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An Introduction to Procedural Audio by Andy Farnell

13 June 2017 5:30 pm - 9:00 pm

An Introduction to Procedural Audio by Andy Farnell

Tuesday 13th June 2017

Southampton Solent University, Palmerston Lecture Theatre, Spark Building, 5:30 for 6pm (approx. 9pm finish)

Procedural Audio is a philosophy of “sound as a process”, developed extensively by Andy Farnell in the MIT textbook “Designing Sound”, and in his international lectures spanning a decade which promote and popularise the ideas.  Now gaining greatly in popularity, the approach introduces radical rethinking of how sound is created and delivered in games, animation, VR, theatre and mobile digital media. It is a meta-creative theory and design practice of computational (synthesised) sound for every-day sound objects.

Procedural audio brings together physical, psychological and signal approaches to the meta-creation of sound, where it is to be created at the point of delivery. Subjects explored include analysis, perception, efficiency, causality, deferred form, signature processes and a layered separation of behaviour, models, and methods from code implementations.  Now officially taught as a subject at Helsinki Media Lab, and as an MIT OpenCourseware unit, the subject has spawned a research community with exciting research programmes at Queen Mary University London, and Edinburgh University.  Academically the subject connects or overlaps Sonic Interaction Design (SID), New Interfaces for Musical Expression (NIME), and traditional Computer Music and Sound Design. Procedural audio has now been enthusiastically embraced by the games industry, with computational sound models driving titles like GTA, Thief, and No Mans Sky, where Farnell and his students have engaged in pioneering collaborations and consultancy with leading directors.

In this workshop, Andy will start with a short lecture which outlines the key concepts of procedural audio, illustrating with practical examples using Pure Data open source software.   After the lecture there will be a practical workshop element, in which attendees can learn the fundamentals of procedural audio synthesis in Pure Data.  If you wish to engage in the practical session you will need to ensure that you bring a laptop with the vanilla version of PureData installed.  This can be downloaded for free from

Getting here:
The meeting is being held at Palmerston Lecture Theatre, Spark Building, East Park Terrace, Southampton, UK, SO14 0YN.    It is a city centre location, so public transport is generally a good option.   Parking for evening meetings is normally available free of charge in the university main car park, which can be accessed off the northbound carriageway of St Andrews Road.  Parking is not guaranteed, but if the car park is full there are several nearby public car parks.

We are a short walk from Southampton Central rail station, which has direct trains to Portsmouth, Bournemouth, Salisbury and London Waterloo.

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