This syllabus includes lecture topics, tutorial assignments, reading assignments, and comprehensive exam date. Note some modules have a rolldown function you need to click on to see all content. Click on a tutorial assignment link to get a description of the assignment. Reading assignments are listed together with the relevant lectures and are due on the week listed. It is highly recommended that readings be done in advance of the lectures to facilitate maximum comprehension.

Short content quizzes pertaining to the week’s readings will be administered at the beginning of some Tuesday classes.

The dates given in the Dates column are for the Tuesday lecture.

Dates Lecture Topics Reading Tutorial
Week 1
Course overview, scheduling, synthesis with Absynth, adding controls to Absynth patch Absynth Concepts and Terms
Absynth manual (IU only)
We DO have tutorials this week!
Assignment 1
Week 2
Modulation synthesis (FM, AM, Ring Mod) Audio-rate Frequency Modulation (Hass)
FM Study Guide
Downloadable FM app (Hass)
John Chowning FM article (IU only)
Other forms of audio-rate modulation (optional):
Amplitude Mod (AM) and Ring Mod
DUE: Assignment 1
Assignment 2
Week 3
Sound Processing Techniques I: phase vocoder, convolution, MQ analysis/resynthesis (programs: SoundHack (free), SPEAR (free), Digital Performer Proverb) Phase Vocoding (Hass)
The DFT, FFT and IFFT (Burk, et. al.)
Convolution (Hass)
PV & Convolution Study Guide
Software info:
SoundHack manual (IU only)
Dartmouth FFT chapters:
Fourier and the Sum of Sines
Problems with the FFT
Some Alternatives to the FFT
Julius O. Smith III "Math. of the DFT" (the mother of all DFT books for the math inclined)

DUE: Assignment 2
Assignment 3
Week 4
Sound Processing Techniques II: granular synthesis, spectral delay, channel vocoder Granular Synthesis

   Granulator app (old version)
   SpectralDelay app
DUE: Assignment 3
Assignment 4
Week 5
Max I
The patcher window, edit/lock, patch cords (align/route), the inspector, the Max console window (see print messages/patcher errors), the visual interface, getting live help, Max objects (objects,message, number, comment, toggle/buttons, graphic (sliders, dials, live, itables). Keyboard shortcuts. Object arguments and attributes.

Basic MIDI in and out. Playing notes, stripnote, makenote, harmonizing, delaying.

Timing with metro, setting/sending messages, random, scaling ranges, testing and matching numbers with actions.

Getting Started with Max Info Sheet (must read!)

Max Quickstart
(do 1-8) WORK THROUGH BEFORE CLASS — download to a computer with Max, double-click on each lesson patcher.
DUE: Assignment 4
Assignment 5
Week 6
Max II

Keyboard input, tables and colls, counters, tempo, Global Tranport with metro, lists, pack and unpack, gates, route, trigger, message box and expr variables using '$', send/receive, pipe, delay.

Initializing (loadbang, loadmess), umenus, presets, and snapshots, order of operation, visual appearance (presentation mode, sub-patchers, encapsulation, dealing with bpatchers).
Max Quickstart (do 9-18) WORK THROUGH BEFORE CLASS

Objects and Idioms
DUE: Assignment 5
Assignment 6
Week 7
Max Audio I

Audio basics, Max audio settings (Options->Audio Status), ezdac~, concept of audio-rate objects and connections (end in tilde~), amplitude control.


Synthesis with Max (waveforms, filters, envelopes, modulation).

Max Audio Quickstart (do 1-7) WORK THROUGH BEFORE CLASS DUE: Assignment 6
Assignment 7
Week 8
Max Audio II

The Max Project, playing soundfiles with playlist~, buffer~(name, filename, set buffer size, # of channels), waveform~, buffer~ play methods (play~, groove~), record~, audio delay with tapin~/tapout~

Max Audio Quickstart (do 8-13) WORK THROUGH BEFORE CLASS


DUE: Assignment 7
Assignment 8
Week 9
Max Audio III
Filters, modulation, fft-based transposition with pfft~ and pitchshift~, recording, simple project structure
Max Quickstart (do 19-21) and
Max Audio Quickstart (do 14) WORK THROUGH BEFORE CLASS
DUE: Assignment 8

Spring Break

Week 10
Max Audio IV
Creating pieces with Max I
mc multi-channel objects, zl objects, multi-message to route for patch/piece control, pitch tracking with fzero~ and retune~, adding VST plug-ins.
Max Quickstart (do “extras/Advanced Presets”) WORK THROUGH BEFORE CLASS
Advanced presets, additional project structures, more complex objects
   pattr example
   project skeletons
Week 11
Mopping up Max, creating pieces with Max II
Fun with Max and FFTs, Classic Vocoder, BEAP
Tim Place Advanced Max: FFT's Part 1
Delicious FFT (write into FFT) tutorial
Start Final Project
Week 12
Electronic Music History and Literature Ia: early studios, musique concrète, elektronische Musik
Classic Playlist
Electronic Music History Powerpoint slides (Hass), or as PDF
Electronic Music Timelime (Hass)
Continue Final Project
Week 13
Electronic Music History and Literature Ib: early studios, musique concrète, elektronische Musik Classic Playlist
Electronic Music History Powerpoint slides (Hass), or as PDF
Electronic Music Timelime (Hass)
Continue Final Project
Week 14
Electronic Music History and Literature II: computer music pioneers and more recent developments Digital Pioneers Playlist
Digital Music History Powerpoint slides (Hass)
DUE: Preliminary Draft of Final Project
Week 15
COMPREHENSIVE EXAM: Electronic/computer music history and literature plus FM synthesis from Week 2 History/FM Exam Review sheet Continue Final Project
(Finals Week)

©2019 Jeffrey Hass and John Gibson