MTS 511
Introduction to Digital Performer

Prepared 2016-2017 for Dr. Timothy Brown

Jon Newton

Syllabus | Schedule | Classes | PSU Music Technology Site


# Date Subject Resources Project
Orientation Jeffrey Hass Site
Mac Modifier Keys
Using a Sequencer Digital Performer Info Digital Performer Project Anatomy
Editing MIDI MIDI Information
Mascharada Project
Sound Modules Huber, Ch 7
Ballora, Ch 6, 7, 8
Recording MIDI MIDI Powerpoint Chords Project
MIDI as Data --- ---
Digital Audio Recording --- Alphabet
Digital Audio Recording --- ---
Advanced Audio Editing --- Word Jazz
Working with DSP --- ---
Mixing MIDI --- MIDI Mix Project
Using Automation --- ---
Working with Virtual Instruments Crystal Tutorials Virtual Instrument Project
Subtractive Synthesis --- ---
Working With MIDI --- MIDI Problem Project
--- --- ---
MIDI & Audio --- Klay Radio
Mixing Audio --- ---
Intro to Finale --- Finale Tutorials
Using Notation Software --- ---

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Course Number: MTS 511
Course Title: Introduction to Digital Performer
Term: 2016-2017
Prepared for:   Dr. Timothy Brown

Instructor: Jon Newton

Texts: These are recommended texts:

1) Modern Recording Techniques, by David Miles Huber 7th Edition, ©2009 Focal Press, ISBN-10: 0240810694, ISBN-13: 978-0240810690

2) Essentials of Music Technology, by Mark Ballora, © 2003 by Prentice Hall, ISBN 0130937479

Course Description: The purpose of the course is to bring Dr. Brown’s skill level to strongly intermediate with the Digital Performer software, also to expand his understanding of MIDI sequencing, digital audio, and working with a notation application.

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Part 1: Music Technology & DP Orientation

Peruse and bookmark the Jeffrey Hass site
•Read Chapter Three: MIDI (both parts)
•On the Jeffrey Hass DP page, read The Digital Performer Interface and Editing MIDI Data carefully

Part 2: Digital Performer Introductory Project

•Download and open Digital Performer Anatomy
•Execute tutorial


•Complete and submit the document in Digital Performer Anatomy tutorial

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Part 1: Editing MIDI Data

•How MIDI data is stored on the computer
•Different types of sequencers
•Editing MIDI data

Part 2: Sound Modules

•Discussion of the devices that make the sounds
•Patch changes in a General MIDI instrument

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Part 1: Recording MIDI Data

•How MIDI Controllers communicate with sound modules
Controller Orientation
•Audio/MIDI Setup
•USB Interface
•Reassign MIDI output in DP tracks to current controller

Part 2: Sequencing

•Setting up a metronome
•Countoff & Wait modes
•Arming a track and hearing a patch
•Real-time recording

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Part 1: Mixing in MIDI

•V Racks
•MIDI Control Messages
•Grouping & Mix Layouts
•Mixing in MIDI vs. mixing with audio files

Part 2: Automation in MIDI

•How automation data is created in MIDI
•Editing automation data

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Part 1: Subtractive Synthesis

•Working with Virtual Instruments in DP

Part 2: Subtractive Synthesis

•Programming a subtractive synthesizer

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Part 1: Working with a Sample Player

•Discussion of differences between "synthesizers" and "sample players"
•Continuing work on synth project

Part 2: Lab

•Individual work

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Part 1: Working With MIDI

•More about quantizing
•Duration issues
•Velocity issues
•Working with MIDI automation

Part 2: Lab

•Individual work

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Part 1: MIDI Technology

•More about quantizing
•Duration issues
•Velocity issues
•Working with MIDI automation

Part 2: Other MIDI Tools

•Notation Software

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Part 1: Lab

•Individual work

Part 2: Lab

•Individual work

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Part 1: Career Development


  • Resume
  • Reel
  • Business materials (business card, letterhead, invoices)
  • Website
  • Data base
  • Accounting software

Find clients (Free-lance vs. employer-based work)

Making contact (mail, email, phone, in-person)

Part 2: Student Work

•Please have a project ready to present to the class.

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