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.
This course provides a comprehensive study of MIDI and other control systems in the context of electronic music production. Focus is given to the integration of hardware and software synthesizers, digital audio, and controllers into the sequencing/DAW environment. The MIDI specification and its practical applications in music production and sound design will be explored. A wide range of sequencing projects focuses on developing the technical and creative skills necessary to produce convincing electronic music.
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.
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.
In this class students will learn how to use Csound, a powerful and versatile sound synthesis and processing software environment, for electronic composition, production, and innovative sound design. Students will design sounds and compose pieces using classic synthesis techniques such as additive, subtractive, waveshaping, wavetable, granular, and physical modeling. Students will learn how to use Csound as a plug-in for Ableton Live and the iPad to produce innovative sound design for TV, film, multimedia installations, and games. Students will also use Csound as the basis for graduate-level research in computer music and music perception.
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.