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.
The exam (3-6PM, Tuesday, March 20) is a final project presentation. Assignments are worth 10 points apiece and the final is worth 20.
Patches from class will gather on
Videos (at least until the UCSD pod/screencasts start working) are here:
Videos of lectures from an earlier year are avalable on
List of topics (about one per week):
Jan. 9-11. 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. 19.
Jan. 16-18. Wavetables (Chapter 2). Homework assignment 2 is due Friday, Jan. 26.
Jan. 23-25. Control and signal paths (chapter 3). Homework assignment 3 is due Friday, Feb. 2.
Feb. 6-8. Waveshaping, FM, and ring modulation (chapter 5 and a bit of chapter 6)). Homework assignment 5 is due Friday, Feb. 16.
Feb. 13-15. Delays and delay effects: echos, comb filters, flangers, pitch shifters (chapter 7). Homework assignment 6 is due Friday, Feb. 23.
Feb. 20-22. Filters and filter design (Chapter 8).
*** note: due date change from March 2 to March 6***
Homework assignment 7 is due Tuesday, March 6, 8PM.
Feb. 27 - Mar. 1. Patch design strategies: parameter controls, presets, mixing. Homework assignment 8 is due Tuesday, March 13, 8PM.
Mar. 6-8. classical waveforms (chapter 10).
Mar. 13-15. Miscellaneous: Fourier analysis and resynthesis (chapter 9), Gem and 3D graphics; audio analysis tools; networking; spooling sounds to/from disk.