Digital Mix Techniques
Based on the concepts and skills learned in EP-220 Studio Technologies, this course places a primary emphasis on the improvement of student productions through effective mixing techniques. Mix balance, equalization, dynamics, and other signal processing techniques will be explored and applied to a series of projects. Genre-specific techniques will be discussed, in addition to electronic music styles and sound design scenarios.
Control Systems in Advanced Production
An advanced project-oriented course focused on the mastery of an integrated electronic production environment using a wide variety of hardware and software. Emphasis is placed on advanced techniques in MIDI sequencing with audio production. These techniques are applied in a series of projects including orchestral emulation, music and sound design for animation, and remixes of existing vocal tracks. Supporting topics include advanced real-time control of synthesis parameters, manipulation of musical time and tempo, and effectively working with various rhythmic feels. Special attention will be paid to integrating hardware instruments and controllers in a software-based DAW production environment.
Advanced Sound Design Techniques
This advanced course expands upon the concepts and techniques learned in EP-223 Modular Functions and Signal Flow. Concentrated ear training and pitch dictation helps students to identify and create unusual and dynamic instrumental sounds and sound effects, and their applications in live performance, film, electronic music production, and video game audio.
Interactive Media Portfolio
This course is a portfolio development workshop focusing on interactive media. Weekly assignments will build fluency in file formats, encoding tools, and authoring platforms. Through successful completion of these projects, students will become adept in the basics of video preparation, audio for online and DVD formats, and Flash interface design.
Indian Music Concepts in Electronic Production
A creative study of the musical aesthetics involved with composing and arranging in a wide range of popular Indian musical genres, including pop songs, remix hits, and classical forms. Utilizing a variety of electronic programming and production techniques, students will complete a series of guided projects that effectively demonstrate the contemporary application of Indian ragas, musical instrumentation, and popular stylistic repertoire.
Mapping and Curves in Sonic Arts
A global study of curves, graphic displays, and mapping techniques that undergird practical use of electronic sound production systems. Focuses on aural and visual aids to understanding rather than taking a purely mathematical approach. Topics include principles of linearity and nonlinearity in: relationships and functions; input responses and attenuator calibrations; pitch vs. frequency shifting; AM and FM sideband production; and envelope generator segment curves. Creative mapping using logic gates (AND, OR, NOR, etc.) is introduced. Graphic displays in selected software applications are examined to reveal the curves implicit when waveform and spectrum are represented. This course presents the pervasive graphical-mathematical elements common to digital audio applications and their displays, and facilitates advanced studies in sonic arts.
Csound: Sound Design and Composition
In this class students will learn how to use Csound, a powerful and versatile sound synthesis and processing software environment, for electronic composition, production, and innovative sound design. Students will design sounds and compose pieces using classic synthesis techniques such as additive, subtractive, waveshaping, wavetable, granular, and physical modeling. Students will learn how to use Csound as a plug-in for Ableton Live and the iPad to produce innovative sound design for TV, film, multimedia installations, and games. Students will also use Csound as the basis for graduate-level research in computer music and music perception.
Electronic Composition and Sound Design for Commercial Production
This course explores working in situations which typify the demands of commercial music production. This includes composing in a wide variety of idioms, to specific stylistic direction, and under common constraints that effect commercial music composition. These projects require the student to draw upon their skills in composition, electronic music production, and sound design. This course will confront the student with issues and problems common to the working composer, music producer, and sound designer.
Speech and Vocal Synthesis
An overview of the electronically produced/processed voice, with exploration of: human voice mechanics; formants in speech and singing; time-stretching granular techniques; channel and phase vocoders; parametric EQ; and formant (fixed) filters. Theoretical underpinnings and practical examples of the transformative power of convolution are presented. Synergistic dymaxion music composition approaches that exercise elements learned in class are suggested, as alternatives to familiar software sequencer production. Students are provided weekly hands-on access to EP/D labs, where a variety of software and hardware systems are available. This course culminates in a public concert, and is suitable for those who recognize the central role that electronically produced and processed voices play in: video games; animation; advertising; contemporary songwriting; and telecommunications.
Programming Interactive Audio Software and Plugins in Max/MSP
A class in electronic production and design using Max/MSP, arguably one of the world's most powerful and intuitive multimedia programming languages. Students will prototype, design, and program stand-alone audio applications and VST plugin versions of wind chimes, music boxes, softsynths, samplers, drum machines, groove boxes, audio processors, and remixers and learn to control them with game controllers such as the Nintendo wiiMote. Students will apply algorithmic composition techniques to the systems that they design, and learn to utilize noise, fractals, and chaos as a means of humanizing their software creations. The class culminates in a public laptop jam session using the original software designed by the students.
Advanced Studies in Digital Sampling Techniques
This course focuses on the study of the generation of original, exotic sound textures and unusual synthetic instrumental timbres derived from acoustic sounds recorded from studio and field sources. Digital signal processing and studio production techniques as used by the industry's top game and film sound designers are discussed and practiced.
Audio Programming in C
In this class students will learn to program musical examples and projects in the C programming language. Working initially from the Terminal application, using the GNU Compiler Collection on Mac OS X, and later with Apple's XCODE Integrated Developer Environment (IDE), the student will write musical programs that do algorithmic composition, software synthesis, and signal processing and in the process more deeply understand the underlying algorithms that power all electronic music programs. This software engineering class is the first step toward the design of synthesis and signal processing tools. It will provide a marketable technical skill which is often a prerequisite for industry jobs in sound design and game audio, as well as for graduate programs in computer music and music technology.