Digital Arts & New Media 1A: Introduction to Sound Design and Audio Production

Learn the tools and techniques used by professional sound designers and programmers. Instructors Christian Kjeldsen (sound designer – Rockstar Games) and Rob Katz (programmer – Rockstar Games) will teach you the secrets behind the creation of electronic music and the production of quality audio.

This project-based course seeks to provide both a solid foundational knowledge of the basic theories behind modern digital audio and a practical understanding of the tools used by composers, designers, and producers to create high-quality music and sound. This will include explorations of the physics of sound, basic digital theory, common audio tools, including DAWs, sequencers, samplers, synths, effects, and MIDI controllers, and practical audio techniques, including the use of loops, presets, effects, modulation, automation, and sequencing. Along the way, students will be reinforcing what they have learned through guided exercises culminating in a final composition.

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Students will learn the fundamentals of audio production and basic composition, how to describe and discuss sound, and how to create and alter sounds using modern tools. The concepts and skills taught in this course will set a foundation for future learning in fields such as the composition, sound design for various media such as television, movies, and games, and audio post-production.
The class is aimed at high school students with little or no previous audio production experience.

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This course is taught using classroom and computer lab instruction employing lecture/demonstration, in-class exercises, individual and group student projects, and class assignments leading to a final project.
Classes will include introductory theory of sound and digital audio, tools, and basic to intermediate techniques for sound manipulation. The concepts in each lesson will be further explained through a heavy use of listening examples.
Weekly assignments are required through the first part of the program. The end of the course will be spent developing an idea for a final project.