Dr. Charles Redmond
In this course we will be learning how to produce digital audio. We will do this by composing our own songs and producing them with a digital audio workstation. We will learn about sound synthesis, audio effects, equalization, rhythm, and harmony. We will have a midterm exam, a comprehensive final, and a final project. You will begin working on your project from day one, and I will also be evaluating you on your timely progress. The midterm and final will each be worth 33% of your grade. Your final project will be worth 17% of your grade. Your timely progress on your project throughout the term will be worth the final 17% of your grade.
The student will use a digital audio workstation to:
The student will apply and demonstrate an understanding of:
The student will apply and demonstrate an understanding of:
|Learning Outcome||Assessment Tool|
|Students will produce professional audio.||Final Project (Rubric)|
Your final project must be an originally composed song, which includes a drum track, a bass track, a chord progression providing harmony, and a lead track. It must be at least one minute long. I will be collecting both the Reason file and the MP3 file for the song.
I would like everyone to sign up for an account on SoundCloud and post, each week, one audio file which reflects your progress on your project. I will give more details on this in class. SoundCloud's website is located here:
|2 points||1 point|
|Level||No clipping. Volume is appropriate for each instrument.||Clipping present. Some instruments unusually soft or loud.|
|Definition||Each instrument has its own space, from left to right, back to front, and bottom to top.||Sound is muddy and not well separated.|
|Continuity||Smooth transitions from clip to clip.||Some clips are out of sync with the rest of the composition.|
|Originality||Composition is original.||Composition is a minimally modified class example.|
|Harmony||Chords, bass, and leads fit together harmoniously.||Chords, bass, and leads in different keys and unintentionally dissonant.|
|Rhythm||Drums, bass, and rhythm instruments in time with one another.||Parts out of sync and unquantized.|
All of the software you will need for the course will be in our labs, so you are not required to purchase anything. If you are, however, interested in purchasing any of the software for your own use at home, here is the information for it:
For a digital audio workstation, we will be using Reason Essentials. The latest version is version 2. This is available via download from Propellerhead (for about $125.00). Here is their website:
Previous boxed versions of Reason Essentials are available from various venders. These are generally less expensive than the download from Propellerhead.
We will also be using Band in a Box, from PGmusic, as a songwriting tool. They offer various packages, and it can get quite confusing. It would probably be best to talk to me before you decide to make this purchase. Their website is located here:
We will also be using the audio editing software Audacity. This is free, and is available here:
If you want to export MP3's with Audacity, you also have to have the LAME MP3 encoder. You can find it here:
There is no required text for the course. There are, however, some excellent references I can share with you:
This course is a hybrid course, which means that a portion of it will be offered online. I will be posting instructional videos to add to the material that we cover in class, and it is of course mandatory for you to view and study them. There will be no need for online office hours since all of my office hours will be held in person. There will also be no need for online assessment, because, again, all of our assessment will be done in the classroom. I will give you more details on how to access the online materials in class.
All of my office hours will be held in the computer labs. In order to better suit your schedule, I would like to be flexible with these. Please contact me if you would like to meet with me, and we can set up a time that fits both of our schedules. If, by the end of the week, I have not fulfilled my total quota of at least six office hours, I will make up the difference on Friday or the weekend. I will of course announce the times of these end-of-the-week office hours.
It is very important that you make every effort to attend class. It is much more difficult to learn the material on your own. If you miss class regularly, the chances are that you will not do as well in the course as you would have done otherwise. I will take attendance every day so that I know who attends and who does not. A prerequisite for additional help outside the classroom is regular class attendance. You are responsible for what is announced or covered in class even if you are absent.
I WILL NOT RE-TEACH CLASS LESSONS, OVER AND OVER AGAIN, TO INDIVIDUALS WHO MISS CLASS! Get to know your classmates. If you miss class, get the notes, study the notes, and try the homework. See me then with your questions.
We will have a midterm exam, a comprehensive final, and a final project. You will begin working on your project from day one, and I will also be evaluating you on your timely progress. The midterm and final will each be worth 33% of your grade. Your final project will be worth 17% of your grade. Your timely progress on your project throughout the term will be worth the final 17% of your grade. Letter grades will be assigned according to the following scale:
Working the sliders below will help you understand what combinations of scores will result in particular letter grades.
0% final project
0% timely progress
F letter grade
Any student who fells s/he may need an accommodation based on the impact of a disability should contact us privately to discuss your specific needs. Please know that it is the policy of Mercyhurst University that it is the student's responsibility to provide documentation of his/her disability to the director of the Learning Differences Program. Please call the Learning Differences office at 814-824-3017 to coordinate needed accommodations.
Important Dates: October 25 (midterm) December 10 (final, 11:00-1:00)
|Week 1||Synthesis I/Drums I|
|Week 2||Synthesis II/Harmony I|
|Week 3||Synthesis III/Drums II|
|Week 4||Synthesis IV/Harmony II|
|Week 5||Synthesis V/Harmony III|
|Week 6||Synthesis VI/Harmony IV|
|Week 7||Compression I/Harmony V|
|Week 8||Compression II/Bass I|
|Week 9||Equalization I/Bass II|
|Week 10||Equalization II/Melody I|
|Week 11||Reverb I/Melody II|
|Week 12||Reverb II/Melody III|
|Week 13||Delay I/Melody IV|
|Week 14||Delay II/Melody V|