(must625) working with midi in logic pro x

Two previous posts will help you get started:


(must625) logic pro x intro posts

Working with Logic Pro X requires some attention to program setup (preferences) and how to use audio within tracks. Knowing some keyboard shortcuts also helps.

The very first thing you should do after launching Logic Pro X is to turn on Show Advanced Tools (Logic Pro X > Preferences > Advanced Tools…) and turn on Show Advanced Tools. Make sure all the options are checked. If you run Logic Pro without Advanced Tools on it looks and works like Garage Band.

I’m linking to three posts to help you get started with the Logic Pro portion of the musique concrete project.

When you save your project for the first time (and you should save fairly soon after opening your project), pay attention to the options in the lower portion of the save dialog box. You want to organize your project as a folder and copy audio files into your project.


(must625) listening list 1

Due Friday, May 22

Create listening guides for the following pieces:

  • Gyorgy Ligeti, Artikulation
  • Edgard Varese, Poeme Electronique

    and two of the following:

    • James Tenney, Collage #1: Blue Suede
    • Pierre Henry, Variations on a Door and Sigh (excerpt)
    • Richard Karpen, Mass
    • Ake Parmerud, Cut 1, 2, 3 Progress

You should download the entire set of works, available here.

The Ligeti, Varese, Tenney, and Henry are historical pieces, showcasing classic musique concrete techniques. The Karpen and Parmerud are contemporary pieces that used computer processing to extend the capabilities of musique concrete.


(must625) how to make a listening guide for electronic music

Instead of memorizing works in a short session, I’d rather you engage a smaller number of pieces in more depth. To that end I want you to make a listening guide for assigned pieces. Instructions for making a listening guide can be found in this previous post.


(must625) starting and working on a musique concrete project

Starting your first musique concrete project usually requires a new way of thinking about music and working with sound in general. To help you organize your work in the early stages, I’m linking to some previous posts that summarize some key points, tools, and procedures.


(must625) project 1: musique concrete

Due Thursday, May 21, at beginning of class.


Compose a short work (45 – 60 seconds) utilizing musique concrète techniques. You will process your sounds in Audacity and/or Audition, and assemble/compose them in Logic Pro X. You should use three to five original sound sources.

You will edit and process your sounds using the basic techniques of musique concrète, namely

  • cut/copy/paste
  • gain/amplitude change (overall, or as an envelope)
  • changing playback speed (with or without changing pitch)
  • reversing audio (change direction)
  • equalization

Form does not have to be much of a concern. The ethos of concrete music is experimentation with sound. Anything that sounds interesting from moment to moment will work as a composition in this short format. It can be best to think in terms of gestural or continual variation, whereby anything material that is presented can be subject to immediate variation.

Your project cannot consist entirely of looped material. You should focus on creating gestures, not simply repeated patterns.


  • Duration: 45 – 60 seconds (10)
  • The project must rely on gesture as a primary component of the work. (10)

Additional factors you will be graded on:

  • Creativity: are your edited sounds interesting, and used in interesting ways in the project? (40)
  • Quality of edits and finished audio: you should not have audible clicks at beginnings or ends of edited audio, and your audio should not distort (it should not go over the maximum amplitude). (20)
  • Organization of files and following turn-in procedure: is there a finished, mixed audio file? Can I open your project file and play back all the tracks contained? Did you include your original source files and your processed files? (10)
  • Use of the required minimum number of sound sources (10)

100 points total

Work Procedure/Organization

  • Create a project folder. Name it with your last name and “-project1.” For example, my project folder would be kothman-project1.
  • Within the project folder, create a folder that contains your original source sound files (name it source sounds, or source files). These files will contain the specific segments of audio you used to start your editing. If you are using snippets from larger works or sound files, your original sounds folder will contain the edited snippets as well.
  • Create a folder for your processed sounds, within the project folder.
  • Launch Logic Pro X and save your Logic Pro X project within your overall project folder.
  • Make sure you bounce to disk, to make a final stereo mix of your entire project.
  • Compress your entire project1 folder and turn in that compressed folder to me in class (via some type of removable media or cloud storage).

(must625) audacity audio editor (free)

You can download Audacity, a free audio editor for Mac and Windows, at SourceForge.


(must625) second readings – digital audio

From teachingmusic:

From Hass:


(must625) first assignments – soundwalk and readings

The soundwalk assignment is posted.

Please read the following by Wednesday:


(must625) assignment 1: soundwalk

Due Friday, May 15.

The Handbook for Acoustic Ecology defines a soundwalk as follows:

A form of active participation in the soundscape. Though the variations are many, the essential purpose of the soundwalk is to encourage the participant to listen discriminatively, and moreover, to make critical judgements about the sounds heard and their contribution to the balance or imbalance or imbalance of the sonic environment. (Truax, 1999)

A soundwalk, therefore, is a walk that is led by the ears instead of the eyes.

Your assignment is to freely explore a given geographic space while recording with a handheld recorder and listening through headphones/earbuds. Your walk should take you around campus, a neighborhood, or a business district. The total time of your recording should be 10 minutes. You will most likely record a little bit extra — around 12-15 minutes — and then reduce the total time through editing the original recording.

Ideally, you should include three to four scenes from different places. For each scene, you should continue to move while recording. Consider a strategy of adjusting your walk according the interest of what you hear during the recording. As you hear interesting things you can adjust your walk to move towards interest, or away. Each recording will occupy one file on the recorder.

When you have finished your field recording, you will transfer all your files to a computer and assemble them into a single stereo audio file. Use fadeouts and fadeins between scenes. You can use any stereo audio editor to assemble your final file, but your finished file should be saved in either .wav or .aif format.

Recording and editing should be done either at 44.1 or 48 kHz sampling rate, 16 bit or 24 bit resolution.

You must also write a one page reflection (400 words) on your recording, which should include a description of what you found interesting in your scenes, and what sounds and/or decisions guided your walk.

turn-in procedure

  • Save your completed audio file with the name lastname_soundwalk (.aif or .wav)
  • Save your reflection paper as lastname_soundwalkreflection.docx
  • Put both files into a folder named lastname_assignment1
  • Compress/zip the folder, upload to a filesharing site like Dropbox, and email me the link to download.