Carnegie Mellon University


Integrative Design, Arts, and Technology

Sound Design

Sounds communicate information to us in ways that are not always obvious. Chimes on our smartphones let us know when someone in our social networks have replied to us. The musical score of a video game tells us that we're about to play in a scary or funny or heartwarming scenario. Sound designers work carefully to ensure that the sounds that we hear in life and entertainment convey our stories.

Students in the Sound Design minor will explore the processes and products of digital sound and music. They will receive basic training in key component areas: principles of computer music, hybrid instrument building, concepts in sound design. Combining this training with courses that bring together experts from many disciplines, they will create experimental music or explore new, technology-enabled, applications and markets for sound design, music creation, and performance.

Sound Design Minor - Five Courses

One Portal course

  • 15-104 Introduction to Computing for Creative Practice - recommended for DC, CFA, and TSB majors
  • 18-090 Twisted Signals: Multimedia Processing for the Arts
  • 62-150 Introduction to Media Synthesis & Analysis - recommended for CIT, MCS and SCS majors

Four Collaborative and Supportive Courses

  • 15-322 Introduction to Computer Music
  • 15-323 Computer Music Systems and Information Processing
  • 18-493 Electroacoustics
  • 33-114 Physics of Musical Sound
  • 53-376 360 Story and Sound
  • 54-166 Introduction to Sound Design for Theatre
  • 54-267 Conceptual Sound Design
  • 54-509 Theatrical Sound System Design
  • 57-337 Sound Recording
  • 57-344/60-407 Experimental Sound Synthesis
  • 57-347 Electronic and Computer Music
  • 57-421 The Exploded Ensemble
  • 57-425 Expanded Music Performance
  • 57-458 Business of Music
  • 60-352 NOISE: Toward a Critical Theory of Sound and Hearing

Note: Students also have the option of taking one Collaborative or Supportive course from one of the other IDeATe areas as an elective for their Sound Design minor.

Double-counting: Students may double-count up to two of their IDeATe minor courses for other requirements.

Sound Design Faculty

The Sound Design faculty represent Carnegie Mellon's expertise in Computer Science, Drama, and Music. They carefully oversee the collaboration of students while delivering the IDeATe Sound Design courses.