Mailbox: MS-161-ELPD

Tel. 617-747-

Office : 401, 161 Mass Ave

Office Hrs:

Course Chair

Michael Bierylo


An introduction to the fundamentals of music technology geared to the needs of today's professional musician. One of the most significant challenges facing musicians today is mastering the skills required to continually adapt to a changing technology. Musicians must understand and be prepared for the fact that technology is moving more rapidly than it can be assimilated. The course topics will give an overview of all aspects of the current technology with the primary goal of enabling students to make intelligent decisions in evaluating future technological needs.


Course Objective

Upon satisfactory completion of this course, you will have an overview of today's technology.  You will be exposed to the language of sound, acoustic and electric instruments, an introduction to computers, performance environment and sound reinforcement, synthesized sound, MIDI, music for visual media, home and the professional recording studio.


Required text

No required text.  See online class site for notes.

Homework, Quizzes, projects and Out-of-class Preparation

Weekly tasks and project work will be assigned.  Midterm and final exams will be given.  In order to maintain satisfactory standing in this class, approximately four hours per week of out-of-class preparation are recommended.


Midterm Exam


Final Exam



General information on grading is contained in the Policy Handbook for Students available for download here: 


If a project is not completed, a grade of F will be entered and averaged.  The mark "I" (Incomplete) will only be available in emergency situations; see Student Bulletin for policy.

Grading Criteria

A  (90-100)         Superior, Exceptional; control of course material enables excellent production.

B  (80-89)          Good; grasp of material enables above-average production.

C  (70-79)          Average; assimilation of material enables acceptable production.

D  (60-69)          Below Average; exposure to material enables poor, but passable production.

F  (below 60)      Not Passing; assimilation of material insufficient to demonstrate acceptable productive capacity.

Final Grade Determination

Your final grade will be determined by considering the following components at the indicated weights:

Classroom Version                                          Blended Version          

15%                       Project 1                   10%

15%                       Midterm Project                     10%

20%                       Final project              15%

20%                      Online Quizzes                   20%            

n/a                         Discussion Questions            15%

30%                      AttendanceClass        30%


Attendance Policy

No unexcused absences are permitted.  If your unexcused absence occurs before the "W" deadline (see below), the instructor may request that you withdraw from the course.

Deadline for Course Withdrawal

Only with the EPD ChairÕs approval may this class be dropped from your schedule.

The instructor will not drop you from the class for any reason (including absence) or submit any withdrawal form for you.  Please request for dropping the class within the Add/Drop deadline for the semester. Any dropping from this class after the Add/Drop deadline will result in your continuing to be Žnancially responsible for the class, and you will not not eligible for a tuition refund or replacement course.  Please be aware that dropping from a class might affect scholarship, Žnancial aid, international student visa status, Žnancial aid or veteransÕ beneŽts, and any F-1 visa status. In case of doubt about your status and options, please check with the Counseling & Advising Center.


If you have problems with understanding English, verbal or written, and have been placed into LENG-102 ESL Intensive or LENG-104 ESL1, please see the EPD Chair if you wish to drop MTEC-111.

Generally speaking, if you have been placed into LENG-105 ESL2 or LENG-106 ESL3, you will not be allowed to drop MTEC-111.

Lack of English skills will not be accepted as an excuse for poor performance in this class.





Topical Course Outline


1.   Why Technology?


2.   Working with Computers


3.   Overview of Desktop Production


4.   MIDI Editing and Basic Mixing


5.   Electronic Instruments and Sequencing in Reason


7.   The Properties of Sound and Digital Audio


8.   Digital Audio Files and Music Distribution


9.   Basic Audio Editing and Working with Loops


10.  Recording Workshop


11.  Mixing


12.  Signal Processing


13.  Final Project Review