E4896: Music Signal Processing
Prof. Alexandros Eleftheriadis
Department of Electrical Engineering
About this home page
This is the home page of the course EE E4896, Music Signal Processing,
as taught at Columbia University in the Spring of 2005. General course
information, special announcements, homeworks, and solutions can be found
here. Students are expected to periodically check the contents of this
site to obtain up-to-date information about the course. All information
will be made available in class as well.
General course description
An introductory course on the applications of signal processing to music,
suitable to seniors and first-year graduate students in EE, CS, or Music.
Emphasis is placed on the signal processing operations in both recording
and live environments. Topics covered include: audio and room acoustics;
microphones and loudspeakers; A/D conversion, dithering, and digital audio
formats; analog and digital audio mixers; audio effects algorithms; sequencers,
samplers, and Digital Audio Workstations (DAW); mastering for CD and DVD
production; and sound synthesis algorithms. Throughout the course case
studies of real systems will be examined in detail.
Prerequisites are a course on discrete-time signal processing (at the
level of E3801 Signals and Systems or preferably E4810 Digital Signal
Processing) and familiarity with Matlab.
Knowledge of music theory or capability of playing an instrument are
not required, although appreciation of music will be taken for granted.
A good set of ears will be extremely helpful as a lot of engineering decisions
in this field are based on subjective evaluation criteria.
The objective of the course is to teach all signal processing aspects
of a modern music recording studio. At the end of the course, students
should be able to enter any professional recording facility or sound reinforcement
installation at a concert and understand all the different types of equipment
used, as well as the methodology of its use and operation. Students interested
in research in this area should take a follow-on course on advanced topics
in music signal processing, where rigorous mathematical treatment of a
number of key concepts will be undertaken. This necessitates as an additional
prerequisite a course on stochastic processes, and potentially additional
courses on filter design and advanced DSP. Alternatively, students with
strong motivation and preparation can undertake individual research projects
under E6001/6002 Advanced Projects in Electrical Engineering, after successfully
completing the E4896 course.
Example commercial systems to be covered in the course
Several commercial systems will be examined in the course as case studies
of particular system architectures and/or design methodologies. Manuals
of these systems will be made available on-line. The list includes: Behringer
MX-3242X analog mixing console, Yamaha DM-2000 digital mixing console,
Alesis ADAT HD24 hard disk recorder, Digidesign Pro Tools LE and TDM,
Digidesign 002, TASCAM GigaStudio hard disk sampler, and Propellerheads
Reason software synthesizer.
Structure of this web site
This web site is organized into several different areas, according to
specific subject matters.
- General information about the course, the instructor, and the TA.
- The detailed course syllabus.
- Required and suggested reading material, including links to online
- Homework assignments, due dates, and solutions.
- Project description, requirements, and due dates.
- This area is extremely important, as it will contain all announcements
that will be made for the class throughout the semester. This includes
changes in office hours, class hours, and any other information that
may need to be communicated widely. All such announcements will also
be posted on the electronic mailing list that has been established for
the course (firstname.lastname@example.org).
A. Eleftheriadis, email@example.com