Electronic Musical Instrument Design

Spring, 2015 • Assignments

Assignment is due on specified date


Mar 2

Read: in course pack, "The Wind Cries MIDI"

Lab: Do Max Tutorial>Data>List Processing (it's long)
Lab: Do Max Tutorials>Basics>
        Encapsulation, Remote Messaging, Timing, Controlling Data Flow.

•  for March 3 (Tuesday), due before 6 pm:
Download this Gesture/sensor list. Think of sensors for each movement. Fill in the list and e-mail it to the instructor.

• for March 4:
Lab: do a more complex Max patch using a keyboard or MPD for input.


Feb 25

Read: article on variable resistors, on site
Read: Electronics Club article on switches: http://electronicsclub.info/switches.htm
Read: Article on Sharp IR sensors: http://www.acroname.com/robotics/info/articles/sharp/sharp.html
Read: Analog Devices paper on capacitive sensing, on site
Read on the Sparkfun site:
https://www.sparkfun.com/products/8607
https://www.sparkfun.com/products/8678
https://www.sparkfun.com/products/12787
https://www.sparkfun.com/products/13027


Feb 23

Lab: Create an original Max patch using the MPD or Novation keyboard (setup 15), linked to Reason. Remap notes and controllers as you like in Max.
Read: sensorsandcircuits.pdf, through page 10, EEs read to page 24
Read: Roberto Aimi’s PowerPoint presentation), sensors4music2008.ppt.htm, online


Feb 19

Read in course pack: Samchillian paper
Read: Lehrman, Report on NIME 2005 for SoundOnSound (long version) online
Read in course pack: Lehrman, Performing Musician, NIME 2009


Feb 18

Read: Reason 6.5 Operation manual, chapter 32 (p.633)
Lab: do something with one of the MPD26 controllers and one or more Reason modules.
Lab: Do Max Tutorials. In Max 6.1, go to Help>Welcome to Max> Documentation>Tutorials (upper right)>Max Tutorials>
Basic tutorials 1-8
MIDI tutorials 1-3
Do not Save over Tutorial patches!! (use Save As... if you want to save them)

If you want to install Max on your own computer (30-day demo), download it here.
Here are the demo patches shown in class.


Feb 9

Lab (due Feb 11): Make a Subtractor patch, starting from scratch or from another patch, that uses the Impulse controls in an interesting way.
Read on computers/site/Google drive: Reason 5 Getting Started , chapter 3 (p.28), and Reason 6.5 Operation manual chapter 29 (p.541).
Read online: Lehrman, Report on NIME for SoundOnSound
Read in course pack: Lehrman, Performing Musician, NIME 2009
Read in course pack: Electronic Musician, "Banging Out the Beats"


Jan 28

Read: What Is MIDI part 3
Read in course pack: Synth School
Read online: Tanaka 2011 pdf


Jan 26

Read in course pack:
• Profile: Michel Waisvisz
• article from Electronic Musician "The Outer Limits"—it's long!
• booklet: "What Is MIDI?", parts 1 and 2 (if you haven't taken Music 64 or 65)

Create a table of physical gestures. Include at least three gestures for each of these parts of the body:
Head       Mouth       Neck & Shoulders       Arms
Hands & Fingers       Torso & Hips       Legs       Feet

Columns on the table are:
      • physical gesture
      • musical gesture in common use (can be more than one)
      • musical gesture you can imagine (can be more than one)
Template (feel free to use it) is here.
Submit your assignment as a Word document e-mailed to the instructor before Sunday 9 pm.


Jan 21

Read in course pack:
• Wilkinson chapters 1 ("Musical Physics" pp 2-5) and 2 "Synthesis" (pp 9-15, up to "Physical Modeling"). Even if you have read this for another class, it's good to review it anyway!
• "Bikes Harps & Yo-Yos " (also on line here [pdf])
• “The Fanciest Washboard…” (also online here)


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