Foundations of Music Technology

Foundations of Music Technology

California Institute of the Arts

The Foundations of Music Technology Program prepares learners for a career in Music Technology through courses taught by experts from California Institute of the Arts. This project-based program covers the fundamentals of digital audio, mixing and producing music using Ableton Live, sound synthesis theory and history using Reaktor, and an introduction to computer music programming using the ChucK programming language. Upon completion, students will be able to demonstrate mastery of core music technology skills and how they relate to one another.

Learning Outcomes

  • Understanding of the fundamentals of digital audio, mixing, and production
  • Understanding of sound synthesis theory and history
  • Ability to utilize computer music programming knowledge to create original works


4 Courses
30 Sessions / 6.0 hours of work per session
268 Lesson videos
Course 1: Ableton Live Course: Sound Production for Musicians and Artists Starts in 3 days
  • Session 1: Introduction to Ableton Live
  • Session 2: The Nature of Sound
  • Session 3: Levels and Panning
  • Session 4: Sculpting Frequencies: Equalization
  • Session 5: Reverb and Space
  • Session 6: Compression and Dynamics
  • Session 7: Slicing and Dicing: Sampling in Live
  • Session 8: Parallel Signal Processing: Ableton Racks
  • Session 9: Inside/Outside: Advanced MIDI, Syncing Laptops, Mapping Strategies, and Audio Analysis
Course 2: Sound Synthesis Using Reaktor Starts in 3 days
  • Session 1: Intro to Synthesis
  • Session 2: Subtractive Synthesis
  • Session 3: Ring Modulation and FM Synthesis
  • Session 4: Percussion Synthesis
  • Session 5: Sequencers in REAKTOR
  • Session 6: Wavetable Synthesis
  • Session 7: Granular Synthesis
  • Session 8: Physical Modelling
  • Session 9: Additive Synthesis
Course 3: Introduction to Real-Time Audio Programming in ChucK Starts in 3 days
  • Session 1: Basics: Sound, Waves, and ChucK Programming
  • Session 2: ChucK Libraries and Intro to Arrays
  • Session 3: Sound File Manipulation in ChucK
  • Session 4: Functions in ChucK
  • Session 5: Unit Generators and Physical Models
  • Session 6: Multi-Threading and Concurrency
  • Session 7: Classes and Object-Oriented Programming
  • Session 8: Live Control: Keyboard, Mouse, MIDI & OSC
Course 4: The Modern Music Technologist * Starts in 3 days
  • Session 1: The Music Technologist: Historical Examples and Case Studies
  • Session 2: Music Technology: Intelligence, Interaction, and Design
  • Session 3: Bring It All together: Project Proposal
  • Session 4: Comment and Critique: Strategies for Effective Evaluation of Music Technology-Based Practices
* Program exclusive course

Featured Coursework


Skill Level : Beginner

Equipment: Computer with installation privileges
Software: Ableton Live, Reaktor, ChucK

This program is at a beginner level, however a basic prior familiarity with digital audio, synthesis, or programming would be ideal.

Upon completion you'll earn
  • A verified Specialist Certificate that prove you completed the Program and mastered the subject.*
  • A verified course Certificate for each individual course you complete in the program.*

* Each certificate earned is endorsed by Kadenze and the offering institution(s).

Price: $45 USD * ($600 USD)

ON SALE! That's $555 off the original price!

Specialist Certificate

Receive a Specialist Certificate by earning a Certificate of Accomplishment in each course within a Program.
Students earn a Certificate of Accomplishment for any course they complete with a grade of 65% or higher.
Using its unique link, you can share your certificate with everyone from future employers and schools to friends, family, and colleagues.

Why join a Program?

Becoming a specialist in a subject requires a highly tuned learning experience connecting multiple related courses. Programs unlock exclusive content that helps you develop a deep understanding of your subject. From your first course to your final summative assessment, our thoughtfully curated curriculum enables you to demonstrate your newly acquired skills.

Program Benefits
Access an exclusive curriculum taught by expert instructors and industry leaders
Earn a verified Specialist Certificate with a unique shareable link
Submit and share coursework
Enroll in credit-eligible Programs and receive college credit (when applicable)
Receive grades and feedback
Build a portfolio to showcase your work
Participate in forum discussions
Receive exclusive discounts on select Program materials
Test your new specialty with a summative assessment
Collaborate with peers