Master of Music in Music Production, Technology, and Innovation
The master in music production, technology, and innovation explores cutting-edge developments and forward thinking techniques in music and beyond. While strengthening sophisticated skills on the most current digital tools, students are challenged to disrupt the status quo while inventing the future of music.
Through accelerated study of hybrid recording, music video production, sound design, musical app development, electronic production and live performance, students develop in-demand skills to prepare themselves for careers as artists, technologists, producers, DJs, electronic composers, educators, and software and/or hardware designers.
Advanced Studio Recording
Digital Production and Design
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 learn hybrid arranging, composition, recording, editing, manipulation techniques, live interactive performance systems, and the means of forward-thinking musical innovation.
Students also 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.
Students create technology-aided compositions; large scale recording projects and/or live performances featuring interactivity, multi-channel audio, and digital visual expressions; originally-designed instruments and systems; musical applications for tablets, mobile devices, and the web, or other innovations that push the boundaries of music and technology.
Throughout the program, 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, software and game development, live performance in solo and ensemble settings, and education. Graduates are well 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 innovative music, using technology
- Apply technology to the composition of music
- Analyze the properties of sound
- Master critical listening and assessment skills
- Synthesize studio technologies and techniques
- Master MIDI and audio production technologies and techniques
- Perform electronic music live
- Integrate music and audio into software applications and games
- Generate and manipulate video in relationship to music
- Develop audio in the context of software applications (coding)
The culminating experience is the final project that students work on throughout the year and present at the end of the program. Through the culminating experience, students make a creative contribution to, and/or define and solve a problem that exists in, the profession. This is a major part of the master's program and represents the educational journey students take over the course of the program. The final presentation can take the form of a research project, a creative work, or a practical project.
Culminating Experience Timeline
- Semester One: Students propose their culminating experience to their advisor and program director.
- Semester Two: Students revise and refine their proposal and get final approval from their advisor. Students also work with their advisor to form the culminating experience committee for their project.
- Semester Three: Students complete and present their final project to the culminating experience committee.
For more detailed information about the culminating experience, you may reference pages 48-51 of the 2014/15 Graduate Bulletin.
Culminating Experience Examples
Robaton: Music Conducting Robot
Numark Suit: Freeing the Technologist from the Laptop
The master's program runs from September to August. View the academic calendar for the current academic year.
2014/2015 Graduate Bulletin
The graduate bulletin contains all the information relevant to Berklee graduate programs for the current academic year. Program information may change year to year.
The following are the courses students take over three semesters (fall, spring, and summer) to complete the master in music production, technology, and innovation. There is an optional internship that takes place the fall after graduation for those who want to do an internship through Berklee for credit.
Required Courses 2014/2015
- 3 credit(s)
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.
- 3 credit(s)
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 ongoing 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.
- 3 credit(s)
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 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.
- 3 credit(s)
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.
- 3 credit(s)
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.
- 3 credit(s)
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.
- 3 credit(s)
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.
- 6 credit(s)
Music technology innovation students are required to complete a culminating experience 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.
Students in music production, technology, and innovation take one or two electives during the year. Students choose the electives that best fit their career goals and interests. The semester and electives offered may vary each year.
- 3 credit(s)
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.
- 3 credit(s)
This course explores topics in electronic production and live performance techniques related to modern electronic dance music production, sound design, arrangement, and performance. Students generate content and create their own music while learning how to use Ableton Live Suite. Students learn to analyze electronic music, and explore techniques for remixing, performing, and creating electronic music.
- 3 credit(s)
This course explores advanced topics in sound design, beginning with ear training and progressing through professional, cutting edge tools and techniques. Students learn to analyze musical sounds, deconstruct their elements and apply modern techniques. In so doing, students learn to apply new technological solutions to music production as they create new sounds and apply these to creative works. Students also master audio effects and apply automation to creative works.
- 3 credit(s)
This course explores technology in the context of live theatrical performance. In this course, students-whether performers, videographers, interaction designers, composer/arrangers, or music business people-work together to create new, digital interpretations of existing works of opera, zarzuela, or other music theater. In the process, students explore the work of important and innovative artists, as they also gain analytical, composition, design, and project planning skills. The final project will involve a performance of the reinterpreted work. This course presents an opportunity for collaboration, allowing students a firsthand glimpse of other disciplines, as well as valuable experience in front of a live audience.
- 3 credit(s)
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.
- 3 credit(s)
In this practical, hands-on course, students learn to design, test, analyze, and improve music apps for iOS devices, including the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad. Several small apps will be created and prototyped over the first half of the semester, with a larger apps being created, tested, and deployed for the final project. Existing music apps will be evaluated for effectiveness and usability, and this evaluation process will be incorporated into the prototyping stage of the students' own app development. Students learn and use the Swift programming language, and also become familiar with the Objective C programming language.
- 3 credit(s)
- 3 credit(s)
This course builds on the skills and experiences gained from MTI-543: Music Video Production, providing additional mastery of the tools and techniques needed to create compelling, creative music videos. Students refine their filmmaking methods and clarify their artistic vision, creating music videos that are technically and aesthetically polished. Students learn to apply additional promotional best practices in pursuit of video virality. They also explore specialized areas of video production, including video projection mapping.
Optional Internship 2014/2015
Students may choose to do an optional internship in an extra fourth semester, following the completion of all course work.
The optional graduate internship (GS-595) takes place in the fall following graduation. Read more about the optional internship in the [tablink link="http://valencia.berklee.edu/academic-programs/master-degrees/master-in-music-technology-innovation/#.tab_career_development"]career development[/tablink] section.
Optional Classes 2014/2015
Students may take these optional classes if they have space in their schedule after all required courses are scheduled. Optional electives do not count in program total credits.
- 1 credit(s)
This course enables students to enhance their ensemble-playing skills, deepen their knowledge of a particular style and its associated repertory, and develop their individual performance identities. Students develop their ability to create and perform music in a particular style. Working under the direction of a senior faculty member, students complete exercises that enhance their intonation, articulation, and improvisational skills in an ensemble context. Students learn to maintain stylistic integrity by developing their awareness of the melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic practices associated with a particular repertory.
- 3 credit(s)
This course prepares artists to build sustainable careers. Students learn to be innovative in the way they promote, distribute and monetize their own creative products. In this project-based course, students develop of a wide set of business-related skills. Students focus on their own professional projects in order to develop knowledge and skills in three essential areas: 1) project management and finance, 2) contract management and negotiation, and 3) social media management. Through this project-focus, students learn the connections between the creative and business aspects of the music industry. They also enhance their ability to manage projects and to manage their careers.
- 3 credits/6 ECTS
*Course content is subject to change.
Visiting Artists and Faculty
In order to give students a broader understanding of the music industry, we host industry-leading artists and faculty from Boston to give lectures and workshops related to specific challenges and opportunities in the industry. Faculty visiting from the Boston campus frequently come to Valencia for special workshops and presentations. In many cases, students from all masters programs are welcome to attend visiting artist and faculty sessions, regardless of program.
Visiting artists and visiting faculty change each year. Here are some of the visiting professionals who have visited campus in the past on behalf of the music production, technology, and innovation program:
Leslie Ann Jones
Young Guru and Sean C
Outside the Classroom
When you are on campus, you'll find yourself in the midst of a multitude of cultures, backgrounds, and styles. Berklee is well known for the diversity of students and faculty, and on the Valencia campus we celebrate the musical creations and cutting-edge ideas that come from this blend of culture and backgrounds.
Master's students come from all over the world, and bring a wide range of experiences to share on campus during the year-long program in Valencia. Students are the center of campus life, as they turn classrooms into laboratories and collaborate on innovative projects with students in other master's programs.
Collaboration with Other Programs
It’s not just the faculty and visiting professionals that inspire, at Berklee you will be surrounded by and collaborating with talented musicians and composers from around the world, both in the music technology innovation program, and from the other masters’ degrees on campus in performance, scoring, and music business. It is in this collaboration that opportunities begin to form, relationships are built, and your creativity and ability to innovate are put on center stage.
Outside the classroom, music technology students may find themselves working with students from the music business master's program to work on production for a student artist, or get some extra insight on sound engineering and mixing. Music technology students also work with students from the entire campus in the studios on pre-production, recording, and mixing. In addition, there are many musicians on campus from all programs who enjoy coming together to perform at events on and off campus, or join in sporadic jam sessions.
The campus is full of life, and there's always something you can get involved in. Extracurricular activities are optional and vary from year to year. Some opportunities are open for all students to participate, while others are on an audition/application basis.
- Optional Ensemble Elective: Students may opt to take "Contemporary Ensemble" (ENDS-550), a one-credit optional elective to enhance ensemble-playing skills. Students develop their ability to create and perform music in a particular style, under the guidance of a faculty member from the contemporary performance program. Credit does not count toward program credits.
- Events: There are opportunities for select students to perform in many events on campus, in Valencia, and around Spain such as orientation, graduation, ensemble performances, and events at the City of Arts and Sciences.
- Extracurricular Activities: Extracurricular activities are completely optional for students, take place outside of class time, and vary year to year. Past examples of such activities include a batucada group, flamenco workshop, a choir, Valencia DJ Collective, ensembles, and so on.
Innovation: ¡En Vivo!
In 2014, the music production, technology, and innovation program hosted for the first time, a concert in the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia called "Innovation: ¡En Vivo!," open to any student on campus (by audition) who wanted to perform a piece with integrated technology. Innovation: ¡En Vivo! will continue as an on-going concert happening a few times throughout the year.
Past Student Performances
Master's students at Berklee’s Valencia campus presented a concert exploring the future of music. The concert featured surround sound with interactive video and world music, jazz, folk, and electronic music.
Miranda Inzunza performs the song 'Arrest Me' with accompaniment by faculty member Ben Cantil doing interactive digital percussion and sound design during the 2014 Innovation: ¡En Vivo!
Live performance of 'Libélula', by Matt Mazzone and Will Clark, at the Innovation: ¡En Vivo! concert that took place in the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía in Valencia.
Ironfist performs the pieces 'Mars' and 'Venus' from the famous orchestral suite 'The Planets' by English composer Gustav Holst at the 2014 Valencia Commencement Concert. Music by Gustav Holst, Arrangement by Ironfist, Performed by Ironfist
Music production, technology, and innovation student Michael Harris, students and faculty perform 'Lion's Lament' live at the Innovation: ¡En Vivo! concert that took place in the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía in Valencia.
Students of the Master in Music Production, Technology, and Innovation performed the original song 'The Rule of Three' at the EmTech España conference. Students Hugo Caicedo, Ryan Renteria and Tim Shull Jr. were selected to perform with the Numark Orbit wireless midi-controller after winning a contest held at Berklee's Valencia campus.
Graduate student of the music technology, and innovation program, Michael Sean Harris performed an original piece titled 'Eva' as part of Berklee's presentation at EmTech España 2013. He uses technology to make a single voice sound like a choir.
The Scratch Ambassadors performed at the end of the first day of the EmTech España conference. The band is formed by Program Director and DJ Stephen Webber and master's students from several master's programs on campus.
Getting a master's degree from Berklee College of Music pushes you towards the next big step in your career, and the International Career Center is one of the resources you have to help get you there. The mission of the International Career Center is to provide expert guidance, cutting-edge resources, and professional development experiences to a diverse student body for the achievement of students’ music career goals. Rather than acting as a one-time job link, the overall focus is on music career management and helping students access resources and activities that are available and applying them to their own career paths. Read more about the International Career Center.
Industry Events and Conferences
Succeeding in the music business is all about building your professional network and making connections with the right people. During your year at Berklee, you can attend industry-leading events, such as EmTech or Sónar, learn strategies for building and maintaining your professional relationships, and connect with high-performing peers.
Featured Events and Conferences (Optional)
Students are encouraged to take advantage of their time in Europe to attend or participate in the many music and technology-related conferences held in Spain and Europe. All conference participation and attendance is optional and students make all the arrangements to attend on their own. In some cases, students may be able to access special offers and student discounts through Berklee.
- Dates: June 18-20, 2015
- Website: sonar.es
"Created in 1994, Sónar is a pioneering festival with a unique format and content. Its first class reputation as a leading reference for international festivals is by virtue of a carefully balanced cultural offering, combining a playful nature, the avant-garde, and experimentation with electronic dance music's newest trends."
- Dates: Spring, 2015
- Website: aes.org/events
"The Audio Engineering Society is the only professional society devoted exclusively to audio technology. Founded in the United States in 1948, the AES has grown to become an international organization that unites audio engineers, creative artists, scientists and students worldwide by promoting advances in audio and disseminating new knowledge and research."
- Dates: November 12-13, 2015
- Website: es.technologyreview.com/emtech/espana/
- Dates: April 15-18, 2015
- Website: musik.messefrankfurt.com
"Musikmesse in Frankfurt am Main is the world’s most important fair for musical instruments, sheet music, music production and marketing."
- Dates: May 14-16, 2015
- Website: greatescapefestival.com
"The Great Escape (TGE) is a new music festival that showcases emerging artists from all over the world. Over 400 up and coming bands play in 35 Brighton venues, accessible on one wristband. It’s the first place to discover your new favorite band and see them in an intimate setting before they go on to headline major festival stages."
- Dates: June 5-8, 2015
- Website: midem.com
“Midem is the leading international business event for the music ecosystem where music makers, cutting-edge technologies, brands and talents come together.”
- Dates: TBD
- Website: internationalmusicsummit.com
"The Ibiza International Music Summit (IMS) presented by dance music legend Pete Tong, is now revered as one of the world's most important music industry gatherings. IMS signals the beginning of the Ibiza season. It is both a high level music industry conference attended by the global industry leaders in the dance music scene, alongside a week of the most aspirational dance parties on the island - the official launch of the Ibiza season"
- Dates: TBD
- Website: tedxberkleevalencia.com
In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TED has created a program called TEDx. TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. Our event is called TEDxBerkleeValencia, where x equals an independently organized TED event. At our TEDxBerkleeValencia event, TEDTalks video and live speakers will combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events, including ours, are self-organized. Select students will have the opportunity help organize the event, while all students will be able to attend.
Three graduate students perform their Numark project, Rule of Three. Graduate students of the music production, technology innovation program competed against other to come up with the most creative uses for Numark's wireless MIDI controlled, the Orbit. Students who won the inter-class competition were selected to present at the EmTech España conference.
Three graduate students at EmTech for their Numark project, Rule of Three. Graduate students of the music production, technology innovation program competed against other to come up with the most creative uses for Numark's wireless MIDI controlled, the Orbit. Students who won the inter-class competition were selected to present at the EmTech España conference.
Misty Jones presents her project, the Numark suit. Graduate students of the music production, technology innovation program competed against other to come up with the most creative uses for Numark's wireless MIDI controlled, the Orbit. Students who won the inter-class competition were selected to present at the EmTech España conference.
Highlights of Berklee faculty and students at EmTech España 2013, including Program Director Stephen Webber's speech on Inventing the album of 2025, performances by music production, technology, and innovation students and 2013-2014 Berklee's Scratch Ambassadors.
Graduate student of the music production, technology, and innovation program, Michael Sean Harris performed an original piece titled 'Eva' as part of Berklee's presentation at EmTech España 2013. He uses technology to make a single voice sound like a choir.
Program Director Stephen Webber talks about the most important thing you need to know when producing records. Taking a look back at his personal experiences when meeting some of the most important recording engineers in the world he concludes that the most important thing to be successful when producing any form of art, including music, is to have to have the ability to convey emotion.
Berklee’s optional graduate internship program supports Berklee master’s students who seek to integrate academic and professional experience after completing the coursework and culminating experience projects required in their specific master’s program. This optional program will take place during an additional semester, following the completion of all course work, and students will be charged a part-time comprehensive fee.
Note that students are responsible for securing their own internships and for securing all appropriate and required visa statuses. For more detailed information about the optional internship, you may reference pages 51-52 of the 2014/15 Graduate Bulletin.
Possible Career Paths
These are some examples of the career paths graduates can pursue:
The producer has the ability to creatively produce and incorporate (his/her own) sound design into the production process. The producer functions as the creative leader of any studio, film, television, or radio recording project. Producers work mainly with recording acts and record labels to produce records. They also work with composers and produce sound recordings for film, TV, and other forms of multimedia. The producer supervises all aspects of the recording process, including contracting session players and overseeing the recording budget. A producer may also help the artist select songs to be recorded. A producer should be an excellent musician with a lot of experience and have a great depth of musical, acoustical, and studio technical understanding.
The remixer/DJ has the ability to edit a song or completely recreate it to sound different from the original version, as well as mixing recorded music live for an audience.
Interactive and Mixed Media Specialists work with sound and music for use with websites, software, and other multimedia applications. They combine sound with visual media such as text, video, images, and animation.
Modern musicians incorporate technology and sound design into their performances by using electronic instruments, accompaniment tracks, and special effects.
The composer in the Music Technology Innovation field has a particular specialty in using computer and MIDI technology throughout the entire composing and arranging process. Composers create instrumental pieces, either to stand alone or to be combined with lyrics. They may compose for a specific situation, such as film/TV composers who score/compose music to enhance videos or films, or they may compose for live performance and/or recording situations.
Developers create music and sound effects to be used in apps and video games. They work with sound stages, electronic sound design, and musical compositions.
The sound designer is employed to develop a sound library of synthesized original sounds and effects for visual media. The sound designer also uses various sophisticated electronic equipment to arrive at conclusions and find sonic solutions in their work.
A music technology hardware/software developer is a person who designs and programs system-level software, such as operating systems, database management systems (DBMSs) and embedded systems, and also takes care of the design, implementation and testing of hardware (circuits, components, systems, etc.)
An educator in the music technology innovation field typically teaches in a higher education college or university program.
The recording engineer operates the soundboard and other electrical equipment during the recording of music. Recording engineers run the recording session with oversight from the producer. They may also be responsible for setting up equipment in the studio prior to the session, and discussing with the producer or musical act what they want the end product to sound like. It is the engineer's subsequent responsibility to craft a recording that meets the producer's, artist's, or band's desires. The engineer may also be responsible for mixing down the recorded tracks into the finished product.