Music and Technology: Recording Techniques and Audio Production (21M.380 fall)

Who teaches 21M.380?

21M.380 is currently taught by Florian Hollerweger in both, the fall and spring semester.

What is being offered in 21M.380?

Since fall 2013, 21M.380 Music and Technology has been offered in two different versions:

  • Recording Techniques and Audio Production (offered in the fall; discussed here)
    • Last offered in fall 2016
    • Next offered in fall 2017
  • Sound Design (offered in the spring)

You can earn credit for both classes, even though they are offered under the same course number.


To get an idea of the subjects covered in the fall version of 21M.380, have a look at the syllabus from fall 2016.

OpenCourseWare archive (spring 2012 class by Chris Ariza)

The fall version of 21M.380 is based on a course originally designed and taught by Chris Ariza. An OpenCourseWare archive of Chris' class from spring 2012 is available. Although the course has developed quite a bit since, the materials on that site nevertheless provide some sense of the subjects that we will cover. A more recent OCW archive of 21M.380 as taught by Florian Hollerweger in the fall term of 2016 is currently under development.

How do I get into 21M.380?

Although 21M.380 has no formal prerequisites other than permission of the instructor, both versions of the class have become rather popular among MIT students, and it can be a challenge to secure a place in them. I accept around 16 students each semester, and usually there are about two or three times as many students who are interested in taking the course. If you want to get into 21M.380, you therefore should

  • preregister, and
  • attend the first class meeting of the semester.

I usually distribute a short questionnaire in the first class meeting, based on which I decide which students will be accepted into the class. While I generally aim to accommodate the needs of music majors, minors, and concentrators, as well as of upperclassmen whose last chance it might be to take the class, the selection is also informed by your personal background and interests. Sophomores and freshmen have occasionally been accepted into 21M.380 in the past, and quite a few students get into 21M.380 only at their second attempt.