MIDI, Logic, Film Music Sample Assignments

Logic Studio
Logic Studio (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Try these Music Technology exercises to test your creativity or give them to your music technology students. I originally developed these projects as part of my Music Technology class at Murray State University. They helped developed both skills and creativity in the classroom. These are each worded exactly as given to the students. Feel free to borrow and improve on these assignments in your studio.

Using a variety of musical and nonmusical sound samples and MIDI instruments, create two 2-5 minute compositions demonstrating:

1) Musicality 
2) Originality
3) Variation
4) Use of 8 separate MIDI tracks (minimum) each song
5) Concept
6) Professional/Concert Quality
7) Use of at least 1 audio files (of any length) each song

The two compositions must be of entirely different styles and should be concert quality material.

Finished composition must be burned to a CD using a high-quality audio file and uploaded to Reverbnation as explained in class.

Using a short original clip or a public domain clip downloaded from Archive.org:

1) Upload video to Logic or Garageband (clip must be at least 2-5 minutes long)
2) Compose an original score for the clip, being sure to match cues and mood of the clip.
3) Export video and score to quicktime.
4) Post on your blog (using You Tube or other online video service).

Remember, this is a MUSIC project, not a VIDEO project. 

Projects will be graded on:
1) Originality of the overall project
2) Faithfulness of music to video content
3) Musicality
4) Following directions

As part of my studio, students would give constructive music critiques of each other's pieces. Each student would give detailed criticisms and praise of a student's piece. The student was not allowed to defend their musical decisions, instead they had to listen and allow the music to "speak" for itself. I found that this was a challenging but educational part of the learning process. It worked both on ear training skills and the ability to compare works. Usually I didn't have to say anything in the course, as the students learned to hear what they needed to improve themselves.

After this Thursday's critique, I want you to write a short blog entry about what you learned through creating this first piece.

You can include info on:

1) Use of software, effects, audio etc.
2) Creating a composition.
3) Reactions to the critiques
4) What you can improve on and what you did well on the first assignment.
5) Questions you might still have about audio, mixing, composing, etc.

Also, be sure to become a "follower" of your classmate's blogs and feel free to comment, share info and multimedia, and share links, etc.

This week we are going to start working in Logic Studio. Create a 2 minute track in Logic using both MIDI and recorded samples.LOG IN TROUBLESHOOTING
1 Log into the computer. If you have any problems, restart the computer. Try login again.
2 Test MAC sound on board (channels 15/16 and Main mix)
3 If no sound, open and close Garageband and test again
4 If no sound, Restart computer
1 Try out different set-ups
3 Set up 1 Software Instrument
4 Select Patch for software instrument
5 Test different sounds
6 You can RECORD using the playback panel
1 Doubleclick on the MIDI track to access the Piano Roll
2 Fix problems, use quantization, adjust velocity
1 Click on SCORE to see your notes
2 You can manually fix and add notes to the score and export as PDF
Use for editing audio samples imported
Change functions like panning and pitch manually
There are many parts to the virtual mixer
- Panning
- Volume
-Instrument and Effects
Use Read/Touch/Latch to record automation
Do not use WRITE unless you want to erase all automations
To import and audio sample, just click and drag to Logic Project or use preset loops (sparingly)

Setting up a Blogger Account

1) Sign in with gmail account 
2) Follow simple instructions for adding a title, URL, and layout
3) Add a blog under Posts/Post a New Blog/Save Blog
4) Add links with Add a Gadget/Basic/Link List/(Add URL and Title of Website)
5) Add Video with Add a Gadget/Basic/HTML/(Copy/Paste You Tube Embed HTML Info)
6) Can also add Video Bar with Add a Gadget/Basic/Video Bar/(Then add keyword info and title)

EARS First Annual Listening Booth
Due Date TBA
Submit two to five completed works for inclusion of the first annual EARS Listening Booth, a computer station that will be a part of this semester's concert and School of Music Open House.


(100 pts)
Create a five minute long concert worthy electronic work. It must demonstrate both a high level of creativity, originality, and technical know-how. The musical style is up to you.

- Set up a blog on Blogger. 
- Add 10 links (dealing with electronic music, electroacoustic composers, recording, video game music, computer music, MIDI, electronic instruments, etc.)
- Add at least 5 videos using HTML or Video Bars. 
- Post a new blog entry on "What I would like to learn this semester in Music Synthesis"
- Feel free to add other features to your blog.

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