Music 171: Computer Music I
Winter quarter 2012, University of California, San Diego, section ID 730086

Prerequisite: Music 170
Textbook: online at
Meetings: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 3:30-4:50 in CPMC 145
Instructor: Professor Miller Puckette, CPMC 251,, .
Office Hours Tuesdays, 5:00-6:00 in the classroom.
TAs: Joe Mariglio: jmarigli (at)
Cooper Baker: cb (at)
TA office hours in room 365, Wednesdays 12-2.

This is an introduction to audio synthesis, both in theory and in practice, using the Pd program. Pd is free and you can run it on Windows, Linux, or Mac OSX. You can get it at .

The examples from class are accumulating HERE.

Here are VIDEOS of the classes (thanks to Joe Deken and Theron Trowbridge!)

There are eight weekly assignments, due Thursdays. Assignments can be turned in using Once there, log in (using your course account and password) and click through "music 171".

A final presentation is due at the regular final exam time, 3-6PM, Tuesday, March 20. Assignments are with 10 points apiece and the final is 20.

Preliminary list of topics (about one per week):

1. making sinusoids. Between this week and next, read chapter 1 of the book, particularly looking at the examples at the back of the chapter. Objects covered tuesday: osc~, +~, *~, dac~, print~. Here is the first assignment, due Thursday, Jan. 19.

2. amplitude and phase control. Here is the second assignment, due Thursday, Jan. 26.

3. wavetable oscillators and samples (chapter 2 of the textbook). Here is the third assignment, due Thursday, Feb. 9. (We're letting the deadlines slip an additional week because we're late getting the grading done).

4. Wavetable oscillators and samples, continued. Here is the fourth assignment, due Thursday, Feb. 16

5. Yet more on sampling - envelopes, looping, phasing, etc., and managing multiple voices using abstractions and "route". Here is the fifth assignment, due Thursday, Feb. 23.

6. More on polyphonic instruments, and amplitude and frequency modulation. Here is the sixth assignment, due Thursday, Mar. 1. Here are patches from Jaime Oliver's Feb. 16 class (6MB Zip file).

7. Modulation continued: waveshaping and FM. Here are patches (zip archive) from Roberto Morale's Feb. 21 class and patches (zip archive) and notes (PDF) from Christopher Ariza's Feb. 23 class. Here is the seventh assignment, due Thursday, Mar. 8.

8. Delays and a bit on filters. Here are patches (zip archive) and notes from Tamara Smyth's Feb. 28 class, and patches (zip archive) and notes from Johanna Devaney's Mar. 1 class. Here is the eighth assignment, due Thursday, Mar. 15.

9. Much more on delays and filters.

10. Finishing on filter theory; Gem and 3D graphics; audio analysis tools, spooling sounds to/from disk, and miscellaneous.