Media Arts and Technology
MAT 240 Series - Digital Audio Programming
University of California Santa Barbara
Instructor: Andrés Cabrera
This course is an introduction to audio programming, and it is the
first part of the six quarter MAT 240 series. Audio programming can
take many shapes, and requires different tools and practices for
artistic projects, scientific research or industrial applications. This
course will present an overview of these different aspects of audio
programming while introducing and exploring key concepts that permeate
most audio programming projects.
This course surveys established techniques for audio synthesis and
digital signal processing applied to sound. Additive, Subtractive, FM
and Granular synthesis will be explored and implemented. Additionally,
processing techniques like filtering will be covered. It is a practical
course focused on software implementations of the various techniques,
and will be permeated by discussions about performance and sound
Theoretical aspects related to the various techniques are discussed,
and particular emphasis will be placed on their implementation in
computer algorithms. Artistic and practical use of the techniques will
also be discussed and tested with the implementations. Different
existing implementations will be compared and studied, in particular
those found in widespread systems like Csound, Supercollider, Gamma and
An indispensable aspect of audio programming in interactive systems
is providing real-time control. This entails being able to receive and
interpret data coming from physical interfaces and applying it to audio
parameters. There are various widespread technologies like MIDI and OSC
that enable this, as well as many challenges related to performance,
timing and concurrency.
This course will present a low level approach to these technologies to
understand what's needed to integrate them in practical software, as
well as a look into the natural extensions of interactive control, like
network performance and distributed processing.
MAT 240D - Spatial Sound
There are multiple ways of approaching audio for multichannel
reproduction systems. The main techniques like VBAP, Ambisonics and WFS
are explored, in addition to interchange formats related to spatial
representations of sound.
MAT 240E - Audio Analysis and MIR
The field of Music Information Retrieval and automated audio analysis
is a rapidly growing field. This course will present the fundamental
techniques and the challenges and implications of their software
implementations in practice.
MAT 240F - Sonification
Data sonification in auditory displays can provide information to
complement, augment or replace visual displays. This course will
present the established techniques for auralization, parameter driven
sonification and model based sonification.