Music 171: Computer Music I
Winter quarter 2017, University of California, San Diego, section IDs 888419, 888420
Textbook: online at
Meetings: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 3:30-4:50
CPMC (Conrad Prebys Music Center) room 136
Instructor: Professor Miller Puckette, CPMC 251,, .
Office hour Thursdays, 2:30-3:30, in the classroom
Christopher Donahue, cdonahue (at) ucsd (dot) edu;
Tahereh Afgah, tafghah (at) ucsd (dot) edu. TAs are available during lab hours or by appointment.

This is an introduction to audio synthesis, both in theory and in practice, using Pd (Pure Data) as a platform. Pd is free and you can run it on Windows, Linux, or Mac OSX. You can get it at .

There are eight weekly assignments, due Fridays.

A final presentation is due at the regular final exam time, 3-6PM, Tuesday, March 21. Assignments are worth 10 points apiece and the final is worth 20.

Patches from class will gather on
Videos of lectures from an earlier year are avalable on
Screen videos of this year's classes are collecting here:

List of topics (about one per week):

Jan. 10-12. Making sinusoids and controlling their amplitudes and frequencies. Read chapter 1 of the book, particularly looking at the examples at the back of the chapter. Homework assignment 1 is due Friday, Jan. 20.

Jan. 17-19. Wavetables (Chapter 2). Homework assignment 2 is now due Wednesday, Feb. 1.

Jan. 24-26. Control and signal paths (chapter 3). Homework assignment 3 is due Friday, Feb. 3.

Jan. 13 - Feb 2. Polyphony and control strategies (chapter 4). Homework assignment 4 is due Friday, Feb. 10.

Feb. 7-9. Waveshaping and FM (chapter 5). Homework assignment 5 is due Friday, Feb. 17.

Feb. 14-16. Pulse trains and ring modulation (chapter 6). (Topic changed to audio analysis and more about abstractions.) Homework assignment 6 is due Friday, Feb. 24.

Feb. 21-23. Delays and delay effects: echos, comb filters, flangers, pitch shifters (chapter 7). Homework assignment 7 is due Friday, Mar. 3.

Feb. 28 - Mar. 2. Filters and filter design (Chapter 8). Homework assignment 8 is due Friday, Mar. 10.

Mar. 6-8. Fourier analysis and resynthesis (chapter 9)

Mar. 13-15. Classical waveforms (chapter 10) and miscellaneous: Gem and 3D graphics; audio analysis tools; networking; spooling sounds to/from disk.