Niels Böttcher

 

 

MODULE RESPONSIBLE LECTURER 

• 41-2 Dynamic sound design (electives)

• 42-1b Interaction design (electives)

• 43-2 Sound design in welfare technology (electives)

 
 
 
 

7. semester

• Supervisor of bachelor thesis

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Niels Böttcher is educated from Aalborg University in Copenhagen, where he has his masters degree in media technology. Recently he furthermore received his Ph.d. concerning procedural audio in computer games from the institute of architecture, design and media technology also from Aalborg University in Copenhagen. Furthermore Niels is the co-founder of the danish independent record label Jenka Music.

At the sonic college Niels is responsible for the three elective courses Dynamic sound design, interaction design and sound design in welfare technology:

Dynamic sound design
In this course the students are taught about dynamic sound design for computer games. 
In order to learn how to produce interactive audio for a game it is also relevant for the sound designer to understand the basic technology behind a computer game. Because of that the students will first of all learn how to program using the C# scripting language. 
During the course the student will learn how to design a game in the Unity3D engine and program the entire game using c#.
Besides from this the student will get a basic introduction to a middleware program allowing for the sound to be implemented and compiled with the game. Middleware software that have been taught includes FMOD and Fabric as examples. 
The student will learn how to design reward sounds, various techniques to avoid repetitive sound effects, how to build up dynamic atmospheres, dynamic mixing, how to get the sound to take up as little memory as possible and much more. 
As part of the course a final asignment will be given where the student has to design and implement a small computer game including all the dynamic sound design.

Interaction design
In this course the student will learn about basic interaction design. As part of this course the student will learn how to build and program prototypes of musical interfaces. In doing so the student will learn how to program in the visual scripting language (or data flow language) Max/MSP. Max/MSP is a strong tool for implementing fast prototypes and also to design interactive and complex sound design. Furthermore it is a strong tool for designing digital signal processing and control systems for MIDI, OSC or similar protocols. Max/MSP is now integrated in the software Ableton Live (Max4Live) which makes it possible to combine the two programs.
The student will get an introduction to this tool and will furthermore learn about basic sensors, basic electronics, and how to connect various sensors to Max/MSP using the Arduino prototyping board. 
As part of the course the student will receive an assignment where the task is to design and implement a musical controller for live performance. 
As part of the interaction design lectures the student will be presented for topics such as affordance, feedback, mapping systems and much more.

Sound design in welfare technology
This course introduces the student to alternative usages of sound design. The student will learn how to use sound to motivate, assist and inform humans about various aspects.
During the course the student will be introduced to topics such auditory icons, auditory earcons and many other topics within the umbrealla of sonification. We will discuss how to use sound to represent data, how to use sound to guide humans, and how to use sound to inform humans about various aspects.  
In order to understand how to represent data by the use of sound it is very important to understand how humans perceive the sound signals, how the streams of audio signals are segregated and much more.
As part of the course the student will get to work with a real-world problem from a company working within the field of "wellfare" technology. In the past students have been working with projects such as sonification for ECK monitors at Skejby hospital, sound feedback for a training belt for patients with back-pain problems, sound design for a rehabilitation application for elder people with COPD (KOL) and more.
In this course the students will receive a larger project and much of the work is individually performed by the student. The projects the students will work on typically requires highly dynamic sound design and because of that the students will typically work with tools such as Max/MSP, PD or other tools where it is possible to implement prototypes of interactive audio feedback.