Course Information

Class: Mon+Wed 10:30-12:20pm
Labs/Office Hours: Mon 3:40-5:30pm + Thu 2:00-3:50pm, CCRMA Max Lab
Location: CCRMA Classroom (the Knoll)
Required Textbook: Ge Wang. Artful Design: Technology in Search of the Sublime. Stanford University Press, 2018. (Available in the Stanford Bookstore)
Prerequisite: prior programming experience

Course Summary

This lab and project-based course explores how we can physically interact with real-time electronic sound. Students learn to use and design sensors, circuits, embedded computers, communication protocols and sound synthesis. Advanced topics include real-time media, haptics, sound synthesis using physical model analogs, and Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) theory and practice. Course culminates in musical performance with or exhibition of completed design projects.

Topics include:


There will be assignments every week until week 5 after which students will be able to focus on final projects. Assignments are due the following week on Wednesday before class. Late days are not allowed.



Week 1

Jan. 6: Intro + Overview of the Field of New Interfaces for Musical Expression


Jan. 8: Sound Synthesis Basics in Faust


Lab/Assignment: Faust Basics and Digital Musical Instrument + read chapter 1 of Artful Design -- Technology in Search of the Sublime

Week 2

Jan. 13: Introduction to Embedded Audio Processing, and Embedded Systems for Music + More Faust


Jan. 15: Lab Kits and Embedded Audio DSP With Faust on the Teensy

Jan. 18: Faust Fest @ CCRMA

Lab/Assignment: Embedded Audio DSP with Faust and the Teensy + read chapter 5 of Artful Design -- Technology in Search of the Sublime

Week 3

Jan. 20: Martin Luther King, Jr., Day

Jan. 22: Sensors, Electronics Basics, Microcontrollers and Hybrid Instruments


Lab/Assignment: Sensors and Physical Interface Design

Week 4

Jan. 27: Guest lecture by Roger Linn

Jan. 29: Guest lecture by Ge Wang

Lab/Assignment: "Hybrid" Instruments

Week 5

Feb. 3: Introduction to SolidWorks I + more Faust/audio processing (parallel sessions)

Feb. 5: Introduction to SolidWorks II + more Faust/audio processing (parallel sessions)

Feb. 8: Workshop: Running DSP algorithms on hardware using Faust and Elk Audio OS

Lab/Assignment: Prototyping in SolidWorks

Week 6

Feb. 10: Final Projects Brainstorm

Feb. 12: Digital Fabrication + Advanced Sound Synthesis

Lab/Assignment: Digital Fabrication

Week 7

Feb. 17: Presidents' Day

Feb. 19: Critical Feedback Session on Final Projects + Lab 6 Milestone Due + Final Project Milestone I Due

Feb. 21: Lab 6 Due

Week 8

Feb. 24: From Breadboards to Perforated Circuit Boards: Finalizing Your Circuitry + Synthesizing Sound on the Teensy + Haptic Feedback and NIME

Feb. 26: Critical Feedback Session on Final Projects + Final Project Milestone II Due

Week 9:

Mar. 2: Critical Feedback Session with Roger Linn and Ge Wang

Mar. 4: Critical Feedback Session + Final Project Milestone III Due

Week 10

Mar. 9: Last Class -- Final Checks on Final Projects

Mar. 11: Final presentations on the CCRMA stage (evening)