Computer Music: Musc 216
Project 1 (20% of final grade)


Date due: See the Class Schedule for the due date

See Alternative Projects

PROJECT 1 will consist of a short original electro-acoustic music composition (approximately 60 seconds) containing tracks of sound files which you create, process, and organize using procedures demonstrated in class. The Project will be described in a Written Summary containing details of the techniques you used to create the Project. If any part of Project 1 [original sounds (SYD files), the final mixed aiff file, and Written Summary] is submitted late then the ENTIRE Project will be considered "late." Late Projects will be accepted; however, the letter-grade evaluation for the Project will be lowered one letter grade for EACH DAY the Project (or any part of the project) is late (i.e., from A to B). See Late Assignments.

The project will be submitted by:

1. copying your files onto a CD
2. printing a HARD COPY of your Written Summary which describes your work.
3. submitting your CD and printed Written Summary in an 8.5 x 11 manilia envelope to the Instructor's mailbox at the Blair School of Music (2400 Blakemore Ave.)

Part I (organizing your Project CD) (10%)

Part II (your Original Sounds, including original SYD files) (20%)

Part III (the completed Composition) (50%)

Part IV (the Written Summary) (20%)

How Your Project Will Be Graded

CHECKLIST for submitting your Project Folder

Common problems experienced while working on Project1

Submitting your Project

FAQ's

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Part I (organizing your STUDENT FOLDER and your Project CD) - 10% of your overall Project1 grade

You should submit your Project on a CDR type disk. DO NOT use a CD-RW. With these computers, a CD-RW is not always reliable and may be unreadable.

Before you begin your Project, you should create a folder in the SharedFolder called: Project1YourLastName (for example, Project1Landes). All your Project1 files should be kept in this folder. You should not under any circumstances plan to use your VUSpace as your primary folder because you will experience problems with this when you are assembling your Project on SoundTrackPro. You should use the SharedFolder located on your local computer HD for primary storage and then you can use your VUSpace as backup storage.

When you get ready to copy your final Project1 files to your CD for submission, you should copy your entire Project1 folder. In the event that your Project1 folder exceeds about 700 MB, then you will have to delete any files which you do not use in your finished project, particularly sound files and any BACKUP COPIES of your Project which you may have created.

Here are the specific FOLDERS you should create in your Project1 folder:

1. JSyd Files for the REQUIRED JSyd files

2. Documents -- for example, a Word file of your Written Summary

3. OtherFiles -- any other files associated with your Project which you may want to include

4. MidTermExam -- you should include the files from your MidTerm Exam on your Project1 CD

When you begin work on your Project in SoundTrackPro, you should save that file in your Project1 folder and be sure to select "Collect Audio Files" -- this will automatically collect all the sound files you have in your SoundTrackPro document and COPY them directly into your Project1 folder for you. Consequently, you DO NOT HAVE TO MANUALLY copy the files into your Project1 folder -- SoundTrackPro will do it for you. For you to see the "Collect Audio Files" option, you have to have already placed at least one soundfile into a SoundTrackPro track.

Here is an example of what your Project1 folder may look like:

Notice the three files at the bottom of the directory:

Project1.aif
The EXPORTED MIXED document
Project1.stmp
The SoundTrackPro document
Project1Normalized.aiff The final NORMALIZED stereo file

Once you save your SoundTrackPro document and collect the audio files into your Project1 folder, any new audio files will also be copied into this folder when you save your work as long as you choose the save option from the File pulldown menu:

Save (Collected)

Do not under any circumstances move any of the sound files once you save and collect them into your Project1 folder because this will disrupt the pathname directory for your SoundTrackPro document and you may end up loosing your work.

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Part II (Your Sounds) -- Assembling your composition using SoundTrackPro.

The sounds you use in your composition may consist of the following types of sounds:

• Original sounds you create from scratch using JSYD. These can be sounds you've already created from your homework assignments as well as new sounds you create as you need them.

• Sound effect soundfiles, for example from the SoundIdeas folder or from sound files you may have downloaded from the Internet. See some of these links:

Index of P800 Sounds

Index of Motorola MPx200 Tones

siemens.humlak.cz

• Loop files. These can be found in this directory:

Wilson1/Library/Audio/Apple Loops/Apple Loops for SoundTrackProPro

• Sounds you record yourself, such as your own voice.

Using SoundtrackPro, you will arrange your soundfiles in multiple tracks in order to assemble your electro-acoustic music composition. When you save your SoundTrackPro document (and collect the audio files), you may have a file names such as:

Project1.stmp

You should plan to demonstrate many of the special features of SoundTrackPro in your project such as:

Effects
Volume and Pan Envelopes

Also, you should be careful as you are assembling your project not to create any CLIPPING. This is easy to manage by adjusting the individual track levels as well as the Master volume control. Check the output levels in the top right-hand corner of SoundTrackPro. If you need help with this, ask the Professor for assistance.

When you have finshed assembling your composition, you should EXPORT a MIXED version into your Project1 folder. This will create a stereo AIF file. You should save this MIXED version with the same file name as the SoundTrackPro document which created it, for example:

Project1.aif

Finally, using Amadeus II, you will NORMALIZE your MIXED composition and then save this file with a file name such as:

Project1Normalized.aiff

Here are the MINIMUM requirements for the types of sounds you must include in your Project:

• 10 original JSYD sounds (these are sounds you have created from scratch using JSYD or they can be sounds you've already created from your homework assignments.).

The following types of sounds are sounds we covered in class. All these categories of sounds must be included in your finished project and described in detail in your Written Summary:

Additive Synthesis

FM Synthesis

Noise with filters

The 10 original SYD sounds must be uniquely different from each other. Consequently, merely changing a few parameters such as frequency and amplitude will not constitute a unique sound.

The SYD sounds you create will exist in TWO formats: (1) the original SYD patches, (2) their exported AIFF or WAV files which are then used in SoundTrackProto build your composition. When you submit your Project, you must submit the original SYD patches so they can be evaluated as part of your Project.

• 3 sound effect files from some source like the SoundIdeas Folder or one of the Apple Loops Folder.

• 1 sound from another source (for example, recording your own voice on your computer). If you sample music from a CD recording (or import an MP3 file), it must be processed such that it is not just a duplication of the original sample (play it backwards, change the pitch, tempo, etc.).

Altogether, a minimum of 14 separate (and uniquely different) sounds are required to be used appropriately in your composition. There is no maximum for the number of sounds you can use as long as you meet the MINIMUM requirements.

When you are creating an AIFF or WAV files from SYD patches, BE SURE TO SAVE THE ORIGINAL SYD PATCH AS A FILE SEPARATE FROM ITS AIFF OR WAV FILE. You cannot convert an AIFF file or WAV file back into a SYD patch file. The file format of a SYD patch is a TEXT file, not a digital sound file.

Aesthetically, you have many options regarding the overall organization of your electro-acoustic composition:

1. Randomally place sounds creating a kind of sound collage

2. Copy the form and style of an existing composition (see the Listening Quiz examples)

3. Use some underlying structure such as Golden Mean, Fibonacci numbers, prime numbers, etc. These procedures were demonstrated in class and can be included as part of your Project Description, for example in the concluding paragraph: Techniques demonstrated in class which I used in my Project (see below under Written Summary.

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Part III (the Completed Composition)

The length of your finished composition should be approximately 60 seconds. The exact length should not be less than exactly 55 seconds or longer than exactly 144 seconds or you will have points deducted from the final grade.

The finished composition should :

- use many of the soundfiles you created with JSYD (see guidlines above)
- not use more than 10 seconds total of sampled CD recordings
- not use more than 30 seconds total of loop files
- there is no limit on the number of sound effect files
- be an AIFF file which has no instances of CLIPPING
- be NORMALIZED to exactly 100% of peak amplitude (0.0 db)
- demonstrate a variety of techniques demonstrated in class
- utilize many of the EFFECTS in SoundTrackPro, particularly panning, envelopes, reverb, etc.
- demonstrate some aspects of "good composition" as described in class
- show your individual creativity

You will "assemble" your original music composition using SoundTrackPro. There is no "correct" way to produce an original electro-acoustic music composition except to assemble and process the various components in ways that please YOU. For guidance please see the tutorial, Creating Your Own Electro-acoustic Music Composition. One way to think of assembling your sounds into a composition is to think of it like a musical collage (or montage).

See collage
See collage
See collage
See collage

As you work on your Project1 in SoundTrackPro you will be saving it as a SoundTrackPro file. This will preserve all your edits and effects and keep all the sounds in their own discreet and separate tracks. However, the FINISHED composition should be EXPORTED as a "MIXED" file which will create a stereo AIFF file that can be played on any wave editor or can be burned to a CD.

Before you export the mixed file, you should listen to it ALL THE WAY THROUGH to determine if there is any clipping. If there is an instance of clipping, you need to adjust the Master Volume control. Any clipping in the final mixed and normalized file will result in a lowered grade of 10 points for every instance of clipping.

After you export the AIFF file, you still need to NORMALIZE it to 100% amplitude. If you use the SoundTrackPro soundfile editor, it uses the DECIBEL convention. Consequently, you should normalie it to 0.0 db (the equivalent of 100% amplitude). If you use AmadeusII, you should use the "Maximal Sample Power" reference point and enter 100% as the value.

Name your finished Project1 composition: Project1.YourLastName (for example, Project1.Landes).

Factors which could negatively affect the final grade of your Project:

The presence of digital noise that results from an original CLIPPED sound file: minus 5 points for each one.

The length of your finished composition should be approximately 60 seconds. If the length is less than exactly 55 seconds or longer than exactly 144 seconds: minus 10 points.

You make no effort to add effects (reverb, delay, chorus, panning, etc.) to the various tracks of your composition in SoundTrackPro: minus 10 points.

You do not have your your Project Folder organized well. Consequently, I have to search through all your folders to find the correct files to evaluate. minus 20 points. This includes such instances as multiple copies of your SoundTrackPro document, multiple copies of your exported and normalized mixed aiff file, etc.

One or more of the track LINKS in your SoundTrackPro file are" broken", so when I open your SoundTrackPro file I have to search through all your files in your Project Folder to try to re-link one or more files. Minus 10 points.

If your Finished Composition (along with related files) and Written Summary are not submitted together, the whole Project will be considered LATE. No time extensions will be given for any reason.

The Written Summary MUST BE SUBMITTED AS A HARD COPY (i.e., printed). E-mailed documents will not be accepted.

There are no preconceptions regarding style or content for your Project. However you must make an effort to demonstrate techniques which have been discussed and demonstrated in class and then DESCRIBE THESE in your Written Summary.

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Part IV (the Written Summary)

You should prepare a written summary which describes your Project. This summary should include detailed information about the techniques you used to create your original sound files and what aesthetic (artistic) decisions you made to organize your final composition. It would be best to itemize your sounds. For example, Sound #1 (description), Sound #2 (description), etc.

The written summary should be approx. 3 -4 double-spaced typed pages with a cover page. The paper should be submitted in "hard-copy" form. Margins should be 1 inch on all sides. Maximum font size should be 12 points, for example 12 pt. Times. E-mailed documents will not be accepted.

Your completed written summary should include the following:

Title page (1 page)

Body of the paper (3 -4 double-spaced typed pages), or more if you have lots of sounds.

An introductory paragraph which describes your project and your composition. Think of this as a short ABSTRACT which anyone could read and understand something about the background of your project, its possible impact on the listener, and anything else you think appropriate.

A listing and description of your sounds in this format:

Sound 1: Bell (location 00:5:22). I created this sound with SYD using additive synthesis techniques. The sound is 6 seconds long and I outputted it as an AIFF file. See the original SYD patch ("Bell1.syn") on my CD in the folder, "SYD Files." I manipulated the sound in Amadeus II by playing the sound backwards. In SoundTrackPro I added reverb and chorus and panned the sound to the left speaker.

Sound 2: Automobile Engine (location 00:7:04). This is a sound I found in the SoundIdeas Folder. The sound is 2 seconds long. In SoundTrackPro I added reverb and chorus and panned the sound from left to right speaker.

Sound 3: .............

.

.

.

Two concluding paragraphs which describe:

How I made my composition uniquely original: I used a total or 22 original sounds including 3 extra FM SYD patches. In addition, I used a total of 5 Ear Shot Sampler files and 4 of my own recorded sounds......

Techniques demonstrated in class which I used in my Project: The overall finished project is divided into two parts which represent a TENSION and RELAXATION. In addition there is a CLIMAX to the piece in the 2nd part which occurs at the Golden Mean location of the ..... Other interesting relationships include the use of PRIME NUMBER repetitions of specific events....

Total: 5-6 pages


How your Project will graded:

A Project which meets the minimum requirements (using the minimum number of sounds, your SYD files are the same as the tutorials with no additional creative material, etc.) will result in the grade of B (86).

The grade of A+ (100) will be reserved for only the most outstanding Projects.

Going beyond the minimum requiremnts with a well-written Summary, well organized CD, and an interesting, creative SoundTrackPro File will result in the grade of A (96).

If there are any doubts on the part of the Professor regarding whether you have met or exceeded the minimum requirements, then the decision will be made that you HAVE NOT. If you have doubts, please add more original material and document it well in your Paper.

Part I (organizing your Project CD) (10%)

Part II (your Original Sounds, including original SYD files) (20%)

Part III (the completed Composition) (50%)

Part IV (the Written Summary) (20%)

The grading ratio of the Project will be:

Organizing your Project CD (10% of the total Project grade)

You must have your Project1 CD organized as described above. Your finished SoundTrackPro file, the exported AIF file, and the final NORMALIZED aif file all should be included in the Project1 directory. The Project1 folder name MUST have YOUR NAME associated with it, such as:

Project1.Landes

A submitted CD which is not organized well (for example, all files, including your MidTerm Exam files are in the same directory with no sub-directories) will not receive any credit for this requirement.

Submit your CD in a CD jewell case or CD envelope.

Soundfiles generated from your JSYD Patches (20% of the total Project grade)

10 points. One point for each of your 10 required JSYD files. Did you include your SYD files (patches) with the final project? You are required to have a MINIMUM of 10 UNIQUE SYD sounds and the original JSYD patches (files) should be submitted as part of the Project. See Original Sounds.

10 points. subjectively determined for the following:

Are the five JSYD sounds reasonably unique patches? Simply changing one or two parameters is not good enough.

Do the JSYD sounds represent techniques demonstrated in class? You need ADDITIVE, FM, and FILTER techniques. Describe these in detail in the Written Summary.

Your Composition (50% of the total Project grade)

Are there a minimum of 14 different sounds? 10 points

Are the sounds processed with effects? 10 points

Did you use some sound effect files (see above under Part II: Your Sounds)? 5 points

Did you use at least one other type of sound (such as recording your own voice?) 5 points

Is the length of the project within the project limitations (approx. 60 seconds, or exactly 55 - 144 seconds)? 10 points

Did you go beyond the minimum requirements to produce a CREATIVE project? 10 points

Are there instances of CLIPPING in your SoundTrackPro file or in the final AIFF mix? minus 5 points for each instance

Written Summary (20% of the total Project grade)

You have an introductory paragraph which describes your composition and how it is organized: 5 points

You clearly itemized your original sounds: 5 points

You described the techniques you used to create each sound: 5 points

You have two conluding paragraphs which describe (1) how you made your composition uniquely original and, (2) techniques you used which were demonstrated in class: 5 points

---------------

Is the paper well organized and easy to read? If not then deduct 5 points

Have you checked for spelling and punctuation? Spelling and punctuation mistakes will result in a deduction of 5 points.

Is there a TITLE PAGE (cover page)? If not, deduct 5 points

Submission of your Project

Did you submit your project COMPLETE and on time? full credit

If any part of your project is submitted late, then the entire project is LATE. Lowered by ONE letter grade

Did you submit your CD in a jewell case or CD cover? minus 10 points -- even though you have submitted your Project in a manila envelope, you STILL need to put your Project CD in a protective sleeve or jewell case.

Did you write your name, email address and telephone # on the CD with a PERMANENT MARKER? minus 10 points

Did you submit your entire Project in an 8.5 x 11 manila envelope as described above? minus 25 points

Did you write your name, email address and telephone # on the outside of the manila envelope? minus 10 points

Your CD directory is not organized well:

1. you have multiple copes of your SoundTrackPro file or exported mixed AIFF file or written summary at the highest level of your Project Folder directory such that I cannot easily tell which files to evaluate -- minus 10 pts. EACH

2. You have not named yourmain project files (SoundtrackPro file and exported aiff files) according to the directions above -- minus 10 pts. EACH

3. All files are in the same directory with no sub-directories at all -- FAILURE for entire Project.



CHECKLIST for the various aspects of Project 1

You should submit your Project on a CDR type disk. DO NOT use a CD-RW. With these computers, a CD-RW is not always reliable and may be unreadable.

Here are the Folders and Files which will probably be included on your Project 1 CD which you submit. The actual names of your Foldes and Files do not have to be exactly like these. However, you should use this as a guideline for HOW to organize your submitted CD:


Here is a CHECKLIST of items you should go over before you submit your Project:

1. Your Project Folder is organized well (specifically related to the submitted CD)

2. You should submit your Project on a CDR type disk. DO NOT use a CD-RW. With these computers, a CD-RW is not always reliable and may be unreadable.

3. 10 original JSYD sounds (including the ORIGINAL JSYD files which I can open and evaluate in JSYD)

4. Minimum of 4 other types of sounds

5. Other soundfiles you decide to use (optional)

6. Examples of Effects and Envelopes (volume and pan) available in SoundTrackPro -- NO CLIPPING!!

7. Original SoundTrackPro version of your completed composition

8. An exported MIXED stereo AIFF file version of your completed composition

9. A NORMALIZED (100 %) final version of your exported AIFF file

10. A file COPY of your Written Summary in Microsoft WORD format (you should also submit a HARD COPY). Put this file in the Documents folder on your CD.

11. All files are copied onto a CD which is clearly labeled with a permanent marker: your name, e-mail address, and phone number.

12. A TYPED hardcopy of your Written Summary which is about 5 pages total: title page, 3-4 double-spaced pages describing your work.

13. Cover Page with appropriate information (title, your name, course#, etc.)

14. Introducory paragraph; 2 concluding paragraphs (see above).

15. Each sound is itemized clearly in your paper and describes its unique features.

16. The CD and and hard copy of the Written Summary is placed in an 8.5 x 11" MANILLA ENVELOPE (not a file folder). An envelope has a flap that can be closed so your materials won't fall out. Submitting your project in a file folder will result in a significant deduction of your grade. The Envelope is clearly labeled with your name, e-mail address and phone number.

17. Your completed Project as described above should be given to the Receptionist at the Blair School of Music by the Due Date to be placed in my mail box. See the Class Schedule for the DUE DATE.



Common problems experienced while working on Project1

Common problems experienced by students as they are working to finish and submit the final version of Project 1 include:

-- You cannot import a JSYD file into Soundtrack

SOLUTION:

You have not exported your JSYD patch as an AIFF file. Please redo the SYD Tutorial 4: Output to Memory, AIFF or WAV.

-- You cannot place a sound file into Soundtrack

SOLUTION:

The sound file you're trying to place is COMPRESSED. SoundTrackPro will not allow you to place compressed files. So, you will have to open the file in AmadeusII and then re-save it as an uncompressed AIFF file. Also, there is possibility that the soundfile is an MP3 file. If this is the case, you will need to open the MP3 file in AmadeusII and then RESAVE it as na UN-COMPRESSED AIFF file.

-- You place sound file you made of a music track into SoundTrackPro but it doesn't play at the ORIGINAL tempo. For example, it is too fast or two slow.

SOLUTION:

SoundTrackPro is seeing the file as a LOOP-type file. You will have to open the file in SoundTrackPro's Apple Loop Utility and change it to a "One-Shot" type file. The SoundTrackPro Apple Loop Utility is an application located in the Utilities folder, which is in the Applications folder. Ask the Instructor for assistance if you cannot find this application or cannot figure out how to use it.

-- When I play my SoundTrackPro file, it "jerks" and "starts and stops." Also, the sound drops out sometimes.

SOLUTION:

You have placed soundfiles in your SoundtrackPro document which are not located on the HardDrive of your computer. Maybe they are located on a CD in the CD drive or on your flash memory card, or on your mounted VU Space. You should copy any sound files you intened to use from EXTERNAL SOURCES into the Shared Folder of your Computer and then place them in to your Project from there. Do not under any circumstances move a sound file from its directory after you place it into one of SoundTrackPro's tracks.

-- I've sampled some music from one of my CD's and converted it to a WAV file. But SoundTrackPro won't let me place it in a track.

SOLUTION:

The soundfile may be COMPRESSED. Use AmadeusII to convert the file to an AIFF format and make SURE it's not a compressed file.

--You saved your Composition file in the Shared Folder the last time you were in the lab but now you can't find it anywhere (!!)

SOLUTION:

Solution 1: Maybe you actually worked on another computer the last time. Consequently, you will have to try to remember which computer you worked on the last time you were in the lab and then go to that computer and log on (if someone is currently using that computer, maybe you can ask him/her to move to another computer).

Solution 2: Since the Shared Folder is a public folder, EVERYONE has access to that folder and its contents. Consequently, there is a possibility that someone used the computer since you last worked on it and has DELETED all your material. Be sure to make a backup copy of ALL your work when you finish for the day. Although it is unlikely that anyone would intentionally delete your work, there is no guarantee that your files will remain in the Shared Folder from session to session.

-- The last time you worked on your Project, You saved all your Project files in the Documents folder instead of the Shared folder but now you can't find them anywhere (!!)

SOLUTION:

Do NOT save your work in the Documents folder! Even though you save your work in the Documents and it appears that all the files are SAFE, the computers are CLONED regularly. Consequently, files and folders you created may be automatically deleted. The ONLY FOLDER which remains relatively safe at startup is the Shared Folder. Be sure to make a backup copy of ALL your work when you finish for the day.



Submitting Your Project

Please see the Class Schedule for the due date of Project 1.

1. These are the EXACT folders and files which you must include on your Project CD:

- Your original SoundTrackPro File

- Your MIXED aiff file

- The 'collected' files which were copied to the top of the directory when you first saved your SoundTrack Pro document.

- Your Written Summary as a WORD document. You MUST submit a hard copy along with your project; however, you should also include a WORD file of your Summary as well.

JSyd Files for the REQUIRED JSyd files

Documents -- for example, a Word file of your Written Summary

OtherFiles -- any other files associated with your Project which you may want to include

MidTermExam -- you should include the files from your MidTerm Exam on your Project1 CD

Any other folders you think appropriate and which would help you organize your Project.

2. Test your Project CD on a Macintosh computer in the Electronic Classroom. CD's which are submitted and do not mount on a Macintosh computer will be considered LATE. See Late Assignments.

3. Submit your Project by putting your CD with related files and printed Written Summary in an 8.5 x 11" MANILLA ENVELOPE. Make sure the following information is printed on the OUTSIDE of the ENVELOPE:

- your name
- your e-mail address
- your phone number

Also make sure your name, e-mail address and phone number are clearly marked on the CD with a permanent marker.

4. Bring your Project to the Blair School of Music Office and ask the receptionist to place it in the Instructor's mail box. Please note: the Blair School of Music Office closes at 5:00 p.m. Any projects submitted after the Office closes will be considered LATE. See Late Assignments.



FAQ's

1. Can I submit a project I did in another class to count for the Project in this class? No. All work for your Project should be original work for this class.

2. Can I create my project on another application such as Cool Edit Pro and then submit it to you for credit for this project? No. Part of your grade for this Project will be your actual SoundTrackPro file, including you links, effects, panning, etc. Consequently, you need to create your project on SoundTrackProand not on another application.

3. Do I have to use SYD file exports in this project? Yes. And, you have to include the original SYD files along with your submitted project.

4. What happens if my computer crashes and I loose all my work. You will have to start from scratch and build your project again. No time extensions will be given due to the fact that you didn't backup your work.

5. What happens if someone deletes my folder from my Shared Folder and I don't have a backup copy. You will have to start from scratch and build your project again. No time extensions will be given due to the fact that you didn't backup your work.

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