Our music department are Mac based. Got iMacs running Garageband, Logic and Sibelius. The intention was that lower down the school they use Garageband and then progress up to the other apps for GCSE although we're increasingly seeing Garageband being used all the way through.
Everything seems stable, our issues are more to do with people wanting to do new things rather than bug fixing. We're currently looking for good ways for students to play back their work through the main speaker system in the IT suite from whichever computer they are working on for example. Quite like the idea of some kind of mixer (maybe even virtual) that sits on the teachers desk with an input for each of the 28 computers in the room.
Also starting to play around with broadcasting audio across the network for a radio station- outdoor speakers seems doable, looking at ways to be able to schedule playback of recordings, stream to the desktop, podcasting the content, etc.
Last edited by mac_shinobi; 30th June 2009 at 06:46 PM.
Not a bad idea... Only problem would be having 30 shared iTunes libraries would be a bit of a mess. Combine that with the kids leaving sharing switched on after the lesson and we'll end up with a few hundred shared libraries appearing!
Like the idea of using iTunes though, I wonder if we could do something clever with getting students to save their exported files to the one teacher shared library. Will have a think.
We have a set of powered speakers per workstation but I wonder if we should restrict them to working with headphones as the inevitable volume level competition results in speaker sets being blown all the time.
Only problem with that is that the students work in small groups on a project and would need to all be able to hear it at the same time
What do the rest of you do about this? Speakers for each workstation or some kind of headphone arrangement?
We have 15 shuttle pc's with a mini mixer on top of them, they have an M-Audio sound card in them as well which is hooked up to the mixer.
Each pc runs sibelius and cubase and the output of the mixer goes to a way headphone splitter.
I choose a 4 way rather than a 2 way because a teacher can then plug in his own headphones to listen to what they are doing.
we use headphones with 2 or 4 way splitters, we use to have speakers but as you said the volume battle was a bit much. we keep the headphones locked in a cupboard in the computer room so they can just grab them at the start of the lesson. the teacher walks around with a set of headphones and just plugs in when she wants to listen to a group, or they save it in there music folder and she can listen in her own time.
That or you could share out the teachers itunes library and have a folder for there work for each year group or student or w/e and same as i mentioned before get it to mount that share instead and then when they copy there music files into that share if the teacher re loads itunes ( quits and re launches ) it should load there songs into the teachers itunes and be able to play from there
Last edited by mac_shinobi; 1st July 2009 at 11:44 AM.
So (to clarify) does this mean that nobody else have problems with students unplugging the midi keyboards then? I think it's partly a driver issue when they do this, but I also found a MS article about USB ports ceasing to function if devices are plugged and unplugged in quick sucession and I think thats happening too
I want to check this because I feel it's a classroom control issue - they shouldnt be touching the USB cables as far as I'm concerned
I've been looking for some kind of USB cable lock that will prevent a user from removing a USB connected device but have drawn a blank - anybody seen anything that will do the job?
Oh yes I regularly find the room in a state, things unplugged from the mini mixers and then they wonder why there is no sound output.
Mini usb leads unplugs, our midi keyboards are also normal keyboards too so often the output lead is disconnected.
We had cubase dongles stolen even though they were cable tied to the back of the machine. They are now all internal.
Glad it's not just me!!
Go for Macs buddy... simple plug and go with usb midi.... plug guitars etc straight in, garage band can do the majority of curriculum work.. Sibelius is the bees bottom for composition runs seemlesly on the mac. They are built for multimedia and rock solid. Easy to integrate into a windows server environment. If you go really high end pro tools works a treat too.
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