Real-Time Audio Processing

Tutors: Sebastian Nagel, Florian Hilgemann

Type: Laboratory with 4 SWS

Requirements: Completed bachelor and basic skills in digital signal processing

Documentation & Language:

  • Documentation: All needed documents are provided free of charge. The documents are in English.
  • Supervision: English and German

Registration: via  RWTHonline


  • Interest in audio signal processing
  • Knowledge in C++ and MATLAB
  • Basic knowledge in digital signal processing


Only takes place in Summer term.

Introduction session (mandatory attendance):
Tuesday, 16 April 2024
14:00 - 15:00
Lecture Hall 4G (IKS, Muffeter Weg 3a)


Laboratory dates: Tuesdays, 14:00 - 18:00

  • 23.04.2024 | mandatory attendance (Tutorial)
  • 30.04.2024 | mandatory attendance (Tutorial)
  • 07.05.2024
  • 14.05.2024
  • 28.05.2024
  • 04.06.2024
  • 11.06.2024 | mandatory attendance (Intermediate Presentations)
  • 18.06.2024
  • 25.06.2024
  • 02.07.2024
  • 09.07.2024
  • 16.07.2024 | mandatory attendance (Final Presentations)



The laboratory Real-Time Audio Processing (RTAP) makes students familiar with algorithms and concepts of digital audio processing in real time. The unique concept of the laboratory allows students to define their own project and take it trough all phases of a complete development cycle, going from idea finding over first MATLAB prototypes to a real-time demonstrator implemented in C++. The project goal is determined in coordination with the supervisors. Individual supervision ensures that the project goal is achieved.


A variety of target hardware platforms is possible, for example, Windows-PC with multi-channel audio devies, smartphone devices or miniature embedded processing devices. Targeted tutorials for tools and signal processing techniques are available. The students work through the tutorials they need, depending on their target and prior knowledge. The basis for the implementation of the algorithms are the simulation tool MATLAB as well as the open-source real-time framework JUCE, with which algorithms can be implemented in C/C++.

For the realization of their projects students get a comprehensive package of documentation and technical support, in particular on:

  • Development environment with JUCE, GCC or Visual Studio, CMake, Git, MATLAB, etc.
  • Support on single-board computers for embedded systems

If desired, students also have access to plenty of hardware options at the institute:

  • iOS devices incl. XCode development environment
  • External multi-channel sound cards and microphones
  • The IKS|Lab can also be used for projects in the lab

Laboratory program

The projects are conducted in teams of 2 or 3 students. There are no fixed obligatory times of presence during the project phase. Students can work at home or, if needed, at the institute - as required by the project and its status. Continuing project progress is ensured by individual supervision and an intermediate presentation. The project phase ends with a joint final session in which all projects are presented and prototypes demonstrated.


The results of the evaluation of the last years are summarized below.

Summer term 2023

Participants of the evaluation: 5
Global grade: 1,4
Laboratory Concept: 1,6
Instruction and Supervision: 1,3