Creative Digital Signal Processing (DSP) for Music and Visuals


Authored by Jeff Baust


Course Code: OMPRD-402

Next semester
starts June 24

12 Weeks

Level 4

Level 4

3-Credit Tuition


Non-Credit Tuition


If you want to be a music producer or sound designer in today’s music industry, you need the tools and resources to face the challenges of tomorrow. Creative Digital Signal Processing (DSP) for Music and Visuals delves into modern sound design techniques that give you the tools to get ahead of the game, in both audio-for-visuals projects and music production.

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The course is designed for intermediate to advanced music producers, sound designers, and audio-for-visuals producers, and is especially aimed at online students majoring in Electronic Production and Sound Design. Beginning with an overview of digital audio concepts and audio editing in Logic Pro X, the course continues into an exploration of sound design techniques, including time stretching, Flex Time editing, distortion and filter techniques, as well as FFT-based processing. You’ll also learn sound design techniques with convolution, pitch processing techniques, how to create sample-based instruments for sound design, and how to use mixing techniques such as automation for creative sound design applications. After composing glitch/beat pieces and soundscapes, the course will culminate in a final video sound design project.

In addition to the hands-on component of the projects, the class will also delve into some of the underlying concepts in signal processing. By more fully understanding how these tools work, you’ll be able to get the most out of them in your own sound design projects, and learn to recognize these tools and concepts when implemented in other DAWs and plug-ins.

By the end of the course, you will be able to:

  • Create custom-made sound design elements for music productions and audio-for-visuals projects
  • Use the Logic Pro X Audio File Editor for creative sound design
  • Use time stretching techniques for sound design tasks
  • Use distortion and filtering techniques for sound design tasks
  • Use advanced FFT and convolution techniques in sound design
  • Use creative sound design techniques in music production and mixing
  • Compose a glitch/beats piece and a soundscape piece
  • Create sample-based instruments for sound design
  • Apply all of the above sound design elements and techniques in sound for video projects
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Overview Syllabus Requirements Instructors
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Lesson 1: Introduction to the Course

  • Digital Audio Basics
  • Basic Audio Editing in Logic Pro X
  • Beat and Groove Editing in Logic Pro X
  • Composing a Beats Piece
  • Mixing Skills 101

Lesson 2: Time Stretching Techniques in Sound Design

  • The Nature of Sound Manipulation
  • Intro to the Logic Pro X Audio File Editor
  • Destructive and Nondestructive Editing
  • Sound Design with the Audio File Editor
  • Logic Time and the Pitch Machine
  • Sound Design Techniques with the Time and Pitch Machine

Lesson 3: Creative Sound Design with Flex Time, Time Stretching, and Samplers

  • Time Stretching and Flex Time
  • Creative Sound Design with Flex Time
  • ESX24 Custom Instruments
  • Using a Drum Replacement Tool for Creative Means

Lesson 4: Creative Sound Design Techniques with Distortion and Filters

  • Introduction to Distortion
  • Introduction to Filters
  • Creating Distortion with Ring Modulation
  • Intro to Trash 2
  • Creative Sound Design with Distortion and Filters
  • FFT-Based Processing

Lesson 5: Creative Sound Design Techniques in Mixing

  • Beyond Basic Mixing Skills
  • Keying and Sound Design
  • Delay Effects
  • Algorithmic Reverb

Lesson 6: Composing Soundscapes

  • Pitch Shifting and Pitch Scaling
  • Creative Sound Design with Pitch Shifting
  • Formant Shifting
  • Composing a Soundscape Piece

Lesson 7: Playing Sound; Creating Sample-Based Instruments for Sound Design

  • The EXS24 as a Sound Design Tool
  • Playing Elements of a Sound
  • Vocoder Basics
  • Using Vocoders for Sound Design
  • Doing More with Vocoders

Lesson 8: Convolution and Reverberation

  • Fundamentals of Convolution
  • Convolution and Reverb
  • Working with Space Designer
  • Crafting Spaces
  • Doing More with Delays

Lesson 9: Working with Video in Logic Pro X

  • Working with QuickTime
  • Logic Pro X and QuickTime
  • Creating a Sound World
  • Spotting Sounds

Lesson 10: Creative Sound Design with Convolution

  • Convolution and Sound Design
  • Creating Sound Design Elements with Space Designer
  • Creative Convolution

Lesson 11: Placing Sounds in Space

  • Creating Stereo Sounds from Mono Sources
  • Placing Sounds in a Mix
  • Spacialization
  • Mixing for Video Projects

Lesson 12: Delivering a Video Project

  • The Final Mix
  • Final Delivery
  • Making Impulse Responses for Convolution


Prerequisites and Course-Specific Requirements 

Prerequisite Courses, Knowledge, and/or Skills
Completion of Producing Music with Logic or equivalent knowledge and experience is required. Mixing and Mastering for the Electronic Musician is a recommended course, but not required.
Students should be able to:

  • Work comfortably with a Digital Audio Workstation (DAW), having fundamental skills, preferably with Logic Pro X
  • Possess good DAW editing skills, and fundamental mixing skills using basic EQ, dynamics processing, and delays


  • No textbooks required


  • Logic Pro 10.5 or higher


  • MIDI keyboard controller
  • One of the following studio monitoring options (both recommended):
    • Studio monitors (pair), such as JBL 305Ps or better, as well as an audio interface and necessary cables
    • Over-ear studio headphones, such as Sennheiser HD 600, Sony MDR-7506, Philips SHP9500, Audio-Technica ATH-M50x, etc.

Student Deals
After enrolling, be sure to check out our Student Deals page for various offers on software, hardware, and more. Please contact with any questions.

General Course Requirements

Below are the minimum requirements to access the course environment and participate in Live Chats. Please make sure to also check the Prerequisites and Course-Specific Requirements section above, and ensure your computer meets or exceeds the minimum system requirements for all software needed for your course. 

Mac Users

PC Users

All Users

  • Latest version of Google Chrome
  • Zoom meeting software
  • Webcam
  • Speakers or headphones
  • External or internal microphone
  • Broadband Internet connection


Jeff Baust

Author & Instructor

Jeff is a professor in Berklee's Synthesis and the Music Production and Engineering Departments. A composer, audio engineer, educator and multi-instrumentalist, he has created scores for the ESPN, New England Sports Network (including music for the Bruins and Red Sox), Avid, Sony, Polaroid, Sharp, Reebok, Lotus, and others. He works primarily in his own facility, Coral Sea Music. As an audio engineer, Jeff has worked on projects for such artists as the Boston Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, NBC-TV, Andre Previn, Itzhak Perlman, Jessye Norman, and Dawn Upshaw, as well as labels such as EMI, Philips, Nonesuch, and many others. Specializing in digital audio production, Jeff works with technologies such as Sonic Solutions, high-resolution audio (96k/24bit), HDCD encoding, and mastering as well as forensic audio and restoration tools. Jeff holds a M. A. in Composition from University of California, Davis, and a D. M. A. at Boston University, where his primary area of concentration was electronic and electro-acoustic composition. He has been published in Berklee Today, Electronic Musician magazine, and various Internet e-zines.


Contact our Academic Advisors by phone at 1-866-BERKLEE (U.S.), 1-617-747-2146 (INT'L), or by email at

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