Winter 2021

MUSI 453 – Computer Applications in Music

Course Description

Use of computers in music composition, performance, education and interdisciplinary media.

An introduction to concepts and techniques of computer music with an emphasis on interactive applications and programming. Through the completion of a series of applied creative projects, students will acquire a basic understanding of various creative and technical approaches to the use of computers in sound and music.

Learning Outcomes

By the completion of this course, successful students will be able to:

  • demonstrate knowledge of practical concepts and techniques for sound programming and design
  • demonstrate interactive design between external controllers and the Max environment
  • understand the technical and theoretical foundations of digital audio
  • employ a variety of hardware and software technologies to create and perform music and sound works

Course Schedule

Week 1 – The Max environment

Week 2 – MIDI and digital audio

Week 3 – Techniques of sound synthesis

Week 4 – Audio sampling and sequencing

Week 5 – Sample manipulation and sound processing

Week 6 – No classes

Week 7 – Presentation mode & strategies for cleaning up patches

Week 8 – Various control strategies in Max

Week 9 – The MC objects

Week 10 – Various external control methods & Open Sound Control (OSC)

Week 11 – Interactivity

Week 12 – Miraweb & using smartphone sensors and multitouch

Week 13 – Other stuff Max is capable of doing

Week 14 – No classes


Creative Project 1 – Creative project employing fundamental sound synthesis techniques

Test 1 – Examination of the topics and concepts covered in the class

Creative Project 2 – Creative project focusing on sound file manipulation techniques and sequencing

Test 2 – Hands-on patching/debugging test

Class Presentation – Presentation on selected topics

Creative Project 3 – Creative project focusing on live interactive music/sound performance using an external control device