Music 8: Assignment 5

Contact Info: Dan Mitchell

Office Hours

Monday & Wednesday
Room A11:
15 minutes before Music 1A
10 minutes after Music 1A
Room A91:
15 minutes before Music 51
10 minutes after Music 51

[Assignments: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | Presentation | Final Project]

Due Date

Due Date: Tuesday, May 30 (but also acceptable on Thursday, June 1) 


Create two NN19 and/or NNXT sample instruments in Reason, using your own samples as audio source material and editing them as necessary using the Logic waveform editor.

Assignment Goals

Locate interesting audio source material. Extract samples and do initial editing in the Logic* waveform editor and/or the Reason sample editor. Build and save sample instruments using these edited samples in the NN19 or NNXT samplers in Reason. Create a short musical example using your sample instruments.


  1. Use any audio source material that has not already been edited into individual samples. Examples include: audio input from the computer’s microphone, compact disk recordings, mp3 recordings, etc. (You can work with mp3, wav, aiff formats.)
  2. Edit the initial sounds to produce versions that are useful as sample building blocks for use in the NNXT or NN19 instruments in this assignments. You have two options regarding how you do the editing:
    • Use the Logic audio editor for all samples
    • Use the Logic audio editor for at least half of the sounds and use the built-in Reason audio editor for others.
  3. You must retain the original, unaltered audio files and make them available when you demonstrate your project on the due date. (You could have them available in the Logic “bin” where you edited them, or you could have the original files in your folder on the computer. In either case you must know where to find them!)
  4. Build two separate sample instruments from your samples using the NN19 and/or NNXT samplers in Reason. Save your instruments in a folder in your directory.
  5. Each sample instrument must use a minimum of four key groups.
  6. At least one of your instruments must use a minimum of two pitched sounds, configured so that they will play correctly from the keyboard. (Note: This may be very challenging, and in some cases “good enough will be good enough.”)
  7. One sample instrument may use samples that contain loops, so that they sustain when you hold down a key.
  8. Be prepared to offer a brief explanation of the sound sources and how you edited them and how you included them in your sample instrument.
  9. In addition, the following are required:
    • Create a 30-60 second sequence using the instruments in your rack – you may create the sequence entirely in Reason’s sequencer, or you could instead use Rewire* and create the sequence in Logic* using Reason as the sound source. (Note: We may not have covered Rewire by the time you work on this assignment — so don’t worry about that if you don’t yet know about Rewire.0
    • Add signal processors in Reason as desired – optional.
    • Use additional instruments in Reason and/or Logic* as desired – optional.
  10. Save the project as “Firstname Lastname 5.”
  11. Save individual instruments in your folder on the hard drive of your computer.

There are no limitations on what type of music may be used for the project. The piece may be an original composition, an arrangement, a recorded improvisation, etc. Your grade will be affected by factors including following the project format outlined above, the accuracy of your performance (i.e., pitch and rhythm), the appropriateness of the sounds selected, and other musical aspects. While creativity and musicality will count, the primary factor will be the technical quality of your project.


You will be graded on technical aspects of the assignment. The assignment will not be graded on its musical merits. This includes the following:

  • Creating all required parts of the assignment
  • Explaining the techniques you used, particularly on the sampler.

The musical quality of your piece does not determine your grade. However, imagination can’t hurt! The assignment description is intentionally vague so that there is room for you to exercise your imagination. Try to come up with an interesting piece within the guidelines of this project. A late penalty of 1 letter grade per class session is applied to assignments which are handed in late. For Intro to Electronic Music: Projects must be saved on your classroom computer before the deadline. You will also need to store a backup copy of your work, using one of the methods we discuss in class. Your grade will be affected if your project does not follow the format outlined above. If your project is nowhere close to following the format, I will ask you to re-do it and hand in the “fixed” version when you finish. If you have questions or problems on the assignment please let me know right away – in class or by email, or telephone at 864-8511.

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