Cursus Syllabus

Program Phase: September-December | Final: mini projects

General introduction and  Refresher Courses

Digital Audio and Musical Technologies

  • Studio techniques  (recording, mixing, preparing samples)
  • An environment for working in the studio and on stage: Ableton Live
  • Mixing in ProTools and post-production with a DAW

Analysis, Synthesis, and Sound Processing

  • Representations and transformations of sound time-frequency
  • Software for audio analysis, processing, and synthesis in real-time and offline: SuperVP, AudioSculpt, Modalys, Max
  • Sound spatialization

Programming for Creatives 

  • Learn Max and Max for Live
  • Communication protocols: MIDI, OSC

CAC and Musical Formalization

  • Introduction to computer-assisted composition 
  • Learn OpenMusic


  • Strategies for using MIDI controllers 
  • Represent a sound using acoustic descriptors

Projet Phase: January-April

Core classes

  • Design the architecture of a Max patch
  • Techniques used to disseminate spatialization; the SPAT library
  • The bach/cage library
  • Introduction to the MuBu&Co objects
  • Advanced use of the SuperVP library
  • CAC & musical formalization

3 options (2 compulsory)

  • Analysis/Synthesis
    • FM, Wave guide (avec Gen~)
    • Physical models
    • Synthesis in OM, OM-Chroma, OM-Csound
    • Models of resonance 
    • Voice analysis and synthesis       
  • Interaction
    • Motion sensors 
    • Filtering data
    • Gesture following
    • Physiological sensors 
    • Management of data from sensors 
    • Mapping/Sonification of gesture
    • Dance
    • MuBu: structure of data, reading gesture
    • jit.physword (simulation of mechanical models in Max)
    • Descriptors
  • Formalization & CAC
    • Formalization Exercises
    • Models of rhythm
    • Models de pitch
    • Formal music theories
    • Mathematical tools for composition

Commun mini-projects transversaux from september to avril

  • Mini-project #1: electroacoustic étude
  • Mini-project #2: algorithmic MIDI étude “with sinus” in Max 
  • Mini-project #3: algorithmic étude in OpenMusic
  • Mini-project #4: real-time étude (focus voice-poetry) 
  • Mini-project #5:  improvisation and electronics étude
    Production of an étude that uses treatments and transformations of sound in real-time with Max and Live. The objective of this étude is to start the students’ preparation for the modules that work on independent transformations and a concert patch.
  • Mini-project #6: étude with a pedal
  • Mini-project #7: sketch of the final project 
    In preparation of the final project, a time to experiment with musical ideas and to address technical problems that will arise with the project. The sketch is presented in Studio 5 (the largest production studio at IRCAM, equipped with 6 loudspeakers) with the musician performing in the concert.
  • Cursus Concert
    Classes end mid-April giving students about two months to work on their final project presented at the CENTQUATRE-Paris during IRCAM’s ManiFeste festival.