Michael Brigida

Associate Professor
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  • Career Highlights
    • International product specialist for ARP, CBS Rhodes Chroma, and Kurzweil Music Systems
    • Author, instructor, performer, and consultant in music synthesis
  • Education
    • Alumnus, Boston Conservatory of Music

In Their Own Words

"I teach sound design-type classes in the EPD Department. One is an entry-level class that deals with making sounds, signal flow, and block diagrams with synthesizers. The second one is the next version of that, with sampling. The third one is advanced sampling, where we do a lot of recordings and make a lot of crazy sound effects, trying to do the same types of things that film sound designers do."

"The technology changes; the concepts do not change. The foundational concepts do not change, but it’s easy to bypass those concepts and get on to the great sounds. It’s easy to go up to a synthesizer and have a lot of fun with it and come away really not knowing what you just did. If you do that, it’s a problem later on. That’s why we’re trying to teach the fundamentals, even though the technology is new every second."

"A lot of people don’t know exactly what we do, because we teach a lot of facets of technology. We teach sequencing, multitrack digital audio, studio techniques, all the different sound engine/sound design, sounds for video games, composition, multimedia, studio effects devices, and more. Somebody can go into that and do a number of different jobs. We have a very high percentage of students who go right into a full-time work environment doing really exciting things."

"I started out working for ARP Sythesizers in the ‘70s, and I traveled the world showing people how to work synthesizers. I was going to Boston Conservatory, a classical music school, and I didn’t even know what a synthesizer was. My parents knew a guy who had a music store on the Cape, so I worked there over the summer, and a guy came in with something under his arm—a synthesizer. His name was Dave Fredericks, and that was how I got involved with that company. The vice president of engineering was David Friend, who donated our recital hall. He was actually the first one who taught me synthesis. I worked for the company part time while I was in college; when I got out, then they hired me full time. After that I worked for Ray Kurzweil at his company for a few years. I went to school for music education, classical piano. I thought I was going to be a music teacher, maybe play some gigs."