Academic Catalog


Foothill College Course Outline of Record

Foothill College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Effective Term: Summer 2022
Units: 4
Hours: 3 lecture, 3 laboratory per week (72 total per quarter)
Degree & Credit Status: Degree-Applicable Credit Course
Foothill GE: Non-GE
Transferable: CSU
Grade Type: Letter Grade (Request for Pass/No Pass)
Repeatability: Not Repeatable


Advanced techniques for electronic music production in a variety of genres. Recording and processing vocals. Advanced analog and digital synthesis and sound design techniques. Field recording of original samples for use in producing drum beats and textures. Mixing and mastering finished compositions for commercial distribution. Remixing existing songs from both stereo mixes and multi-channel stems. Creating dynamic, real-time live performances using a variety of hardware controllers.

Course Objectives

The student will be able to:

  1. Perform advanced programming of virtual analog and digital synthesizers and drum machines.
  2. Record original sound elements for playback using samplers.
  3. Quickly create multiple arrangements of songs for various applications including commercial distribution and live performance.
  4. Remix existing songs to create new artistic works.
  5. Combine multiple hardware controllers to create dynamic live performances.

Course Content

  1. Advanced synthesis
    1. Virtual analog synthesis
    2. Digital synthesis
  2. Advanced sampling
    1. Recording unique samples in the studio and field
    2. Manipulating samples to achieve a signature sound
  3. Advanced drum machines programming
    1. Using drum sampling and synthesis
    2. Building complex and evolving rhythm patterns
  4. Arranging and remixing
    1. Creating standard arrangements for commercial distribution
    2. Creating extended arrangements for live performance
    3. Remixing existing stems to create a new track
  5. Advanced performance techniques
    1. Live recording and looping
    2. Using controllers, instruments, and voice to augment electronic playback
    3. Combining pad, drum, and keyboard controllers

Lab Content

  1. Advanced synthesis with virtual instruments
    1. Virtual analog
    2. Digital (FM, physical modeling, granular, wavetable)
  2. Advanced sampling techniques
    1. Sound acquisition
    2. Creating patches
  3. Advanced drum programming
    1. Designing complex beats
    2. Creating evolving drum patterns
  4. Preparing for live performance
    1. Outputting stems
    2. Creating an extended multi-song set

Special Facilities and/or Equipment

1. When taught on campus:
a. 30 Macintosh computers and MIDI keyboards
b. Video projector and screen
c. Digital audio workstation software with appropriate virtual instrument plug-ins
2. When taught via Foothill Global Access:
a. Ongoing access to computer with email software and capabilities
b. An email address
c. JavaScript-enabled internet browsing software
d. Digital audio workstation software with appropriate virtual instrument plug-ins

Method(s) of Evaluation

Methods of Evaluation may include but are not limited to the following:

Graded lab assignments in the operation of virtual synthesizers, samplers, and drum machines
Quizzes on electronic music concepts and terminology
Composition projects requiring application of concepts presented in each module
A graded final project that demonstrates acquired skill in producing and performing electronic music

Method(s) of Instruction

Methods of Instruction may include but are not limited to the following:

Lecture presentations and classroom discussion of the techniques for composing and producing electronic music
In-class listening to historically significant electronic music compositions followed by instructor-guided interpretation and analysis
Presentations of major composition and production projects followed by in-class discussion and evaluation

Representative Text(s) and Other Materials

Written materials provided by the instructor may include: lecture handouts, hardware and software user guides, guided listening worksheets, and musical scores.

Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing, and Outside of Class Assignments

  1. Written critiques and analyses of audio production projects including albums, soundtracks, television, video games and internet multi-media.
  2. Written summaries documenting technical and artistic elements for corresponding submitted assignments and audio projects.
  3. Written proposals, session logs, learning outcomes and reflections supporting submitted musical works and final master recordings.


Commercial Music