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Acoustic Signal Analysis

  • Official code: ITA01
  • Course period: Second quarter
  • Schedule: [Tue, Fri] 13:20 – 15:00 @iLab2
  • Course year: 1,2
  • Course type: Elective
  • Credits: 2
  • Coordinator: Julián Villegas
  • Instructor: Julián Villegas and Michael Cohen.


The purpose of this course is to study the fundamentals of audio signal processing and its application to music.
Besides reviewing the underlying techniques, this course focuses in practical implementations of sound effects, so the course is intense in hands-on exercises, mainly based on Matlab, C/C++, and Pure-data.


Students who approve this course are expected to:

  • Understand some basic techniques used in computer music, as well as the literature and terminology on this topic.
  • Be able to decide which of the presented techniques is best for creating a desired sound effect in music.
  • Be able to create their own (simple) sound effect chain.


  1. Introductions
  2. Basic Filters
  3. Delay
  4. Modulation
  5. Nonlinear FXs
  6. Synthesis methods
  7. Timbre phenomena
  8. Pitch phenomena
  9. Harmony phenomena
  10. Rhythm phenomena
  11. Pure-data
  12. Arduino
  13. Faust 


  • U. Zölzer, editor. DAFX – Digital Audio Effects. John Wiley & Sons, New York, NY, USA, 2nd edition, 2011.
  • Various materials prepared by the instructors

Related courses which include important concepts relevant to the course

This class does not have prerequisites, but it is recommended that students be familiarized with Pure-data programming paradigm, and general audio signal processing techniques. These are some classes that students are encouraged to take:

Evaluation method

  • Quizzes: 40%
  • Homework: 60%

Referential sources