Introduction to Electronic Music

Jason Allen, PhD, Ableton Certified Trainer

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8 Videos (3h 52m)
    • Intro Orientation

    • Lesson1 all

    • Lesson 5

    • Lesson2 all

    • Lesson3 all

    • Lesson 6

    • Lesson 4 all

    • Lesson 7


About This Class

This is a general course for people with little or no experience producing electronic music. This course will cover all general aspects of music making (key, pitch, form, harmony), through basic audio concepts (waveforms, frequency spectrum, etc.) ending at basic concepts of synthesis and MIDI.

The class will be taught by J. Anthony Allen (PhD), an instructor of music composition at Slam Academy, McNally Smith College of Music, and an Ableton Certified Trainer. All ages and skill levels are welcome.

About J. Anthony Allen

J. Anthony Allen (PhD – Music / Ableton Certified Instructor) has been teaching private lessons since he was 15 years old. He has worn the hats of composer, producer, songwriter, engineer, sound designer, DJ, remix artist, multimedia artist, performer, inventor, and entrepreneur. Allen’s has several feature film credits as a composer, as well as commercials for television and web.

3 of 4 students recommendSee All

This class offers an interesting birds-eye view of electronic music production. The content includes a brief history of major recorded audio and electronic music developments, an overview of what digital audio is and various digital audio formats, explanations and recommendations for hardware and software (with a focus on Ableton and Reason), an explanation of MIDI and audio samples and how to use them, how to get DAWs to talk to each other to use more than one at the same time to exploit their unique features, how to export your tracks and projects for sharing or collaboration, and a brief explanation of sound synthesis (using software synthesizers). The class was thorough, and included many interesting (and often humorous) contextual facts along the way. The class is presented like a college lecture, in a slide-show fashion with the instructor talking and interjecting demonstrations and media clips. It is not interactive, and you are not doing any hands on learning while it unfolds. So if you are interested in a lecture-style introduction to the basic principles of electronic music, I found this to be a very helpful, informative introduction that will help me to understand the reasons for doing things, how to achieve an intended effect, and why the result is the way it is. Now I can look at a synth and know what those knobs mean and how to use them to sculpt sounds, what normalizing does, why you don't want to use an mp3 file as a sample, and what my audio interface is actually doing. Sweet!





Jason Allen

PhD, Ableton Certified Trainer

J. Anthony Allen has worn the hats of composer, producer, songwriter, engineer, sound designer, DJ, remix artist, multi-media artist, performer, inventor, and entrepreneur. Allen is a versatile creator whose diverse project experience ranges from works written for the Minnesota Orchestra to pieces developed for film, TV, and radio. An innovator in the field of electronic performance, Allen performs on a set of “glove” controllers, which he has designed, built, and programmed by himself. When he’s not working as a solo artist, Allen is a serial collaborator. His primary collaborative vehicle is the group Ballet Mech, for which Allen is one of three producers.

In 2014, Allen was a semi-finalist for the Grammy Foundation’s Music Educator of the Year.

J. Anthony Allen teaches at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN., and is an Ableton Live Certified Instructor. He has a PhD in music composition, 2 Master’s degrees in music composition and electronic music, and a bachelors degree in guitar performance. Through his academic travels, Dr. Allen has received numerous awards along the way.

Born and raised in Michigan, Allen has worked with many forms of interactive media including audio, video, installation and dance. Mr. Allen’s work has been experienced all over the world, and has been called “a study in ominous sound and motion,”(Baltimore Sun) “An aural hallucinogen,” (Minnesota Public Radio) and “A beautiful and engaging use of technology. ” (Cogapp: The Art and Science Blog). In 2003 Allen joined the team of the Spark Festival of Electronic Music and Art where he was the assistant director and lead producer through 2009.