Sound Synthesis Class
with Christopher Mckinlay
Date & Time
January 22, 2013, 7pm–10pm
January 24, 2013, 7pm–10pm
January 29, 2013, 7pm–10pm
January 31, 2013, 7pm–10pm
Machine Project
$225 for members
$250 for non-members

The electronic synthesis of audio signals is a wonderful combination of mathematics (harmonic analysis and linear differential equations) and electrical engineering (analog and digital signal processing).

This class will present the theoretical fundamentals of sound synthesis with a view towards applications in music and sound design. We will use the open source software platform SuperCollider as a toolkit for the class.

A laptop with a working installation of SuperCollider, headphones, and a love of sound. No prior mathematical or programming experience is required.

About the Instructor:
Christopher Mckinlay is a 5th year PhD candidate in Mathematics at UCLA studying digital audio signal processing.


Class 1
Tuesday, January 22, 7pm–10pm
Class 1: Software and Synthesis
with Christopher Mckinlay

An introduction to digital audio signal processing and the
SuperCollider programming environment. Audio and control rates.
Analog transitions and AD/DA converters.

Class 2
Thursday, January 24, 7pm–10pm
Class 2: Time and Frequency
with Christopher Mckinlay

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
Tuesday, January 29, 7pm–10pm
Class 3: Frequency-based Effects
with Christopher Mckinlay

Subtractive synthesis and its fundamental role in audio production.
Filters and their properties. Resonance (‘Q’) and filters as

Class 4
Thursday, January 31, 7pm–10pm
Class 4: Time-based Effects
with Christopher Mckinlay

The frequency properties of delays and feedback networks. A taxonomy
of related audio effects such as reverberation, flanging, ring modulation, and chorusing.

Refund policy:
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.