Author Archives: Jesse Stiles

Project 7

(due Dec 2 at 11:59 PM)


Important dates

  • December 2, 11:59 PM: Deadline for music submission (source files, wave file, program notes, and answers to the questions below).
  • December 7, 6:00 PM: Concert. Hunt Library Media Lab [HLA10a]


Project 7 will be an ambitious computer music composition that you create by combining techniques we have explored during the semester. Your goal is to create a composition that is technically ambitious (combining at least four major techniques in Nyquist), and is a compelling listening experience (revisit our Spotify playlist for inspiration). As always, you may optionally use DAWs such as FL Studio, Ableton, Logic, etc. to mix, edit, master, etc. — but we expect you to focus your work on Nyquist programming techniques covered in the course. Your piece may of course be created using Nyquist alone.

Your composition will be presented at the December 7 concert in the Media Lab. The Media Lab has support for up to 8 channels of surround-sound audio and video projection. If you wish to create a multichannel or multimedia piece for P7 that would be excellent and your extra effort will be considered in grading. Please coordinate with the teaching team via Piazza to help us understand your piece’s requirements if you wish to pursue these options.

Assessment will based on:

  1. Completeness – Audio requirements are fulfilled, code, slides, and text are included according to specifications below.

  2. Code – Code is included and compiles.

  3. Composition quality – Your piece should demonstrate effort exploring musical and technical possibilities and should present an interesting listening experience.

  4. Mixing – The various sounds created for your piece should be mixed with intentionality. You should control the amplitude of all sounds over time so that they are balanced and the listeners’ attention is focused to aspects of the music which you wish to highlight. Your piece should contain no common mixing errors such as clipping or clicks. If you wish to include these types of sounds intentionally for artistic effect please explain this in your program notes and explain your reasoning for why this decision was made.

  5. Significant use of Nyquist – Your piece must include at least four major techniques explored in the course, for example: granular synthesis, FM synthesis, spectral processing, pattern generation, physical models, sampling/looping, etc,

Audio Requirements

Submit your audio file in ANDREWID_p7_comp.wav. It must adhere to these requirements:

  • Stereo or multichannel file
  • WAV format
  • 16 bits, 44.1 kHz
  • No clipping
  • Must be normalized
  • Must not contain long periods of silence
  • 60-120 seconds long

If you compose a longer piece and feel that cutting it down to 120 seconds significantly reduces its quality, you may also submit an extended version, which will be taken into consideration in grading.


In ANDREWID_p7_slide.pdf, submit a slide, in the form of a one-page landscape PDF, to be projected while your piece is played. You should include an image in the slide that relates to your music and include the title of your piece, your name, and any additional text you wish. The image can come from anywhere, and does not need to be original work. Keep in mind that text in slides should be large to be legible from the back of the hall. Your complete program notes will be printed in the program, so you do not need a lot of text on the slide. Hopefully, the slides will add an engaging visual aspect to the concert, so please strive for an aesthetic, artistic presentation.

If you wish to create “live visuals” to accompany your piece rather than a slide that would be a great addition.  We can provide HDMI input to our projection system and ask that you arrive at 5:00 the day of the concert to test your playback system with our projector.


Include the answers to the following questions in ANDREWID_p7_answers.txt:

  1. What is your motivation in this work? Give a short summary.
  2. What special efforts did you make in composing this piece?
  3. What mixing techniques you use in this work? Try to be concise.
  4. What Nyquist programming techniques did you use in this work?
  5. Do you have any additional comments for the graders?
  6. Do you give permission for your piece to be made available online?

Program notes

You should also submit the following in ANDREWID_p7_notes.txt:

  1. On the first line: the title of your composition.
  2. On the second line: the name by which you would like to appear in the program.
  3. After that: your program notes. You may use LaTeX syntax if you want to include any formatting.


Please create a zip file containing the following files (in the top level, not inside an extra directory):

  1. Your composition sound file: ANDREWID_p7_comp.wav
  2. Your composition source files: in the folder ANDREWID_p7_source
  3. Your slide: ANDREWID_p7_slide.pdf
  4. Answers to the above questions: ANDREWID_p7_answers.txt
  5. Program notes: ANDREWID_p7_notes.txt

Deliver your zip file via Box at:

Project 0

Due Sep 4

Install Nyquist on your computer.
Play some sounds with the Sound Browser (find Browse button or menu item). Report any problems on Piazza!
Install Audacity on your computer. Record and view a sound. Try the spectral view. Report any problems on Piazza!
Make a sound on Nyquist by executing the following command (type in the input window, upper left):

play pluck(c4)

Look carefully at the output window and you will see that Nyquist saves the computed sound. Find that sound on your computer and rename it to p0.wav.

Create a plain text file named p0.txt. You can put any text in it.
Combine p0.wav and p0.txt in a zip file named and submit this to Submission instructions are here.
Read and sign the Academic Integrity Policy form and return it in class next week.
Grading: You will receive full autograde credit if p0.wav is correctly computed and handed in with p0.txt. If you fail to get Nyquist or Audacity running without telling anyone immediately, you will suffer enough sooner or later.
After the grading deadline, you will be asked to grade 3 submissions from your peers. This should be very easy, but if there are any problems, get help on Piazza so Project 1 will go smoother.