This year long course will cover the theory and operation of synthesizers,
recording, mixing, and production equipment for making music using analog
and digital/MIDI technology. The market-driven force of electronic musical
instruments continues to progress at a rapid pace, challenging us as musicians
to become technicians as well. However, it is difficult to keep pace with
these advances without a fundamental understanding of the broader principals
involved in creating electro-acoustic music. This course will cover those
broader principals as well as the techniques and theory of both analog
and digital electronic instruments. We will also explore the relationships
between analog instruments and their digital offspring. Throughout the
course we will emphasize that electronic instruments/computers are simply
tools for realizing our sonic visions.
Students will start with proficiency in the small electronic music studios,
learn operation of the tape recorders, analog and digital synthesizers,
mixing and processing equipment and later the Mac based MIDI sequencer
and associated modules.
The workshop will meet weekly for lectures on the
theory of operation and demonstrations of the equipment in the small studio.
Students will become proficient and be assigned up to two (2) four hour
studio times (one independently and one in partners). This time will be
used to complete design problems for class and for work on independent
compositions. There will be two projects due by the end of the quarter
and shorter weekly assignments. Students will keep a journal for lecture
notes, studio and project documentation, and composition design.
The class will consist of the following
1) Weekly lab/practicum sessions will start at 6:00 Thursday evenings.
We will go over general questions, problems, etc. I will lecture/demonstrate
new information/operation of the studio resources. We will also explore
the works of several electronic composers and discuss various compositional
techniques. There will be hands-on time for reviewing the new information.
2) Playback sessions will start the second or third week. This time during
the beginning of class will provide members with a chance to play exercises
to the group for feedback and direction. Each class session you must bring
whatever you have worked on in your studio blocks, either on cassette
or sequencer file. This process will allow all members to hear how others
'solve musical design problems' with the soft and hardware.
3) Each member will schedule two 4 hour studio blocks as permanent times
for the duration of the quarter (one block with a partner and one block
solo). These times will allow you to become familiar with the operation
of the hard/software in the context of creating music projects. There
will be two projects due at the end of the sixth and tenth weeks. You
will also be completing weekly design problems introduced in lab sessions
to improve understanding of the system functions. These must be completed
for the following playback session.
4) You must keep a journal. Journals will consist of wire bound or better
8.5 X 11 notebooks for keeping lab/lecture/studio session and reading
notes/questions/ideas/etc. These must be available for the sponsor to
review at the lecture sessions.
5) There will be optional individual and small group consulting times
available to get more intensive consulting with the lab aides. These times,
though optional, are strongly recommended to help you gain the level of
comfort and familiarity required to become 'creative' with the studio
tools. The consultation times are Friday, 9-1 PM. The first four components
are required for full credit. Consulting time is optional, but you are
strongly encouraged to use it to get as much information as you can.
Credit will be earned based on the completion of the preceding elements,
and your participation in the general class discussions. This learning
process requires you to be constantly converting technical information
into tools for creative application and conversely, imagining sound possibilities
and being able to choose appropriate tools for realization.
Division of credit is roughly:
1qtrhr Attendance, Participation/Critique
1qtrhr Studio Block use, Journal
You will need to purchase the following
Introduction to the Creation of Electroacoustic Music - Samuel Pellman
1 90 minute TDK SA cassettes or equal
1 7" reels AMPEX 456 1/4" audio tape
1/2 reel 1/2"AMPEX 456 audio tape
1 90 minute DAT tape
Manuals will be distributed.