2019-2020 / ELEN0002-2

Introduction to audio and video techniques


30h Th, 22h Pr, 8h Labo.

Number of credits

 Master of Science (MSc) in Electrical Engineering5 crédits 
 Master of Science (MSc) in Computer Science and Engineering5 crédits 
 Master of Science (MSc) in Computer Science and Engineering (double diplômation avec HEC)5 crédits 
 Master of Science (MSc) in Computer Science5 crédits 
 Master of Science (MSc) in Computer Science (double diplômation avec HEC)5 crédits 


Jean-Jacques Embrechts

Language(s) of instruction

English language

Organisation and examination

Teaching in the first semester, review in January


Schedule online

Units courses prerequisite and corequisite

Prerequisite or corequisite units are presented within each program

Learning unit contents

Course description :
This course addresses the basic principles of the methods and techniques used in audio and video engineering. It mainly describes the signals and their properties, both in audio and video, both in the analog and digital domains. For audio signals, the devices used for recording and playback are particularly described. Finally, the techniques for audio and video compression are presented.
Contents :
- Fundamentals of acoustics, audio signal and systems (properties and measurements)
- Audio recording and playback (microphones, microphone arrays, loudspeaker, spatial audio)
- Principles of digital audio conversion (introducing the compact disc) and digital audio signal processing

- Basic principles of vision and colorimetry
- The video signal (analog and digital)
- Audio and video compression (MPEG).

Learning outcomes of the learning unit

At the end of the course, the student should be able to:
- identify the principal properties of analog audio signals in time and
- identify the main properties of microphones and analyse the frequency response
of the condenser microphone,
- determine the spatial response of simple linear microphone arrays,
- identify the main properties of loudspeakers and analyse the frequency response
of the eletrodynamic loudspeaker,
- understand the main principles of spatial audio systems,
- understand the different steps to transform an analog audio signal into a
digital signal and vice versa (example of the audio CD),
- design an application of digital audio processing (list of possible subjects
includes microphone arrays applications, impulse response measurements, binaural
recording and processing, artificial reverberation),
- identify and measure the principal properties of analog video signals in the
time and frequency domains,
- understand how to digitize a video signal (system CCIR 601),
- understand the principles of audio and video compression.

Prerequisite knowledge and skills

- Systems' theory,
- Fundamentals of signal processing .
A short introduction to Signals and systems will be provided for students who are not familiar with those subjects.

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

This course is given in English and it is organised in 13 lessons.
Lessons include theoretical (oral) presentations, in-class or laboratory demonstrations, practical exercises and two small projects.
The first project is the measurement of analog video signals. The second one is the design of an audio application on a PC (with Matlab). The agenda of these projects will be determined during the lessons with the students.
These two projects are organized for small groups of students, inside the 13 lessons dedicated to the course. They are mandatory and will be organised only once per academic year. If no report on these projects is provided by the student, a note of A (absent) will be assigned for this course.

Mode of delivery (face-to-face ; distance-learning)

Face-to-face learning, except during the laboratory sessions and projects which are supervised by a member of the laboratory staff.

Recommended or required readings

The necessary documents (five chapters and slides) will be available on-line for the students registered to this course, on the intranet.
Some further (non mandatory) readings are also suggested at the end of each chapter.

Assessment methods and criteria

A written examination is organised in january, on the theory, exercises and laboratory sessions.
No document can be consulted during this examination, unless otherwise stated (it is recommended to be equipped with an electronic calculator).
Projects' reports are part of the evaluation. If no report on these projects is provided by the student, a note of A (absent) will be assigned for this course.
An oral examination is organised during the second session of examination (in august or september).

Work placement(s)

Organizational remarks

The course is organised during the autumn semester.
Site: Montefiore Institute B28.
The main language for this course is english.


J.J. Embrechts