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Audio Technology | Courses

For current course offerings, please see the schedule of classes.

Course Descriptions

ATEC-101 Fundamentals of Audio Technology
Students learn about the generation, transmission, and detection of sound; properties of sounds; history and aesthetics of electro-acoustic music and components; anatomy of audio equipment; professions in the field of audio technology; and the global structure of audio related industries.  Students will apply basic recording and editing techniques in the completion of audio and audiovisual projects. Taken concurrently with ATEC-102.  Prerequisite: Instructor permission.

ATEC-102 Fundamentals of Audio Technology Lab
Students in this class apply recording and editing techniques discussed in class to real world music.  The students will also learn basic compression, digital signal processing techniques. Taken concurrently with ATEC-101.  Prerequisite: Instructor permission.

ATEC-301 Digital Audio Workstations 1
This course provides intermediate level students with fundamental knowledge of the basic principles of non-linear digital audio editing software.  Topics include creating and managing digital audio workstation sessions, importing media, basic editing and mixing techniques, external controllers, managing sessions and tracks, recording and editing MIDI and audio, timescaling, and automation.  Upon completion of the course, students take an exam that provides them with an internationally recognized Digidesign Protools basic certification. Usually offered every semester. Prerequisite:  ATEC-101 and ATEC-102.

ATEC-311 Sound Studio Techniques 1
This course explores multi-track recording techniques as applied to professional sound systems. Studio consoles, signal path, microphone configuration and placement, signal to noise ratio, and other relevant topics will be studied. Students gain experience with hands on projects.  Usually offered every fall. Prerequisite: ATEC-301.

ATEC-321 Sound Synthesis 1
This course examines various types of synthesis including additive, subtractive, wavetable, frequency modulation, and granular synthesis techniques.  Other topics covered will include the MIDI protocol, modular synthesis configurations, software based synthesis, and instrument and patch design.  Includes hands on experiences and projects with software and hardware synthesizers.  Usually offered every fall.  Prerequisite:  ATEC-301.

ATEC-401 Digital Audio Workstations 2
This course is a continuation of provides materials presented in ATEC-301 and provides students with more advanced knowledge of the principles of non-linear digital audio editing software.  Topics include analyses of digital audio workstation systems, high end user systems and interfaces, editing and mixing techniques, external controllers, managing sessions and tracks, recording and editing MIDI and audio, and advanced automation techniques.  Upon completion of the course, students take an exam which provides them with an internationally recognized Digidesign Protools operator certification. Prerequisite:  ATEC-301.

ATEC-403 Production Mixing and Mastering
This course explores effective mastering techniques and digital signal processing techniques with non-linear digital audio software.  Topics covered will be advanced equalization techniques, advanced filtering techniques, delay, compression and spatialization. Prerequisite:  ATEC-401.

ATEC-411 Sound Studio Techniques 2
This course examines advanced multi-track recording techniques as applied to professional sound systems. Studio consoles, magnetic tape recording, signal-processing equipment, room acoustics, noise reduction systems, multi-track recorder alignment, and test equipment will be studied. Usually offered every fall. Prerequisite: ATEC-311.

ATEC-421 Sound Synthesis 2
This course applies synthesis techniques to patch design on virtual instruments.  Students will also learn advanced MIDI concepts through the creation of original sequences.  Students will also explore current trends and real world applications of materials through original projects. Usually offered every spring.  Prerequisite:  ATEC-321.

ATEC-431 Studio Management
Students learn troubleshooting in regard to audio technology equipment and software.  Topics covered include tape head realignment and maintenance, tracing signal flow problems, soldering techniques, and power/grounding issues.  Students will cooperatively learn and collaborate on a final project, assembling a functional recording studio from malfunctioning components.  Prerequisite: ATEC-101.

ATEC-441 Business of the Audio Industry
The course is an examination of the structure and workings of the audio industry. Topics include songwriter/publisher contracts, copyright; music licensing, scope of the audio industry, record markets, record promotion and distribution, recording contracts, the recording studio, music and radio, audio in telecommunications, entertainment law and lawyers, audio in the film industry, film scoring. Prerequisite: ATEC-101.

ATEC-450 Audio Technology Capstone
May be repeated for credit. This course enables students to pursue advanced discipline-specific projects, which may include electro-acoustic instrument design and construction, advanced live sound reinforcement techniques, post-production audio for film and video, audio engineering for compact disc recordings, and electro-acoustic music composition. Usually offered every spring. Prerequisite: ATEC-301 or permission of instructor.

ATEC-514 Audio Mastering
This course presents an advanced hands-on approach to the principles and practices of mastering. Students will master the use of equipment specially designed for audio mastering and develop mastering techniques, as well as learn best practices for mastering. Students will also explore surround sound mastering techniques. Prerequisite: ATEC-611, or ATEC-403 and permission of instructor.

ATEC-522 Real-time Performance Workshop
This performance workshop brings musically- and technologically-oriented students together in order to develop and apply new approaches to live computer-based music. The primary focus is on real-time interactive systems that use information gathered from physical sensors and analysis of audio or video signals. Such systems can be applied to produce generative music, sound installations, augmented acoustic instruments, and new digital instruments. Influential performance projects from the computer music literature are surveyed, with an examination of technical and aesthetic concerns in each case. When possible, the systems associated with these projects are demonstrated in class. Based on this context and student interests, small teams are formed around proposed projects, with work culminating in a concert at the end of the semester. Prerequisite: ATEC-621, or ATEC-421 and permission of instructor.

ATEC-524 Digital Instrument Design
Students in this course will be introduced to the concepts, history, software, and hardware behind digital musical instruments (DMIs).  The basic anatomy of a DMI includes a sound-producing digital synthesis module and a separate controller module for gathering information from the physical world.  Examples of control modules include touch-screen LCDs, accelerometers, pressure sensors, and video tracking software. In the process of creating several different DMIs, students will learn how to map available control information to sound synthesis parameters in musically meaningful ways. Prerequisite: ATEC-621, or ATEC-421 and permission of instructor.

ATEC-604 Digital Audio Production Seminar

This course teaches real-world techniques for digital music production through software synthesizers such as Reason, NI Komplete, Digidesign AIR synthesizers, and Korg Legacy bundle. Hardware synthesizers, the MIDI protocol, and additional software plug-ins used for production, such as Antares Auto-tune and INA-GRM Tools are also discussed. Prerequisite: None.

ATEC-611 Advanced Recording Seminar

Students will explore advanced recording techniques employed in producing and recording a music project from inception to completion. Areas of exploration include but are not limited to pre-production arranging and planning of material, production and psychology in tracking, advanced and experimental microphone techniques, use of found acoustic space, re-amping of recorded material, use of samples and software manipulation of audio.  Students are given roles and exchange them, mirroring roles in a professional production studio such as producer, first engineer, second engineer and tape/Pro Tools operator. Prerequisite: None.

ATEC-613 Advanced Concepts in Audio Mixing

This course expands on the mix techniques covered and mix skills introduced in ATEC-611. Students will cover the practical use and application of contemporary mixing devices as well as the underlying theory and principles as related to mixing. Students are encouraged to develop a personal mixing aesthetic, through focused listening and mix critiques. Prerequisite: ATEC-611.

ATEC-621 Advanced Sound Synthesis
This course covers audio synthesis using the Pure Data (Pd) and SuperCollider programming environments. After a review of canonical techniques emphasizing fundamental concepts, focus will shift to broader issues related to musical applications. These include spatialization, parameter mapping, dynamic routing, and the use of various methods in parallel and series configurations. Throughout the course, students will complete several assignments using both Pd and SuperCollider, and a final project in the environment of their choice.  Prerequisite: None

ATEC-650 Audio Technology Seminar             
This course enables students to pursue advanced discipline-specific projects, which may include traditional scholarship, electro-acoustic instrument design and construction, advanced live sound reinforcement techniques, post-production audio for film and video, audio engineering for compact disc recordings, and electro-acoustic music composition. This course is designed to prepare students for completion of a master’s level portfolio or thesis project.  Prerequisite: None.

ATEC-651 Digital Audio Analysis
ATEC-651 introduces the concepts and mathematics behind standard methods for analyzing audio signals. It is designed for students without a background in computer science or mathematics.  Fundamental ideas are demonstrated with the use of two open source software packages: GNU Octave and Pure Data. Using these tools, students will learn how to extract and graph information—such as amplitude, fundamental frequency, and spectrum—from digital sound recordings. The course will also draw on literature from psychoacoustics in order to illustrate relationships between the physical qualities of sound and aspects of human perception. Prerequisite: None.

ATEC-652 Critical Listening

Students in this course will develop critical listening skills through aural analysis, ear training, drill and practice, and comparative analyses. Topics covered will include spectral balance and equalization, spatial attributes and reverberation, dynamic range control, distortion and noise, audio clip edit points, analysis of sound, frequencies, effects and processing, delays and decays, and master frequencies. Students will be expected to identify frequency ranges, specific audio signatures, distortion, edits, and digital manipulation through aural examinations. Prerequisite: None.

ATEC-690 Independent Study in Audio Technology

ATEC-696 Special Topics in Audio Technology

ATEC-691 Internship in Audio Technology


ATEC-750 Capstone
This course enables students to pursue advanced discipline-specific projects, which may include electro-acoustic instrument design and construction, advanced live sound reinforcement techniques, post-production audio for film and video, audio engineering for compact disc recordings, and electro-acoustic music composition. Usually offered every spring. Prerequisite: ATEC-650.