Print Version

Effective: Summer 2015

Grade Type: Letter Grade, the student may select Pass/No Pass
Not Repeatable.
FHGE: Non-GE Transferable: CSU
3 hours lecture, 3 hours laboratory. (72 hours total per quarter)

Student Learning Outcomes -
  • A successful student will write original compositions using a midi/audio workstation.
  • A successful student will create unique programming/sequencing that includes the linking of patterns into a musical composition, and the inclusion of audio files as an integral element.
Description -
Introduction to creating music with computers, keyboards, audio samples and beats using Pro Tools. Basic principles and use of MIDI sequencing/audio software. Songwriting, musical composition, and the basic elements of music (pitch, rhythm, harmony, style and form) as they relate to contemporary music. Basic music production using Pro Tools. All styles are included, and prior musical training is not required.

Course Objectives -
The student will be able to:
  1. Compare and contrast the basic principles of synthesis and MIDI.
  2. Write original compositions using a midi/audio workstation.
  3. Define and discuss the aesthetic qualities of music using contemporary media.
  4. Create unique programming/sequencing that includes the linking of patterns into a musical composition, and the inclusion of audio files as an integral element.
Special Facilities and/or Equipment -
  1. When taught on campus:
    1. Macintosh computers, MIDI keyboards and MIDI interface.
    2. Digidesign M-Box USB audio interface.
    3. Video projector and screen.
    4. Pro Tools software.
    5. Reason software.
  2. When taught via Foothill Global Access:
    1. On-going access to computer with Email software and capabilities.
    2. Email address.
    3. Java-script enabled internet browsing software.

Course Content (Body of knowledge) -
  1. Study and analysis of digital workstation production techniques.
    1. Audio editing and conversion. (Lec, Lab)
    2. Basic mixing and editing. (Lec, Lab)
    3. Application of basic RTAS and Audio Suite FX. (Lec, Lab)
  2. The MIDI protocol and its implementation
    1. The use of MIDI as a control protocol. (Lec, Lab)
    2. The application of synthesizers in a musical context. (Lec, Lab)
    3. Basic synthesis patch and pattern design. (Lec, Lab)
Methods of Evaluation -
  1. Written musical assignments that compare/contrast compositional techniques in the digital domain.
  2. Preparing digital sequences from a set of specifications for application in a digital environment, and evaluated from those specifications.
  3. Tests on the MIDI protocol.
  4. Graded lab assignments that demonstrate defined skills in the operation of audio editing software and MIDI sequencers.
Representative Text(s) -
Parsons, Alan. Art & Science Of Sound Recording. Hal Leonard Books, 2014.
Other written materials provided by the instructor and delivered online.

Disciplines -
Commercial Music
Method of Instruction -
  1. Lecture presentations that demonstrate digital audio workstation production techniques.
  2. Classroom discussions that address the history of audio production and modern editing techniques.
  3. Student group presentations followed by in-class discussion and evaluation.
Lab Content -
  1. MIDI
    1. Implementation and drivers.
    2. Velocity and aftertouch.
    3. Multiple routing assignments
  2. Virtual Instruments
    1. Layering.
    2. Volume matching.
    3. Panning.
  3. Audio
    1. Tempo matching via time compression expansion.
    2. Elastic Audio.
  4. ReWire
    1. ReWiring secondary applications via insert tracks and bus assignments.
    2. Plug in applications using internal busses affecting external applications.
Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing and Outside of Class Assignments -
  1. Written critiques and analyses of audio production projects including albums, soundtracks, television, video games and Internet multi-media.
  2. Written summaries documenting technical and artistic elements for corresponding submitted assignments and audio projects.
  3. Written proposals, session logs, learning outcomes and reflections supporting submitted musical works and final master recordings.