Syllabus

CT 244 Multimedia Sound Production
3 crs., 2 hrs. lab, 2 hrs. lecture.
Tues. & Thurs. 10AM-11:50PM

Michael Branson Smith
Site: michaelbransonsmith.net
Twitter: @mbransons
FlickrYoutubeSoundcloud
Email: michaelbransonsmith [at] gmail [dot] com
Office Hours: M 12-2PM, or by appointment
Phone: 718-262-2853

Course Description
Introduction to the techniques of sound production for multimedia, covering the physics of sound, recording equipment techniques, multi-track mixing, and editing sound for picture. Using a non-linear digital audio workstation, students will produce soundtracks for various multi-media projects using current audio software such as Pro Tools.

Learning Objectives:

  1. To improve your ability to articulate the physical properties of sound.
  2. To improve your understanding of sound’s impact on storytelling.
  3. To improve your ability to make a quality audio recording.
  4. To improve your ability to make a quality audio mix.

Grading:

100% of your grade will be determined by the tenaciousness shown pursuing the above four learning objectives. How do you measure tenacity? That is up to us to decide and will frame our first discussion in class.

Course Materials:

You will become an author to this blog and make regular contributions by embedding your work using Youtube, Soundcloud, and/or Vimeo, therefore you will need one or more of these accounts. We will be using Audacity, a free open-source sound editor to edit and mix our work, so you should download and install a copy of this software onto a computer you can regularly access. Finally we will be using a variety of microphones and recorders supplied by the Communications Technology lab. In order to check-out this equipment you will need to be in the check-out system managed by the college assistants. Checkouts are for a maximum 48 hrs. period, or in the case of a Friday check-out equipment is due back on Monday.

Assignments:

All assignments will be submitted through this site in blog posts. As you are writing your posts consider how you might make them more readable. Give each post a title relevant to the specifics of your posts, be creative with your titles. Try to use a conversational voice in your writing. Consider reading it aloud to yourself to check. And of course think about the obvious spelling/grammar – remember it’s a blog post so it can always be edited/fixed. Add key word tags. Place it in a category.

You will create a number of audio story based projects that will be inspired by media we encounter throughout the course, as well as the Audio Assignment repository found at DS106. We will be working together to determine which projects you’d like to do in the course. You will have a certain amount of choice in what you make. Here are some possible examples: Sound Effects Story, May I Take Your Order, Dialogue Mashup, Familiar Sounds, Text Impersonations, and Beat Craig’s List. There is the possibility of doing live radio broadcasts on ds106radio, we may also chose to do a larger project, for example an radio documentary similar to an episode of This American Life. We will figure this out together.

The physical properties of sound will be discovered and discussed in a variety of ways. This may include you researching a tool (such as a microphone), demonstrating it’s use, and describing the quality of sounds it produces. You will regularly showcase your growing understanding of the terminology and concepts used to describe sound an in sound production.

You will continually improve your ability to record and mix audio by experimenting with a variety of tools and working to your sound projects. Some tools you will provide, others the college will provide. Your ability to “hear” – including issues with the environment in which you are trying to make a recording or the problems with transitions while editing a project in Audacity.


Decorum

Students are expected to treat the instructor and fellow students with the appropriate degree of respect, both in class (if applicable) and in online discussions. Communication, either in person or through electronic media, that is deemed abusive, threatening, or harassing in nature will not be tolerated.

Academic Integrity

York College’s Academic Integrity Policy & Procedures, developed to conform to the CUNY policy on Academic Integrity.

INC Grades

The following overview of the INC grade is condensed from York’s grading policy website

The student must be passing the course, and have work remaining to complete the course requirements. The student must request an INC grade. The instructor must approve whether the student has a valid reason for not completing course requirements and has reasonable expectation that the student can in fact successfully complete the requirements of the course within the allotted time.

Policy on Accommodations for Disable Students

CUNY York College is committed to providing access to programs and services for qualified students with disabilities. If you are a student with a disability and require accommodations to participate and complete requirements for this class, contact the STAR Program (Specialized Testing & Academic Resources), services for students with disabilities (Academic Core Building (AC), Room 1GO2, 718-262-2191/3732) for verification of eligibility and determination of specific accommodations.

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