Home | DMPOST 2 - (et40) - Digital Audio Fundamentals - Spring 2020


David Javelosa

Office Hours -
CMD 220:
Mon. 5:10p-6:40pm online
Thurs. 12:40-2:40pm

www.smcdesigntech.org, www.smconline.org

#1857 :9:30 a.m.-12:35 p.m. Mon. :CMD 280

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Copyright © 2005 - 2020, David Javelosa unless otherwise stated.

course content


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class assignments
resource page

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: check these weekly

: information - jobs/internships, technical, design, articles, etc.

: introduction to digital audio and class overview
: physics of sound - pro tools overview, cont.
: history & psychology of recording sound
: sound editing, dialog and sound effects
: report due compositing sound and layerings
: sound effects and sound design
: sound and music to visual media
: pro tools midterm project due
: desiging sound to picture and script
: pro tools as a musical composition tool, MIDI
: audio production for animation
: sound & music for the web
: sound design for entertainment platforms and games
: sound & music for interactive environments
: review and prep for final exam & final project
: pro tools final exam & final project due



Course Description

This course will introduce students to the fundamentals of digital audio design and provide them with the basic tools to use the technology appropriately, creatively, and effectively.  A large element of “hands-on” practical experience will be balanced by an emphasis on understanding the fundamental theoretical principles of the technology and its applications within the entertainment industry.  Topics covered will include the basic characteristics and differences between analog and digital audio; principles of good audio design; the essential hardware and software tools of music production in a digital environment; characteristics and differences between the main digital audio formats; basic principles of sound waveform editing; and recording techniques for multimedia and video integration.

This course uses Avid Pro Tools


Course Objectives






Upon completion of the course the student will be able to:

· Have a historical knowledge of digtal audio technologies, formats and applications
· Create sound effects and audio backgrounds for interactive and linear visual mediums
· Have a current understanding of digital audio applications for today’s entertainment technology
· Think critically and analyze work in class and in a sound design environment
· Increase understanding of and skill with digital audio tools through assignments
· To create digital audio content suitable for accompanying portfolio projects

Upon successful completion of the arranged hours, students will be able to:


Review concepts and software techniques in class


Apply concepts and software techniques on student projects


Gain familiarity in the digital audio production process through repetition


Student Learning Outcome:



Recommended Skills:


Use digital audio techniques to effectively record, edit, mix and process audio.


Create a professional quality standard AIFF file of a digital audio project, suitable for use in digital media projects.

advisory: Computer Skills for Digital Media

To succeed in this course, students should have the ability to:


Navigate the internet using a web browser.


Manage files using either the Mac or Windows operating systems.


Send and receive email messages and attachments.


Use a word processing program like Microsoft Word or its equivalent.

Students that do not meet these required skills are advised to enroll in a computer skills course.



Arranged Hours:


This course requires 2 hours a week of arranged lab hours. They can be done off-site.




  • ONLINE CLASS NOTES AT: http://javelosa.com/Courses/ET40/
  • Pro Tools 8 for Macintosh & Windows, by Steven Roback, Visual Quickstart Guide, Peachpit OR
  • The Complete Pro Tools Handbook, by Jose "Chilitos" Valenzuela, Backbeat Books



Materials and Supplies


You will need several CD-Rs to backup and transport your work. Assignments and projects will be turned in on CD-R, or delivered electronically to the Academy server if smaller than 10 megs.

Remember to label your CD-Rs with your name and phone number. Students often lose their disks by leaving them in the classroom or lab. Labeling your disks will increase the chance you will find them in the lost & found.


Methods of Presentation

Methods of Evaluation

Lecture, discussion, demonstrations, hands-on projects, in-class computer lab

Grading is determined by participation and the timely completion of all assignments, projects and/or exams. Assignments and projects will be judged on technical execution and mastery of the underlying concepts. All coursework submitted must be original, completed solely by you.

To receive full credit, all assignments are due on time. Students are responsible for submitting all work on time regardless of absence. Emailing late assignments is NOT allowed. A late assignment may be submitted in class one week after the due date but will automatically drop one grade level. No late assignments will be accepted after one week.

There is no extra credit available for this course.

Students must complete 75% of the coursework, including the final, to pass the course. Final projects that are submitted late will NOT be accepted.

A grade of “Incomplete” may be granted at the very end of the term, only when 90% of the course work has been completed with a “C” or better, and an unforeseen event or illness prevents the student from completing the coursework. “Incomplete” grade situations are extremely rare, and are entirely at the discretion of the instructor, within the parameters set above.

Please let the instructor know, promptly and courteously, if a mistake has been made in class, in grading, or in posting your grade to eCompanion.

Your final grade will be calculated using the following percentages:

Analysis Paper: 20%
Midterm Project: 20%
Final Exam: 20%
Final project: 30%
Attendance and class participation: 10%

Total 100%







Superior performance. Excellent achievement and craftsmanship in all work. Performs beyond course requirements.




Above average performance. Consistent progress and craftsmanship. Meets all course requirements.




Average performance. Minimum time and effort spent on coursework. Fulfills basic course requirements.




Uneven performance. Minimal output and improvement in work. Requirements are only partially fulfilled.



60% and below

Fails to meet a minimum of performance levels. Does not exhibit achievement or progress.



The Center for Media and Design (CMD) was built to provide quality education and lifelong learning opportunities in rapidly evolving design and media fields. All of the programs housed at the CMD are dedicated to preparing students for successful transfer or professional growth through innovation, collaboration and communication.

The facility represents years of thoughtful planning and great expense to ensure the creation of a state-of-the-art learning environment which encourages exploration and discovery.

The future success of the CMD rests with all of us. As stewards of this community, all who use the CMD must be committed to three simple principles:

  • Uphold a positive, productive climate where every person is engaged and respected.
  • Work together to maintain a shared vision for the facility.
  • Contribute to the successful operation of the CMD and the care of the physical environment.


We strongly encourage everyone to use the LiveSafe mobile app that Santa Monica College is providing to all students, faculty, and staff to download for free. The app provides a quick, convenient, and discreet way to communicate directly with Santa Monica College officials, enhancing your overall safety and allowing Santa Monica College to better serve you. Please use the app to anonymously report any acts of vandalism you may observe at the CMD.

Withdrawel Policy

Students are responsible for withdrawing from a class and must not expect faculty to initiate withdrawal procedures for them. If you wish to drop this class, If you wish to drop this class, you may do so through Corsair Connect.

General information regarding drop dates, withdrawals, and other enrollment matters may be found at the Admissions section of the SMC website: http://www.smc.edu/EnrollmentDevelopment/Admissions/Pages/default.aspx. The deadlines and dates for this term are also listed at the end of this syllabus.

After the eighth week of classes, students must have faculty approval and documentable extenuating circumstances to withdraw.  Extenuating circumstances are unavoidable circumstances that prevent students from participating in further class activities and fulfilling remaining course requirements. Poor student performance in the course will NOT be considered as an extenuating circumstance.




The sixteen week schedule is provided below for your information.  Click here for the complete schedule including 8 week sessions.


Tuesday, February 18

Presidents' Day Holiday (CAMPUS CLOSED).

Monday, February 17

*Remember: Students can enroll themselves into open classes until the night before the second class meeting (except online, hybrid and arranged hour classes). After that point an instructor's approval code will be required.


Deadline to withdraw and receive REFUND (16 week session).

Visit your Corsair Connect portal for specific deadline dates.

Departmental Flex Day (NO CLASSES) CAMPUS OPEN.

Friday, March 6

Deadline to withdraw and AVOID "W".

Visit your Corsair Connect portal for specific deadline dates.

Institutional Flex Day (NO CLASSES) CAMPUS OPEN.

Tuesday, March 10

Deadline to apply for Pass/No Pass.

Visit your Corsair Connect portal for course-specific deadline and to apply.

Deadline to withdraw and receive GUARANTEED "W". No further enrollment transactions allowed after this deadline. From this point on, students must use the late withdrawal process which requires faculty approval based on extenuating circumstances.

Visit your Corsair Connect portal for course-specific "Guaranteed W" deadline dates.


April 13-17

Deadline to submit "Petition for Graduation" Spring Semester.

Wednesday, April 15

Memorial Day Holiday (CAMPUS CLOSED).

Monday, May 25, 2020

Spring Semester Final Exams.

June 9 - 16

End of Spring Semester.

Tuesday, June 16

Grades dues from Faculty.

Tuesday, June 23




Final Dates

#1857 :9:30 a.m.-12:35 p.m. Mon. :CMD 280

June 16, 2020



Classroom Policy

Academic Honesty
The SMC Honor Code and Code of Academic Integrity, printed in the General Catalog, remind students of their responsibility to behave honestly and ethically. It is your responsibility to familiarize yourself with these codes. Other guidance is also available online:

Rules of Student Conduct (AR4410)

Code of Academic Conduct (AR4411)

Honor Code (AR4412)

Please be extremely careful that you do not engage in any behavior that could even be construed as cheating. Outside of class, students are allowed to study together. However, copying another student's work is not acceptable. If the instructor determines that students have violated the SMC Honor Code and/or the Code of Academic Integrity, the students may be assigned no credit. Future occurrences could result in academic disciplinary action. During an exam, talking to another student, looking at another student's work or computer screen, using cheat notes or mobile devices, etc. are not permitted.

Students are expected to attend ALL class sessions, especially the first scheduled session. Lectures and hands-on demonstrations will not be repeated for individual students. Please make a commitment to be in class on time, arriving within the first 10 minutes of class, even if you have not completed the current assignment. You are responsible for notifying your instructor in advance of any absence or scheduling conflict. You may be dropped from the class if you miss more than two consecutive classes without notifying your instructor. Students who are out for 3 sessions due to illness must provide a doctor’s note to be reinstated back into the class.

Classroom Policy
All food or drink is prohibited in the classroom with the exception of water bottles, which are permitted as long as they have lids that remain closed and they are kept away from all equipment. Use of the computers for purposes other than the assignments for this class is not permitted. No cell phone or smart phone use will be permitted in the classroom. Please turn off all electronic devices prior to entering the classroom.

Recording of Class Lectures
In accordance with Section 78907 of the California Education Code, students shall not use any electronic listening or recording device in any classroom without the prior consent of the instructor, except as necessary to provide reasonable auxiliary aids and academic adjustments to disabled students.

Students with Disabilities
Santa Monica College accommodates students with disabilities.  If you qualify for any special accommodations due to a disability, you need to officially process your request through the Disabled Students Programs and Services (DSPS) office as close to the beginning of the semester as possible.  If you believe you have a learning disability that has not yet been documented, please notify the instructor and make an appointment at the DSPS office for assistance.  The DSPS office is located in the Admissions/Student Services Complex, Room 101, and the phone numbers are (310) 434-4265 and (310) 434-4273 (TDD). Scheduling of accommodated exams will be arranged on a case-by-case basis.

Emergency Preparedness
The safety of students at SMC is a priority. Please note that procedures for various emergencies are delineated on the SMC website. Please take the time to familiarize yourself with these procedures today, when knowledge of what to do can be the most effective.


Students should schedule an appointment with the counselors in Student Services, CMD 116, to develop an Educational Plan. This is to ensure that you are taking the necessary courses to prepare meet your educational goals.

During the first two weeks of the semester, appointments are on a walk-in basis only.

Counselors’ Spring 2020 contact info to be announced.


College use of
student work

By participating in this course, you agree to allow your work to be used by Santa Monica College for promotional purposes. These uses include, but are not limited to, display in physical and web galleries, promotional video tapes, and printed promotional pieces. You retain complete rights to your work, and Santa Monica College may not use your work for non-promotional purposes without your prior agreement.

Some elements of the syllabus may be changed at the instructor’s discretion.  Students will be given at least 48 hours notice of changes whenever possible. If there is any aspect of this syllabus which you do not understand, or to which you take exception, please let the instructor know within the first week of class.



Copyright © 2003 - 2020 David Javelosa