Electronic Production and Design

The student majoring in electronic production and design will master the musical and creative use of electronic production and sound design tools and technologies. Working in professional-level, 5.1-equipped studios, classroom/labs, and performance spaces, students will study electronic composition/production, synthesizer programming, sound design techniques, interactive performance systems, digital signal processing, audio programming, alternate controllers, music with integrated visuals, and more. 

Through classroom emphasis on musicianship, creativity, knowledge of concepts, and technical expertise, as well as close interaction with faculty and visiting artists, students will develop a unique aesthetic vision. Instruction emphasizes deep knowledge of technologies used in electronic music and sound design, and styles of musical expression in an effort to develop an individual creative identity. The electronic production and design curriculum also provides a solid foundation for continued learning and effective performance in a profession that is constantly changing and evolving.

Entrance Requirements

Electronic Production and Design is a capped major with a separate application process. Each student completes an application form, submits an essay and CD with original music, and interviews with the chair or a full-time faculty member. The chair and full-time faculty have a selections meeting following the conclusion of all interviews. Acoustics (LMSC-208 or -209) must be taken prior to the first courses in the major. 

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of a major in electronic production and design, a student will:

  1. Analyze the properties of complex sound.
  2. Develop unique critical listening and assessment skills.
  3. Understand synthesizer functions and signal flow.
  4. Master a variety of synthesizer programming paradigms including subtractive, additive, FM, sampling, granular, and others.
  5. Apply studio technologies and techniques including signal flow, recording, editing, and mixing.
  6. Master MIDI and audio production technologies and techniques.
  7. Create innovative music using a palette of original synthesized timbres.
  8. Design audio elements for visuals.
  9. Design and use interactive MIDI, audio, and visual performance and production environments.
  10. Perform electronic music live.
  11. Design, build, and use hardware and software alternate controllers.
  12. Code audio software.
  13. Synthesize a historical perspective on electronic instrument innovation and design, musical literature, and pioneers in the field.
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Requirements

30 credits for the major: EP-220 Studio Technologies EP-223 Modular Functions and Signal Flow EP-225 Control Systems in Electronic Production EP-320 Digital Mix Techniques EP-321 Control Systems in Advanced Production EP-322 Advanced Sound Design Techniques EP-341 Programming Interactive Audio Software and Plugins in Max/MSP EP-381 Digital Audio Production and Design EP-401 Advanced Seminar EP-491 Advanced Projects in Electronic Production and Design 10 credits of Approved Specified Electives

Assessment Evidence

1. The EP/D program is largely based on the completion of projects. As a result, evidence of student comprehension of ideas and techniques learned is immediately heard in the resulting work. The type of critical evaluative listening applied by the faculty to student work is dependent on the stated goals of the project itself, whether purely technical, creative, or both.

2. A portfolio requirement for all EP/D majors. This gives the student and any faculty member a chance to track progress through the major and identify strengths and weaknesses.

3. A required Advanced Seminar course. This course follows a hybrid master class/private lesson format and identifies and addresses weaker areas of each student's creative work and comprehension of ideas. Peer assessment of student work is built in to the master class format.

4. The capstone course. Each student proposes an ambitious final project and works with faculty closely in small group and individual settings in order to steadily evaluate the project's progress and mastery of curricular concepts. Midterm juries are a critical point in the semester: each student presents his/her work-in-progress to the faculty and chair in a formal setting in order to receive advice and feedback on their work. Jury forms are completed by the jurors and shared with students afterwards. This is a valuable assessment tool.

5. Visiting artists' critiques of student work. The use of visiting artist time on campus to work directly with students has proved to be immensely valuable for students and faculty hosts alike.

6. Internships (via EP-495). Employers are obligated to provide written evaluations of each intern, and these comments help each student identify areas of strength and weakness. Students must also complete self-assessment documents as part of their internship.