Music 173: Mixing and Editing (Spring 2004)


Prerequisite: Music 170
Textbook: none
Meetings: Mandeville (0326) room B202, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9:30-10:50 AM.
This is in the Mandeville basement, two floors down from the main floor;
stairs and elevator are in a passageway through the center of the building.
Instructor: Professor Miller Puckette , Center for Research in Computing and the Arts, 534-4823,, Office Hours are at CRCA TUESDAY (changed!) 11:15-12:15 or by appointment.
TA: Nathan Brock,

This course introduces theoretical and practical aspects of digital music recording, mixing, and editing. Technical topics covered include audio montage, equalization, effects processing, spatialisation, mastering, and diffusion as time permits. In parallel we'll look at some of the many musical issues raised by recording and editing techniques, both in the "art" and pop music traditions.

TA-led discussion sessions are in B206 at noon Monday, 2PM Tuesday, and 11AM Thursday.

Topics and assignments. (note: This course is taught interactively, and the following syllabus may change.)

week 1 (Mar 30, Apr 1). Examples of sound montage in electronic music repertory; introduction to Csound.

week 2 (Apr 6,8). Basic recording techniques: microphones, conversion, and storage.

week 3 (Apr 13, 15). Acoustical parameters of sounds: pitch, time, dynamic, and timbre. Basic montage technique: cutting, enveloping, speed change, time reversal, looping, stereo placement.

week 4 (Apr 20, 22). Organization strategies in music. FIRST ASSIGNMENT due Apr. 29: choosing source sounds from the courseware or your own recordings, put together a montage exploring how they might be juxtaposed and what the musical possibilities are.

week 5 (Apr 27, 29). (This week is eaten up listening to first assignments.)

week 6. (May 4, 6) Strategies and techniques for time and pitch change.

week 7. (May 11, 13) Filters. SECOND ASSIGNMENT due May. 20: rough draft of a 2-minute piece of music or "sound art."

week 8 (May 18, 20). Delay, reverberation, and spatialization.

week 9 (May 25, 27). More on time, form, and sound.

week 10 (Jun 1, 3). TBA!

Final Exam, 8-11AM, Thursday, June 10: project presentations

Computers. This class is supported by ACS (Academic Computing Services) in the APM 349 lab (Applied Physics and Mathematics building). You can obtain class accounts and get a door code at the first class meeting. (Note that the lab is unavailable certain hours.) Machines labeled "audio" are set up for this course.

Alternatively you can work on your own computer. PCs and Unix machines will work best, but the courseware can also run on Macintosh computers. Visit the online version of this page for instructions .