Open For Enrollment

Starts Today

Join Now
You can also choose to start immediately after joining!

Would you like to enroll?

Enrollment for this course has closed. But you can enroll in a future offering (please select)

Enrollment has closed

Enrollment for this course is currently closed, but the next offering will be available shortly. Check back soon!

Go at your own pace
6 Sessions / 6 hours of work per session
Price
Free
Included w/ premium membership ($20/month)
Skill Level
Intermediate
Video Transcripts
English
Topics
DAW, Music Production, Recording Techniques, EQ, Reverb, Psychoacoustics
Open For Enrollment

Experimental Foundations for Sound Design

Starts Today

Would you like to enroll?

Enrollment for this course has closed. But you can enroll in a future offering (please select)

Enrollment has closed

Enrollment for this course is currently closed, but the next offering will be available shortly. Check back soon!

Go at your own pace
6 Sessions / 6 hours of work per session
Price
Free
Included w/ premium membership ($20/month)
Skill Level
Intermediate
Video Transcripts
English
Topics
DAW, Music Production, Recording Techniques, EQ, Reverb, Psychoacoustics
Course Description

This course will focus on the application of historical and experimental analog electronic, recording, and studio techniques to deepen an understanding of the building blocks of sound creation. Presenting this course is instructor Seth Cluett, artist-in-residence at Nokia Bell Labs and instructor at Columbia University’s Computer Music Center.


By translating classic techniques ranging from Musique Concrete and Elektronische Musik to the studio experiments of Dub mixing and Les Paul into modern production platforms, composers, sound designers, sound editors, and independent filmmakers can expand their craft outside of their routine practices. Learners will create their own compositions using Ableton Live 10 and Audacity while drawing from the rich legacy of invention in electronic and experimental music. Session planning, score, and production analysis exercises will complement both small-scale sound creation and large-scale structural thinking for music production workflow.

schedule

This course is in adaptive mode and is open for enrollment. Learn more about adaptive courses here.

Session 1: Time and Structure - Planning your Sound Composition (October 22, 2019)
In this session, we’ll talk about developing ideas through digital and paper sketching sessions and timelines for mapping the energy of a piece. We’ll also discuss pre-production workflows including sound file management, collecting, and versioning.
5 lessons
1. Introduction to Course
2. A “By Any Means Necessary” Approach
3. Foundations for Structuring Your Experiments
4. Going Over Audio Media Folder Hierarchies (Premium Exclusive)
5. Auditory Vantage Point Exercise
Session 2: Early Tape Studio Techniques (October 29, 2019)
In this session, we'll explore various techniques for developing non-musical field recordings into usable material for creative production. Techniques such as the cut bell, speed change, and sample stacking will be discussed in the context of shifting from the recording to processing stage.
5 lessons
1. By Any Means Necessary
2. Musique Concète Theory
3. The Cut Bell
4. Experimenting with Cut Bell to Use
5. The Closed Loop
Session 3: The Studio as Instrument (November 5, 2019)
In this session, we will discuss delay and reverberation, sound-on-sound, as well as creative use of phasing and flanging without using plugins. Performative recording techniques using the audio workstation as a mixing console to capture real-time effects manipulation will be demonstrated.
6 lessons
1. Electronic Music Studio Instruments
2. Making a Sawtooth Wave from Scratch in Audacity
3. Subtractive Synthesis by Hand (Premium Exclusive)
4. Speed change, Reverse, and Doublings
5. Experimenting with Tape Techniques in Ableton Live (Premium Exclusive)
6. Assignment Prep
Session 4: Training Your Ear for Production Analysis (November 12, 2019)
This session will be devoted to the development of advanced listening skills. Using a library of recordings, we'll identify studio techniques in familiar songs that might go unnoticed but are crucial to successful sound production.
5 lessons
1. Self Analysis
2. Directed Listening
3. Ear Reset Techniques/ Recovering From Detail Fatigue (Premium Exclusive)
4. Graphing Form in Example Track
5. Markers to Delineate Form/Time
Session 5: Spectral Balance - Timbral Orchestration (November 19, 2019)
This session will focus on large-scale layering of parts, distribution of instruments over the total frequency range of the mix, and EQ and compression as orchestration tools for production.
6 lessons
1. Introduction
2. Frequency Range and Sound Spectrum
3. Masking and Precedence Effect (Premium Exclusive)
4. Equal Loudness Curves (Premium Exclusive)
5. Spectral Density
6. Coursework
Session 6: The Sound Field - Designing Space (November 26, 2019)
In continuation of Session 5, this session will highlight techniques for designing and controlling the sense of space and immersion within the sound field of the work. Panning, amplitude, and EQ will be used in tandem with reverberation to create a compelling sound world for the listener.
8 lessons
1. Sound Stage
2. Panning (Premium Exclusive)
3. Acoustic Cues for Space
4. The Interaction Between Frequency, Reverberation, Delay, and Distance (Premium Exclusive)
5. Graphing Space
6. Producing Depth and Creating Distance pt. I
7. Producing Depth and Creating Distance pt. II (Premium Exclusive)
8. Conclusion
Reviews
Show off your Certificate of Accomplishment

Verify Your Achievements
Whenever you complete a course as a premium member, you can earn a verified Certificate of Accomplishment. These certificates are proof that you completed an online course on our platform.

Easily Shareable
Using its unique link, you can share your certificate with everyone from future employers and schools, to friends, family, and colleagues. It's the perfect tool to help you land that new job or promotion, apply to college, or simply share your achievements with the world.

Learning Outcomes

Below you will find an overview of the Learning Outcomes you will achieve as you complete this course.

Instructors & Guests
What You Need to Take This Course

Equipment: Midi controller with at least one knob and one fader + audio interface or computer with two input and two output channels.

Software: Ableton Live 9 (or 10) with Max for Live and Audacity. Prior experience with Ableton Live may be helpful in this course.

Additional Information

Please note: Taking part in a Kadenze course as a Premium Member, does not affirm that the student has been enrolled or accepted for enrollment by Columbia University.

Peer Assessment Code of Conduct: Part of what makes Kadenze a great place to learn is our community of students. While you are completing your Peer Assessments, we ask that you help us maintain the quality of our community. Please:

  • Be Polite. Show your fellow students courtesy. No one wants to feel attacked - ever. For this reason, insults, condescension, or abuse will not be tolerated.
  • Show Respect. Kadenze is a global community. Our students are from many different cultures and backgrounds. Please be patient, kind, and open-minded when discussing topics such as race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or other potentially controversial subjects.
  • Post Appropriate Content. We believe that expression is a human right and we would never censor our students. With that in mind, please be sensitive of what you post in a Peer Assessment. Only post content where and when it is appropriate to do so.

Please understand that posts which violate this Code of Conduct harm our community and may be deleted or made invisible to other students by course moderators. Students who repeatedly break these rules may be removed from the course and/or may lose access to Kadenze.

Students with Disabilities: Students who have documented disabilities and who want to request accommodations should refer to the student help article via the Kadenze support center. Kadenze is committed to making sure that our site is accessible to everyone. Configure your accessibility settings in your Kadenze Account Settings.