[chuck-users] ChucK, Audio, MIDI courses posted online

John Ellinger jellinge at carleton.edu
Mon Dec 28 22:27:04 EST 2015

Hi All,

I've posted courses I created and taught in the Carleton College Music Department before I retired in 2014.

MUSC 101 - Music Fundamentals
The basic fundamentals of music in a web based format using the MiBAC MUSIC LESSON I and MUSIC LESSONS II I wrote during the 90's and 00's. Sadly the business closed in 2012 after 25 years.

MUSC 108 - Intro to Music Technology
The focus of this course was learning to "play the computer" with attention to articulation, dynamics, phrasing, rhythmic accents that a performer would use. The first half of the course taught the raw language of MIDI and the format of Standard MIDI Files using Excel spreadsheets. Students used a utility program I wrote called MIDIDisplay that translated the Excel text into MIDI messages they can play and edit. There is also an Excel template for a SMF that, when filled in correctly and pasted into MIDIDisplay, will export the text as a Standard MIDI File. The second half of the course applied that MIDI background to creating a "human" MIDI performance using Apple's Logic 9.

MUSC 208 - Computer Music and Sound
The focus of this course was the study of Computer Sound. The primary programs were ChucK and Octave with a little OSC and Processing GUI connected to ChucK at the end. The lectures were geared to teaching students enough about synthesis methods, a little filter theory, and a lot of controlling ChucK with laptop keyboards, gamepads, joysticks, and Golftrak string controllers. There were three student project, and individual research presentation, and two laptop trio performances (7 groups of three students each). There are a lot of code examples designed to give the students tools to create their projects. I deliberately inserted the code as images to prevent students from copying and pasting. I felt typing the code forced them to slow down, think and ask questions. The course was taught as a 110 minute lab every Tuesday and Thursday.

My DIY Modular Synth
This is an analog Modular Synth I recently built using schematics mostly from Electronotes by Bernie Hutchins.

Special thanks to Dan Trueman, Ge Wang, Spencer Salazar, Perry Cook, Steve Beck, Roger Dannenberg and the many other people I met at the 2012 SLEO conference at LSU who patiently answered my questions when I was just getting started with ChucK. That enabled me to coach Carlork the Carleton Laptop Orchestra in 2013 and create MUSC 208 which I taught twice in 2013 and 2014.

Comments, questions welcome.


John Ellinger
Winter 2016 Visiting Instructor in Computer Science 
CS 312 Audio Programming in C++
Senior Lecturer in Music, Retired
Carleton College

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