Degree in Electronic Engineering - Minor in Robotics

Become a qualified specialist focused in the field of robotics applied to sectors such as social, educational, therapeutic or care

Music and Special FX

The classes Music and sound effects combine theoretical explanations about musical production (audio mixing, use of MIDI editing tools, basic harmony, introduction to composition, sound synthesis, sound effects, and bus mastering) together with practicing laboratory exercises and resolution of projects in groups of two students with an advanced music production software.
Type Subject

Titular Professors

Previous Knowledge

This course requires no previous knowledge.


• Learning about the nature and properties of sound well as software-based sound generation algorithms (sound synthesis and virtual instrumentation, and sound effects like modulation, dynamics, delay / reverb, etc.).
• To know the techniques and tools that would allow the generation of musical excerpts: MIDI edition tools, use of libraries (loops, MIDI clips), pattern generation tools, the mix process, including equalization and masterization.
• Having a first experience that provide the deepening into the field of music production, from specific examples and challenges, and using a versatile and integrated music production environment (SONAR Platinum - Cakewalk).


Unit 1. Introduction to music production
Unit 2. Notions of harmony and musical composition
Unit 3. Sound Design
Unit 4. Effects and mastering

A1. How to create an electronic music them in 2 hours with basic tools.
A2. Introduction to sound editor (by Cakewalk SONAR)
A3. MIDI-ing. Creating the passage of an epic music
A4. Synth-Ethics. We create music of tension and action with the help of sound synthesis
A5. FX-izing. The art of mixing and mastering


The course has a duration of six months and although it contains some theoretical sessions, most of the sessions are mainly devoted to develop practical exercises in the same lab. For this reason, the course is evaluated on a continuous assessment modality, which consists of several rapid tests and deliveries from activities that were proposed during the lab sessions and a final project in which students put into practice the whole knowledge learned.


The final grade for the course is obtained from the following expression:

Final_grade = 60% Continuous_assessment+ 40% · Final_Project

The minimum requirements to make the calculation of the above expression, however, is that both Final_grade and the Continuous_ assessment grades are greater than or equal to 5. The continuous assessment grade requires a minimum attendance of 80% to the lab sessions and the delivery of various tests and short deliverables that will be defined during the course.

The continuous assessment along the course consists of five practical activities with their corresponding delivery (15% each), plus two short tests (25% in total) to be held in the same laboratory. While the practical exercises will be presented in groups, the tests will be conducted individually and with the same PC. The implementation of activities begins in class hours and with the help of the explanations and resolution of doubts given by teachers. The stated requirements for each practical activity will be provided throughout the course, with the help of some key concept explanations given just before the start of the proposed work activity.

The final project will consist of a musical production (soundtrack of a video game, music of an audiovisual presentation, music of a website, etc.) that include most of the aspects worked during the class sessions (theory and practice) and this will be presented at end of year (last week of class) orally and in the classroom. Several key aspects of the musical production will be details like: general design aspects (purpose, examples of inspiration, etc.), the choice of sounds and virtual instruments, sound design (with synthesis-based plugins) using libraries (audio loops and MIDI clips) , use of MIDI editing tools, buses, bus and track effects, dynamics processing, mixing, etc.

Evaluation Criteria

Delivered practical exercises (both along the continuous assessment as well as for the final project) will be evaluated based on requirements defined for each specific job to deliver, and is broken down through a list of technical aspects especially, some of the most others also artistic in nature. The degree of compliance with these requirements will set the mark for each practical work delivered.

Basic Bibliography

Cakewalk Inc., “SONAR Skills Guide”, 2013.
Joan Claudi Socoró, ” Music and special FX slides”, Enginyeria la Salle 2017.
Joan Claudi Socoró, ” Music and special FX Practical Activities Guide”, Enginyeria la Salle 2017.
SONAR X3 Online Documentation, Cakewalk, 2017.

Additional Material

SONAR University, Cakewalk, 2017.