Dr. David Michael Cottle – The First Patch: A Survey of Synthesis Software from a Pedagogical Perspective

Dr. David Michael Cottle

Associate Professor, University of Utah

The First Patch: A Survey of Synthesis Software from a Pedagogical Perspective

 This is an overview with examples and demonstrations of introductory software for electro-acoustic composition in terms of learning curve, flexibility, extensibility, presets, target audience, user base, support options, impact on compositional thought, platforms, pedigree, and interface. Packages include Helm, Rack, Amadeus Pro, Propeller Head, Arturia, Logic Pro, Max/MSP (PD), SuperCollider, PlayGround, Audulus, and Wilsonic.


Mike Cottle is director of the experimental music studios at the University of Utah where he teaches music technology, audio engineering, and computer assisted composition and sound design using Logic ProSuperCollider (an object-oriented music language), Max/MSPAmadeus Pro, Sibelius, and Opus Modus. He is a Mac Guru with Apple Store training (“creative” private instruction). He has received awards for innovation in music theory instruction and grades AP exams for ETS. Since the 90’s Dr. Cottle’s compositional work has been exclusively algorithmic, aleatoric, and generative, typically coded experiments for CPU playback that are, by design, too complex for human performance. He is also an active sound engineer, recording over 300 art music concerts and recitals each year, including The Utah SymphonyMOTUS, recitals and ensembles at the University of Utah School of MusicUtah Arts FestivalSinfonia Salt Lake, The Gifted SchoolUtah Chamber ArtistsNOVASalt Lake Choral ArtistsNaxosCentaurSEAMUS (2008), and Performance Today. His innovative recording system at the music school has revolutionized how faculty and students work. He has an international cult following through publications that include Beyond MIDI (MIT Press, 1997), SuperCollider, The Book (MIT Press, 2011—co-contributing editor), and Computer Music with Examples in SuperCollider and Logic Pro, (Lulu, 2012). Dr. Cottle serves as Career Line representative in the Senate, College of Fine Arts, is active with Technology Venture Commercialization, is a Lassonde advisor, Honors faculty member and Entrepreneurial Faculty Scholar.

Your mileage may vary.

Sanity checks: Contra dancing and calling (ballo ergo sum), tele ski (Alta), classic sci-fi, horror and cult cinema, British humor (e.g., Young Ones), XKCD, KLR 650 and KLX 250 (American Fork Canyon), Ute sports, ranch skills, problem solving, NYT crosswords (but not past Thursday), and time travel (exclusively forward and contiguous).