The University of Southampton

ISVR3071 Applied Audio Signal Processing

Module Overview

Signal processing methods are used in many areas of acoustics. In this module you will study and apply a range of signal processing techniques used to modify and analyse audio signals. In particular, you will learn 1) how to generate common audio effects such as reverbs, flanges and frequency shifting; 2) how to process signals for spatial audio reproduction; and 3) how to analyse signals from microphone arrays to detect sounds and estimate their direction of arrival.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

- Provide details of the application of signal processing methods to modify and analyse audio signals; - Allow students to gain practical experience in audio processing and analysis - Introduce some advanced signal processing concepts and algorithms and their application; - Create a broader awareness of the set of available signal processing methods for audio processing and to understand their practical limitations. - Develop students’ ability to connect different relevant disciplines, including acoustics, psychoacoustics, mathematics, signal processing and computing, and to integrate and synthesize their knowledge and understanding - Develop students’ engineering skills in critically evaluating alternative design approaches, considering fundamental principles as well as relevant practical and subjective considerations.

Learning Outcomes

Disciplinary Specific Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Identify and apply appropriate signal processing techniques to analyse audio signals to achieve desired outcomes.
  • Argue the advantages and limitations of different signal processing techniques in a given context.
  • Select, implement, apply and evaluate signal processing algorithms to create a range of audio effects.
  • Select, implement, apply and evaluate signal processing algorithms to analyse signals from sensor arrays.
  • Describe the basic working principles of human speech production and use signal processing techniques to simulate the process.
  • Select, implement, apply and evaluate signal processing algorithms for spatial audio reproduction.
  • Describe and critique the use of signal processing techniques in hearing aids.
  • Describe, select and evaluate digital audio compression techniques.


Introduction/review of normal and impaired hearing (psychoacoustics), room acoustics and key signal processing techniques Audio effects • Comb and all-pass filters • Audio effects processing (including equalization, artificial reverb, non-linear and time-variant effects) • Automatic gain control and feedback cancellation • Audio compression • Speech processing (including speech enhancement, recognition, synthesis) • Real-time audio processing Spatial Audio • Binaural audio • Cross-talk canceller and OPSODIS • Wavefield synthesis and Ambiosonics Array Signal Processing • Uniform linear arrays • Delay sum beamformer • Optimal beamforming • Direction of arrival estimation • Signal detection Case studies, such as • Hearing aids and cochlear implants

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

The module will be delivered over a semester and will use a range of learning activities including • Formal lectures • Tutorials • Recorded video lectures • Flipped classroom activities • Practical signal processing exercises • Signal processing assignments

Completion of assessment task60
Practical classes and workshops9
Preparation for scheduled sessions20
Total study time161



MethodPercentage contribution
Assignment 33%
Assignment 33%
Assignment 34%


MethodPercentage contribution
Assignment 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

Linked modules

Pre-requisite module/s: Software programming (usually Python). Audio and Signal Processing (ISVR2041) OR Signal processing (ISVR6130)


To study this module, you will need to have studied the following module(s):

ISVR6130Signal Processing
ISVR2041Audio and Signal Processing
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