:
 lecture notes
 powerpoint presentations
 technical datasheets of components
 reference bibliography
 practices handouts
Assessment and grading criteria
The final exam consists of the following parts:
 Individual written test on the introductory part of the course (topics 1-3 of the program). The test lasts 2 hrs and consists of three questions: each question includes five statements on the specified topic, on which the student is required to comment briefly. During the test students are allowed to use books and notes. With this test, the student should demonstrate an adequate knowledge of the basic concepts of physical acoustics, psychoacoustics and electro-acoustics and of the relative applications.
 Written reports on the practices and visits; each report (which may be developed by groups of 2-3 students) should include a detailed description of the (HW and SW) instruments and of the analysis techniques employed in the practice, as well as a discussion of the results. In these reports, the student should demonstrate to have acquired an adequate ability to analyze and critically evaluate the tools and methodologies applied in the practices.
 A final report on a topic, freely chosen by the student (or group of students), to be delivered in oral form in a congress-like presentation; students are encouraged to select a topic connected to other curricular courses, personal interests or experiences carried out in academic or extra-academic contexts. With this report, the student should highlight the application of the abilities acquired in the course to freely chosen contexts, from which the creativity of the student should also emerge.
 Reports are evaluated in terms of completeness, approach, originality and quality of presentation.
 There are no constraints on the time sequence of the above parts: the final evaluation, determined giving equal weight to the three parts, is communicated to the students after their completion.

Programma definitivo per l'A.A.2017/18

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