Electronic Production & Design Courses
An audio/video tour of compositions, performances, and technical developments that inform the diversity of electroacoustic music. Composition genres facilitated by electronic means such as process music, microtonality, ambient, aleatory; and electronic transformations of keyboards, guitars, drums, winds, and voice are explored. Landmark compositions, songs, soundscapes, and performances are placed in a broader context that runs the gamut from early avant-garde through current popular genres. The classroom listening experience is extended via the 50+ page annotated discography designed for long-term study. This course provides a focused introduction to the culture and repertoire of music technology, a requisite for those who intend to work in the field. A selected film that features electronic sound design and/or electroacoustic music is screened during midterm and final exam weeks.
This course provides a comprehensive introduction to the electronic music studio. Emphasis is placed on understanding analog and digital audio concepts, analog and digital signal flow, audio connections and gain-staging, console vs. control surface paradigms, DAW set-up and usage, studio signal flow, the recording process, microphone usage, and signal processors used in recording and mixing.
Study of principles and use of modules (oscillators, filters, amplifiers, envelope generators) found in software and hardware modular sound production systems. Focus is on observing signal characteristics at outputs, and defining signal functions (audio, control, timing) solely via connections to inputs. Sonic deconstruction and other electronic ear training techniques are presented, and correlative original sound designs are produced by students. In addition to class participation, students are supervised in weekly hands-on practice in EP/D labs, where an array of software and hardware systems are available.
Focuses on electroacoustic music in the film score. Highlights electronic musical instruments, computer software, and electronic techniques used to create and synchronize music, Foley, SFX (sound effects), and dialogue to picture. Illustrated voluminously with film clips and DVD supplements, from the coming of sound in film (circa 1927) through the modern era. Real time or mediated demonstrations of techniques such as click track, punches and streamers, Pro Tools mix down, pitch shifting, audio reversal, ADR (automated dialogue replacement), etc., are shown in class. This course familiarizes class members with archetypal electroacoustic underscores, industry terminology, and standard practices used to produce sound for picture. It is a useful initiation for those who intend to produce sound/music to picture for feature films, industrials, animation, advertising, and video games. A selected film that features electronic sound design and/or electroacoustic music is screened during midterm and final exam weeks.
In this course, students will learn strategies for composing electronic music that apply to a broad range of contemporary styles and genres. Through a series of guided exercises and projects, the class provides an opportunity for students to explore compositional approaches used in the work of classic electronic artists such as Aphex Twin, Squarepusher, Jon Hopkins, and Boards of Canada. The class will emphasize connections between traditional composition techniques and how they are used by contemporary electronic artists. Listening assignments and readings from Making Music: 74 Creative Strategies for Electronic Music Producers by Dennis DeSantis will inform classroom discussions and assignments.
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.
Building on concepts and skills developed in EP-225, this advanced, project-oriented course focuses on mastering an electronic music production environment using a wide variety of hardware and software. Emphasis is placed on integrating advanced MIDI sequencing techniques with audio production. These techniques are applied in a series of projects that include, music and sound design for animation, remixing and developing original electronic music. Topics include advanced real-time control of synthesis parameters, spotting to picture, 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.
Building on the concepts learned in EP-223, this course further develops a student’s understanding and application of core synthesis skills to include additive, FM, sampling, and other advanced synthesis techniques. Additional work with sonic ear training and patch dictation helps students identify and create unusual and dynamic instrumental sounds and sound effects. Classroom activities and assignments provide the opportunity to use advanced hardware and software synthesis systems to develop unique electronic sounds that can be used in live performance, electronic music production, media post-production, and video game audio applications.
This course is a portfolio development workshop focusing on interactive web technologies. Weekly assignments will build fluency in file formats, encoding tools, and authoring platforms, as well as basic coding for the Web. Through successful completion of these projects, students will become adept at the basics of website design and development, preparing audio and video examples of their work for web delivery.
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.
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.