MMEDIA 2G03 IntroductionToDigitalAudio
Academic Year: Winter 2017
Instructor: Prof. Lewis Kaye
Office: Togo Salmon Hall 333
Phone: 905-525-9140 x
Office Hours: Tuesday, 2:30-4:00PM Office: TSH 333
- Course Objectives
- Textbooks, Materials & Fees
- Method of Assessment
- Policy on Missed Work, Extensions, and Late Penalties
- Additional Policies and Statements
- Topics and Readings
Introduction to techniques in sound recording and digital audio editing, focusing on uses of audio in Multimedia projects. Readings, presentations and discussions will support the creation and critique of digital audio.
The twentieth century witnessed a remarkable transformation in the conceptualization, production, and reception of music. The advent of electronic, and eventually digital, technologies empowered composers and performers to elaborate fundamentally new forms of creative output and expression. The diversity of musical forms has fundamentally transformed society's ideas of what music is, and how it should be listened to. This course will introduce students to this fertile terrain of creativity, and allow students an opportunity to explore technical, thematic, conceptual and aesthetic perspectives on electronic music through a series of hands-on composition and production exercises.
Textbooks, Materials & Fees:
All assigned readings will be made available to students in electronic form through the course's Avenue To Learn page.
Method of Assessment:
Remix/Unwanted Noise composition 20% DUE Week 5
Soundscape composition 20% Week 8
Movement, Densities and Ambiences composition 20% Week 12
Final Written Assignment 25% Week 11
Policy on Missed Work, Extensions, and Late Penalties:
All assignments are due AT THE BEGINNING of class, meaning students must come prepared to present their work at the commencement of class. Electronic copies of composition assignments are to be uploaded to the course's Avenue-To-Learn page. All written assignments are expected to be legible (e.g. in dark ink, on white paper, NOT printed out with empty toner cartridges, etc.), properly identified and correctly stapled. All formal assignments must make consistent use of an accepted citation format (preferably APA style). For information about how to do this, please see http://library.mcmaster.ca/guides/apa-style-guide
There will be a penalty deduction of 2.5% per day (including weekends) for late assignments. To avoid extra late penalties, email a copy of the late assignment (or a link to where it's hosted online) to me when completed, and in the case of paper assignments bring a hard copy next class (if necessary). We will NOT be responsible for printing out copies of assignments for students, if your email file is corrupt or for your failure to attach the file. Failure to submit a paper copy after having submitted an email copy of any assignment will constitute failure to submit the assignment.
Deadline extensions will be granted only for a compelling reason and with authorized documentation. Such reasons include illness (documented with a Doctor's note) or family emergency. Extensions will NOT be granted for reasons such as computer crashes or breakdowns, inability to print the file on time, or other such technical problems. ALWAYS MAKE SURE TO BACKUP YOUR FILES AS YOU WORK!
Please Note the Following Policies and Statements:
You are expected to exhibit honesty and use ethical behaviour in all aspects of the learning process. Academic credentials you earn are rooted in principles of honesty and academic integrity.
Academic dishonesty is to knowingly act or fail to act in a way that results or could result in unearned academic credit or advantage. This behaviour can result in serious consequences, e.g. the grade of zero on an assignment, loss of credit with a notation on the transcript (notation reads: "Grade of F assigned for academic dishonesty"), and/or suspension or expulsion from the university.
It is your responsibility to understand what constitutes academic dishonesty. For information on the various types of academic dishonesty please refer to the Academic Integrity Policy, located at www.mcmaster.ca/academicintegrity
The following illustrates only three forms of academic dishonesty:
- Plagiarism, e.g. the submission of work that is not one’s own or for which other credit has been obtained.
- Improper collaboration in group work.
- Copying or using unauthorized aids in tests and examinations.
Email correspondence policy
It is the policy of the Faculty of Humanities that all email communication sent from students to instructors (including TAs), and from students to staff, must originate from each student’s own McMaster University email account. This policy protects confidentiality and confirms the identity of the student. Instructors will delete emails that do not originate from a McMaster email account.
Modification of course outlines
The University reserves the right to change dates and/or deadlines etc. for any or all courses in the case of an emergency situation or labour disruption or civil unrest/disobedience, etc. If a modification becomes necessary, reasonable notice and communication with the students will be given with an explanation and the opportunity to comment on changes. Any significant changes should be made in consultation with the Department Chair.
McMaster Student Absence Form (MSAF)
In the event of an absence for medical or other reasons, students should review and follow the Academic Regulation in the Undergraduate Calendar Requests for Relief for Missed Academic Term Work. Please note these regulations have changed beginning Fall 2015. You can find information at mcmaster.ca/msaf/. If you have any questions about the MSAF, please contact your Associate Dean's office.
Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities
Students who require academic accommodation must contact Student Accessibility Services (SAS) to make arrangements with a Program Coordinator. Academic accommodations must be arranged for each term of study. Student Accessibility Services can be contacted by phone 905-525-9140 ext. 28652 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. For further information, consult McMaster University's Policy for Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities.
Academic Accommodation for Religious, Indigenous and Spiritual Observances
Students requiring academic accommodation based on religion and spiritual observances should follow the procedures set out in the Course Calendar or by their respective Faculty. In most cases, the student should contact his or her professor or academic advisor as soon as possible to arrange accommodations for classes, assignments, tests and examinations that might be affected by a religious holiday or spiritual observance.
Topics and Readings:
Week 1, Jan. 10 Course Introduction
Week 2, Jan. 17 Computers and Audio: An Introduction
Eno, Brian (1979) "The Studio as Compositional Tool" http://music.hyperreal.org/artists/brian_eno/interviews/downbeat79.htm
Hosken, Dan (2011) "Digital Audio Software: The Digital Audio Workstation", chap. 6 in An Introduction to Music Technology. New York: Routledge.
Matthews, Max (1963) "The Digital Computer as a Musical Instrument". Science. vol. 142, iss. 3592. pp. 553-557.
Nyman, Michael (1999) "Electronic Systems", chap. 5 in Experimental Music: Cage and Beyond 2nd ed. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
Early Computer Composers
Digital Audio Workstation Platforms
Week 3, Jan. 24 Noise as a Conceptual Question in Electronic Music
Cascone, Kim (2000) "The Aesthetics of Failure: 'Post-Digital" Tendencies in Contemporary Computer Music". Computer Music Journal 24(4), pp.12-18.
Russolo, Luigi (1967 ) The Art of Noise (futurist manifesto, 1913). R. Filliou (trans.). Great Bear Pamphlet #18. New York: Something Else Press.
American Avant Garde
Microsound and Digital noise
Alva Noto [Carsten Nicolai}
Week 4, Jan. 31 Sampling and Remixing
Cutler, Chris (2000) "Plunderphonics". in Music, Electronic Media and Culture. S. Emmerson (ed.). Aldershot, UK: Ashgate.
Navas, Eduardo (2012) Remix Theory: The Aesthetics of Sampling. chapters 1 and 2, pp.11-61. Vienna: Springer.
The Tape Beatles
Evolution Control Committee
Old-School Hip Hop
The Dust Brothers
The Bomb Squad
Week 5, Feb. 7 Presentation of Unwanted Noise/Remix Compositions
Week 6, Feb. 14 Field Recording & Soundscapes
Demers, Joanna (2010) "Site in Ambient, Soundscape, and Field Recordings". chap. 5 in Listening Through The Noise: The Aesthetics of Experimental Electronic Music. New York: Oxford University Press.
Fontana, Bill. (1990) “The Environment as a Musical Resource,” http://resoundings.org/Pages/musical resource.html
Truax, Barry (2002) "Genres and techniques of soundscape composition as developed at Simon Fraser University". Organised Sound. 7(1), pp. 5-14.
Field Recording And Soundscape Composers
R. Murray Schaefer
Feb. 21 READING WEEK, NO CLASS
While there are no classes during Reading Week, I highly recommend you use the time to gather some field recordings that can be used in your Soundscape composition assignment.
Week 7, Feb. 28 Space and Ambience
Eno, Brian (1978 & 1986) liner notes to Ambient 1: Music for Airports (AMB 001, Editions EG, 1978) and Ambient 4: On Land (EGED20, Editions EG, 1982)
Kahn, Douglas (2013) chap. 13 "Pauline Oliveros: Sonosphere" in Earth Sound Earth Signal: Energies and Earth Magnitude in the Arts. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.
Oswalt, Philipp (2002) "Iannis Xenakis' Polytopes". Contemporary Music Review. 21(2/3). pp.35–44. T. Skorupa (trans.).
Architecture & Physical Space
Iannis Xenakis & Edgard Varese, The Philips Pavilion and "Poeme Electronique"
Alvin Lucier, especially his composition "I Am Sitting In A Room"
Week 8, Mar. 7 Presentations of Soundscape compositions
Week 9, Mar. 14 Synthetic Sound
video, "I Dream of Wires" dir. Robert Fantinato (Scribble Media, 2013)
Instrument Designers and Composers
Robert Moog, and Wendy Carlos
Donald Buchla, and Morton Subotnick
Hugh LeCaine, and Hugh LeCaine
Synthetic Sound in Popular Music & Media
Juan Atkins, Jeff Mills and Detroit Techno
Week 10, Mar. 21 Performing Electronic Music
Grossmann, Rolf (2008) "The tip of the iceberg: laptop music and the information-technological transformation of music". Organised Sound. 13(1), pp. 5-11.
Ostertag, Bob (2002) "Human Bodies, Computer Music". Leonardo Music Journal, Volume 12, pp. 11-14.
Truax, Barry (1999) "Composition and diffusion: space in sound in space". Organised Sound. 3(2), pp. 141-6.
video, "Digital Liveness: Philip Auslander (US) about digital liveness in historical, philosophical perspective". Transmediale Festival, Berlin (2011)
Turntablism and DJing
DJ Q Bert & Invisibl Skratch Picklz https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GQ3N6XADe9I
Otomo Yoshihide, "The Multiple Otomo Project"
Week 11, Mar. 28 Making Sound for Film, Video, Multimedia & Gaming
Chion, Michel (1994) chap. 1 "Projections of Sound On Image" in Audio-Vision: Sound on Screen. New York: Columbia University Press.
Collins, Karen (2008) "Press Reset: Video Game Music Comes Of Age", chap.4 in Game Sound: An Introduction to the History, Theory, and Practice of Video Game Music and Sound Design. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.
Film & TV Sound
Week 12, Apr. 4 Presentation of Movement, Densities and Ambiences
WEEKLY TUTORIAL TOPICS
Week 2 DAW familiarization
Week 3 DAW familiarization pt. 2: parameter automation
Week 4 Sampling and sample manipulation
Week 5 Noise/Remix composition consultations
Week 6 Digital field recording techniques
Week 7 Reverb, echo and spatial effects
Week 8 Soundscape composition consultations
Week 9 Digital synthesis
Week 10 Realtime parameter manipulation
Week 11 Working with multimedia
Week 12 Movement, Densities and Ambiences composition consultations