Music Technology

Back to Berklee text treatment Spring 2021 Registration: Only continuing and returning students will register for classes. If you are entering in the spring, you will be registered for courses by the Office of the Registrar the week before classes begin.

The spring 2021 semester will be a combination of on-campus and remote study; therefore, many of the policies in the registration guide do not apply for this semester. Please view the Spring Back to Berklee registration page for information specific to spring 2021.

MTEC-323

2 credit(s)
Course Chair: Rob Jaczko
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring
Required of: None
Electable by: All
Prerequisites: MTEC-111
Department: MPE
Location: Boston Campus

This course allows the student to understand the history and business of dance music from its early disco format in the '70s and '80s to its wide variety of current styles and trends. Students write, produce, mix, and remix their work in the related style within the various dance music genres. In order to do this successfully, students are required to familiarize themselves with the current outlets for dance music (i.e. Traxsource, Beatport, In Grooves, etc.) and the current list of artists, producers, DJs, and remixers whose work can be found charted on these industry sites. A full understanding of the inner workings of this popular genre will be necessary for the students to be successful within this field. Three production projects are required.

MTEC-335

1 credit(s)
Course Chair: Rob Jaczko
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring
Required of: None
Electable by: All
Prerequisites: ILEN-333
Department: MPE
Location: Boston Campus

Students will expand their analog DJ skills from ILEN-333 Turntable Techniques into the digital world with digital vinyl systems and MIDI controllers. The class will focus on learning popular DJ software to become proficient at performing in real world situations. Students will explore ways to remix live, organize their music library, edit songs for live performance and prepare sets. Weekly lab time will be required to complete class objectives.

MTEC-336

1 credit(s)
Course Chair: Rob Jaczko
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring
Required of: None
Electable by: All
Prerequisites: ILEN-333
Department: MPE
Location: Boston Campus

In this course, students focus on the rhythmic and melodic characteristics of scratching records on turntables. They expand their knowedge of scratch DJ culture, scratch patterns, and techniques through analyzing and performing transcribed scratch routines. Students also develop their own routines, enhancing their live performances with unique, turntable-generated sounds. 

MTEC-337

1 credit(s)
Course Chair: Rob Jaczko
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring
Required of: None
Electable by: All
Prerequisites: ILEN-333
Department: MPED
Location: Boston Campus

This course allows students to focus on long form mixing of songs. Students apply mixing techniques including equalization, volume fades, and cuts and effects to create smooth and ear-pleasing transitions between songs. They also learn how to listen critically to different songs to identify structure and create dynamic playlists based on style, sound, or key. This class will help students as they prepare to play DJ sets for small club sets to festival stages. 

MTEC-340

2 credit(s)
Course Chair: Michael Bierylo
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer
Required of: None
Electable by: All
Prerequisites: LMSC-261
Department: ELPD
Location: Boston Campus

This course serves as an introduction to the fundamentals of object-oriented programming using the popular game engine Unity 3D and the programming language C#. Unity provides students with a practical framework to explore game design and coding, allowing them to create simple games while exploring coding topics specific to game development. By building games of increasing complexity in Unity, along with programming exercises, students master the basics of experience design in a game engine and programming in C#. Students develop a series of projects, ranging from simple 2D arcade style games to more complex 3D environments, ultimately culminating in a final project consisting of a 2D or 3D game that demonstrates fluency in the concepts discussed in class. Students work individually on weekly coding assignments and in teams for the final project.

MTEC-341

2 credit(s)
Course Chair: Michael Bierylo
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer
Required of: None
Electable by: All
Prerequisites: LMSC-261
Department: ELPD
Location: Boston Campus

This course serves as an introduction to fundamental Max programming skills. Max is a multimedia graphic programming platform for creating MIDI, audio and graphics applications. Students learn basic object functions and signal flow as well as real-time interactive music and video basics. Projects include the creation of common musical devices such as drum machines, and audio processors as well as software for video playback, all of which are controlled using common MIDI controllers. Students also learn how devices programmed with Max can be used in Ableton Live. Based on studies in LMSC-261, Introduction to Computer Programming, students create simple custom objects in Max using JavaScript. Patches created in Max can be translated for use on mobile devices as well as dedicated hardware and single-board computers. The class culminates in the creation of a practical applications for live performance. 

MTEC-342

3 credit(s)
Course Chair: Michael Bierylo
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer
Required of: None
Electable by: All
Prerequisites: LMSC-261
Department: ELPD
Location: Boston Campus

In this class, students learn to develop interactive music systems on mobile devices using Xcode and Android Studio IDEs. The class explores interactive music systems that provide novice users access to music-making through a visual representation of often complex underlying musical systems. These systems provide a sonic-centric approach in which the end user may trigger, generate, modify, or transform music on the fly. Students in the class create mobile apps with concepts such as algorithmic composition, sound/visual synthesis, signal processing, visual design, database management, and distributed networking. Examples of these types of apps include Bjork’s Biophilia, Electroplankton by Nintendo, and Ocarina by Smule. Students develop essential skills that support careers in music technology industries such as sound design, video game, instrument manufacturing, and music streaming.

MTEC-343

2 credit(s)
Course Chair: Michael Bierylo (Electronic Production and Design)
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer
Required of: None
Electable by: All
Prerequisites: LMSC-261
Department: ELPD
Location: Boston Campus

In this course, students develop programming skills to use their computers as dynamic musical instruments in solo and ensemble settings. As live coders, students will create and modify original code for audio application on-the-fly to respond to the needs of a particular performance in real time. Emphasis is placed on developing software instruments and environments. Topics include: web-based live coding; pattern-based composition; manipulation of audio samples; networked collective composition; structures/forms for live coding improvisation; performance displays and visuals; and algorithmic composition. The course culminates in a concert where students play original works using their own customized software instruments. 

MTEC-344

2 credit(s)
Course Chair: Michael Bierylo
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer
Required of: None
Electable by: All
Prerequisites: LMSC-261
Department: ELPD
Location: Boston Campus

Information is the currency of the digital age. How information is shared/gathered, distributed, and used is radically shifting and reshaping every aspect of our lives. Blockchain and big data are two of the technologies which are accelerating the change in our information landscapes. In this course, we will investigate these technologies and the issues that they raise by learning their languages and critiquing their uses. Projects include data mining; data visualization using D3/JavaScript; original encryption software development using Python; and reading/modifying BlockChain code using Solidity.

MTEC-350

2 credit(s)
Course Chair: Michael Bierylo
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer
Required of: None
Electable by: All except ELPD majors
Prerequisites: MTEC-213
Department: ELPD
Location: Boston Campus

In this course, students will develop the technical and creative skills necessary to use a laptop computer, software, and hardware controllers to perform live electronic music. Students will explore a range of live electronic performance techniques using different types of controllers. From this, they will develop repertoire in a variety of electronic genres using a system they design to meet their needs. Performance considerations such as improvisational strategies, expressive real-time control, and set organization will guide the development of solo and group presentations.

MTEC-351

2 credit(s)
Course Chair: Rob Jaczko
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer
Required of: None
Electable by: All
Prerequisites: MP-211 or LMSC-210
Department: MPE
Location: Boston Campus

This course will discuss design theory of recording studio microphones. Hands-on applications will include modification of microphone designs and acoustic testing of various design concepts and techniques.

MTEC-360

1 credit(s)
Course Chair: Rob Jaczko
Semesters Offered: Spring Only
Required of: None
Electable by: MPED and ELPD majors
Prerequisites: MP-341 or EP-381, and either LMSC-208 or LMSC-209
Department: MPE
Location: Boston Campus

This course provides advanced information and training in the science of acoustics. It examines advanced methodologies for the testing of acoustic spaces and properties, leading to strategies for acoustic manipulation and design. Using existing and past projects as source material, world-renowned studio designer John Storyk takes students through the acoustical design process, including both acoustical and programmatic considerations. He draws on pictures, charts, graphs, and recorded examples taken from real-world projects, both completed and in process, to highlight the challenges encountered and solutions devised for creating program-satisfying and acoustically correct facilities. These facilities encompass both world-class, multiroom studio facilities as well as smaller-budget project and home studios. This is an applications-oriented follow-up to the required acoustics class. *NOTE: this course meets four times for four hours over the course of the semester*

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