Master in Music Technology Innovation
The master of music degree in music technology innovation offers advanced studies to performers and composers who demonstrate excellent musical proficiency and technological acumen, and a desire to deepen their technology skills. Students in this program explore new artistic directions using innovations in music, technology, and the application of technology to music.
Students learn in individual, classroom, lab and studio settings to further their musical range by applying technology to create, compose, perform and produce music. This program is distinct from an audio engineering or electro-acoustic composition degree in its approach: students are not limited to studying audio or contemporary art music. They work in collaboration with Berklee’s world renowned faculty to develop and execute a culminating experience or thesis project that leverages music technology in a manner that best suits and speaks to their knowledge, skills, artistic vision and career goals.
Students are immersed in the study and application of hybrid arranging and production, remixing, editing and mixing, composition, interactive music and live performance. Likewise, they may choose to explore further studio recording, DJing and turntablism, interactive video and audio manipulation, post-production, expanded composition and performance topics, controller design, and cultural studies unique to electronic music.
Fall Semester 2013-2014
- Accelerated Studio Recording Techniques
In this course, students develop skills and techniques for producing and engineering music sessions in a large format recording studio. Students learn studio etiquette, recording techniques, signal flow, and subsequent work flow within a professional studio environment. The course emphasizes console signal flow within a modern hybrid environment; microphone types, characteristics, and placement; analog and digital signal processing; asset management; and practical troubleshooting skills.
*Required of Music Technology Innovation students without extensive prior experience engineering in studios with large-format recording consoles.
- Advanced Large Format Studio Production
In this course, students learn the architecture and operation of an integrated studio centered around a large format digital console (in this case, the Avid System 5) and advanced methods of modern music production. Students learn specific recording techniques as well as critical information on digital audio, synchronization, music tracking, and mixing. Projects explore the flexibility of large format systems for use in audio engineering and production.
*Required in fall for those not enrolled in Accelerated Studio Recording Techniques; those enrolled in Accelerated Studio Recording Techniques can enroll in this course in spring.
Music Technology Innovation Seminar 1 is a comprehensive, practical and goals-oriented exploration of innovation in artistry, music and technology. The biographies, accomplishments and traits of innovative individuals will be considered, and students will prepare media-rich presentations on innovators of their choosing. Current brain science will be scrutinized, and best approaches to exploratory innovation, idea generation, evaluation and implementation will be examined with an eye towards adapting the most applicable practices to each student’s field of specialization. This course will also function as a forum to integrate the skills and information students are learning in their other courses, as well as focusing students on defining their culminating experience/ thesis projects. The final project in the course will be a detailed definition and action plan for each student’s culminating experience/thesis.
Our daily interactions in the social, cultural, and commercial spheres are increasingly digitally mediated, resulting in systems that are open to user input or that persist for an indeterminate amount of time. Thus, conventional notions of sequential narrative lose their efficacy, and a new type of system-based problem solving is required. Such nonlinear formats represent a growth area for composers and music producers. This course examines the network of emerging practices that are springing up in such fields as sound art and architecture and video game design, providing students with the technical and theoretical skills to navigate this new acoustic ecology of digital media. Using the graphical programming language Max, students will develop projects that examine precedents for nonlinear structure across boundaries of discipline, culture, and history. Developing fluency with alternative organizational models to traditional linear forms will allow students to innovate and thrive in a new digital ecosystem.
This course explores topics in electronic production and live performance techniques related to modern music and sound design. Students will be introduced to MIDI programming and processing with Max/MSP, advanced control techniques of audio and synthesis devices (in Ableton Live through Max and Max for Live), and aesthetic considerations in the production and live performance of electronically produced music. Students will explore strategies for integrating performance and production, resulting in a greater creative method for production and greater technological augmentation of performance. Students will develop their own dynamic computer/controller based music performance system and demonstrate it in a final performance and presentation.
This course explores the hybrid nature of modern recording techniques and stratagems. The curriculum thoroughly studies the simultaneous integration of advanced large format consoles, cutting-edge Digital Audio Workstation capabilities as well as advanced, creative acoustic recording methods. The traditional console recording paradigm will be expanded by seamlessly merging it with powerful Digital Audio Workstation signal processing, plug-ins, customized signal flow architectures and the on-going research of alternative acoustic soundscapes. The course aims at innovating and streamlining the technological aspects of the recording process as a means to ultimately facilitate the creative endeavor of capturing music and emotion through sound.
Spring Semester 2013-2014
This course provides musicians with the tools and techniques to create compelling, creative music videos, especially using “guerilla” techniques (self-produced,
low budget). The course introduces the fundamental techniques of music video production and provides practical, hands-on experience for producing professional music videos. Students learn by doing as well as by study. They analyze different techniques and methods of planning and production and put them into practice as they create their own videos.
Innovation Seminar 2 picks up where MTI-515 Music Technology Innovation Seminar 1 leaves off, providing the platform for students in the music technology innovation master’s program to launch the execution phase of their culminating experience/thesis project. The course will provide a framework for project management, including planned milestones, visiting artists, and material strategies to incorporate students’ projects into tangible career opportunities.
This course comprehensively explores and combines the in-studio aspects of professional multitrack mixing and unique qualities of live performance mix techniques. The curriculum thoroughly studies the integration of advanced large and small format consoles, Digital Audio Workstations, professional outboard equipment and cutting- edge control surface modules. In the studio, students will analyze and contrast the core/foundational elements of a mix versus peripheral accessory elements. From this analysis, hands-on mixing strategies as well as emotional destinations will be drawn in order to provide each student with a clear and focused goal for their mix projects. In live situations, the mix engineer will have a direct reactionary relationship to a live performance in order to express his or her artistic sensibilities in order to achieve a desired emotional impact. The course aims at streamlining the technological aspects of any mixing process as a means to innovate and ultimately facilitate the endeavor of creating deliberate emotional impacts through the manipulation of sound.
Summer Semester 2013-2014
Music technology innovation students are required to complete a culminating experience /thesis project. This creative, artistic or research project enables the student to make a contribution to the music industry. The student will work in consultation with his/her faculty advisor and/ or program director to develop his/her unique project. The goal is to complete original work at a professional level. A faculty committee composed of the advisor and one to two other faculty will evaluate the final project that results from the culminating experience. This team will serve as the examining committee.
In this course, students learn to use the turntable as a musical instrument. Students explore the culture and aesthetics of hip-hop, turntablism, club DJs, radio, and mash-up DJs. They also study the following techniques: cueing, mixing, beat matching, beat extending, mash-ups, blending, and scratching (basic, scribble, laser, uzi, stab, cut, transformer, crab, chirp, and flare). Students learn to compose and perform DJ sets with creative and technical mastery.
This course is an advanced tutorial in the use of new technologies for composing and producing music for visual media. It is recommended for graduate scoring students who are already thoroughly familiar with the use of at least one DAW and professional sound library. Over the last two decades a technological revolution has created powerful new tools—and a new musical and narrative language—for making and using music in media. This revolution in the methods of music making has not only led to an enormous new palette of sounds and compositional techniques, but it has also fundamentally transformed the ways that music is used in storytelling and has created a whole new set of expectations for music in media. This course will focus on the new techniques (musical and technological) and aesthetics of contemporary dramatic electronic composition. The use of synthesizers, advanced methods of sound design, modern production techniques, electronic compositional methods, the use of nontraditional music in the scoring process, and the aesthetics of modern dramatic media will all be investigated.
Offered fall semester
This course provides a comprehensive analysis of online and social media options available for the promotion of entertainment products and services. Students review the plethora of online tools for marketing, including online advertising, social media campaigns, social media etiquette, and games and contests. Students learn to create a total branding plan for an entertainment asset. The capstone of the course requires students to create an integrated online media plan for the promotion of a new entertainment product or services.
Offered spring semester
*Course content is subject to change.
This unique one-year project-focused program provides students with a deep knowledge of innovations and contemporary developments in music technology, electronic musicianship, and music production. Students are mentored and guided by faculty in, among other topics, hybrid arranging, composition, recording, editing, and manipulation techniques, live interactive performance systems, and the means of forward-thinking musical innovation.
The first-semester Innovation Seminar provides a foundation to the curriculum. Through the seminar, students explore the art and science of innovation, case studies of transformative musical innovators, and directly apply the principles of innovation to an advanced musical project. Supportive coursework includes Hybrid Recording Methods and Stratagems, Electronic Production and Live Performance, Non-linear Structures for Real-time Media, Interactive Music Technology Applications, Music Video Production and Dissemination, Advanced Studio and Interactive Performance Mixing.
Students’ project work will be guided through directed study with technology faculty members. In the final semester, students complete their culminating experience (thesis) projects and present them to the campus.
Students conceive and produce a body of work as they prepare for careers in music technology innovation, composition and production, interactive and mixed media, remixing, electronic musicianship, DJing, live performance in solo and ensemble settings, and education. Graduates are better prepared for rapid changes in the music industry and adaptable to new creative directions.
Program Purposes and Learning Outcomes:
Upon completion of the program, students will be able to:
- Create music utilizing innovation and technology
- Master hybrid analogue/digital music production tools
- Apply innovative technology to live performance
- Analyze the emotional, kinesthetic, objective and subjective properties of music and sound
- Develop critical listening and assessment skills
- Speak in the language of music technology
- Complete a culminating project at a master’s level
Download the 2013/2014 Graduate Studies Bulletin
The master’s program runs from September to August. To see the academic calendar for the current academic year, click here.
These are some examples of the career paths students can pursue after completing this program:
- Recording artist
- Music producer
- Interactive and mixed media specialist
- Live performer in solo and ensemble settings
- Electronic and acoustic composer and orchestrator
- Developer for musical applications and audio for games
- Sound designer for visual media
- Music technology hardware/software developer
- Education and research
- Recording engineer/mixer