Survey of Music Technology – CMUS 102

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 01/23/2020

Course Description

An introduction to current music technology used in generating music for the commercial music marketplace. This includes using a digital audio workstation, recording analog music, programming digital music, triggering loops in real time, and notating music digitally.



The technologies covered in this course introduce the digital tools needed to take music from its inception, to charting it theoretically, through recording, mixing, mastering, and creating print product for the marketplace. While digital hardware and software change, this course introduces the essential steps required in the current commercial music industry to prepare product for distribution.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course the student will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate the ability to set up a session to record live in Pro Tools.
  2. Demonstrate the ability to edit a sound track including adding, deleting, trimming, fade in, and fade out.
  3. Demonstrate a basic knowledge of music theory and Nashville Numbers.
  4. Demonstrate the skill to enter notes, chords, and lyrics in Finale software.
  5. Demonstrate the skill to create a drum pattern in Ableton Live.
  6. Demonstrate the skill to program a virtual rhythm track including drums, bass, keyboard, and guitar in Ableton Live.
  7. Articulate the difference between MIDI recording and Audio recording.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings and lecture presentations/notes

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in Module/Week 1.

Discussion Board Forums (2)

Discussion boards are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student is required to provide a thread in response to the provided prompt for each forum. Each thread must be 250–300 words and demonstrate course-related knowledge. In addition to the thread, the student is required to reply to 2 other classmates’ threads. Each reply must be a minimum of 150 words.

Tutorials (7)

The student will use the Reading & Study presentations to submit his/her own completed tutorials in the designated software format to the specifications established within each video tutorial.

Projects (3)

The student will submit 3 projects that will be completed after the specified tutorials are completed: (1) Rhythm Track in Ableton, (2) Pro Tools Session with Live Vocal, (3) Video and Soundtrack in Ableton. Each project must be completed in the prescribed format.


Digital Audio Worksheet: from the Digital Audio lecture and research using the web, fill out the worksheet using complete sentences. This worksheet will prepare the student for the Digital Audio Quiz.

Quizzes (3)

There will be 3 quizzes throughout this course. Each quiz will be open-book/open-notes, include multiple-choice questions, and have a 45-minute time limit.

Midterm Exam

The Midterm Exam will be the duplication of an assigned drum pattern in Ableton Live as well as an essay question. The student will be given an audio example and will be asked to analyze the drums, break them down by drum into 4 separate tracks and reproduce 8 bars (measures) of the pattern in Ableton Live. The exam will have a 2-hour time limit.

Final Exam

The Final Exam will contain a written portion as well as a technology portion. The written portion will be an essay reflection based on the student’s findings in the Discussion Board Forum 2. For the technology portion, the student will be given an audio example and will be asked to duplicate the track in Ableton Live given the Ableton Live template and stems. The entire exam will have a 2-hour time limit.