Electronic Production and Design
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.
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.
This course serves as both an introduction to basic programming concepts and Max software. Max is a powerful and intuitive multimedia programming language that can be used to design MIDI, audio, and video applications. Students gain an introduction to problem solving and musical representation using basic math through exercises in practical applications as well as algorithmic composition techniques. Projects can include drum machines, groove boxes, softsynths, samplers, audio processors, remixers and their use with common controllers. Students will also learn how devices programmed with Max can be used in Ableton Live. The class culminates in student presentations using software designed for the class.
In this course, students will examine the technical and creative processes involved with adapting electronic composition and production for live performance. Topics to be covered include the development of repertoire in various electronic genres, hardware and software integration, set organization and improvisational strategies, expressive real-time control, and considerations for solo and group presentation.
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.
In this course, students will expand on the practical and theoretical knowledge from EP-223 and EP-322 by building custom software instruments using Native Instruments Reaktor and Max. The focus will be on creating unique instruments that use subtractive, additive, FM, sampling, wavetable, and granular synthesis techniques. Students will take a modular approach in developing these instruments using software components that can be used in a variety of settings. The designs here will include synthesizers and tempo-based devices and may take advantage of the unique capabilities of various hardware controllers. Both Reaktor and Max instruments can be used as either standalone instruments or in a host DAW program.
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.
In this class, students will collaborate to compose and perform original interactive multimedia works that explore and showcase many of the new possibilities created by mobile devices and wireless networks. They will learn to design and program custom performance interfaces for the iPad and use it in a performance, thus demonstrating it to be a clear, direct, powerful, versatile, and truly expressive musical controller. The students will form and perform in unique combinations and explore and define novel symbiotic roles and radically new music-making and sound-producing paradigms. Students taking this class will need to use their own iPad.
A project-based course covering basic design principles and production techniques used in producing sound for animation. Animation is a part of practically every form of entertainment that uses visual elements, from feature films and television programs to video games and websites. Most, if not all, musicians will work with this medium at some point in their career. Class meetings will explore the historical roots of sound and music for animation through screenings, case studies, and assigned readings. From this, students will develop the skills necessary to analyze an animation and create a variety sound elements: music, sound effects, and vocal elements.
Building on skills developed in the EPD core curriculum, students design and produce audio content for the kinds of real-world production projects they might expect in their career. Working in the EPD studios, students will produce content that ranges from spoken word to sound and music mixed in surround. Students are introduced to techniques and applications that are essential for pursuit of a variety of professional opportunities in the areas of sound design and audio production for film, video games, broadcast media, as well as all types of music production.
This course will support special development or collaborative projects that require multiple class meetings per week as well as a commitment to additional time spent out of class.
Projects will be approved by the chair of the Electronic Production and Design Department and department head of any entity involved in a collaboration in consultation with the division dean.
In this class, students develop the basic electronics skills necessary to do creative circuit-bending, to modify and rewire sound-making toys, and to build custom performance interfaces using game controllers and a wide variety of sensors. Students breadboard and build a custom analog synth. They develop sensor-based controllers using the Arduino and program them using the Processing language. They design and program their own interactive games and audio/video remixers. Using these skills, students will develop strategies to control a range of hardware and software synthesis systems. By the end of the course, a student will have developed their own expressive MIDI and audio control system.