Things you should know before starting
Basic synthesis, sampling, drum patch creation.
Programming of synths, samplers and drum machines.
MIDI editing including quantising, velocity, other cc data such as mod wheel and pitch bend.
Audio editing, time stretching, transposing, fades, chopping.
Automation of mixer and plug-in data with automation curves.
Good knowledge of plug-ins in your DAW.
How to use sends and returns including when to use them.
Mixing skills, balancing, EQing, stereo image.
What you need to do
Compose a piece in your DAW with a minimum of 10 tracks using a combination of audio and MIDI. You need to create and use:
- Two original synth patches
- A drum rack patch from any audio file (here’s a good place to look)
- A melodic ‘multi-sample’ instrument (with looping if necessary)
You need to use at least 4 inserts and 4 sends, including automation of these.
Create a project log, detailing how you went about your composition, how you designed certain sounds/patches, talk about why you chose certain samples, how you processed them.
You need to accompany your log with relevant screengrabs. This needs to be finished with an evaluation, assessing how you felt the process went, what you could have done better, what you might do better next time etc.
Evidence you need to submit
Mp3 of your finished composition.
The project folder.
The project log.
What you’ll be assessed on
Originality of programming synth patches and sampler instruments. Detail in your log why you made certain choices about LFOs, ADSRs, filters etc.
Creative and corrective use of quantisation and MIDI editing.
Effective use of inserts and sends, understanding of their capabilities, creative automation of their parameters.
Good project management, keeping tracks and clips named and coloured correctly, no unused tracks/clips, clean arrangement, removing unused audio files in the Manage Files and Sets section. Collect All and Save with bounced mp3.
Quality and depth of your project log.