~ and modules ~


May 24-25, 2008
Max: FTM/Gabor Library
This training program presents the library of external FTM and Gabor objects:
  • introduction to the FTM and Gabor concepts,
  • presentation of the principle "modules" of FTM:
    • use as a data structure,
    • use of Gabor and FTM for the analysis, synthesis, and processing of sound.
Upon completion of this training course the broad range of possibilities offered by FTM will have been presented to the participants. They will be able to undersand the basics of object programming in FTM and will be able to create simple patches for sound analysis and synthesis with Gabor.
May 17-18, 2008
Modalys (level 2)
This training course will take a deeper look at the concepts presented during the level 1 program and explore the more advanced functions of Modalys:
  • creation of the model of a bowed string,
  • calulation of sound banks for samplers,
  • construction of 3D objects,
  • advanced control of Modalys in real-time in Max/MSP,
  • construction and control of an instrument in OpenMusic.
Upon completion of the Modalys training program (levels 1 and 2), participants will be able to construct a simple virtual instrument and interact with it in the Modalys environment. They will also have acquired a global vision of the Modalys environment and the use of different interfaces: text for 3D objects, Mlys objects for real-time in Max/MSP, and OpenMusic for the construction of complex instruments in relation with the musical publishers.
March 29-30, 2008
Spat - Alex Baskind
This training program is an introduction to spatialization. The basic concepts and functions of the IRCAM Spatialisateur will be addressed:
  • the structure of Spat,
  • study of configurations such as: ORTF, binaural, 5.1, broadcasting on four or 8 loudspeakers,
  • simulation and storage of concert-hall parameters,
  • construction and storage of trajectories,
  • spatialization of several sound sources,
  • external controls for Spat: MIDI, joystick, HoloEdit (GMEM), etc.
Upon completion of this training, participants will have acquired the necessary knowledge to integrate the spatilization modules in their Max/MSP patches (simulation of concert halls, trajectories, multiple sound sources, external controls).
March 8-9, 2008
AudioSculpt (level 2) - Jean Lochard
This training course addresses the advanced functions of AudioSculpt:
  • cross-synthesis,
  • using the calculation engine from the command line,
  • batch processing,
  • export of analyses to OpenMusic,
  • using the OM_SuperVP library in OpenMusic.
Upon completion of the AudioSculpt training program (levels 1 and 2), participants will be able to use the main functions of the graphical interface, carry out basic processing techniques, use the AudioSculpt analysis/synthesis engine, and launch successive processing techniques from a Max OSX terminal and OpenMusic.
January 19-20, 2008
AudioSculpt (level 1)
Jean Lochard
Participants will take their first steps with AudioSculpt's graphical interface:
  • visualization and publication of the sonogram,
  • exploration of the basic functionalities (filtrage, dilation, etc.),
  • using the processing sequences,
  • using the grid and markers.
Upon completion of the AudioSculpt training program (levels 1 and 2), participants will be able to use the main functions of the graphical interface, carry out basic processing techniques, use the AudioSculpt analysis/synthesis engine, and launch successive processing techniques from a Max OSX terminal and OpenMusic.
December 15-16, 2007
Diphone - Jean Lochard
This training program will examine the numerous possibilities of analysis and synthesis available in Diphone:
  • analysis and automatic segmentation of a musical phrase,
  • optimization of the AddAn analysis for additive synthesis,
  • construction of sequences and micro-montages,
  • morphing between two timbres,
  • vocal synthesis with Chant and Psola modules,
  • using the OM_Diph library for complex sequences in OpenMusic.
Upon completion of the Diphone training program, participants will be able to analyze sounds with AddAn software, use the main functions of the Diphone graphical interface, and use its various synthesis plug-ins.
November 24-25, 2007
Modalys (level 1) - Jean Lochard
Following an introducion on the different methods used for synthesis through physical modeling, participants will take their first steps with Modalys:
  • construction of a string instrument,
  • construction of a reed instrument,
  • filtering a sound with an instrument,
  • using Modalys in real-time with Max/MSP (object Mlys),
  • elaboration of chords and rhythms.
Upon completion of the Modalys training program (levels 1 and 2), participants will be able to construct a simple virtual instrument and interact with it in the Modalys environment. They will also have acquired a global vision of the Modalys environment and the use of different interfaces: text for 3D objects, Mlys objects for real-time in Max/MSP, and OpenMusic for the construction of complex instruments in relation with the musical publishers.

Master of Science in Digital Composition and Performance

The MSc in Digital Composition and Performance is a dynamic new MSc designed to attract composers, musicians, and sound artists interested in developing creative and technical expertise in composition and performance with computers.

Programme Director:

Dr Michael Edwards


Prof. Richard Coyne, Dr Robert Dow, Dr Michael Edwards, Prof. Peter Nelson, Dr Martin Parker

Link to Programme Website

The course covers algorithmic composition, real-time and non real-time sound synthesis and signal processing, sound diffusion and spatialisation, and computer-based performance strategies. By stressing the importance of making music for live performance situations and not for performance exclusively by others, the course places the composer onstage and at the forefront of their music's realisation, thus bridging the gap between the musical vision and its performability as well as between the composer and performer. Further, to increase interdisciplinary awareness, the field is placed within a wider context of cultural, critical, technological, and musical study.

The programme's focus is primarily musical and artistic, with direct intended careers being composer and sonic/digital artist/performer. The programme's interdisciplinary aspect however leads naturally into music technology-based fields such as soundware engineer, multimedia developer, digital audio editor, etc.

The programme aims to develop:

  • a variety of interdisciplinary skills ranging across music composition and performance, computer science, and cultural studies
  • the ability to plan, execute, realise, and document a musical-technological project
  • the ability to translate musical ideas into fully-functioning interactive computer music programmes and scores
  • the ability to reflect on one's creative work in light of past and present cultural developments

Students completing the programme will gain in-depth knowledge of:

  • computer music composition and performance
  • real-time computer music programming (Max/MSP)
  • non real-time computer music programming; algorithmic composition
  • electroacoustic composition
  • human-computer interaction
  • a developed overview of the key philosophical ideas that have informed understanding of the digital age

The programme will consist of six taught courses:

Semester 1

Semester 2

Successful completion of the taught component of the programme qualifies candidates to receive the Postgraduate Diploma. Those who attain an overall minimum of 50% in their assessed work may proceed to an MSc, undertaking a final composition and performance project over the summer. This will account for one third of the degree.

Admission to the programme is open to candidates with a II(i) honours degree or equivalent (e.g. US 3.4 GPA) in a sound-related discipline (such as music, sound engineering, acoustics, film, animation, or art/design) or other relevant discipline (such as computer science, architecture, education, cognitive science, psychology, or other qualification deemed appropriate by the Head of School). Essential, however, and irrespective of the applicant's background, is significant experience in composition or a related musically creative activity (e.g. improvisation, sound installation, creative DJing etc.). There is also an opportunity to admit students on the basis of a portfolio of work.

June-August, 2006
Digital Composition and Performance: Final Project (P01185)
Martin Parker, Michael Edwards, Peter Nelson.
Credit Points : 60 | SCQF Level : 11 | Acronym : ACE-P-DCPFP

This is a project using digital sound technology that will be a product of individual working. It will result in a composition or some such simliar musical work which will be performed in a concert which forms part of the assessment process. Work can commence in week 7 of semester 2, though approval to proceed will depend on the outcome of the Examination Board meeting at the end of semester 2. Work should continue to the September submission date.

Summary of Intended Learning Outcomes

  • A detailed project bringing together many elements of the programme
  • A thorough understanding of the way in which a working digital composition and performance project progresses from start to completion
  • An appreciation of the role of information technology in current composition and performance
January - March, 2006
Digital Media Studio Project (P00179)
Martin Parker
Credit Points : 20 | SCQF Level : 11 | Acronym : ACE-P-DMSP

This is an 11 week studio project using the computer for design and presentation work. Students will work on a project that brings together their various design skills in the context of a digital installation. The course will be conducted as a studio with iterative development, group discussion, design development, presentations, simulation, criticism, and feedback. Tuition will be provided in the use of computer tools and devices where applicable.

Summary of Intended Learning Outcomes

The design of a multimedia interactive or other artefact integrating diverse digital and analogue media. Contribution to a portfolio of work showing the student's capability with digital media and familiarity with the issues of presentation using large scale media, sensor technologies and embodied computing. Awareness of the methods and constraints of working towards a public exhibition or showcase of digital design work. An interactive exhibition/installation.

February - March, 2006
Electroacoustic Composition and Performance (P01184)
Credit Points : 20 | SCQF Level : 11 | Acronym : ACE-P-EACP

This course forms an introduction to the current theory and practice of both electroacoustic composition and performance. Its main interest is an exploration of acousmatic music: music which is composed using recorded source material as its basis, and which is more concerned with the organic rather than architectonic disposition of sound.

Practical techniques for composing electroacoustic music will be established, including basic and more advanced non real-time sound processing. The concept of the sonic image will be visited and the difficulty of marrying composed (virtual) space and performed (real) space pursued.

Summary of Intended Learning Outcomes

  • An understanding of the aesthetic background of electroacoustic music
  • An ability to produce creative work in the electroacoustic medium
  • An overview of non real-time digital signal processing as it is used in electroacoustic composition
  • An awareness of the use and limitations of composed space in electroacoustic composition
  • An understanding of electroacoustic music performance praxis, including an overview of the merits and demerits of the various common multi-channel formats currently available
January - February 2006
Non Real-Time Systems (P01183)
Peter Nelson
Credit Points : 20 | SCQF Level : 11 | Acronym : ACE-P-NRTS

Flexibility and the ability to combine various approaches, integrating the results of one system into another environment is the key to creative and constantly developing work in this field. Experience in real-time audio programming in Max/MSP is thus compared and contrasted here with non-real time systems, in particular concentrating on the benefits of such and where and when to apply these non real-time techniques.

As well as gaining experience programming in these environments (which may include all or some of Common Lisp Music, Common Music, Common Music Notation, Supercollider, CMusic, CSound, CMix etc.) students will be exposed to general-purpose, text-based programming paradigms and their use in generating compositional structure. This experience of algorithmic composition may then be combined with synthesis/signal processing or in the generation of musical scores. The whole is aimed at enriching the composer's compositional palette, enabling them to assess different approaches and thus choose appropriate tools for future projects.

Summary of Intended Learning Outcomes

  • An understanding and appreciation of the advantages of non real-time systems and when to use them instead of real-time environments
  • An ability to contrast and compare computer music-making environments
  • A practical understanding of computer programming paradigms and their relation to and potential generation of compositional structure
  • Experience of generating musical notation algorithmically
  • An enriched compositional palette
October - December, 2005
Media and Culture (P00175)
Richard Coyne
Credit Points : 20 | SCQF Level : 11 | Acronym : ACE-P-MC

This is an introduction to the issues that surround the emergence of digital design today. Seminar and lecture sessions cover topics that enable students to discuss the impact of digital technology from its immediate practical application to the long term redefinition of the design professions. The development of a broad social and psychological understanding of the nature and role of information, metaphor and interface will also form an important component of the course. Research methods will be covered in this course. Key texts by thinkers who have contributed new ideas and generated fresh debate about living and working in the digital age will be studied, which will provide the basis for focused discussions about how digital design is developing or could develop. Sessions will therefore be devoted to the major concepts and theoretical approaches which have a bearing on the practice of digital design, canvassing issues such as technological determinism, utopianism, technoromanticism, concepts of language, typology, space and the body informed by digital technology. The course will also incorporate lectures on the practical social, legal and cultural ramifications of digital media: usability, intellectual property and the popular media.

Summary of Intended Learning Outcomes

A forward-thinking, global approach to design and the impact of technology. A more developed overview of the key philosophical ideas that have informed understanding of digital media. The ability to discuss project work in terms of recent theoretical ideas. The ability to be critical of digital technology and aware of its strengths and limitations. A re-conceptualisation of the student's own working method/aspirations. An appreciation of the issues of people-centred design and usability.

November - December, 2005
Real-Time Performance Strategies and Design (P01182)
Michael Edwards
Credit Points : 20 | SCQF Level : 11 | Acronym : ACE-P-RTPSD

Functioning as the students' main introduction to the Max/MSP real-time computer music environment, this course will provide a detailed overview of the capabilities and potential of this system as well as insights into effective real-time music programming in general. Apart from learning the skills and gaining the basic knowledge necessary to effective work with Max/MSP, the students will be encouraged to think creatively and solve the problems inherent in realising a musical project from the very inkling of an idea right through to its implementation and performance. In particular, an approach of problem analysis, division into modules, and eventual solution will be encouraged that results in good programming practice.

In addition, classic and current synthesis and signal processing algorithms will be introduced along with methods to implement and combine them. Always taking a practical approach, the aims of the course will lead to the students' harnessing of the various technologies in a well planned, coordinated, and executed performance environment.

Summary of Intended Learning Outcomes

  • An ability to turn performance goals into well-structured, functioning performance programmes
  • A good proficiency in programming within the Max/MSP environment
  • An overview of some of the synthesis and signal processing procedures that may be applied in real time
  • A feel for interface design and how best to efficiently interact with the computer during performance
  • An awareness of the way in which computer music technology works at a basic level and how best to work with it
October - November, 2005
Sound Design Media (P00185)
Martin Parker
Credit Points : 20 | SCQF Level : 11 | Acronym : ACE-P-SDM

In this course students will become aquainted with the technologies that are used in digital sound design. Of particular emphasis will be the possibilities of sound production in the recording studio and editing in the digital domain. This course will be workshop based and hands on in its teaching approach.

Keywords : Sound Design, Digital Media, Sound Editing, Production Techniques, Sound Categorisation, Sound Libraries, Microphone Technique, Studio Engineering, Studio Technique

Summary of Intended Learning Outcomes

Ability to work with professional sound design software tools. Ability to work in a collaborative context of group review and critique. Ability to engage in a creative task within tightly constrained bounds and to present the outcome to conform to precise specifications. Ability to interpret and apply a set of requirements pertaining to a sound design task.