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Asked to advise a studio build for a school
Old 25th April 2019
  #1
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Asked to advise a studio build for a school

So a nearby private school has asked me to come in and take
a look at the space and advise them on a build as well
as software choices.

As far as DAW software, i'm not sure if i should go with something
modern, loop/sample based like Ableton, or if it should be a more straight ahead program like Cubase or Studio One.

What do you guys think? These are middle school age kids.
Old 30th May 2019
  #2
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Ruth Beck's Avatar
 

I believe that it is necessary to use more straightforward programs to make it easier for children to learn and understand how it works. If we use more complex software, then teachers will have to spend a lot of time to explain how to work with this set of programs.
Old 30th May 2019
  #3
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Ruth Beck's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by KiotoType View Post
I do not quite agree with you. It is better to start with a program that will be a bit more complicated, but in the end, students will receive more useful experience.
Children should learn gradually and then they will be able to better master new knowledge.
Old 30th May 2019
  #4
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Ruth Beck's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by KiotoType View Post
If they understand right away in a complex program, but will be able to quickly understand any other software.
Hmm .... You don't understand anything about teaching.
Old 30th May 2019
  #5
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Ruth Beck's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by KiotoType View Post
I understand a lot about how to deal with such software and find that my version is better. Can you somehow argue your answer?
The object of the study of computer science is the structure of information and methods of its processing. It is impossible to preserve the structure of training, if you start with comprehensive programs. You propose giving children of school age to study complex programs in the hope that they will sit for hours and understand how it works. Such a method can operate in a college or university, but not at school. Because of such innovations, parents have to pay for additional educational courses. Now there are cheap term papers writing service such as Paperial, but it still takes a lot of free time for students. I believe that education should be loyal to children, and not force them to learn super measures. This will only reduce the effectiveness of training. Professional teachers will never immediately load a student with a large amount of information. They always teach everything gradually, rather than sending it immediately to the battlefield. I would advise you to read writers who are engaged in educational activities.
Old 30th May 2019
  #6
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I've done jobs like this a couple of times. Youth center, high school, summer camp.

Do they have a course outlined or have the specified intended usage? Are they asking you for that as well?

A job I did at a youth center with a group of kids who were focused on EDM, Hip Hop, etc and I basically designed them a small production suite with a vocal booth and an Ableton based DAW. Some of them were already familiar and it was requested.

At a high school, the job was an addition to their auditorium control room for recording live performances. The school used Macs predominantly for other media programs so they requested Logic. They used this to track the school band, musicals and battle of the band shows in addition to video recording. They had a great media program already so this was a good addition for them.

At a summer camp, I setup a song writing and recording program for them that used a Presonus interface which, at the time, came with a copy of Cubase included. I ran the program and am familiar with Cubase so this was fairly straight forward as I was running the DAW and was able to pass the program on to the next program director easily. There was a lot of different usage here as the kids ranged from 7 to 17. I had to come up with program material that would cater to various age ranges and skill levels who would come in and make something from start to finish in 1 hour classes.

If you can get a feel for what they want to accomplish and have some understanding as to whether this is more of an addition of an existing music program or an elective which could encourage kids to pursue either music production or recording techniques, you might get a better idea of what will serve them best. If you can actually access the kids themselves and get their input, even better. I had a 12 year old sit down at the DAW and ask what VST's I had, where the LFO was on a soft synth they weren't familiar with and proceeded to produce some respectable Dubstep. Maybe even something like Garageband would be good as many of them might have played with it at home already.

Another thing to consider if they want a straight up NLE is to look at some of the free DAWs available like Studio One or Bandlab. That way the instructor can get them to download it at home and give them 'homework'.

https://www.presonus.com/press/press...io-One-3-Prime


Ableton isn't a bad choice over all, for someone starting out, the arrangement view and Cubase's edit window will function basically the same. One bonus of Ableton as a teaching tool is the info pane in the lower left corner which gives you a description of buttons and tools when you hover over them.

Try to get a sense as to whether they will be learning mic placement and instrument tracking or more in-DAW production and mixing if there will e be a focus one way or another.


You might want to just offer a couple of different packages with descriptions:

Hip Hop production pack - Ableton>2 channel interface>vocal mic
Band tracking pack - Cubase>8 channel interface>selection of mics>midi controller
etc.

Last edited by jerry123; 30th May 2019 at 08:21 PM..
Old 3rd June 2019
  #7
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It really depends on what they want this studio to do. Are they tracking musicians? Are they generating music electronically? Is it just a "dip your toe" into music technology type of thing?

I would start with very simple software and simple hardware. Nothing crazy. These are middle school kids. They don't even know signal flow or mics yet. It was YEARS before I was very proficient with pro tools or cubase. Throwing something like that at a middle schooler? No way. Whatever is easy and low cost is the way to go.
Old 8th June 2019
  #8
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Esrb99's Avatar
 

Funny... I'm in the same boat, except I'm dealing with just upper-level high schoolers, and we're doing a hybrid approach with 16 channels of AD/DA, and a 2" analog reel to reel. I have a group of six super-dedicated students, and in this part of the country, nothing like this exists. They're super pumped! I suggest you identify the goals of your target demographic to work on a solution that fits their needs.
Old 8th June 2019
  #9
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MIKEHARRIS's Avatar
A few years ago we built a hybrid recording/PA for a local upscale private high school music department based around a Yamaha TF-1..which includes Cubase.
External Manley Micpre/EQ/Comp were mounted in a custom rack which held the mixer...and a pair of DXR12 s included in the system for reinforcement/playback.
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