Welcome to Digital Audio Technology.
You’ll learn from the best in the business, instructors who have composed music for film and TV.
In our Audio & Music Production program, you’ll get the chance to generate sounds and effects on a rare Crumar Spirit synthesizer and manage multiple mic inputs with a powerful Millennia 8-channel pre-amp. You’ll edit digital audio and mix music in Pro Tools and Logic, as well as create stunning sonic textures and soundscapes using Native Instruments Komplete, Tassman and Pure Data.
The Audio Software Development & Engineering degree will teach you how to develop cutting-edge audio software, serving the needs of the local California Bay Area studio industry where much of the audio equipment is made.
Bachelor of Science in Digital Audio Technology
• Audio and Music Production
• Audio Software Development and Engineering
Digital Signal Processing Courses
INTRODUCTION TO THE TECHNIQUES OF DIGITAL SIGNAL PROCESSING
This course offers a non-calculus approach to understanding the fundamental concepts of Digital Signal Processing. Topics include: Using trigonometric functions to represent musical sounds; Sampling and quantization; Digital signals; Spectra; the Discrete Fourier Transform; Convolution; Z-transform; Digital Filtering.
DIGITAL SOUND SYNTHESIS
Introduction to the methods and techniques of digital waveform synthesis. Digital synthesis instrument design concepts. Waveforms and spectra, wavetable synthesis, additive synthesis, digital filters and subtractive synthesis. Noise and random event generation. Tuning and intonation systems. Linear and exponential envelopes, modulation techniques. Vibrato and tremolo, amplitude modulation, frequency modulation. Waveshaping, granular synthesis, basic physical modeling synthesis. Audio processing. Timbral consonance and dissonance. Synthesis and musical style.
DIGITAL SIGNAL PROCESSING
Introduction to digital signal processing, sampling and quantization, A/D and D/A converters, discrete time systems, Discrete Fourier Transform, convolution, z-transforms, transfer functions, digital filter realizations, and fast Fourier transforms. Introduction to digital filter design and digital audio applications.
DIGITAL SOUND DESIGN
Application of studio production skills to sound effect sourcing and generation for film and video production and post-production. Analysis of the soundtrack, sound map and visual map generation, ADR, foley. Use of professional sound effect libraries. Advanced studio- and location recording, audio editing and processing techniques, synchronization, audio post mixing, project management and delivery formats for audio for film and video.
DIGITAL FILTER DESIGN
Design of digital FIR and IIR filters. Analysis of impulse response. Z-transform and geometric methods of filter design. Design and implementation of Elliptical, Bessel, Butterworth, Chebyshev filter types. Windowing. Applications to audio.
DIGITAL AUDIO ELECTRONICS
Applications of DSP concepts to DSP devices. DSP chip architecture and opcodes. Circular buffers and convolution. Algorithm design and cross-compilation. Digital audio systems architecture and design considerations. Lab experiments taken from real-world applications such as digital filter design, reverberation and special audio effects.
Introduction to the set up and operation of a live sound installation. Basic electrical and hearing safety in the presence of live sound. The acoustics of live sound. Live sound components and their uses. Mixing and monitoring live performances. Ethical conduct in a live sound setting. Basic business transactions and contracts associated with technical services for live productions.
Exercising creativity through songwriting in a project-based format. Discussion of musical techniques, sound choices, and growth models. All aspects of song writing are considered, from the initial creative spark to musical development and presentation, collaboration, making demos, and publishing.
CULTURAL TRENDS & MUSICAL STYLE 1
A study of a selection of musical genres, production practices and the reproduction of elements characteristic to a set of genres. Focus on cultural forces, stylistic influences, music theory analysis, performance techniques, technological developments. Production of original music in a given style along with written commentary.
CULTURAL TRENDS & MUSICAL STYLE 2
Continues the historical purview and the production and writing requirements of DAT303 at a more advanced level. Focus on use of stylistic and theoretical analyses to apply established musical styles and reproduce relevant production practices.
Techniques of orchestration applied to a digital music production environment. Examination of traditional orchestrational techniques along with methods specific to digital instruments. Application to both studio music and soundtrack production projects.
MUSIC PERCEPTION AND COGNITION
Survey of research on perceptual and cognitive theories of sound and music. Topics include characteristics of sound, anatomy of the ear, hearing function, cognitive skills related to music perception, and memory in music.
Analysis of acclaimed film scores, examination of the role of music and sonic textures based on traditionally and digitally orchestrated film scores. Application of composition, arrangement and digital audio production techniques to the creation of original music for motion pictures. Music spotting, setting up synch points, tempo map, scoring to picture. Students work with live performers and/or sampled instruments to support setting, narrative, characters and action.
INTERACTIVE AUDIO PRODUCTION
Application of tools and methods of audio asset production to interactive media. Creating and using an audio design document. Audio compression formats, audio middleware tools and game audio production practices. Adaptive audio techniques and design.
STUDIO PRODUCTION 1
Introduction to recording in a studio environment. Use of a Digital Audio Workstation in a studio production environment. Basics of recording and editing. Introduction to microphone selection and placement. Signal flow in the analog and digital domains. Audio processing with outboard hardware and plug-ins. File management.
STUDIO PRODUCTION 2
Intermediate level of recording and editing. Music production, audio production for advertising. Production approaches, mixing techniques, intermediate use of compression, equalization. Spatial positioning and stereo image. Critical listening, frequency analysis, mix analysis. Creating sub-mixes, mix automation, in-depth coverage of the use of plug-ins. Session management.
STUDIO PRODUCTION 3
Advanced recording, editing and mixing techniques. Client communication and production management. Mixing under pressure. High track-count mixing. Mix analysis in diverse environments, mix conflict management, vocal sub-mixing, parallel- and serial processing. Working with MIDI- and virtual instruments, pitch- and time processing. Students at this level should work on complex projects that demonstrate knowledge and experience in a full-cycle studio production, including pre-production, managing a recording session, various mixing approaches, etc.
Final preparation of a recording for disk manufacture. Advanced use of audio compression and EQ for mastering. Crest factor. Critical listening. Understanding of manufacturing standards for optical media.
Music Fundamentals, Music Theory and Concepts Courses
Basics of musical literacy: Clefs, staves, pitch and rhythmic notation. Time signatures, key signatures and dynamics. Articulation and phrase marks. Basic scale patterns. Music manuscript practices. Other rudiments of music notation as needed to prepare for DAT102. Introductory keyboard musicianship, solfege and rhythmic practice.
DESKTOP PRODUCTION FUNDAMENTALS
Introduction to the software, methods and practices of desktop audio and music production, video editing and content delivery. Topics include an overview of computing basics, managing and processing of media, content creation and rendering audio and video files to disk. Methods for online publishing and preparation for on-the-air broadcasting are explored.
DESKTOP AUDIO PRODUCTION
Application of the principles, methods and essential tools of audio production in a desktop workstation environment. Topics include the seven basic elements of music (pitch, rhythm, timbre, texture, form, dynamics and spatialization), the methods and practices of MIDI sequencing and digital orchestration, elements of MIDI 1.0 Standard, Standard MIDI Files, fundamental concepts of digital audio, digital audio production techniques, audio file formats, effects processing and plug-ins, and basic concepts of soundtrack creation.
MUSIC THEORY 1
Thorough exercise in rudiments of music (major and minor scales, intervals, triads and seventh chords, key signatures, diatonic modes, elements of rhythm, common music notation practices, dynamics and articulations, phrase structure, diatonic chord function). Beginning ear training and harmonic analysis. Beginning solfege, rhythmic studies and keyboard musicianship.
MUSIC THEORY 2
Chord progressions, melodic shape, song forms, bass lines, and drumming patterns, introductory musical analysis and instrumental arranging. Focuses on mainstream musical styles (pop, rock, Hip Hop, etc.). Includes ear training and aural analysis. Solfege, keyboard musicianship and rhythmic studies with focus on mainstream music.
MUSIC THEORY 3
Intermediate level study of harmony, melodic shape, song forms, part-writing, instrumental arranging, intermediate musical analysis. Topics focus on world music styles and American jazz. Includes ear training and aural analysis. Intermediate solfege, rhythmic studies and keyboard musicianship with an emphasis on world music and American jazz.
MUSIC THEORY 4
Common-practice diatonic and chromatic harmony as applied to Western classical music. Part-writing, analysis of form in classical music, ear training and aural analysis. Advanced solfege, rhythmic studies and keyboard musicianship with a focus on Western classical music.
Live Sound Mixer
Location Sound Recorder
COMPANIES alumni work at