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Fundamentals of New Media MUMT 202. Cory McKay Jason Hockman. course info . Fundamentals of New Media (MUMT 202) lectures: monday 5:35 PM - 8:25 PM in E-106 labs: thursday 5:35 PM - 7:35 PM in E-106 additional lab TBA if required course materials: on blackboard system

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fundamentals of new media mumt 202

Fundamentals of New MediaMUMT 202

Cory McKay

Jason Hockman

course info
course info

Fundamentals of New Media (MUMT 202)

  • lectures: monday 5:35 PM - 8:25 PM in E-106
  • labs: thursday 5:35 PM - 7:35 PM in E-106
    • additional lab TBA if required
  • course materials: on blackboard system
  • office: 550 Sherbrook St. West, suite 500 (dial x0300 on hallway phone)
  • office hours by appointment
course info1
course info
  • course will be in 2 sections
  • section 1:
    • instructor: Jason Hockman (
    • TA: Jung-Suk Lee (
  • section 2:
    • instructor: Cory McKay (
    • TA: Bertrand Scherrer (
    • TA: John Ashley Burgoyne (
main goals
main goals

to provide:

  • an overview of new technologies related to music and music production
  • an understanding of the basics of digital audio and digital signal processing
  • an exposure to the present state of artistic work in music technology and new media
lecture schedule
lecture schedule

Part 1

  • Introduction to New Media
  • Basic Concepts of Acoustics and Psychoacoustics
  • Digital Signal Processing Introduction
  • Music and the Internet
  • MIDI, OSC and Symbolic Music
  • Apple Logic
lecture schedule1
lecture schedule

Part 2

  • Editing and Mixing Audio
  • Audio Effects
  • Score Editing
  • Sound Recording
  • Artistic Examples
  • Overview of Music Technology Research Areas (if time permits)
  • Optional Topics (if time permits)
lecture schedule2
lecture schedule

part 1

part 2

  • 9/14: class 1
  • 9/21: class 2
  • 9/28: class 3
  • 10/5: class 4
  • 10/12: no class - Thanksgiving
  • 10/19: class 5
  • 10/22: class 6
    • special Thursday class
  • 10/26: class 7
    • test 1
  • 11/2: no class
  • 11/9: class 8
  • 11/16: class 9
  • 11/23: class 10
  • 11/30: class 11
  • 12/3: class 12
    • special Thursday class
    • test 2
    • final project presentations
deadlines and attendance
deadlines and attendance
  • attendance to all courses is required
  • collaboration and mutual aid is encouraged
  • cheating and plagiarism will not be tolerated
  • students are expected to be familiar with McGill’s policy on academic integrity
  • part 1 will have 4 assignments, and one test
  • part 2 will have 2 or 3 assignments and a final project
  • all assignments are due at the beginning of class on the due date
  • late assignment policy (20% off total grade each day late)
deadlines and attendance1
deadlines and attendance
  • Part 1:
    • Assignment 1 (5%) September 21
    • Assignment 2 (5%) September 28
    • Assignment 3 (5%) October 5
    • Assignment 4 (5%) October 19
    • Test 1 (30%) October 26
deadlines and attendance2
deadlines and attendance
  • Part 2:
    • Assignment 5/6 (10%) November 23 (Editing and Mixing Audio)
    • Assignment 7 (5%) November 30 (Score Editing or Sound Recording)
    • Test 2 (10%) December 3
    • Final Project (25%) December 3
mtcl entry
MTCL entry
  • registered students should already have access to the lab
  • any problems with entry: please see Building Director (room E234)
  • network accounts: max 5 GB, 100 page (per 120 days) printing limit
  • new user accounts email Darryl:
    • login will be: lastnamefirstinitial (e.g., hockmanj)
    • password: login name + 1234 (e.g., hockmanj1234)
  • network account issues: Darryl Cameron (
what is new media
what is new media?
  • media: tools to store and deliver information
    • advertising
    • communications technology
    • print media
    • can also be related to materials and techniques used by an artist
  • integration of media into our lives expands with technology
  • new media: tools developed relatively recently that relate to computerized communication and information distribution
  • audio, video, internet and computer technologies
what is new media1
what is new media?
  • new media development has led to:
    • globalization
    • increased communal knowledge across nation boundaries
      • e.g., online higher education, wikipedia
    • social and political change
      • response to this year’s Iran election
      • influence in determining recent US election
what is new media2
what is new media?


  • production and performance technologies:
    • sequencers: Apple Logic, Steinberg Cubase, Abelton Live
    • synthesis: Access Virus Snow
    • auto-effects: ARTMA, BBCUT
    • control and performance: Lemur, Reactable, Tenori-On, T-Stick, Serato Scratch, Mixxx
what is new media3
what is new media?


  • video and visual technologies:
    • video editing software: Apple Final Cut
what is new media4
what is new media?


  • video and visual technologies:
    • video editing software: Apple Final Cut
    • image editing software: Photoshop, GIMP
what is new media5
what is new media?

Computational technologies

  • internet
    • engines: Google, Yahoo
    • social networks: Facebook, Myspace
    • streaming audio: lastFM, Pandora, Grooveshark
    • streaming video: Youtube, Vimeo
    • media stores: itunes store, Beatport, Digital-tunes, Bleep, Boomkat
    • torrent: pirate bay, mininova
outline of today s material
outline of today’s material
  • Basic Concepts of Acoustics and Psychoacoustics
    • source-medium-receptor chain
    • acoustic and musical parameters
    • simple harmonic motion and sinusoids
    • complex tones
    • superposition of waves / Fourier analysis
  • definition: the study of subjective human perception of sounds
  • the study of psychoacoustics seeks to explain how we experience the phenomena of sound through an understanding of the intricate relationships between sound waves and our organs for perception
  • why its important:
    • we need to know how sound propagates and how we perceive it
    • basis for space-saving compression techniques
    • used for distribution of sound within space - a.k.a. spatialization
  • area includes a broad range of topics: the ear, brain, and vocal organs, as wel;l as a neurological and psychological approach to concepts such as pitch, loudness, timbre, and spatialization
  • also includes memory (important for timing measurements)
  • what is sound?
    • traveling wave(s) that are oscillating through a medium with parameters that are in accordance with the range of the heard frequencies (20 Hz - 20 kHz)
    • involves 3 systems: source-medium-receptor model
      • performer singing on a stage - source
      • air in the concert venue - medium
      • audience members - receptors
    • source creates the energy, while the medium transmits the sound, and the receptor receives the signal via senses, and then perceives the sound through higher level cognition.
  • source is comprised of 3 components:
    • primary excitation (e.g., blowing, bowing, striking)
      • energy source for system
    • vibrating element (e.g., string on a guitar, head on a drum)
      • excitation elicits oscillation modes that generate musical pitch
      • upper harmonics influence timbre
    • resonator (e.g., body on guitar or violin)
      • to transfer the oscillation from the vibrating element to the external environment with greater amplification (and richer timbre)
  • medium (e.g., air, water)
    • when the traveling oscillations reach boundaries such as walls, ceilings, floors, etc., the are either reflected or absorbed
      • various materials have different absorption characteristics
      • this determines the quality of room acoustics and reverberation
  • receptor
    • process of audition begins with our ears
      • sound first hits our pinna (collects sound and filters it). pinna is also used for propagation analysis (2 ears)
      • sound then into auditory canal
      • eardrum at end of canal - sound waves cause vibration in eardrum, causing 3 bones on opposite side to vibrate (malleus, incus, stapes)
  • nerve impulses are then created in the cochlea in a region called the basilar membrane (lined with ~3500 hairs that sense vibration)
  • nerve impulses are then interpreted within frequency groupings, that ranging from 20 Hz - 20 kHz
  • Cochlea






  • Pitch, Loudness and Timbre
    • sound stimuli broken down into these 3 subjective measures
    • pitch represents the fundamental frequency of a sound
      • sine tones contain a single frequency
      • complex tones have several frequencies (more on this later)
    • loudness is a sensation of the intensity of a sound
    • timbre is everything that is not pitch and loudness that can be used to differentiate between two sounds
    • tone burst must be tens of periods before it is recognized as pitch
    • noise is without pitch, but contains both loudness and a timbre
      • e.g., waterfall, fricatives
  • Pitch, Loudness and Timbre
    • as mentioned these are subjective, and measuring these is difficult
    • there are 3 objective measures sound identification
      • fundamental frequency (oscillation rate of lowest freq. in harmonic series)
      • amplitude (amplitude of the oscillation - equivalent to pressure on eardrum)
      • spectrum (arrangement of partials)
auditory perception
Auditory Perception
  • Fletcher: pitch perception varies with frequency
    • high frequency perception is result of cochlea excitation
    • low frequency perception involves a “time mechanism”
  • Fletcher-Munson (1933): sound intensity level varies with frequency
    • i.e., given equally loud sinusoids of different frequencies, we hear them as being different levels.
    • most audible = 2000 Hz - 3000 Hz
    • least = below 100 Hz and above 10000 Hz
  • phon represents the perceived loudness of a sound wiht a given frequency
equal loudness contours
Equal-Loudness Contours
  • Fletcher-Munson curves (1933): created by asking large number of subjects to rate loudness of different frequency sinusoids
periodic motion
Periodic Motion
  • motion that is repeated in equal intervals of time
    • e.g., rocking chair, tuning fork, orbit around sun
    • period: time it takes for one cycle
    • frequency: inverse of period
      • e.g., tuning fork may have a frequency of 1000 Hz (repeats motion 1000 times per second, but its period is then 1/1000 or 1 millisecond)
  • simple harmonic motion
    • point comes back repeatedly to the same position at exactly equal intervals of time and exactly repeating the same type of motion in between
    • can be represented as the projection of uniform circular motion on the diameter of a circle
    • aka sinusoidal motion
periodic motion1
Periodic Motion
  • think of the displacement of a spring over time
periodic motion3
Periodic Motion
  • Sinusoid is then fully described by its
    • Frequency (f)
    • Amplitude (A)
    • Phase (φ)
      • measured in radians
      • 2π = 360 degrees = full cycle
  • s
complex tones
Complex Tones
  • what happens when 2 or more sinusoidal waves with same frequency are heard simultaneously?
    • constructive interference: if the 2 waves share a common frequency and phase, the result will be a sum of the amplitudes of each of the original sinusoids
    • destructive interference: if the 2 waves share only a common frequency, and is 1/2 cycle out of phase (φ = π), then the amplitude will be the difference between the 2 amplitudes
complex tones1
Complex Tones
  • what happens when 2 waves with different frequencies are added?
    • resulting signal is no longer a sinusoid since it doesn't follow pattern of simple harmonic motion
    • resulting signal freq. = lower of the 2 original frequencies
    • amplitude of the resulting signal = sum of the originals
    • if two sinusoids are `in phase' then peaks and troughs coincide
    • If sinusoids are out of phase then peaks and troughs oppose each other and they will cancel each other out
complex tones2
Complex Tones

tone A

tone B


complex tones3
Complex Tones
  • this leads us to Fourier Theory, which implies that any complex periodic waveform can be decomposed into a set of sinusoids with different amplitudes, frequencies and phases
  • following this model then, all sounds that we hear may be reduced into the linear combination of simple sinusoids