Course Content

EMAIL 15

CALLING ALL #PWYM FOLKS!!!

tumblr_m9t31sX4ER1qgcra2o1_500

We’re wrapping things up here at #PWYM, and preparing for the next course. And we need your help!

We’ve put together a nifty survey to help us get a pulse on what’s working in the course and what we can improve. Please take it!

Screen Shot 2013-12-23 at 11.42.15 AM

Rock On!

– The #PWYM Team

Tweet #pwym |  Google+  |  Play With Your Music

The Mechanical MOOC’s Play With Your Music is a collaboration between the NYU Steinhardt Department of Music and Performing Arts Professions, the MIT Media Lab and Peer 2 Peer University. For more information, please visit playwithyourmusic.org. For questions regarding the logistics of the course, please visit the Google+ community or e-mailplaywithyourmusic@gmail.com.

EMAIL 14

THAT’S RIGHT–IT’S TIME TO CELEBRATE

giphy

THANK YOU #PWYM! 

We want to say thank you from the bottom of our little musical hearts. This course is a brand-spanking new experiment, and we (Alex, Ethan, Bradford, Vanessa and Dirk) have loved seeing your projects on SoundCloud and G+.

giphy-1

#PWYM SPOTLIGHTS

François Bastien/BrokenFinga dropped the freshest mix to the G+ mix. It’s danceable, dramatic, delicate and haunting. Well done, François.

Screen Shot 2013-12-16 at 4.48.16 PM

Aaron Code’s amazing piece and stellar reflection on his process made our day. Thanks for walking through and documenting your work, and a shout-out to Glen Schneider for his solid feedback!

Screen Shot 2013-12-16 at 4.56.05 PM

Mat Houston reached out to the G+ Community with a question about Soundation, and Brad left some extended thoughtful feedback on Soundation best practices and ideas for future projects. Check it:

Screen Shot 2013-12-16 at 5.00.32 PM

WHERE TO GO FROM HERE

In this week’s course email, Alex and Ethan passed along a buffet of delicious ideas for you to make future projects. If you find more, please do post to the G+ community under #PWYMResources.

A bit of housekeeping:

THE G+ COMMUNITY LIVES ON

That’s right. We’ll be using the same G+ community for the next round of #PWYM, which starts January 15th. So you can continue to post ideas and sounds there, and you are welcome to re-take the course. Just sign up again at playwithyourmusic.org.

Also, Alex, Ethan and Brad will be staying on with the PWYM G+ community, and will continue to answer your questions. So please, do keep on posting them!

PWYM ROUND 2

We’ll be starting the next round of #PWYM on January 15. If you fell behind, you are welcome to join the next crew. Also, we’ll be working with some different content for mixing and remixing, so you’ll get to try your hand at another selection of songs. We’re pretty excited about who is going to join us…

YOUR LEARNING ENSEMBLES

We’ll be keeping these up–so feel free to continue emailing your small groups via your inbox for as long as you like 🙂

MASTERCLASS BADGE

To round out your #PWYM experience, go ahead and apply for the Masterclass Badge. In order to receive the Badge, show evidence that you’ve given feedback to someone in the #PWYM Community. From there, you can push it to the Mozilla Open Badges “Backpack” and build out your learning portfolio.

Screen Shot 2013-12-16 at 4.44.53 PM

MAKE MOAR SOUNDS

The Deutsches Symphonie Orchester Berlin is having an amazing remix contest of their recording  of the 3rd movement of the Symphony No. 9 in E minor by Antonín Dvořák, better known as the New World Symphony. More info here: http://www.dso-berlin.de/content/e36466/e54173/e54177/index_eng.html

If you don’t want to enter the contest but just want the samples to play around with, you can get them here . They’re recorded beautifully : http://www.dso-berlin.de/content/e36466/e54173/e54173/e54789/index_eng.html

And our own Ethan Hein has entered the contest–check out his project: https://soundcloud.com/ethanhein/into-a-newer-world

DOWN THE PIKE

  • The #PWYM survey will be along later this week.
  • Stay tuned for details on the #PWYM NYC Meetup!

Rock on!

The Mechanical MOOC’s Play With Your Music is a collaboration between the NYU Steinhardt Department of Music and Performing Arts Professions, the MIT Media Lab and Peer 2 Peer University. For more information, please visit playwithyourmusic.org. For questions regarding the logistics of the course, please visit the Google+ community or e-mail playwithyourmusic@gmail.com.

EMAIL 13

tumblr_mxnyv921Kg1rnvf38o1_500

Final week! Full creative license

OVERVIEW

  • Introduction to what you’ll learn in this module
  • Thanks from Clara Berry
  • Task 1: Create your PWYM masterpiece
  • Task 2: Share your masterpiece to SoundCloud
  • Where to go from here?
  • Project deliverables: An original masterpiece shared with the PWYM community

INTRODUCTION: Putting it all together

THIS MODULE (December 13 – December 20)

The sixth and final module of #PWYM provides you the opportunity to create and share your own PWYM original masterpiece. You’ve put in a lot of time and effort over the past five weeks and we want to see you apply all of the skills you’ve worked on throughout this course. You may continue using the Soundation Studio DAW, or if you would rather apply your PWYM skills in another DAW or software program of your choice, be our guest! Just like in past weeks, we’d love it if you’d document your creative process and intent as you work on this week’s project and share it with your learning ensemble and the broader PWYM community when you share your masterpiece.

THIS WEEK’S SPECIAL GUEST

This week you’ll meet freelance musician, entrepreneur, and NYU Music Technology Masters candidate Amar Lal via live-streamed interview. He’s a guitarist with the band Big Ups and co-runs a Brooklyn-based DIY record label ECB&B. He’ll share with us his expertise on DIY home recording on a budget. Save the date for Saturday, December 14th at 9am Eastern Standard Time (United States) to participate in the live interview. If you cannot participate live, no worries; you can always watch archived interviews on our #PWYM YouTube Channel.

THANKS FROM CLARA BERRY

IhwqYiZOKDUDxHGcj0ien4cM1ywlaJOHyA6dKUHpMo0

Watch this video thank you note from Clara

Be sure to check out Clara’s latest release Riches & The Girls which just went live this week. Stream it from SoundCloud or Download it for your library. Recorded by Dean Baltulonis at The Wild Arctic.

Task 1: Create your PWYM masterpiece

Step 1 – Think about what you’d like to create

For your last project here in PWYM, you have full creative license to create and share anything you’d like. We want you to take time this week to create something new and original starting from your own creative ideas. You’ve learned a lot (we hope!) in this course and now’s the time to put it all together and create your PWYM masterpiece. You might want to start out by first sketching or outlining your creative vision, ideas and intent for your final project, then revisiting that as your work on your track. We’d love it if you would also share this with us when you share the final audio file. We want to know what inspired your PWYM masterpiece and how you applied the PWYM course materials in realizing your vision.

Step 2 – Realize your vision and document your process

Open up Soundation Studio or the DAW of your choice and get started producing your creative ideas! You can feel free to continue to use the Soundation.com DAW, including the Air Traffic stems and samples, or deviate and create something completely different.

We’re loving the detailed feedback and descriptions of your personal creative process that you’re sharing for your PWYM projects. That’s awesome! When you share your remixes with your learning ensemble,  be sure to post them to your PWYM SoundCloud Group, and share them with your PWYM Google+ Community.

If you’d prefer, we invite you to add an audio commentary track to your remix. To do this, create a new track in your project and narrate your creative process in a new track over your remix. You might also find it helpful to lower the volume of your mix (audio professionals call this process ducking) so that we can hear your commentary at a volume level above your main mix. Save this track with a different file name and share it with the PWYM community.

Task 2: Share your mix to SoundCloud

Step 1 – Upload Your PWYM Masterpiece to SoundCloud and Share It

 nykjnugu4rwgezph2_lqhvqxuxela1spthfkqkxwabq-1.png?w=300&h=189

  1. Export your masterpiece from the DAW of your choice as a stereo .wav file
  2. Upload your track to SoundCloud.com
  3. Share your creative vision and process documenting your personal remix process in the SoundCloud track description field or upload a second version of your remix with an embedded audio commentary track
  4. Add your masterpiece to the PWYM SoundCloud Group, share it with your learning ensemble, and at the PWYM Google+ Community for everyone else to hear. Be sure to tag your piece with #PWYM.

We can’t wait to listen to your PWYM masterpieces!

Where to go from here?

WHERE+DO+WE+GO+FROM+HERE

COOL TOOLS

A live internet FXPad for your SoundCloud files:

LbJYqpKwR_LUyFvQG8rUBCNwKGVXQvbPoNEKtAULntE-1

  • Load the FXPad website
  • Copy and paste the SoundCloud URL for your favorite track into the box
  • Use your mouse to adjust live filter parameters as your track plays

Interactive Sourse Separation Editor (ISSE) – Think Photoshop for spectral audio:

az7R97sYbOQ5owrNeOlchgOteQnpKzyxTxhaY_Cd5p0-1

Bradford Swanson’s Microphone Comparison Website:

WJSgw9_wKVIt5893sWd05JgS7JH-LJHCH5VcnGUXL5I-1

More Resources

Audio recording and engineering

Mixing

Electronic dance music and hip-hop production

Useful Quora threads:

Wayne Marshall has created a great set of digital music production tutorials, oriented toward dance and hip-hop. He shows his examples in an ancient version of Fruity Loops, but the content applies to any software environment:

Soundation doesn’t have that Wub Machine for nothing. Here are their tutorials for making dubstep:

Remixing

Odds and ends

Rock On!

– The #PWYM Team

Tweet #pwym |  Google+  |  Play With Your Music

The Mechanical MOOC’s Play With Your Music is a collaboration between the NYU Steinhardt Department of Music and Performing Arts Professions, the MIT Media Lab and Peer 2 Peer University. For more information, please visit playwithyourmusic.org. For questions regarding the logistics of the course, please visit the Google+ community or e-mail playwithyourmusic@gmail.com.

EMAIL 12

PastedGraphic-1

YOU *ARE NOT* BEHIND! 🙂

We’ve noticed that a lot of your are continuing to post your assignments from previous weeks to the G+ community and sharing them with your learning ensemble. Please continue to do so! We hope you’re learning a lot from the trailblazers in the group, and continue to think about and work on your projects at your own pace.

CALLING ALL NEW YORKERS!!!

We’re putting together a listening party for all the #PWYM folks who are in the NYC area in January. We’re thinking of getting a small fête together at a record store in Brooklyn, listening to each other’s sounds, meeting in meatspace and having some food and drink. We’re thinking of a weekday evening, and friends of your PWYM crew would be welcome.

If you’re interested, please let me know on G+. We’ll find a time and a spot that works!

Screen Shot 2013-12-09 at 5.29.50 PM

THE SOUNDCLOUD GROUP IS BUZZZZING

Awesome things are happening in the SoundCloud group. I’ve really enjoyed listening to how you guys are using panning & reverb. All the sounds are so different!

Check out M.IND’s “Trip-hop” version of “Air Traffic”:

Screen Shot 2013-12-09 at 5.47.50 PM

And PMF1030’s graceful, echoey reverb on Clara’s vocals makes me sound like she’s singing from the mist on the moon.

Screen Shot 2013-12-09 at 5.50.25 PM

Patrick also outlined his process on the G+ community, and we’ve loved reading what he wrote:

“This was my first time doing anything like this, so I tried to set some sort of direction for myself, but overall I was still exploring a lot of the different features and elements offered. Feedback is welcome for sure!”

WHAT’S DOWN THE PIKE

  • The Masterclass Badge will round out your #PWYM experience
  • The #PWYM team will be sending off a post-course survey and we’d *luuuurv* your input

Rock on!

The Mechanical MOOC’s Play With Your Music is a collaboration between the NYU Steinhardt Department of Music and Performing Arts Professions, the MIT Media Lab and Peer 2 Peer University. For more information, please visit playwithyourmusic.org. For questions regarding the logistics of the course, please visit the Google+ community or e-mail playwithyourmusic@gmail.com.

EMAIL 11

tumblr_md5qj0KySw1qfe7s8o1_400

Remixing Audio and MIDI!

OVERVIEW

  • Introduction to what you’ll learn in this module
  • Task 1: Learn about audio and MIDI editing in Soundation
  • Task 2: Create a remix in Soundation
  • Task 3: Share your remix to SoundCloud.com
  • More resources
  • Project deliverables: A creative remix shared to SoundCloud.com

INTRODUCTION: Remixing with Audio and MIDI

THIS MODULE (December 6 – December 13)

The fifth module of #PWYM introduces you to the basics of audio and MIDI editing in the Soundation Studio DAW. You’ll work this week to create an original, creative remix of Air Traffic. All of this will prepare you to create you own original piece in whatever style or genre you’d like for Module 6, the final week of PWYM!

This week, you have lots of creative license for your remix. All we ask is that you use some of Air Traffic as the source sonic material you choose to work with. Otherwise, feel free to explore any genre or style, transform the audio samples beyond recognition, add your own MIDI parts and timbres, and play around with the other cool effects plugins in Soundation. Oh, and be sure to keep detailed notes about your creative process and share with us the intent behind your remix. We can’t wait to take a listen at the end of this week!

THIS WEEK’S SPECIAL GUEST

In addition to your learning team at #PWYM, you’ll meet NYU professor of music technology and composition Tae Hong Park via live-streamed interview. Tae Hong also currently serves as the President of the International Computer Music Association. Click here to watch the archived live stream interview with Tae Hong. You can watch all of our archived live interviews on our #PWYM YouTube Channel.

Task 1: Learn about audio and MIDI editing in Soundation

We’ve invited our colleague Ethan Hein to introduce you to the basics of audio and MIDI editing. Ethan has prepared 

Step 1 – Strategies for creating samples & loops from the recordings of others

Mbxn3tdS3gJ3vb42D8CNeZ8K6oshUDVECQw4roSlCb4-1

Ethan’s video for creating samples and loops from Air Traffic

Step 2 – Basic techniques for editing and manipulating audio in Soundation

zSmwzO5r6ZIs0fbonnqK73W1FHQH0f4vE4Rm_KaCsRs-1

Ethan’s video on working with audio in Soundation

Step 3 – Basic techniques for editing and transforming MIDI in Soundation

KvWxSMjcQsi2rguKGI81LPN172xHe9bYxkHSOydgKds-1

Ethan’s video on working with MIDI in Soundation

Task 2: Create a remix in Soundation

Now that you’ve learned a bit about how to musically edit samples, and the basics of manipulating audio and MIDI in Soundation, it’s time to create your own remix of Air Traffic!

Step 1 – Back to basics: Editing audio and MIDI in Soundation

If you’ve new to audio and MIDI editing in a DAW, or want a quick review, check out the following general tutorials on audio and MIDI editing in the Soundation Studio DAW:

Lest you think MIDI is just for remixing, check out some of the awesome work of our NYU colleague Langdon Crawford who uses MIDI, its successor communication protocol OSC (Open Sound Control), rubber bands and iPhone sensors to generate a cool, new interface for musical expression. Check out his Wobblephone below:

XfGcfdnkIQsM_V_hCSZXHSIcEO30ci_x5uVcIXGFPw8-1

Wobblephone – Langdon Crawford

Step 2 – Remix Air Traffic in Soundation

  1. Launch Air Traffic in Soundation
  2. Put your creative hats on and play around with creating your own audio samples from Air Traffic
  3. Explore the audio samples we’ve curated to go with Air Traffic in the Soundation library
  4. Sequence and original drum or bass track using MIDI input or editing
  5. Don’t forget to use all the skills you’ve developed so far, including audio effects, automation, and critical listening

We’ve curated a few great web articles to supplement our videos on the remix process:

Here are some additional practical tips and tricks for working with MIDI drums, synths, effects and composing from Quadrophone (Thanks Gabriel M. for the tip!):

The friendly folks over at Soundation.com also have GREAT technical support. In the event that you find yourself needing some technical help, send a quick email to support@powerfx.com, or give the team a shout using the built-in feedback system right in the Soundation app in your browser:

soundationhelp

Step 3: Document and share your personal process of creation

We’re loving the detailed feedback and descriptions of your personal creative process that you’re sharing for your PWYM projects. That’s awesome! When you share your remixes with your learning ensemble, post them to your PWYM SoundCloud Group, and share them with your PWYM Google+ Community, please continue to do so.

If you’d prefer, we invite you to add an audio commentary track to your remix. To do this, create a new track in your Soundation project and narrate your creative process in a new track over your remix. You might also find it helpful to lower the volume of your mix (audio professionals call this process ducking) so that we can hear your commentary at a volume level above your main mix. Save this track with a different file name and share it with us and your learning ensemble.

Task 3: Share your mix to SoundCloud.com

Step 1 – Upload Your Remix to SoundCloud.com and Share It

nYkJNUgU4rWgEzpH2_LqHVQXuxEla1spthFkQkxwABQ-1

  1. Export your remix as a .wav file
  2. Upload your track to SoundCloud.com
  3. Share a couple paragraphs documenting your personal remix process in the SoundCloud track description field or upload a second version of your remix with an embedded audio commentary track
  4. Add your remix to the PWYM SoundCloud Group, share it with your learning ensemble, and at the PWYM Google+ Community for everyone else to hear.

We can’t wait to see how you transform Air Traffic and make it all your own!
More Resources…

MIDI

Remixing

Sampling and remixing history, appreciation, creative and legal issues

Say Hello to #PWYM in G+

Do you have links to other resources that you’ve found helpful? Perhaps links to online articles, or YouTube videos? If so, please share them to the Play With Your Music Google+ community using the hashtag #PWYMResources. Your community will love you.

Rock On!

– The #PWYM Team

Tweet #pwym |  Google+  |  Play With Your Music

The Mechanical MOOC’s Play With Your Music is a collaboration between the NYU Steinhardt Department of Music and Performing Arts Professions, the MIT Media Lab and Peer 2 Peer University. For more information, please visit playwithyourmusic.org. For questions regarding the logistics of the course, please visit the Google+ community or e-mail playwithyourmusic@gmail.com.

EMAIL 10

giphy

Creating with Audio Effects!

OVERVIEW

  • Introduction to what you’ll learn in this module
  • Task 1: Learn about audio effects
  • Task 2: Create with effects in Soundation.com
  • Task 3: Share your mix to SoundCloud.com
  • More resources
  • Project deliverables: A creative mix shared with your ensemble

INTRODUCTION: Creative Audio Effects and Automation

THIS MODULE (November 29 – December 6)

The fourth module of #PWYM introduces you to the basics of three audio effects: filter/equalization, delay, and reverberation. You’ll work this week to add creative audio effects to the dry stems from Air Traffic in Soundation. Working in Soundation, you’ll also be able to automate the balance and pan positions for each stem in Air Traffic enabling you to craft a dynamic (rather than static) mix using techniques you can also apply to any of the audio effect parameters.

PREROLL

If you have not yet done so, please do the following:

THIS WEEK’S SPECIAL GUEST

In addition to your learning team at #PWYM, you’ll hear again from audio FXpert Alex Case via live-streamed interview. Save the date for Wednesday, December 4 at 10pm Eastern Standard Time (United States) to participate in the live interview. Alex will share practical tips and tricks for approaching the creative, purposeful, and musical uses of audio effects in recordings.  If you cannot participate live, no worries; you can always watch archived interviews on our #PWYM YouTube Channel.

Task 1: Learn about audio effects

We’ve invited our colleagues Alex Case and Bradford Swanson to introduce you to audio effects and their use in the Soundation Studio Online DAW.

Step 1 – An introduction to filter/EQ, delay, and reverb from Alex Case

Filters and EQ

Delay

Reverb

 

Step 2 – Exploring effects processing in Soundation

To help get you started, watch Brad’s video walking you through using effects in Soundation Studio.

Brad’s Video for Module 4: Creating with Audio Effects
Task 2: Create with effects in Soundation.com

Now that you’ve learned a bit about some of the most basic audio effects, it’s time to apply them creatively to a dry mix of Air Traffic in Soundation.com.

Step 1: Get familiar with Soundation.com

If you’ve never used Soundation before, check out the following general tutorials on how to use the Soundation.com DAW:

Step 2: Add effects to Air Traffic in Soundation

The Soundation Studio online DAW provides access to a number of creative audio effects that you can use in your own original mixes and remixes. This week, we are asking you to focus on exploring the creative uses of three basic effects: filter/EQ, delay and reverb. Here’s a summary of the process Brad outlined in his video above:

  1. Launch Air Traffic in Soundation
  2. Solo a single instrument or voice
  3. Loop a small section where they play
  4. Insert an effect
  5. Play with each effect parameter, starting with large adjustments to learn how the sound changes
  6. Then make precision adjustments to understand their subtleties
  7. Try inserting effects in different orders
  8. Save your work as a .sng file (Soundation Studio song file) and as a .wav (full quality stereo audio file).

OPTIONAL Step 3: Use automation to create a dynamic mix of Air Traffic

Now that you’ve exploring adding audio effects creatively to Air Traffic, use Soundation Studio’s automation features, create an original dynamic mix. In last week’s module, you created a static mix with set positions for each track’s volume faders and pan pots. In Soundation.com, you can adjust the levels of these parameters as a song moves over time adding new levels of control over balance and panning throughout a mix. The same processed used in Soundation to change track volume and panning levels can be applied to any of the audio effects parameters on each individual track and the master FX channel.The Master Channel can be displayed in Soundation by clicking on View -> Show Master Channel in the drop down menus.

Task 3: Share your mix to SoundCloud.com

Now that you’ve completed a dynamic mix of Air Traffic, adding various audio effects as you see fit, it’s time to save it, upload SoundCloud.com, and share it with the broader PWYM community.

  1. Once you are happy with your creative mix of Air Traffic, Export your mix as a .wav file
  2. Upload your track to SoundCloud.com
  3. Share a couple paragraphs documenting your personal process of mixing Air Traffic in the SoundCloud track description field
  4. Add your mix to the PWYM SoundCloud Group, share it with your learning ensemble, and at the PWYM Google+ Community for everyone else to hear.

We’re looking forward to listening to your dynamic mixes and reading your personal process descriptions!

Further Resources

Say Hello to #PWYM in G+

Do you have links to other resources that you’ve found helpful? Perhaps links to online articles, or YouTube videos? If so, please share them to the Play With Your Music Google+ community using the hashtag #PWYMResources. Your community will love you.

Rock On!

– The #PWYM Team

Tweet #pwym |  Google+  |  Play With Your Music

The Mechanical MOOC’s Play With Your Music is a collaboration between the NYU Steinhardt Department of Music and Performing Arts Professions, the MIT Media Lab and Peer 2 Peer University. For more information, please visit playwithyourmusic.org. For questions regarding the logistics of the course, please visit the Google+ community or e-mail playwithyourmusic@gmail.com.

EMAIL 9

200

WHAT’S UP WITH THE #PWYM COMMUNITY?

OMG! YOU GUYS MAKE THE COOLEST STUFF.

It’s pretty nuts what your fellow colleagues are coming up with. Check it out:

DJ MATTHEW SHAW GRAPH OF GABRIEL & DRESDEN

@DJMADDESS did his musical structure graph of Gabriel and Dresden‘s “Tracking Treasure Down”–and actually shared his graph with the artists on Twitter! Gabriel and Dresden gave some feedback on Matthew’s work–check it out:

Screen Shot 2013-11-25 at 5.01.19 PM

And check out the track Matthew analyzed from Gabriel & Dresden:

Screen Shot 2013-11-25 at 5.20.38 PM
STR8 TO #PWYM

Henry Kiely is crazy about Str8 Outta Mumbai, and his graph is out of this world:

lljua-Hiilw0fPP3o2MZ7tHMeIaZS-3oq1djpQcYmnI

and our favorite part:

Screen Shot 2013-11-25 at 5.36.56 PM

GROUP 21 IS GIVING EACH OTHER SOME STELLAR FEEDBACK

Eddie Hernandez & Connor Beck–well done!

Screen Shot 2013-11-25 at 5.42.47 PM

DON’T FORGET TO SNAG A BADGE!

If you’d like some feedback, don’t forget to submit your analysis for the “Golden Ears” badge:

Screen Shot 2013-11-11 at 12.37.38 PM

Rock on!

– The #PWYM Team

EMAIL 8

Mixing music multitracks!

OVERVIEW

  • Introduction to what you’ll learn in this module
  • Task 1: Create a convergent mix of Air Traffic
  • Task 2: Create your own mix of Air Traffic
  • More resources
  • Project deliverables: Share your mixes with your ensemble

INTRODUCTION: LET’S MIX!

THIS MODULE (November 22 – November 29)

The third module of #PWYM is designed for you to apply the critical listening skills you developed in the beginning of the course to create two static mixes of Air Traffic by Clara Berry and Wooldog. The first mix will be a convergent mix, where you listen to a stereo mix and reverse engineer it through adjusting the balance and pan levels of the individual stems. The second mix will be a creative mix of your own choosing. You’ll be asked to share each mix with your group, as well as a description of your process of creating each mix and what you learned along the way. For this module, you’ll be working with a custom web-based mixing tool that we developed specifically for this purpose. It works best when run in the Google Chrome browser.

THIS WEEK’S SPECIAL GUEST

This week we will introduce you to mix engineer and NYU Professor Paul Geluso via live-streamed interview. Save the date for Saturday, November 23rd at 9am Eastern Standard Time (United States) to participate in the live interview. He’ll be sharing his personal process of approaching a mix, providing practical tips that you can use in your projects within and beyond this course. If you cannot participate live, no worries; you can watch archived interviews on our #PWYM YouTube Channel.

Task 1: Create a Convergent Mix of Air Traffic

We’ve invited our colleague Bradford Swanson to introduce you to the individual stem tracks from Air Traffic. For this week’s video, Brad will walk you through the multitrack stems to Air Traffic and our custom online mix tool.

Step 1 – Learn more about Air Traffic

Before the course began, we sat down with Clara Berry and Joe O’Neill (who together form Clara Berry and Wooldog) and Bradford Swanson, who engineered and produced their latest album The Magician’s WifeIn this interview we began by asking Clara about her personal process of writing Air Traffic, how the song evolved from first idea to the version she toured with, and then a detailed discussion of the recording, producing, and mixing process that led to the released recording:

Interview with Clara Berry, Joe O’Neill and Bradford Swanson – On Writing, Recording and Producing Air Traffic.

Step 2 – Listen to Air Traffic

As you now know through your work in Modules 1 and 2 for this course, listening to a song while viewing a visual analysis can often help you hear more details about a particular song and recording. You know that you learn even more when you are the one who creates the analysis to a favorite song. To help you hear more within Air Traffic, we’ve provided a link to Brad’s Musical Structure Graph for Air Traffic and encourage you to view it while listening to the released version of Air Traffic.

Step 3 – Learn how to reverse engineer Brad’s mix of Air Traffic

Now that you’ve had a chance to acquaint yourself with the process of recording and taken a listen to the released version of Air Traffic, Brad Swanson has assembled an awesome video walking you through the multitrack stems of Air Traffic and the custom web-based mixing tool. Use this video to help you get started on your convergent mix of Air Traffic.

Step 4: Recreate Brad’s reference mix of Air Traffic and share with your ensemble.

Now the real fun begins! Launch Google Chrome and load up our Air Traffic Online Mix Tool. Depending on your internet bandwidth and geographic location, it may take upwards of a couple minutes to load the audio files on the above web tool. Please be patient and wait until the audio files are completely downloaded and loaded. You’re downloading the equivalent of 10 song-length MP3s – one for each fader channel in the interface.

If you are listening on a good system, and if you have been listening to the full resolution SoundCloud release, you’ll likely notice that the online mix has many signatures of MP3 compression – dullness and transient blurring in particular.  Just know that this is not a short coming of your production skills but is a necessary side-effect of our online workflow. Recording studios always try to operate at higher resolution than the release format, using MP3s only at the last stage: when the mix is released for download.  In order for us to hear the contributing multitrack stems, we’ve had to compress all of them to MP3s, with a slight sonic penalty. If you are hearing this, CONGRATS. It means your critical listening chops have risen to the challenge!

To help you get started, consider creating a perceived space graph from Brad’s reference mix. Here’s the template if you need the link again.

This is a challenging project. Feel free to take frequent breaks to clear your ears and mind. Also, when you think you have the mix matched, take a break and come back again a few minutes later to check your work.

Once you’ve finished your mix:

  • Write up a couple paragraphs detailing your personal process of recreating Brad’s mix. What challenges did you face? What did you learn? How close do you think you came to recreating Brad’s reference mix?
  • Copy the URL of your recreated mix
  • Share the URL of your mix and what you’ve learned to your learning ensemble and on our #PWYM Google+ Community

We’ll share the settings for Brad’s reference mix at the beginning of the next module.

Task 2: Create Your Own Mix of Air Traffic

Now that you’ve synthesized your critical listening skills working hard to match Brad’s mix of Air Traffic, use the same tool to create your own creative static mix with balance and pan settings that YOU like. As you do so, keep track of your personal process and the creative, musical decisions you make in the mix process.

As with Task 1:

  • Write up a couple paragraphs detailing the process and decision making behind your creative mix. What challenges did you face? What did you learn?
  • Copy the URL of your recreated mix
  • Share the URL of your mix and what you’ve learned to your learning ensemble and on our #PWYM Google+ Community

Lastly, be sure to make some time to listen to and provide feedback on the mixes of your fellow classmates within your learning ensemble and in the Google+ community.

More Resources!

Phase in Audio Recording

MP3 vs. WAV Formats

Further Resources

Say Hello to #PWYM in G+

Do you have links to other resources that you’ve found helpful? Perhaps links to online articles, or YouTube videos? If so, please share them to the Play With Your Music Google+ community using the hashtag #PWYMResources. Your community will love you.

Rock On!

– The #PWYM Team

Tweet #pwym |  Google+  |  Play With Your Music

The Mechanical MOOC’s Play With Your Music is a collaboration between the NYU Steinhardt Department of Music and Performing Arts Professions, the MIT Media Lab and Peer 2 Peer University. For more information, please visit playwithyourmusic.org. For questions regarding the logistics of the course, please visit the Google+ community or e-mail playwithyourmusic@gmail.com.

EMAIL 7

WHAT’S UP WITH THE #PWYM COMMUNITY?

CALLING ALL COHORTS

If you’ve spun off your own G+ community, that’s awesome. Please add the link to your community to this hackpad. We’d love to showcase the excellent stuff y’all are working on.

WHERE WE’RE AT

You should have received your second assignment on Friday. If you haven’t finished your first one, not to worry. Your perceived space graphs are awesome–keep them coming.

We also had a really great interview with songwriting champ and NYU Professor Phil Galdston this past Saturday. Check out the Q & A on youtube.

PROJECT SPOTLIGHT

A few projects that we thought were stellar this week from the G+ Community:

Alex Baker’s Analysis of Autolux’s “Here Comes Everybody” https://plus.google.com/101922647033741277828/posts/PL9m6anTD4f

Dave Britt’s Analysis of Radiohead’s “Karma Police” https://plus.google.com/115345905581570273731/posts/LyLpUGcQ6bb

WANT SOME FEEDBACK? APPLY FOR A BADGE!

We look forward to seeing all your projects! Once you’re done with your analysis, you can go ahead and apply for the “Golden Ears” badge:

DON’T FORGET TO PLAY!

We think Infinite Jukebox and Girl Talk in a Box are solid (and fun) tools and we invite you to tinker with them. Please share your glorious creations with your learning ensemble and the G+ crew.

EMAIL 6

tumblr_m4sqjtuRhf1qlfaqzo1_500

Going deeper into critical listening!

OVERVIEW

  • Introduction to what you’ll learn in this module
  • Task 1: Learning to listen for musical structure
  • Task 2: Analyze your favorite tune and share it
  • More resources
  • Make sure you say “Hi” to your cohort and the #PWYM Community
  • Project deliverables: Share your analysis with your ensemble

INTRODUCTION: LET’S LISTEN!

This second module of #PWYM is designed to help you take your critical listening and recording analysis skills to the next level. This week, we’ll be focusing on how to listen for musical structure through labeling sections (verse, chorus, etc.), determining tempo and meter, listening for beats and measures within sections of music, and perhaps most importantly, listening deeply for when specific instruments enter and exit within the mix. For this week, we encourage you to use the same piece of music you analyzed for Module 1.

THIS WEEK’S SPECIAL GUEST

In addition to your learning team at #PWYM, we’ll be introducing you to songwriter and NYU Professor Phil Galdston via live-streamed interview. Save the date for Saturday, December 16th at 9am Eastern Standard Time (United States) to participate in the live interview. He’ll be speaking on techniques for listening to the song within the recording, and how songwriters use musical structure, repetition and variation expressively. Given that his songs have appeared on almost 80 Million records, you don’t want to miss this! If you cannot participate live, no worries; you can watch archived interviews on our #PWYM YouTube Channel.

THIS MODULE (November 15 – November 22)

In this module, you’ll be introduced to techniques for how to listen for musical structure over time in a recording. At the end of last week’s module, we introduced you to Infinite Jukebox, an innovative tool for using the computer to literally play with the structure of your favorite music. If you haven’t had the chance to load your favorite song into it, take a few minutes, load it up and play around. Check out this article by the developer of the Infinite Jukebox – Paul Lamere from The Echo Nest – to learn more.

Task 1: Learning to Listen for Musical Structure

We’ve invited our colleague Ethan Hein to share with you a process of listening for musical structures within music recordings. For this video, Ethan will walk you through our approach to listening critically within Peter Gabriel’s song Sledgehammer.

Getting Started

  1. Open up this recording of Sledgehammer in YouTube and a copy of Ethan’s Musical Structure Graph.
  2. Listen through Sledgehammer while viewing Ethan’s musical structure graph.
  3. Watch Ethan’s video analyzing and discussing the structure graph.

Listening for musical structure often involves moving from the big picture to the details. Feel free to pause and re-watch sections of Ethan’s video that are new to you. If you are new to listening to music in these ways, check out the following videos and articles for more background and practice:

Step 1 – Listening for the Overall Structure of Songs

LISTENING FOR SONG FORMS AND STRUCTURES

Step 2 – Listening for and Counting Beats and Measures

LISTENING TO AND COUNTING BEATS

FIGURING OUT TEMPO IN BEATS PER MINUTE

Use the above web app to figure out your song’s tempo in beats per minute. Pop, rock and dance music is almost always between 60 and 140 beats per minute. If you’re getting a tempo outside of this range, try tapping half as fast or twice as fast.

Step 3 – Listening for and Graphing Entrances and Exits of Individual Sound Sources

LISTENING FOR MUSICAL LAYERS AND TEXTURE

Task 2: Analyze Your Favorite Tune and Share It

Using the recording you chose for Module 1:

  1. Open up a copy of our Musical Structure Graph Template.
  2. Fill in the section names, the times where they begin, and their length in measures, the tempo, and meter for your chosen piece.
  3. List the sound sources you identified in the last assignment down the leftmost column of the template.
  4. Color in the cells of the spreadsheet to show which sound sources are present in each section. Use the “insert comment” feature to annotate additional things you hear in each cell.
  5. Paste a link to the specific recording you analyzed (if available online), copy and share a link to your completed Musical Structure Graph Template, and share your analyses with your learning ensembles and the larger #PWYM Google+ Community. We recommend you plan to do this at least 2-3 days before the next module starts (November 22!) so that you can hear back from your ensemble and provide your own feedback to your colleagues. 🙂

Have fun! And, Learn Some More…

For this week’s playful adventure with YOUR music, search for your favorite song (or upload an mp3) on Girl Talk in a Box, another cool tool powered by the folks over at The EchoNest. Learn from legendary music hacker and programmer Paul Lamere about why and how he created Girl Talk in a Box and use it Play With Your Music!

Further Resources

Say Hello to #PWYM in G+

Do you have links to other resources that you’ve found helpful? Perhaps links to online articles, or YouTube videos? If so, please share them to the Play With Your Music Google+ community using the hashtag #PWYMResources. Your community will love you.

Rock On!

– The #PWYM Team

Tweet #pwym |  Google+  |  Play With Your Music

The Mechanical MOOC’s Play With Your Music is a collaboration between the NYU Steinhardt Department of Music and Performing Arts Professions, the MIT Media Lab and Peer 2 Peer University. For more information, please visit playwithyourmusic.org. For questions regarding the logistics of the course, please visit the Google+ community or e-mail playwithyourmusic@gmail.com.

EMAIL 5

The #PWYM Community is all like….

YOUR COHORTS

tumblr_lktb6qRYs81qa4k0co1_500

Hopefully everyone has their rockin’ cohorts up and running. Thanks for your patience–the email snag has been fixed. So you can communicate with them either by:

  • Hitting “reply all” to emails from Mr. Mix
  • Spinning off your own G+ community and inviting others to join.

If you haven’t heard from your cohort, head on over to www.playwithyourmusic.org/groups/ and pop in your email address.

G+ COMMUNITY

There are 1,500+ of you hanging out in the G+ Community–join us! You guys are awesome and using G+ in different and phenomenal ways.

  • Some cohorts have moved their entire group to G+ and are doing their work there. Group 132 is really kickin’ it.
  • Go ahead and share resources that you find by tagging them #PWYMResources. We’re loving what you guys are coming up with.
  • If you need help or have questions, you can also tag your G+ post with #PWYMSupport.

INTERVIEWS

This past Saturday morning we had an *awesome* interview and Q&A with Alex Case.

SONG ANALYSIS

Lots of folks have begun to post their analysis to the G+ group. That’s cool, don’t forget to share them with your cohort as well. A few that caught our eyes:

Spotlight 1:

Spotlight 2:

We look forward to seeing all your projects!

– The #PWYM Team

Tweet #pwym |  Google+  |  Play With Your Music

The Mechanical MOOC’s Play With Your Music is a collaboration between the NYU Steinhardt Department of Music and Performing Arts Professions, the MIT Media Lab andPeer 2 Peer University. For more information, please visit playwithyourmusic.org. For questions regarding the logistics of the course, please visit the Google+ community or e-mail playwithyourmusic@gmail.com.

EMAIL 4

#PWYM: Here We Go! Our First Assignment

Welcome Musicians!

OVERVIEW

  • Introduction to what you’ll learn in this module
  • Reminder: how to communicate with your ensemble (hint: hit “reply” to this email!)
  • Task 1: Learning to listen like a producer and engineer
  • Task 2: Analyze your favorite tune and share it
  • More resources
  • Make sure you say “Hi” to your cohort and the #PWYM Community
  • Project deliverables: Share your analysis with your ensemble

INTRODUCTION: LET’S PLAY

This first module of #PWYM will span two weeks to provide a gentle introduction to your communication tools, enable you to get to know the members of your cohort “learning ensemble,” and introduce you to some practical approaches to listening to and hearing more within the music you love.

OUR SPECIAL GUESTS

In addition to your learning team at #PWYM, we’ll be introducing you to music producer & engineer Bradford Swanson, singer-songwriter Clara Berry, and audio FXpert Alex Case via live-streamed interviews. Click here to watch our interview with Clara Berry & Wooldog and Bradford Swanson. Save the date for Saturday, November 9th at 9am Eastern Standard Time (United States) to participate in the live interview with Alex Case. Don’t worry if you cannot attend, we will email a link to the archived video interviews.

THIS MODULE (November 4 – November 15)

In this module, you’ll be introduced to techniques for identifying instruments and vocal timbres (e.g., guitar, bass, lead vocal, background vocal, etc.) in recordings, how to isolate and place them in perceived space (Left to Right and Front to Back) on a virtual “stage,” and become more precise in the language you use to describe recorded sounds. We’re beginning this course with a project in recording analysis because critical listening is 90% of the day to day work of a music producer or audio engineer. Through isolating and describing timbres and positioning them in perceived space, you’ll better be able to work with these concepts in your own tracks, no matter what genres you work within and across.

Our approach is based on strategies for critical listening and analysis from William Moylan’s Understanding and Crafting the Mix: The Art of Record Production if you are interested in learning directly from the source!

TASK 1: Learn to Listen Like a Producer and Engineer

We’ve invited producer and engineer Bradford Swanson to share with you a process of listening to and analyzing music recordings. For these videos, Brad will walk you through our approach to listening critically for timbre and space within Clara Berry’s song Air Trafficwhich was co-produced and engineered by Brad.

Step 1 – Identifying instrumental and vocal timbres

Listen all the way through to the end of Air Traffic by Clara Berry and Wooldog, then watch the following video:

Video One

Step 2 – Graphing timbres in perceived space

Video Two

Here’s a recap of our analysis process:

  • Listen for where you hear each timbre left to right
  • Listen for where you hear each timbre front to back
  • Listen for whether each timbre seems to surround you (wide) or come from a specific location (narrow)

Step 3 – Describing recorded timbres

Video 3

TASK 2: Analyze Your Favorite Tune and Share It

Apply the process that Brad introduced you to via the above videos to one of your favorite tunes:

  1. Listen to your tune several times all the way through, and write down each of the timbres you hear.
  2. Open up a copy of our Perceived Space Graph Template, and place your timbres as you hear them in your recording. Note: On many recordings, the placement of timbres in perceived space move as an expressive effect in different sections of a song. If this is the case in your chosen song, pick your favorite section and map the timbres in that section.
  3. For each timbre you hear in your recording, describe it as if you were explaining it to someone who had not heard the recorded sound of each timbre. This exercise helps you focus on using descriptive language beyond just the instrument/vocal label.
  4. Write down why you chose this specific tune. What is it about this tune that makes you want to listen to it multiple times? Why is it important to you?
  5. Paste a link to the specific recording you analyzed (if available online), copy and share a link to your completed Perceived Space Graph Template, and share your analyses with your learning ensemble by hitting “Reply All” to this email. We recommend you plan to do this at least 2-3 days before the next module starts (November 15!) so that you can hear back from your ensemble :).

As you might have guessed, we encourage you to be creative in this course. If you find our Perceived Space Graph Template limiting, feel free to use your imagination and develop a different template than the one shared in Step 2, above. Some people prefer to work with pens, markers, and paper. For others, Google Charts is fine. Whatever method you use, be sure to either share a link or take a photograph of it and post a photo of it to your learning ensemble.

Have fun! And, Learn Some More…

Listening to, analyzing, and sharing your music with others is fun stuff! But, you may be saying to yourself “I thought the name of the course was Play With Your Music?” To do just that (and to prepare a bit for the next module!) search for your favorite song (or upload an mp3) on The Infinite Jukebox, powered by the folks over at The EchoNest. Learn from legendary music hacker and programmer Paul Lamere about why and how he created Infinite Jukebox and how you can “tune” Infinite Jukebox to literally Play With Your Music!

Further Resources

Creative Manipulation of Timbre and Space

​How to Listen to Music

Interviews with Music Producers about their Process

Say Hello to #PWYM in G+

Do you have links to other resources that you’ve found helpful? Perhaps links to online articles, or YouTube videos? If so, please share them to the Play With Your Music Google+ community using the hashtag #PWYMResources. Your community will love you.

Rock On!

– The #PWYM Team

Tweet #pwym |  Google+  |  Play With Your Music

The Mechanical MOOC’s Play With Your Music is a collaboration between the NYU Steinhardt Department of Music and Performing Arts Professions, the MIT Media Lab and Peer 2 Peer University. For more information, please visit playwithyourmusic.org. For questions regarding the logistics of the course, please visit the Google+ community or e-mail playwithyourmusic@gmail.com.

To unsubscribe from this sequence and sign up for the next available sequence, please click this link.

If you would like to completely unsubscribe follow this link.

EMAIL 3

#PWYM Course & Interview Schedule

WEEK 1 – Listening Critically to Timbre and Space in Recordings

  • Nov. 8 – Project content emails begin to arrive in your inbox
  • Nov. 9 – 9am EST – Live InterviewAlex Case – On Space and Timbre as Creative Dimensions of MusicAlex Case has dedicated his professional life to the study of aesthetics, perception, signal processing, electro-acoustics and room acoustics for the creation and enjoyment of recorded music.An Associate Professor of Sound Recording Technology, Case leads classes, sessions and research with undergraduate and graduate students at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. An active member of the Audio Engineering Society, and a Fellow of the Acoustical Society of America, Case is an engineer, educator, and author who speaks frequently on audio and acoustics across the United States and worldwide. With degrees in Mechanical Engineering, Music, and Acoustics, Professor Case lives and works at the intersection of art and science.

WEEK 2 – Listening Critically for Musical Structures in Recordings

  • Nov. 15 – Project content emails begin to arrive in your inbox
  • Nov. 16 – 9am EST – Live InterviewPhil Galdston – On Musical Structure in SongwritingPhil Galdston s a songwriter/producer whose work has appeared on nearly 70 million records worldwide, in recordings by artists ranging from Celine Dion to Sheryl Crow, from Aaron Neville to Beyoncé, from Brandy to Esperanza Spalding. Among his many successes is Save the Best For Last, recorded by Vanessa Williams, which simultaneously topped Billboard’s three major charts, was nominated for a GRAMMY® as Song of the Year, and was ASCAP’s Song of the Year. Phil is the recipient of the Grand Prize of the American Song Festival, the Time For Peace Award, two Nashville Songwriters’ Association citations, Cable ACE and DOVE Award nominations, four ASCAP awards, and five GRAMMY® nominations. His work has appeared on fourteen GRAMMY®- nominated or winning recordings. He speaks on intellectual property rights and is an active member of both ASCAP and The Recording Academy. He was Songwriter-in-Residence at the Berklee College of Music and was appointed the first member of the Songwriting Faculty at NYUSteinhardt and the first Faculty Songwriter-in-Residence in NYU’s history. He is the curator, and moderator of the SONGWRITERS HALL OF FAME MASTER SESSIONS AT NYU and co-curates/moderates the Steinhardt School’s FRIDAY@1, a weekly series of conversations with luminaries in music.

WEEK 3  – Reconstructing a Mix

  • Nov. 22 – Project content emails begin to arrive in your inbox
  • Nov. 23 – 9am EST – Live InterviewPaul Geluso – On the Multitrack Production ProcessPaul Geluso’s work focuses on the theoretical, practical and artistic aspects of sound recording and reproduction. He is a sound recordist, mixer, and engineer who collaborates with musicians and media artists using sound as a creative medium. He has worked in many areas of sound and music production being credited as engineer, producer, composer, and musician on CD and 5.1 surround sound DVD releases in addition to film, video, sound installation, performance and broadcast television soundtracks since 1992. He is currently developing new ways to capture, mix, and process 3D audio for playback on multi-channel sound systems. This work was presented at the 131st Audio Engineering convention in New York City. Prior to being full-time faculty at NYU, he taught classes in music production and technology at Bard College and the Peabody Institute in addition to directing the Stephen F. Temmer Tonmeister Seminar here at NYU. Geluso received a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from New Jersey Institute of Technology in 1988 and a Master of Music in Music Technology from New York University in 2000.

WEEK 4 – Working Musically with Sound Effects in a DAW

  • Nov. 29 – Project content emails begin to arrive in your inbox
  • Nov. 30 – 9am EST – Live InterviewAlex Case – On the Musical Uses of Effects in Recorded MusicAlex Case has dedicated his professional life to the study of aesthetics, perception, signal processing, electro-acoustics and room acoustics for the creation and enjoyment of recorded music.An Associate Professor of Sound Recording Technology, Case leads classes, sessions and research with undergraduate and graduate students at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. An active member of the Audio Engineering Society, and a Fellow of the Acoustical Society of America, Case is an engineer, educator, and author who speaks frequently on audio and acoustics across the United States and worldwide. With degrees in Mechanical Engineering, Music, and Acoustics, Professor Case lives and works at the intersection of art and science.

WEEK 5 – Working with MIDI in the DAW

  • Dec. 6 – Project content emails begin to arrive in your inbox
  • Dec. 7 – 9am EST – Live InterviewTae Hong Park – On Creative Approaches to Computer and Electronic MusicTae Hong Park is a composer, music technologist, and bassist. His work focuses on composition of electro-acoustic and acoustic music, machine learning and computer-aided music analysis, research in multi-dimensional aspects of timbre, and audio digital signal processing. Dr. Park has presented his music at national and international conferences and festivals including Bourges, ICMC, MATA, SCIMF, and SEAMUS. Among the ensembles and performers that have played his work are the Brentano String Quartet, California E.A.R. Unit, Edward Carroll, Ensemble Surplus, Zoe Martlew, Nash Ensemble of London, and the Tarab Cello Ensemble. Professor Park is author of Introduction to Digital Signal Processing: Computer Musically Speaking (World Scientific, 2010). He is the Chief Editor of Journal SEAMUS, serves as Editiorial Consultant for Computer Music Journal, and is President of the International Computer Music Association (ICMA). He received his Ph.D. from Princeton University.

WEEK 6 – Making Your Original Remix

  • Dec. 13 – Project content emails begin to arrive in your inbox
  • Dec. 14 – Live Interview  – TBA
  • Dec. 20 – Post your original remix to the PWYM SoundCloud Group

An more detailed outline of the course curriculum can be found here.

Rock On!

– The #PWYM Team

Tweet #pwym |  Google+  |  Play With Your Music

The Mechanical MOOC’s Play With Your Music is a collaboration between the NYU Steinhardt Department of Music and Performing Arts Professions, the MIT Media Lab and Peer 2 Peer University. For more information, please visit playwithyourmusic.org. For questions regarding the logistics of the course, please visit the Google+ community or e-mail playwithyourmusic@gmail.com.

EMAIL 2

#PWYM: How to Listen in this Course

Find A Quiet Space to Listen

As you prepare for Play With Your Music, we suggest that you find a consistent, quiet spot to engage with the course materials and recordings from week to week. In the first few weeks of the course, you’ll be spending a lot of time listening to your own music and the music of others. Listening in the same physical space with the same equipment will help maintain consistency from week to week.

We also encourage you to listen using the best equipment you have available to you. That might mean a set of stereo speakers, or high quality headphones. Listening back to the audio files in this course using earbuds or laptop speakers is not advised because they often cannot reproduce the full spectrum of frequencies used in recordings. We’re starting this course by sharing with you a process of listening deeply and critically to recorded sound. You’ll want to hear all of the tiny details in your own recordings and the recordings of others!

Evaluate Your Frequency Range

To evaluate the range of frequencies that you can hear through your listening system, click here (or on the above image) to load a test video. This video contains a test audio signal that sweeps from very low frequencies ( < 10 Hertz) to very high frequencies ( > 20,000 Hertz). To get started, we suggest that you turn your volume down to about 30% and skip to the middle of the video timeline. Once you hear the test tone, raise the volume until you hear it at a comfortable level. Then, restart the video from the beginning and take note of the approximate frequency when you first hear the tone on your system, and listen for the last frequency when you no longer can hear the tone. Use the frequency labels on the horizontal axis of the graph as your guide.

This range of frequencies that your system can reproduce is not quite the same thing as the frequency response of your audio playback system. Not all speakers and headphones reproduce each frequency along the range evenly or equally. If you are interested in the more detailed ins and outs of speaker frequency response, read this article. For this course, the general rule of thumb is that listening in a quiet, consistent environment with better equipment (i.e., wide frequency range, and “flatter” frequency response), you will hear more details and come closer to experiencing the recordings as intended by the artists, engineers, and producers.

To get a better understanding of the frequency range differences among various speakers and headphones that you might have, try the above activity across multiple listening systems available to you (e.g., headphones, your laptop speakers, your home stereo, etc.). Share your experiences with your learning ensemble.

Learn More about the Science and Math behind How We Hear Sound

Mathemagician Vi Hart has prepared an amazing video illustrating the scientific and mathematical basis of sound and how humans hear and perceive sound. Check it out by clicking here (or on the image below):

Rock On!

– The #PWYM Team

Tweet #pwym |  Google+  |  Play With Your Music

The Mechanical MOOC’s Play With Your Music is a collaboration between the NYU Steinhardt Department of Music and Performing Arts Professions, the MIT Media Lab and Peer 2 Peer University. For more information, please visit playwithyourmusic.org. For questions regarding the logistics of the course, please visit the Google+ community or e-mail playwithyourmusic@gmail.com.

EMAIL 1

#PWYM Tips, Tricks and Logistics–UPDATE
FIRST THINGS FIRST

We know you are all excited about your groups! We are too. We’ve had some bugs with our email delivery service, but we’ve found a workaround. Follow these steps to contact your group and get started.

STEP 1: Head on over to: www.playwithyourmusic.org/groups/

You’ll see this screen:

STEP 2: Pop in your email address that you used to sign up for the course.

STEP 3: You’ll see an email address for your group. If you drop a line to say “Hello” it will go to everyone in your group.

STEP 4: Send an email to that address and get to know your learning ensemble.

Here’s the email we sent this week. More to come. Follow #PWYMSupport on the G+ community for updates.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

  • Nov. 9 – 9am EST – Live Interview. This will be taped so you can see it later. To participate, visit https://unhangout.media.mit.edu/event/9Alex Case – On Space and Timbre as Creative Dimensions of MusicAlex Case has dedicated his professional life to the study of aesthetics, perception, signal processing, electro-acoustics and room acoustics for the creation and enjoyment of recorded music.An Associate Professor of Sound Recording Technology, Case leads classes, sessions and research with undergraduate and graduate students at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. An active member of the Audio Engineering Society, and a Fellow of the Acoustical Society of America, Case is an engineer, educator, and author who speaks frequently on audio and acoustics across the United States and worldwide. With degrees in Mechanical Engineering, Music, and Acoustics, Professor Case lives and works at the intersection of art and science.

OK, drumrolll please!

TIPS, TRICKS and LOGISTICS

OVERVIEW

  • Introduction to #PWYM
  • Schedule for the course
  • The tools you’ll need
  • How to participate (hint: hit “reply all” to this email!)
  • Project deliverables: register for accounts and say “Hi” to your ensemble

INTRODUCTION TO #PWYM

Are you ready to turn it up to 11? We are. Get ready for six weeks of playing with music in your browser. This email will familiarize you with the logistics of the course, get you sorted with the tools you need, and help you get to know your cohort (or “ensemble”).

#PWYM Team.

Ohai–we’re Alex, Ethan, Vanessa and Dirk (collaboratively known as “Mister Mix”). You’ll see us in the G+ community and popping up over email. Think about us as your “backup band” for the course. You’ll be learning from each other here, not us!

Schedule.

Each week, you’ll receive two emails from “Mister Mix.”  At the beginning of the week we’ll drop a line with an assignment and supporting materials. Later in the week we’ll ask you to share your glorious creations or give feedback to your learning ensemble. On Saturdays at 9am EST, we’ll have live interviews with luminaries in the field for you to join and ask questions. They will also be recorded for you to watch later if you can’t make it.

YOUR TOOLBELT

  • Your Learning Ensemble. Using the totally stellar EchoNest API, we’ve grouped you with 30-40 folks who share your musical taste. Throughout the course, you’ll be asked to share your glorious creations with your crew.
  • Your Inbox. This course will take place in the browser and over email. We’re already split you into a little mini-listserv so you can communicate with your ensemble. Follow the directions above to communicate with your cohort.
  • Your Browser. This course will run in Google Chrome. Get yourself all set with a download at http://google.com/chrome
  • Soundation and SoundCloudThese accounts are free, and we’ll be using them to make and share your sounds. Please sign up, and join the SoundCloud group we’ve put together for the course.
  • Google+ Community. If you have questions your small group can’t answer, or want to share resources with the wider #PWYM community, we’ve set up just the place to do that. Join the Google+ Community here. If you need technical support, use the tag #PWYMhelp. You might also find like-minded folks using a hashtag of the genre you’re into, such as #metal #hiphop #techno or #indie.
  • Badges. When you’ve finished your glorious creations, you can earn a Badge from P2PU. We’ve created some awesome Badges for the #PWYM course–check them out:

So, just to recap:

YOUR NETWORK OF SUPPORT IN #PWYM

NEXT STEPS:

  • Register for your accounts and install Chrome
  • Follow the steps to locate your learning ensemble and say “Hi”

Rock On!

– The #PWYM Team

Tweet #pwym |  Google+  |  Play With Your Music

The Mechanical MOOC’s Play With Your Music is a collaboration between the NYU Steinhardt Department of Music and Performing Arts Professions, the MIT Media Lab and Peer 2 Peer University. For more information, please visit playwithyourmusic.org. For questions regarding the logistics of the course, please visit the Google+ community or e-mail playwithyourmusic@gmail.com.

2 thoughts on “Course Content

  1. Pingback: The Ethan Hein Blog › Reflections on the MOOC

  2. Pingback: Weekly update – 3/8/2014 | NYU MusEDLab

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s