Sound Synthesis Class
Taught by Christopher Mckinlay
Saturday May 1st, 2010 // 12-3pm
Thursday May 6th, 2010 // 7-10pm
Saturday May 8th, 2010 // 6:30-9:30pm
Thursday May 13th, 2010 // 7-10pm
Saturday May 15th, 2010 // 12-3pm
Become a Machine Project Member and get a discount on all classes for a year!
Non-members – $250
Members – $225
The electronic synthesis of audio signals is a wonderful combination of mathematics (harmonic analysis) and electrical engineering (analog and digital signal processing). This class will present the theoretical fundamentals of sound synthesis with a view towards musical applications. We will use the open source software platform Pure Data as a toolkit for the class and a game called Ovid’s Patch to place the concepts into a musical context and form new collaborations.
class 1: software and synthesis
An introduction to digital audio signal processing and the Pure Data programming environment. Audio and control rates. Analog transitions and AD/DA converters. Ovid’s Patch.
class 2: waveforms and spectra
Mathematical fundamentals of acoustic waves and how we perceive them. A rough guide to the Fourier transform. Spectrum analyzers. The classical waveforms and their spectra. Additive synthesis.
class 3: envelopes and modulation
Transients and their formulation in terms of ADSR envelopes. LFO’s and their role in generating diversity. A taxonomy of linear audio effects such as flanging, ring modulation, delay, and chorus.
class 4: samplers and filters
Subtractive synthesis and its fundamental role in audio production. Cutoff, resonance (‘Q’) and using filters as oscillators. Sampling, wavetables, and interpolation.
class 5: non-linear synthesis and effects
Introduction to frequency modulation synthesis, compression, and saturation. Bit reduction and noise. Analog and digital distortion.
A laptop with a working installation of Pure Data, headphones, and a love of sound. No prior mathematical or programming experience is required. You can download Pure Data for free, here: http://puredata.info/downloads
About the Instructor:
Christopher Mckinlay is a 4th year PhD student in Mathematics at UCLA studying digital audio signal processing.
fourier transform modulus of a cosine
Please note, all class fees include a non-refundable enrollment deposit of $25 that will be deducted from your refund if you sign up for, then drop, a class. So, for example, if you sign up for Machine Sewing 101 and pay the $155 class fee, but then remember that you have trapeze school final exams that conflict with the Sewing class and shouldn’t have signed up after all, we will refund you $130 of your tuition payment.