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Old 2003-01-20, 07:12
thral thral is offline
Join Date: Jan 2000
Posts: 0
Going to Berklee without going to Berklee -- help me :-)

Alright, I'm currently interning in a recording studio, but I'm not going to want to be an audio engineer forever... provided someone hires me in the first place, heh. Well maybe.. I don't know.

REGARDLESS, I want to expand my audio knowledge as far as possible, especially in the area of synthesis. Below are the course offerings for Berklee's Music Synthesis major. I'd love to go, but its in Boston and it's 40,000 a year. So... I'm going to post all the courses. I have a lot of them under control, but some of the stuff, such as details on physical modeling and csound stuff, I am very weak on. If you know of any good reference material online or any sites that go indepth on some of the stuff below, please email me at or post the URL. I'd GREALY appreciate it.

Here we go:

Berklee College Music Synthesis Major Course Offerings:

Advanced FM and Formant Synthesis

FM: an exploration of linear frequency modulation with emphasis on second order modulation structures with introduction to Bessel functions. Formant synthesis: singing and speech synthesis based on frequency domain techniques such as vocoding, parametric EQ, and use of formant filters; introduction to the mechanics of human voice sound production.

Advanced MIDI Systems

A project-oriented course focused on the total mastery of a complex MIDI workstation. Students address the technical challenges of configuring and integrating a wide variety of synthesizers and samplers into a working MIDI network. Emphasis is placed on advanced sequencing techniques and innovative MIDI applications.

Advanced Modular Synthesis Techniques

A continued study of subtractive synthesis techniques used in designing sounds for hybrid analog/digital sound engines. Advanced studies in performance- and production-oriented programming techniques used in sophisticated systems. In addition to classroom time, students will be supervised in weekly hands-on practice in this synthesis lab.

Advanced Programmable Synthesis

A continuation of MTEC-222, this course provides various approaches to original sound design. Students will be shown how to assimilate a wide variety of synthesizer architecture and identify their unique or common elements. Students will learn to correlate the parameters of synthesis with the parameters of sound.

Advanced Projects in Synthesis

Production of the required Music Synthesis graduation projects, with individual attention in a small-group setting and independent laboratory work to this end. The specific nature of the project will be determined by written agreement between student and instructor.

Advanced Studies in Digital Sampling Techniques

Using a variety of sampling synthesizers and related signal processing devices, the student will learn techniques employed in the creation of a variety of contemporary user-sampled sounds. Topics covered include studio sampling applications with regard to acoustic, electronic, and environmental sounds; computer manipulation of complex waveforms; and various digital processing techniques. In addition to classroom time, students will be supervised in hands-on labs.

Alternate Controllers for MIDI Performance

Focusing on expanded synthesizer control and expressive musical performance, students will study, program, practice, and play using nonkeyboard controllers such as MIDI guitars, woodwinds, drums, and innovative ?virtual? controllers such as the Buchla Lightning and the Mathews Radio Baton.

Composition/Orchestration for Synthesis

This course explores a wide variety of computer-based approaches to composition and orchestration. From traditional notation-based sequencing to nonnarrative structures built entirely of sound-objects, students will apply new orchestrational techniques and compositional methods to both enhance their current work and discover new musical possibilities.

Desktop Musicianship

Exploration of a variety of real-time performance issues such as phrasing, dynamics, and special effects, and employment of a variety of MIDI controllers. This course will explore both performance issues and sound design concepts.

Digital Signal Processing for Music Production and Postproduction

A practical exploration of digital signal processing for student music projects, mixing, and mastering, with emphasis on key techniques of digital audio production. Exploration and application of both black-box technologies and software applications to assignments that reflect standard digital studio approaches and practice.

Digital Signal Processing: Theory and Composition

A compositional exploration of desktop digital signal processing (DSP) software and the transformative resources they offer composers. Practical training on the latest signal processing plug-ins and DSP applications will be supported by a solid theoretical understanding of the underlying algorithms. Study of time-based techniques such as filtering, echo, chorusing, flanging, reverberation, amplitude and frequency modulations, spacialization, convolution, and granular processing. In addition, fast Fourier transform (FFT)-based techniques including phase-vocoding, spectral extraction and mutation, audio morphing, and cross-synthesis will be covered.

Hard-disk Recording and Nonlinear Editing

A project-oriented course that explores the production issues facing today?s synthesist. Working at computer-based digital audio workstations, the students will draw from their in-depth study and understanding of digital audio recording, editing, mixing, processing, and mastering to produce a ?play list? remix, a public service announcement in the format used by commercial FM radio stations, two musical projects incorporating MIDI and multitrack digital audio, and an original project of their own.

Interactive Multimedia

A hands-on study of strategies and methods for creating an interactive multimedia piece. Students will complete a large-scale multimedia production. Assignments will involve scripting using several multimedia platforms, interapplication and intermedia synchronization, navigation of information systems, real-time image processing, and new input technologies such as speed and image recognition. Lecture/demonstration topics will include the musician?s role in advanced multimedia projects, interactive aesthetics, interactive technologies, virtual reality, and multiple-view cinemas.

Introduction to Multimedia

A hands-on introduction to multimedia and a survey of available applications. Students will complete assignments in the integration of music and graphics, desktop synchronization, video digitizing and editing, image processing, animation of supplied graphic images, and digital type, with a brief introduction to interactive scripting. Emphasis will be placed on media formats, storage, archiving, and retrieval techniques. Lectures and demonstrations will include the musician?s role in collaborative multimedia projects, managing large volumes of data, and compression strategies. Final discussions will introduce interactive aesthetics, consumer technologies, and industrial technologies.

Introduction to Music Technology

An introduction to the fundamentals of music technology geared to the needs of today?s professional musician. One of the most significant challenges facing musicians today is mastering the skills required to continually adapt to a changing technology base. Musicians today must understand and be prepared for the fact that this technology base is moving more rapidly than it can be assimilated. The course topics will give an overview of all aspects of the current technology with the primary goal of enabling students to make intelligent decisions in evaluating future technological needs.

MIDI, DSP, and Performance Multimedia Programming in Max/MSP

The musical exploration of the newest interactive real-time software. Students will develop performance systems in which the computer plays an active role. The primary focus will be on automated accompanists and computer-based score following. Multimedia performance will be actively explored through individual projects and supervised hands-on lab time.

MIDI Systems for Music Technology

A comprehensive study of the Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI) and its many musical applications with an emphasis on sequencing. Synchronization of the MIDI sequencer to other devices via MIDI Time Code (MTC) and FSK. MIDI clock will also be explored. Working at computer-based workstations, students will apply in-depth knowledge and comprehension of the MIDI specification to a wide variety of musical projects.

Modular Functions and Signal Flow

A study of the generators and processors that comprise modern analog, virtual, and hybrid modular music synthesis systems including MSP, Nord Modular, Oberheim Xpander, and others. Topics include geometric waveforms, aperiodic functions, filters, two- and four-quadrant modulation, envelopes, and rudimentary sequencing using analog-modeled, multistep sequencers. Analysis of signal characteristics including amplitude, frequency, phase, polarity, waveshape, and spectrum, and the aural results of alteration of these characteristics when a signal is used to modulate them. Signal analysis using hardware and/or software-based oscilloscope and spectrum analyzer. Rudimentary sound design studies based on familiar instrumental and electronic models. This course will be acceptable in lieu of MTEC-222 for MPED majors as a technology core requirement.

Multimedia for the Writer

A hands-on introduction to multimedia and a survey of available applications. Students will complete assignments in the integration of original music, voice-overs, and sound effects with supplied graphics and video examples. Examination of software applications in desktop synchronization for A/V, editing, and multimedia authoring. Study of media formats, storage, and archiving and retrieval techniques; the musician?s role in collaborative multimedia projects; managing large volumes of data and compression strategies; and considerations of interactive aesthetics, consumer technologies, and industrial technologies.

Music Synthesis Internship

Monitored and evaluated professional work experience in an environment related to the Music Synthesis major. Placement is limited to situations available from or approved by the Office of Experiential Learning and the Music Synthesis Department chair or designee. To apply for an internship, students must see the internship coordinator in the Office of Experiential Learning prior to registering. Note: Equivalent credit for prior experience is not available due to the requirement of concurrent contract between the employer/supervisor and the college.

Musical Applications of Synthesis

A musical survey of the performers, composers, and producers whose influences have shaped and defined the present and past of electro-acoustic music.

Physical Modeling and Additive Synthesis

An exploration of excitation/resonance models of sound production: Karplus-Strong (string), brass, and woodwind modeling using digital signal processing in a dedicated hardware environment; use of software-based modeling for pedagogical purposes; exploration of Fourier or additive synthesis and formant theory in a hardware environment.

Programmable Synthesis

A course focusing on issues related to synthesizer architecture, patch programming/editing, and functionality within the MIDI production environment. A variety of synthesizer technologies will be addressed, including subtractive, FM, sampling, hybrid, and software-based synthesis.

Sound Design and Composition in Csound

Exploration of the theory and practice of digital signal processing, sound design, and music synthesis utilizing the full power of the personal computer as a virtual synthesizer. The student will employ a wide variety of approaches to sound and musical design: from classical techniques such as additive and subtractive synthesis, ring modulation, FM, waveshaping, and sampling, to the most powerful new approaches such as granular synthesis and physical modeling; and will discover ways in which the full potential of software synthesis can be applied in hard-disk-based composition and production.

Synthesis in Composition and Orchestration for Commercial Production

This course will provide the opportunity for students to gain experience working in situations which typify the demands of a commercial production environment. This will include: composing in a wide variety of idioms, to specific stylistic direction, and under common constraints that affect commercial music composition. The emulation of these styles will require drawing upon the skills of a synthesist, engineer, and producer as well as those of composer and orchestrator. This course will confront the student with the issues and problems common to the working composer, music producer, and small studio owner.

- Springs

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