Digital Media E-5: Exploring Digital Media
Harvard Extension School
Spring 2023
Assignment 9: Adding Sound
Due 4:00pm ET on Monday, April 10
Submit this assignment at:
🎥 Watch the assignment Walkthrough video 🎥

Adding Sound

For this assignment, we’re diving into the world of audio and sound design. We have extracted a 30 second clip from the animated film, Ratatouille. In our version, the audio has been deleted and it’s up to you to re-create the sound for the scene.

Download the clip here. It may take some time if you have a slow connection.

You should consider the basic layers of sound design as you go about this project:

  • Sound Effects
    • All of the sounds of footsteps, cooking noises, and sniffing have been removed, you need to add them back in. While this list is an excellent place to start, the whole internet is at your disposal.
    • This list might be a helpful starting place.
  • Ambience / Atmospheric
    • This scene takes place in a busy kitchen, what might that atmosphere sound like? Think about what off-screen sounds might fill the space.
  • Music / Score
    • How does the feeling of the scene change with different types of music? How will you use music to punctuate or support the narrative intent of the clip?

A word of caution: On its face, this assignment seems easy. However, sound design takes a lot of time to do it right! It is expected that you could easily spend 4-5 hours on this assignment to get the basic sounds in place, just for this 30 second clip! Please allow yourself enough time to collect (and/or record) sound effects and edit them into the clip.


  • Leave feedback per the Leave Feedback portion of this assignment.
  • For this clip, you do not need to fill in every single footstep or noise, but you are expected to put in a reasonable effort to make the scene feel convincing and full of sound. 90-100% of the scene should be filled in.
  • You are expected to search for, download, and (optional for undergraduate students) record sound effects to add to your scene.
  • You must edit the sound into the scene using your choice of editing software, and export it as a new video that you will upload to YouTube.
  • Add an end credit with your name so we know who did the sound design.
  • Once you export, you must upload your video to YouTube with privacy level Unlisted.
  • Please double-check that your exported video has sound.
  • You’re welcome to watch the original clip from Ratatouille for inspiration, but you may not use any part of it in your submission. Your sound design must be completely original.

Additional Requirements for Graduate Students:

  • If you are taking this course for graduate credit, you are required to record a minimum of 3 sounds that you create. You’ll be asked to identify these sounds on the submission form.
  • You may use the default voice recorder app on your phone, something like Voice Record Pro, or you may use a full-fledged audio recorder from the lab.