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MIDI / Synthesis - Private Lesson Studio

What is the MIDI / Synthesis studio?

The MIDI / Synthesis studio is part of the Commercial Music & Audio Production program. It focuses on live performance with music technology. The studio is anchored in 4 disciplines: sound design, audio production, computer literacy, and performance. Students do the following in their weekly lessons:

  • Create unique sounds and textures (sound design)
  • Enhance their DAW sessions to sound clearer and more well-balanced (audio production)
  • Configure the computer to enable a smooth performance (computer literacy)
  • Practice performing with music technology (performance)

Piano keyboard performance is part of the weekly lesson regiment. This is because keyboard is a prevailing tool in tech world. Every MIDI / Synthesis student must study keyboard performance. However, students are free to explore other instruments in addition to keyboard, such as--but not limited to--analog synthesizer, launchpad, Theremin, or turntable. 

Below is a performance given by MIDI / Synthesis student Gabe Spivey (class of 2021). This is the kind of work students learn to produce in their MIDI / Synth lessons:

Dreamless by Gabe Spivey

Who is the MIDI / Synthesis private instructor?

Dr. Justin Leo Kennedy is a composer and sound artist engaged in live electronic music performance, instrument design, and game audio. He's been invited to show his work at various conferences and festivals, including the Spoleto Festival (Italy), ISEA (Hong Kong), SEAMUS (Georgia), MUSLAB (Mexico), and the Game Sound Conference (Los Angeles).

Prior to academia, Justin worked full-time in the commercial market as Creative Director at Baltu Studios, where he composed music for games, did sound design for VR applications, and programmed interactive media installations. He's currently working on creating his own digital musical instruments. Here are examples of Dr. Kennedy's live performances:

Performances by Dr. Kennedy

 What kind of music do MIDI / Synthesis students make?

1) Alkaline by SALT
2) Life of a Hero by Cody-Lee Keener

Every person enrolled in lessons with Dr. Kennedy learns to play jazz and pop standards. However, performances given with music technology may be in any genre. MIDI / Synth students also are welcome to create their own electronic musical instruments, such as softsynths, sample libraries, or circuit-bends. In addition, they may ask for feedback from Dr. Kennedy on music created outside of class, as long as the required coursework is completed first. To the left are a couple tracks made by MIDI / Synth students.

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