Course Information

Class: Mon+Wed 09:00-10:20am
Labs/Office Hours: Online TBD (twice a week)
Location: Online
Required Textbook: Ge Wang. Artful Design: Technology in Search of the Sublime. Stanford University Press, 2018. (Buy it Here)
Prerequisite: prior programming experience

Course Summary

This lab and project-based course explores how we can physically interact with real-time electronic sound in the prospect of making musical interfaces and instruments. Students learn to use sensors, circuits, embedded computers, communication protocols, sound processing, and digital fabrication (3D printing). Advanced topics include real-time media, embedded systems for audio, 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. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Music 250a will happen online this year. Kits containing sensors, electronics, embedded systems, a 3D printer, and various tools (e.g., soldering iron, etc.) will be shipped to students taking this class.

Topics include:

Assignments

There will be assignments every week until week 6 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.

Grading

Course Material and Videos

Course material and videos will be posted in the "Lectures" section of this website (accessible in the navigation bar on the top of this page).

Zoom Meetings and Discussions

Zoom meetings corresponding to each class will be posted on Canvas. Class discussions outside of Zoom Meetings will happen on Canvas as well. If you have questions throughout the quarter, please ask them on Canvas.

Schedule

Week 1

Mar. 29: Intro + Overview of the Field of New Interfaces for Musical Expression (Part I)

Mar. 31: Intro + Overview of the Field of New Interfaces for Musical Expression (Part II) + Audio Processing in Faust (Part I)

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

Assignement 0: Discovering and Playing Around With Faust (Due on Apr. 7, 2021)


Week 2

Apr. 5: Audio Processing in Faust (Part II)

Apr. 7: Overview of Embedded Systems for Low-Latency Audio DSP

Lab 1: Faust Basics and Digital Musical Instrument + read chapter 5 of Artful Design -- Technology in Search of the Sublime

Assignement 1: Making Your First DMI With Faust (Due on Apr. 14, 2021)


Week 3

Apr. 12: Audio Processing in Faust (Part III)

Apr. 14: Lab Kits and Embedded Audio DSP With Faust and the Teensy

Lab/Assignment: Embedded Audio DSP with Faust and the Teensy (Due on Apr. 21, 2021) + read chapter 2 and 3 of Artful Design -- Technology in Search of the Sublime


Week 4

Apr. 19: Guest Lecture by Ge Wang -- "How Bodies Matter: the Art of Instrument Design"

Apr. 21: Sensors, Electronics Basics, and Microcontrollers

Lab/Assignment: Sensors and Physical Interface Design (Due on Apr. 28, 2021)


Week 5

Apr. 26: Hybrid Instruments

Apr. 28: Introduction to OpenScad

Bonus Guest Lecture by Lloyd May: A Brief Introduction to Accessible Design for Music Makers

Lab/Assignment: "Hybrid" Instruments (Due on May 5, 2021)


Week 6

May. 3: Digital Fabrication (3D Printing)

May. 6: Final Projects Brainstorm

Lab/Assignment: Prototyping in OpenScad and 3D Printing (Assignment A Due on May 12, 2021)


Week 7

May. 10: Guest Lecture by Roger Linn

May. 12: Feedback Session on Final Projects

Lab/Assignment: Prototyping in OpenScad and 3D Printing (Assignment A Due on May 19, 2021)


Week 8

May. 17: Guest lecture by Doug McCausland

May. 19: Feedback Session on Final Projects


Week 9:

May. 24: Guest Lecture by Jordan Rudess

May. 26: Feedback Session on Final Projects


Week 10

May. 31: Memorial Day -- Optional Feedback Session

Jun. 2: Final Presentations

Jun. 4: Final Deliverables for Music 250a Due