"So, what are we purchasing for our new music suites" was the question I was asked 5 mins ago by those above.
"Hummm. nice, how much have I got to spend? and when are they to be ready for?"
"Oh you know, September....must dash, meeting to go to.............." was the answer.
So there you have it.
Just wondering what everyone else has in place.
Music staff are 1 Mac & 1 PC - so no issues with either flavor......
Any decent spec PC with a midi input on the sound card will do i.e. dual core processor with 4Gb ddr3 Ram and the HDD will probably be around the 160Gb sata plus decent sound card.
What area have you to work with as they may need to play the keyboards whilst accessing the computer screens so this might mean mounting the TFTs on a bracket at the rear of the bench and having the unit fastened underneath in a sling while the keyboard and mouse are to the front of the desk area.
Plan well and it will go well, ask your supplier to see if they can help you.
We upgraded our Music suite earlier in the year. We have a desk that runs all along the wall which previously had the PC's, monitors and music keyboards on along with a keyboard and mouse. It was a cluttered mess! We had the caretakers run a thin shelf above the desk to put the PC's on, (sides against the wall way) and with a hole to run all the cables down. We then purchased some cheap TFT wall mounts to mount the monitors on the wall below the shelf but high enough to clear the music keyboards in case they want to pull the arms out and bring the monitor off the wall. so on the desk we just have a musical keyboard with a pc keyboard and mouse in front of it.
As for computers we went with PC's, Spec;
Intel Core 2 Quad 2.50 GHz
4 GB RAM
I did have some pictures but cant find them
all with a cakewalk usb sound sevice that was requested by the music staff which they plug all their instruments etc into.
What cakewalk product are you using & what music software do you run?
Only issues we have is with our Yamaha keyboards which use their own built in USB midi controller instead of having standard midi connectors. If someone unplugs one and plugs in into a different usb port it need to reinstall the driver. The driver is unsigned so this has to be done by an administrator.
Only a problem because the little monsters fiddle with the cables.
Lots of sage advice about keeping the desks clear etc. I'd be tempted to give them a quote for a suite full of Macs and when they chop it in half you still have the cash for a decent installation. If you only ask for PC x20, then when that gets shaved...
Did I read somewhere that there is a licence server for Cubase?
We have normal wide benching running round the room here with keybaords on, then a smaller shelf above that has the PC kit - monitor, keyboard etc., so they have to stand up to use the PC. That's not normally a problem though, and does have the advantage of the monitors all being very easy to see, so you know they're on task.
HP DC5800's, which are Core2Duo E7400 and 2GB of RAM iirc. Running Sibelius (who are expensive, a pain to deal with, and need a licence server, but the software is good) and everyone is very happy with it. Can't remember how they're connected up to the keyboards but I think it's a MIDI-USB job - it was all done before my time anyway.
We use iMacs... nice and tidy and the software (Garageband for KS3 and Logic Studio for KS4 and Sixth Form). The hardware isn't cheap but the software is and we rarely have any problems with them.
As has been pointed out already, the "standard" stack of software for secondary schools seems to be Cubase and Sibelious, although I can't really qite see why. Cubase can be a palavar to install, with a dongle needed for each copy, although, as we've discussed in a couple of threads before, that does potentially mean you can lend out dongles for using the software at home. You do need to have a reliable system set up to do this, though, and you need to get accross to staff and pupils that the dongle is the software - loose it and you've lost a copy of Cubase. Sibelious can operate with a license server, a system that works well as it means you can have the software installed around the school, although we did find the license server itself fell over rather more often than was practical - you might want to schdual a daily reboot on your hosting server.
For hardware, we used used all-in-one PCs - I posted a photo of the room a couple of years ago, I'll see if I can find the thread anywhere. I'm now setting up our staffroom here with Acer Revos, which will be even more compact and probably just as capable of running most music-related software.
We'll be sorting out some sort of music technology here at some point in the next year ourselves. This is for a primary school - Cubase and Sibelious don't seem quite appropriate. I plan to give GarageBand a try out on my iPad and Mac Mini at home, but it strikes me as the kind of thing that we might be able to develop ourselves - some web-based musicexercises for primary-aged pupils.
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