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Graduate courses

Departments' graduate courses for PhD-students.


Syllabus for

Academic year
VTA132 - Digital signal processing for audio engineering and active sound and vibration control
Digital signalbehandling för audioteknik och aktiv kontroll av ljud och vibrationer
Syllabus adopted 2020-02-19 by Head of Programme (or corresponding)
Owner: MPSOV
7,5 Credits
Grading: TH - Pass with distinction (5), Pass with credit (4), Pass (3), Fail
Education cycle: Second-cycle
Major subject: Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Engineering Physics

Teaching language: English
Application code: 38112
Open for exchange students: Yes
Maximum participants: 27

Module   Credit distribution   Examination dates
Sp1 Sp2 Sp3 Sp4 Summer course No Sp
0119 Written and oral assignments 3,5 c Grading: TH   2,0 c 1,5 c    
0219 Laboratory 4,0 c Grading: TH   3,0 c 1,0 c    

In programs

MPSOV SOUND AND VIBRATION, MSC PROGR, Year 1 (compulsory elective)
MPSOV SOUND AND VIBRATION, MSC PROGR, Year 2 (compulsory elective)


Jens Ahrens

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General entry requirements for Master's level (second cycle)
Applicants enrolled in a programme at Chalmers where the course is included in the study programme are exempted from fulfilling the requirements above.

Specific entry requirements

English 6 (or by other approved means with the equivalent proficiency level)
Applicants enrolled in a programme at Chalmers where the course is included in the study programme are exempted from fulfilling the requirements above.

Course specific prerequisites

Basic course in acoustics (e.g. Introduction to audio technology and acoustics)


The course teaches fundamental methods in digital signal processing applicable in audio engineering and active noise and vibration. Audio signal processing is applied in both time and frequency domain and is ubiquitous in modern communication systems. The course also gives insight into various approaches for active control, the physics behind these approaches and their implementation.

Learning outcomes (after completion of the course the student should be able to)

  • Understand, explain, and implement the most common digital audio signal processing methods
  • Understand, explain and apply the physics behind typical active noise control solutions for air-borne sound and structure borne sound
  • Understand, explain and apply the signal processing theory required for the application of active noise control solutions
  • Design, implement and evaluate digital filters
  • Define performance requirements for an active noise and vibration control system
  • Formulate and solve the problem of noise control by means of active control
  • Model and simulate active control systems
  • Design, implement an active control system for a real life problem
  • Evaluate the active control system virtually and experimentally
  • Carry out the different steps of the work inside a team with distributed tasks
  • Communicate results to colleagues and teachers in appropriate form


The course includes:
  • Fundamentals of signal processing: Dynamic range control, delays, digital filters
  • Fundamentals of system analysis: Frequency analysis, linear systems, impulse response and frequency response functions
  • One-dimensional sound fields: One-dimensional sound fields (plane waves in ducts) with a primary and a secondary source
  • Principles of feedforward systems
  • Various control algorithms (cancellation of the sound pressure, minimization of radiated power, maximization of absorbed power etc), fixed and adaptive controllers
  • Feedback system, local control of a sound field, stability criteria.
  • Three-dimensional sound fields: Active control of free-field radiation, control of monopole radiation and of radiation from extended sources, the Kirchhoff-Helmholtz integral equation, global control of sound fields in enclosures
  • Local control of sound fields in enclosures
  • Vibration isolation and control


The course comprises the following learning activities: lectures, exercises and experimental work.


Nelson, P. A., Elliot, S. J., "Active Control of Sound", Academic Press (1992) and material provided by the Division of Applied Acoustic under "course materials" at

Examination including compulsory elements

Examination and grading are based on home assignments and written reports on project works. Approval of laboratory work is required.

Page manager Published: Thu 04 Feb 2021.