Midi Production 1 

Course Number: PROD-107DL Credit Hours: 4

Course Description

Level 1 of this course serves as an introduction to MIDI and virtual instrument-based composition using a digital audio workstation (Pro Tools). Students are taught both the best practices and the workings of MIDI systems, which subsequently lays the groundwork for their own MIDI-based productions.

Ian Vargo

Music Production Faculty

Sound Design and music compositions by Ian Vargo have been heard on nationally-televised ad campaigns, award-winning short films, and viral web content. Most recently, he has worked with the Los Angeles Directing team Cousins, whose videos have amassed over 30 million views on the internet. Additionally, Ian is a Music Producer, Mix and Mastering Engineer, and Multi-instrumentalist. He has worked on numerous major label (Universal, Interscope, Hollywood) and independent records. Ian has studied songwriting and guitar at The Berklee College of Music, and has a Master’s Degree in Sound Design from The Savannah College of Art and Design.

Week 1:

  • The History of MIDI
  • Uses and Introduction to MIDI Messages
  • Technical Specifications and Overview of continuous controllers

Week 2:

  • MIDI Messages in Depth
  • General MIDI and Velocity

Week 3:

  • MIDI within Pro Tools
  • Automation and Controllers

Week 4:

  • The Grid
  • Piano Roll
  • Quantizing

Week 5:

  • Advanced MIDI Techniques
  • Exporting

Hardware & DAW Requirements:

  • Mac or PC with at least 8 GB of RAM, but 16 GB or better is highly recommended. NOTE: LACM’s Pasadena campus uses Apple Macs, exclusively, for all its DAW workstations, as do all of the program’s instructors.
  • Pro Tools version 12.6.1 or newer
  • At least one external, portable hard drive
  • Headphones (with 1/8-inch and ¼-inch adaptors)
  • Highly Recommended: A large-capacity drive for backup purposes is highly recommended. Multiple backup drives (preferably stored in different locations) are the only way to ensure data safety.

Recommended Hard Drive Specifications:

  • 1 TB or larger
  • 7200 RPM
  • USB 3 or better
  • “Green” drives (ones which will go to sleep after a period of inactivity) are NOT recommended. They are problematic for use with any DAW software.

Software Requirements:

Operating Systems

  •         Windows 7 and newer (users on Windows 10 need to download the Windows 10 Anniversary Update to submit Canvas assignments)
  •         Mac OSX 10.6 and newer
  •         Linux – chromeOS

Mobile Operating System Native App Support

  •         iOS 7 and newer
  •         Android 4.2 and newer

Supported Browsers

Canvas, our online learning platform, supports the last two versions of every browser release. We highly recommend updating to the newest version of whatever browser you are using as well as the most up-to-date Flash plug-in. As of March 12, 2016, we support the most recent versions of Flash and popular web browsers:

  • Internet Explorer 11 and Edge (Windows only—please make sure your operating system is also current as noted in the computer specifications lesson; you may need to download the Windows 10 Anniversary Update to submit Canvas assignments)
  • Chrome 54 and 55
  • Safari 9 and 10 (Macintosh ONLY)
  • Firefox 49 and 50 (Extended Releases are not supported)
  • Flash 22 and 23 (for recording or viewing audio/video and uploading files)
  • Respondus Lockdown Browser (supporting the latest system requirements).

Some supported browsers may still produce a banner stating your browser does not meet the minimum requirements for Canvas. If you have upgraded your browser but you are still seeing the warning banner, try logging out of Canvas and deleting your browser cookies. Learn how to clear your cache on a Mac or a PC.

Required Components

  • Flash is required in several places in Canvas: media recording/streaming and viewing as well as uploading files to a course or an assignment. Other than these features, Flash is not required to use most areas of Canvas. Please note that some browsers, such as Firefox, may no longer support Flash.
  • The Java plug-in is required for screen sharing in Conferences. Please note that some browsers do not support Java. Otherwise, there are no other browser plug-ins used by Canvas.

Screen Size

  • LACM Online is best viewed at a minimum of 800×600, which is the average size of a notebook computer. If you want to view your courses on a device with a smaller screen, we recommend using the Canvas mobile app.

Computer Speed and Processor

  • Use a computer 5 years old or newer when possible
  • 1GB of RAM
  • 2GHz processor

Internet Speed

  • Along with compatibility and web standards, Canvas has been carefully crafted to accommodate low bandwidth environments.
  • Minimum of 512 kbps

Screen Readers

  • Macintosh: VoiceOver (latest version for Safari)
  • PC: JAWS (latest version for Internet Explorer)
  • PC: NVDA (latest version for Firefox)
  • There is no screen reader support for Canvas in Chrome