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How do you do....it? Thread, Music Rooms in Technical; Hi All, It looks like this Summer work is going to concentrate on the Music Department, and it would appear ...
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    Music Rooms

    Hi All,

    It looks like this Summer work is going to concentrate on the Music Department, and it would appear that this is going to be a bigger monster than I thought. They've put up with quite poor machines with for a few years now, all connected via USB Midi devices to Yamaha Keyboards and using software like Sibelius 5 and Cubase 5. It's a mess where students seem to have a free monopoly on moving things, unplugging things, etc and it's generally a nightmare.

    CuBase is the one causing them a lot of grief, in terms of stability, latency, etc. Sibelius they are perfectly happy with the current version. I'm looking at alternatives (thanks to the EduGeek Wiki) but it's not really down to me to dictate what they should be using.

    My question is, what do you use in terms of Hardware - ie. Sound Cards, Audio Interface Units, Pre-Amps, etc? What software? I know a lot of people will pipe up and say 'Apple Mac', but that's not an option really. How have you got your music departments configured, any specific suppliers that we should be using?

    The website for Ask the Music Teacher is proving to be useful as well, but I can't see us using Kinect in our classrooms just yet!

    And, if your in the Wiltshire area and are particular proud of your setup, can I come and have a look?

    Pete

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    Oaktech's Avatar
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    I'm a big fan of the presonus stuff... worth having a look at.

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    FragglePete (22nd March 2012)

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    You shouldn't have latency problems as long as you have decent CPUs and ASIO4ALL - Universal ASIO Driver

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    FragglePete (22nd March 2012)

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    mdench's Avatar
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    personally would go for something like

    core i3 / i5
    4gb ram
    ssd for main os + 2nd drive for recording music onto 160gb?

    and then either

    m-audio audiophile 2496 M-AUDIO - Audiophile 2496 - 4-In/4-Out Audio Card with MIDI and Digital I/O connected to a small mixing desk 4 to 6 channels

    or usb edirol ua-25 UA-25 :: Products :: Roland

    set up with cubase 5 and other software that is needed.

    As its for a class setup a central seperate NAS for music would be a good idea... HP micro server with at least 500gb in it? So that they can record to the desktops and then copy project folders back and forth to the nas once they have finished. This will then mean you can backup the nas every so often
    Last edited by mdench; 22nd March 2012 at 03:03 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mdench View Post
    personally would go for something like

    core i3 / i5
    4gb ram
    ssd for main os + 2nd drive for recording music onto 160gb?

    and then either

    m-audio audiophile 2496 M-AUDIO - Audiophile 2496 - 4-In/4-Out Audio Card with MIDI and Digital I/O connected to a small mixing desk 4 to 6 channels

    or usb edirol ua-25 UA-25 :: Products :: Roland

    set up with cubase 5 and other software that is needed.

    As its for a class setup a central seperate NAS for music would be a good idea... HP micro server with at least 500gb in it? So that they can record to the desktops and then copy project folders back and forth to the nas once they have finished. This will then mean you can backup the nas every so often
    ^ Agreed except IMO you don't want to be getting a PCI card as it won't be long before you can't buy PCs with PCI slots, in fact none of the PCs we've bought in the last few years have had PCI slots.

    M-audio are a good choice, decent quality for the money and they are usually bundled with cut down versions of Protools or Reason.

    Also, SSDs - if you do go that route watch out for the size of sample collections, they will soon max out a SSD. That said large sample collections are probably the best way of showing how much better SSDs are than HDDs
    Last edited by j17sparky; 22nd March 2012 at 04:19 PM.

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    glennda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mdench View Post
    personally would go for something like

    core i3 / i5
    4gb ram
    ssd for main os + 2nd drive for recording music onto 160gb?

    and then either

    m-audio audiophile 2496 M-AUDIO - Audiophile 2496 - 4-In/4-Out Audio Card with MIDI and Digital I/O connected to a small mixing desk 4 to 6 channels

    or usb edirol ua-25 UA-25 :: Products :: Roland

    set up with cubase 5 and other software that is needed.

    As its for a class setup a central seperate NAS for music would be a good idea... HP micro server with at least 500gb in it? So that they can record to the desktops and then copy project folders back and forth to the nas once they have finished. This will then mean you can backup the nas every so often
    Agreed as that be what i setup

    Although I never put the 160Gb drives locally as never had problems with latency as they are not on the domain < I would keep them off the domain if possible!

    I wrote an application using auto-it which map a network drive against said NAS (using AD Auth) so each student gets there own drive plus a shared drive.

    with the UA-25's you get a copy of cubase essentials which works with soft-elicenser meaning no dongles.

    The main problem we have is that Sequel2 is Cr*p over any thing else! although I'm trying to persuade them away from it!
    Last edited by glennda; 22nd March 2012 at 04:32 PM.

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    ben604's Avatar
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    We're just about to shove our Macs into the music department with one of these each - M-Audio Keystation 49i. They're decent size keyboards with a low latency sound card built in which can take a mic or line input too. AND they have two headphone outputs in the front, easy for a teacher to plug in and sample what the student is up to.

    Saves on having multiple devices kicking about and cables everywhere!

    i3 and 4gb with a 7200rpm drive of any description should be fine. I record 8 audio channels into Logic on a Dual Core with a 5400rpm drive when my band plays with no problems.

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    Sylv3r's Avatar
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    Music are probably our most needy department here and Cubase seems to be the biggest issue.

    All student data is saved to our SAN and is part of our main school network. The machines aren't that high of spec, but do the job and we use these to interface between or midi keyboards and PC's.

    Product: US-144MKII | TASCAM

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    Marci's Avatar
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    Another thumbs up here for the keystation 49i approach...

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    MicrodigitUK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FragglePete View Post
    It's a mess where students seem to have a free monopoly on moving things, unplugging things
    We have a music room with the MIDI keyboards and computers built into the desks.

    http://www.itechdesking.co.uk/products-verso-tower-music.php

    That stops them unplugging things. And we just don't get any issues with moving things, as they can't get to them.

    Feel free to pop in and have a look Pete. You know I'm just down the road.

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    FragglePete (22nd March 2012)

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    Quote Originally Posted by MicrodigitUK View Post
    We have a music room with the MIDI keyboards and computers built into the desks.

    Verso Tower Music computer workstation | IT furniture from iTech Desking

    That stops them unplugging things. And we just don't get any issues with moving things, as they can't get to them.

    Feel free to pop in and have a look Pete. You know I'm just down the road.
    Thanks, will take you up on that offer, I'll e-mail you next week to arrange a date. Furniture wise, we're making do with what we've got.

    Pete

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    Sure you've probably seen our setup with Edd before.

    iDesk have built in computers, only midi and headphone sockets coming out so not really issues with unplugging

    All computers link audio back to teacher machine as well so the teacher can broadcast anyone's sound to entire classroom etc

    Nothing really special about pc specs, standard HDD etc will double check specs tomorrow if I get time.

    Steve

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    FragglePete (23rd March 2012)

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    jinnantonnixx's Avatar
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    Here's a curveball: LMMS.

    Yes, it's a port from Linux, but the Windows version is pretty good.

    Rather than a linear approach, ala Cubase, it works with loops and samples in segments. It also supports linear MIDI. In terms of getting a music piece together, there's nothing to touch it for speed. It's only weak spot is no audio recording, but you can import audio clips into its built-in sampler, or drop them onto a sample track.

    Open up the demo songs under "Cool Songs" and within 10 minutes you'll understand how it works.

    It's free too, so worth a look.

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    Chris_ (23rd March 2012), FragglePete (23rd March 2012)

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    glennda's Avatar
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    Yeah I sent that over to our Music Dept before - they just never bothered to look

    its them that moan about Sequel all day and LMMS looks very similar.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve21 View Post
    Sure you've probably seen our setup with Edd before.

    iDesk have built in computers, only midi and headphone sockets coming out so not really issues with unplugging

    All computers link audio back to teacher machine as well so the teacher can broadcast anyone's sound to entire classroom etc

    Nothing really special about pc specs, standard HDD etc will double check specs tomorrow if I get time.

    Steve
    Interesting approach with the audio. Furniture is not really being included as the building may get knocked down in a couple of years, I just want to get a decent setup working correctly.

    New ASIO driver solves a lot of problems, and really like the look of the 49i KeyStudio which I think will solve a lot of issues also.

    I have briefly looked at LMMS, but had trouble getting it working with a standard Dell machine.

    I'm looking at a way of copying over certain .xml files at startup which ensures all the correct devices are set each time a students starts up CuBase as part of the battle is getting everything setup correctly.

    I'm working my way through the CuBase tutorials so I can fully understand how it works correctly.

    Thanks for all the replies, keep them coming, its all useful stuff.

    Pete



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