Digital Interactive Sound & Intermedia Studio
Virginia TechCollege of Liberal Arts and Human SciencesSchool of Performing ArtsICATCHCI

"And so the arts are encroaching upon one another, and from a proper use of this encroachment will rise the art that is truly monumental."
--Wassily Kandinsky

DISIS Creative Technologies in Composition and Multimedia Art Design curriculum offers a comprehensive overview of aesthetic approaches to electroacoustic music and multimedia arts with special focus on interactivity. With the help of cutting edge facilities, students are exposed to latest tools, technologies, techniques, theory, practice, as well as interactive multimedia art literature. Most importantly, whenever possible, DISIS curriculum offers real-world experience to participants through various opportunities and assistantships designed to train artists and technologists capable of developing a viable business model and critical production and management skills, whether that be a commission, a third-party project, performance, or simply a production. In addition to shared introductory music technology curriculum, DISIS offers following courses:

•  Computer Music and Multimedia Design (SYLLABI: FALL, SPRING) is a two-semester core DISIS course focusing on the Max/MSP/Jitter interactive multimedia software development environment, interfacing with external input devices (e.g. sensors and motes) and other multimedia development platforms (e.g. Blender and/or Unity3D). The course covers real-time interactive multimedia art composition and performance, including algorithmic manipulation of sound, video, and 3D content, as well as the design of hyperinstruments, installations, and virtual interfaces.
•  Digital Sound Manipulation (SYLLABUS) is a practice-based Pathways course where students are given an opportunity to learn a variety of techniques for synthesizing, spatializing, performing, and transforming sounds on a computer, using freely available sound processing software. Topics will include recording and editing sound, aesthetics of digital sound, visual programming for live sound synthesis and processing, and algorithmic sound design. Creative projects are guided by individual student interest, and creative collaboration is an important element in the course. There are no prerequisites, and the course is open to everyone in the Virginia Tech community.
•  Linux Laptop Orchestra (L2Ork) (SYLLABUS) introduced in the Fall of 2009 is the World's first Linux laptop orchestra. In part based on the designs of PLOrk and SLOrk (Princeton and Stanford Laptop Orchestra), DISIS Linux Laptop Orchestra aims to maintain maximum compatibility with the two existing ensembles while providing unprcedented cost efficiency and flexibility of the Linux platform. This 15+ member ensemble is open to all VT students and Faculty and allows engagement as a performer (1 ensemble credit) or as a creative researcher/composer (3 lecture/lab credits).
•  Introduction to Music Technology (SYLLABUS) required for all music majors and a prerequisite for most music technology courses. The class covers basics in acoustics, psychoacoustics, notation and recording software, and media and promotional content production.
•  Soundtrack and Effects Composition is a non-sequential one-semester composition course which deals with creation and production of digital soundtracks and special effects with specific focus on video games, movies, and other contemporary media.
•  Composition Lessons as part of the core composition curriculum the creative music technologies track offers individual lessons encompassing acoustic and electroacoustic music, as well as multimedia genre.
•  Independent and Specialized Studies Creative and practical research, as well as advanced study in computer music and production topics may be undertaken privately or in small groups as Independent Study or Undergraduate Research options.

Students completing the DISIS curriculum are expected to attain a strong foundation as self-sufficient artists, researchers, and professionals in areas of electroacoustic music and multimedia art with focus on interactive multimedia systems. Such graduates are not only aware of the latest developments in areas closely associated with their area of expertise but are also determined and motivated individuals and collaborators capable of driving just about any plausible idea from its inception to implementation.

All DISIS students are also encouraged to pursue the recording & production courses to broaden their knowledge of audio engineering, recording, and production.