Our diverse group of students include artists, coders, school teachers, managers, hackers, audio engineers, and journalists. Their backgrounds are in media science, architecture, computer science, theatre, film, music, acoustics, and more. Check out our student blog to see some of their activities.

As a student in Music, Communication and Technology you will be exposed to a variety of technologies. You may be familiar with some of these from before, while some will be new. We advise new students to have a look at some of the core software technologies and programming languages we are using. If you have little experience in working with audio recording and editing, you may want to familiarise yourself with Digital Audio Workstation technology, and if your coding skills are limited, it’s advised to have a look at some basic principles of programming.

Below, you’ll find learning resources for JavaScript, Python, Pure data, and Reaper.

Programming in JavaScript

Javascript is a very flexible programming language, and one of the core components of modern web pages.

  • One place to start is to watch the video below. You’ll learn the most if you download Visual Studio Code, and follow the examples shown in the video.
  • Another nice source for learning javascript fundamentals is https://www.learn-js.org. Learn through coding exercises directly in your web browser.

Programming in Python

Python is the go-to language for machine learning and a useful tool for data analysis and statistics.

  • The video below is a good place to start learning Python. The full video is 6 hours long, but you’ll learn many of the important concepts by watching only the first couple of hours.
  • https://www.learnpython.org is a another place to start, with coding examples directly in the browser.

There are several possible approaches to installing Python on your own computer. Some more cumbersome than others. In MCT, we will install the Python 3 Anaconda Distribution.

Visual programming / Patching in Pure data

Pure data (Pd) is a common language for developing interactive music systems. Pd is similar to Max/MSP, which some new MCT students may already be familiar with. It differs from text-based languages in that programs (or “patchers”) are built by putting visual boxes on the screen and dragging lines between them.

  • Download Pure data from http://puredata.info/downloads/pure-data and install it. Current version (July 2019) is Pure Data 0.49-1
  • This YouTube playlist introduces the core functionalities in Pure data. (the instructor in the video uses an old deprecated version of Pure data called “Pd Extended”. It looks slightly different and has some extra functionalities which we will not be using in MCT).
  • pd-tutorial.com gives a thorough introduction to Pd in English, German and Spanish.

Audio recording and editing

In MCT we will be using Reaper as our Digital Audio Workstation (DAW). If you are familiar with other DAWs like Logic, Protools, Cubase, etc., many of the functionalities will be known to you. However, if you haven’t worked specifically with Reaper before, we advise you to familiarise yourself with its interface.

  • Reaper can be downloaded for free from https://www.reaper.fm
  • Here’s a nice introductory tutorial for Reaper: