Music 220b | winter 2012
Compositional Algorithms, Psychoacoustics, and Spatial Processing
Ge Wang and Spencer Salazar (TA)

lectures | assignments | piazzza (discussion group)

class: T+Th 10-11:30am
location: CCRMA classroom (the Knoll)
textbook: (required) Real Sound Synthesis for Interactive Applications, by P. R. Cook
prerequisite: 220a - or by instructor's permission.

office hours: T+Th 11:30am - 12:30pm (Spencer, email: spencer /at/

final exam/project presentation time: Monday, March 19th, 3:30-6:30pm

course summary:

This is the second course in the 220 series. It investigates algorithmic composition, more advanced sound synthesis techniques, as well as audio analysis, some psychoacoustics, and spatialization. Additionally, we will explore computer-mediated performance as well as issues of aesthetic in computer music. The course uses the ChucK programming language for assignments and projects. The format consists of in-class discussions and lectures, individual and group assignments, a final project, as well as an experimental live performance component (utilizing the material presented in class).

synthesis / analysis topics:
  • modulation / AM / FM synthesis / waveshaping
  • timbre, sculpting, perception
  • bread-n-butter synthesis techniques (part two!)
  • FFT / audio analysis / UAna in ChucK / resynthesis / event detection
  • formant-based synthesis
  • granular synthesis / FOF's / phism
  • learning to program these via ChucK
computing + algorithmic composition topics:
  • computing, what it can + can't do / computing in the service of music
  • understanding underlying mechanism in computer music software
  • algorithmic sonification
  • cellular automata / genetic algorithms / state-machines
  • fractals / grammars / L-systems
  • rule-based, constraint-based systems
  • agent-based, particle systems / swarm
  • aesthetics of computer-mediated composition and performance

CCRMA | Music Department | Stanford University