Digital Music Production – Winter 2023

Course Description

Build your digital music production skills during this four-week Online Foundations of Digital Music Production Course in partnership with Delta Sound Labs. With 180 minutes of real-time instruction per week, Delta Sound Labs will teach you all you need to know about music production and using Ableton Live. Students will receive a license for Ableton Live Intro, a license for Fold – A Distortion Synthesis Audio FX  Plugin, and a license for Stream – A Granular Sampler Audio FX Plugin. Students can continue to use this software after the course has concluded.

Course Topics

  • Audio sampling and editing
  • Mixing and audio effects processing
  • MIDI sequencing and songwriting
  • Sound synthesis


Course Learning Objectives

  • Describe fundamental music composition and music production concepts
  • Compose, record, edit and mix your own music
  • Map music theory concepts to music production concepts
  • Critique original music using descriptive language
  • Use a professional digital audio workstation including native and third-party software instruments and audio effects
  • Share, disseminate original music

Composing with MIDI and Software Instruments

Lesson 1: Make Beats and Textures
Lesson 2: Composing with MIDI Effects and Simpler
Week 1 – Sequencing Fundamentals
5 questions

This short quiz will test your knowledge of the MIDI sequencing lessons in Week 1.

Week 1: Homework
Pre-Midpoint Checkin Survey

Working with Audio Samples

Lesson 3: Audio Recording and Editing
Lesson 4: Sampling and Mixing
Week 2 – Audio Fundamentals
6 questions

This short quiz will test your knowledge of the audio fundamentals covered in Week 2.

Week 2: Homework

Mixing and Sound Synthesis

Lesson 5: Mixing and Sound Synthesis
Lesson 6: Parallel Processing and Sound Synthesis
Week 3 – Sound Synthesis Fundamentals
7 questions

This quiz will gauge your understanding of the basic tenets of sound synthesis.

Some of the questions are multi-choice meaning there is more than one correct answer for each question posed.

Week 3: Homework

Remixing and Mastering

Lesson 7: Remixing and Mastering Primer
Lesson 8: Mastering
Week 4 – Mastering Fundamentals
10 questions

The purpose of this quiz is to ensure that the basics of mastering are clear.

Week 4: Homework
Post-Course Survey
Students must be ages 18 and up with a solid foundation in computer literacy. You should know how to navigate an operating system such as Windows or macOS.
You must have access to your own desktop or laptop computer. Recommended computer specification: i5 or better processor. 8GB of RAM. You will need at least 100GB of free storage space on your hard drive for necessary software and storage for audio files.
Registration costs include a license to Ableton Live 11 Intro, which covers all the basic tooling necessary for the course. Course instructors may also use the freely available demo version of the full Ableton Live 11 Suite to introduce more advanced concepts like Max for Live. In addition, students will receive a license for Fold - A Distortion Synthesis Audio FX Plugin and also one license for Stream - A Granular Sampler Audio FX Plugin. Retail Value for License and Plugins: $200
The licenses for Ableton Live 11 Intro, Fold and Stream are yours to keep. This is a $200 value. Software upgrades for Ableton Live with additional features are available at your own expense.
Each student is required to attend two 90-minute online lessons per week via Zoom. You should also plan on an additional two to three hours per week for review and personal work.
Richard Graham and Ken Wendt are experienced musicians, music producers and instructors at Case Western Reserve University.
Yes, discounts are available relative to how early you register.
Yes, discounts are available relative to how early you register.
Yes. Students will receive a CWRU and Delta Sound Labs co-branded certificate upon completion of the course.
No. This is a non-credit-bearing program.