Page 5 of 10 FirstFirst 123456789 ... LastLast
Results 41 to 50 of 98

Thread: What do recording students need to know?

  1. #41
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Fort Wayne, IN, USA
    Posts
    27,246

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Lee Blaske View Post
    Heck, why not start with sub-atomic level particle physics and work your way up?
    Well, I think any discussion of digital audio should begin with NOR and NAND gates. That'll get those MP3-listening teenagers fired up.
    Lynn Fuston
    3D Audio

    Making beautiful music SEEM easy since 1979.

  2. #42
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Fort Wayne, IN, USA
    Posts
    27,246

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill@WelcomeHomeStudios View Post
    I think that we're coming at the same thing from different directions.

    Because you own a kitchen, that does not make you a chef.
    No one will be turning out 18 year old chefs in one hour a day for a school year.

    This is not about making chefs or popping out professional recording engineers. This is about giving students a good foundation for pursuing goals in audio engineering, whether that be in a club, a church, in the parking lot at the Y, or in a studio or their bedroom.

    I don't think anyone could contest that recording is almost as easy as learning how to type these days. I just did a recording with a high school senior who is a singer/guitar player. I asked her to finish writing her songs before she got to the studio and she showed up with gtr/vocal/vocal harmony demos to play. "I just did it on my Mac." I don't even think she owns a microphone.
    Lynn Fuston
    3D Audio

    Making beautiful music SEEM easy since 1979.

  3. #43
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    New Milford, CT, USA
    Posts
    1,185

    Icon3

    Quote Originally Posted by Lee Blaske View Post
    And I'll bet you'd be lucky if 50% of the people successfully earning a living in the field would be up to speed on what you'd specify as must-have knowledge.
    Not at all! I'm pretty liberal about this stuff. I do think people need to know some "academic" type basics, and knowing how to solder doesn't hurt either. To my mind, the most important thing to learn is how to think logically, versus memorizing a bunch of facts. If a signal chain craps out in the middle of a session, it helps to know how to troubleshoot that.

    --Ethan

  4. #44
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    NashVegas
    Posts
    1,714

    Default

    Thinking back to my photography instructor days (Belmont - then - College, 1986-1990), we spent the first few sessions talking theory (light, lens, aperture, shutter, film) with "practical" exercises in depth of focus, shutter speed, over- and under-exposure. After the boring exercises to learn the skeleton of the craft, we talked about learning to "see" rather than just to "look at." We looked at a lot of published images... Adams, Bourke-White, Cartier Bresson, Atget, Brady, Weston, Liebowitz, et al. Then, to create the image in one's mind before trying to capture it on film. Final exercise for the 101 class: a photo essay that communicates a story, using all the techniques we had discussed and practiced in the weekly exercise assignments.

    That might translate to cables and connectors (descriptions, uses, care of); microphones (dynamic, condenser, ribbon, "performance" mics like SM57,58 vs. "studio" mics like U87, KM184) and patterns (card/omni/fig 8) with demos; input devices (mixers, interfaces) with a bit of practical training in gain structure and onboard EQ; interfaces (like FirePod, Ensemble, M-Box, or other AD/DA conversion); then storage (analog tape, hard drive, all-in-one "production station" devices); then DAWs (PT, Logic, Cubase, etc., noticing and emphasizing the similarities and mentioning the differences... i.e., the process of navigating whichever you choose); then the difference between "facsimile" recording (two mics, one room, capture the performance) and tracking/mixing/mastering.

    First off: everybody learns to properly wrap cables, fix a bad connection or build a TRS-XLR adapter (i.e., learns to use a circuit tester and a soldering iron), and how to carefully and properly handle various microphones, stands and clips/shockmounts.

    After that, construct practical exercises in class and (we'll hope) in some kind of lab setting, to see and hear what actually happens when a gain stage is set too low or too high, or the impedance is grossly out of whack, or there's way too much EQ. Exercises might be like "Record an acoustic guitar with a dynamic mic, a ribbon mic and a large diaphragm condenser mic, with each mic close and then distant. Listen to each and figure out (1) if you like the sound (2) why you like the sound (3) does it sound like the instrument, and, if not, does it sound 'better' or 'worse'?" Discuss the process of deciding, and how it relates to voices, instruments or orchestras. Do similar exercises for all major aspects of "the basics", and sprinkle liberal doses of recognizable music as example of "well recorded guitar" or whatever. Final exercise: Record a song or a performance and describe the mics, positions, effects, and mixdown decisions you used to make the final piece.

    One cannot teach "art", Sydney Pollack once said. To paraphrase: One can only teach craft. Craft is learning what the choices are. Art is actually making the choices.

    Teach gear. Teach signal flow. Teach mic technique. Teach process. Teach what the choices are. Let them hear lots of examples of "the art." Then let them make recordings.

    My $.02US.

    HB
    Recovering College Adjunct Instructor of Photography
    Last edited by hbphotoav; 10-01-2009 at 06:36 PM.
    Harry Butler Photography, Videography and AV Production
    www.harrybutlerphotoav.com

    "I'm CDO. That's like OCD, but the letters are in alphabetical order. As they should be." Seen on a T-Shirt.

  5. #45
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Fort Wayne, IN, USA
    Posts
    27,246

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ethan Winer View Post
    Not at all! I'm pretty liberal about this stuff. I do think people need to know some "academic" type basics, and knowing how to solder doesn't hurt either. To my mind, the most important thing to learn is how to think logically, versus memorizing a bunch of facts. If a signal chain craps out in the middle of a session, it helps to know how to troubleshoot that.
    There was a class at Belmont when I was there (or maybe it was a secret fraternity initiation ritual, I don't recall) and, in order to complete the class, you had to do a three hour session with musicians and successfully record something.

    There was one small catch. The upperclassmen got to come in before the session and pre-sabotage the session. There were rules, like no breaking the gear, but pretty much anything else would fly. They could turn off the phantom power supply for the console, or bypass the 31-band graphics on the main monitors, or unplug cables from gear, you name it. It was hell.

    BUT, if you made it through that session you were standing in good stead to proceed in most studio situations. Looking back, it was a terribly scary experience but was a really good test of whether someone could handle the pressure of a real studio. Where stupid things like that DO happen.

    (Anyone ever patched into a piece of gear and it didn't go there? Or plug in a mic and it doesn't work? Troubleshooting and problem solving--it's a pretty typical thing in the studio.)

    The initiation ritual was something called "the weather map." It was reserved for those up and comers on the studio staff and it was no fun but when you got "the weather map" it meant you were IN. You had to be on the studio staff because it would only happen when you had to come in to open the studio and be the first one there. It involved mulitple grease pencils, the 12' wide and 5' tall window between the control room and studio, and a glorious rendition of a map of the United States. Do you know how much head cleaner it takes to get grease pencil off a window?

    (That probably wouldn't work any more because we don't have head cleaner in the studios.)
    Lynn Fuston
    3D Audio

    Making beautiful music SEEM easy since 1979.

  6. #46
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Fort Wayne, IN, USA
    Posts
    27,246

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 3daudioinc View Post
    The initiation ritual was something called "the weather map."
    So what would be the 21st century digital equivalent of "the weather map?"
    Lynn Fuston
    3D Audio

    Making beautiful music SEEM easy since 1979.

  7. #47
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Franklin, TN
    Posts
    14,647

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Lee Blaske View Post
    Analog 16 track? They aren't being manufactured anymore. Neither are wax cylinder machines. That's like saying computer students at this school need to start out with IBM punch cards and work up from there.
    Recording is an art form, computer programming is a science. There is a big difference in their approach - a HUGE difference.
    Todd Robbins
    TX3 Productions, Inc.
    www.toddro.com

  8. #48
    PookyNR is offline 3D VIP 2005, '06, '07, '08, '09, '10, '11, '12, '13, '14
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Edmonton, AB, Canada
    Posts
    6,889

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 3daudioinc View Post
    There was a class at Belmont when I was there (or maybe it was a secret fraternity initiation ritual, I don't recall) and, in order to complete the class, you had to do a three hour session with musicians and successfully record something.

    There was one small catch. The upperclassmen got to come in before the session and pre-sabotage the session. There were rules, like no breaking the gear, but pretty much anything else would fly. They could turn off the phantom power supply for the console, or bypass the 31-band graphics on the main monitors, or unplug cables from gear, you name it. It was hell.

    BUT, if you made it through that session you were standing in good stead to proceed in most studio situations. Looking back, it was a terribly scary experience but was a really good test of whether someone could handle the pressure of a real studio. Where stupid things like that DO happen.

    (Anyone ever patched into a piece of gear and it didn't go there? Or plug in a mic and it doesn't work? Troubleshooting and problem solving--it's a pretty typical thing in the studio.)

    The initiation ritual was something called "the weather map." It was reserved for those up and comers on the studio staff and it was no fun but when you got "the weather map" it meant you were IN. You had to be on the studio staff because it would only happen when you had to come in to open the studio and be the first one there. It involved mulitple grease pencils, the 12' wide and 5' tall window between the control room and studio, and a glorious rendition of a map of the United States. Do you know how much head cleaner it takes to get grease pencil off a window?

    (That probably wouldn't work any more because we don't have head cleaner in the studios.)
    When I was teaching audio tech at the broadcasting school, we had a unit on troubleshooting. We did the exact same stuff. We would go in and mess a few things up. They had 2 minutes (to simulate ad time and personnel changeover ) to solve the problem.

    It was always everyone's least favorite unit, but one of the most valuable.
    Am I the only one without a small type signature?

    Nathan

  9. #49
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    The Wolverine State
    Posts
    7,157

    Default

    Well... (as a general random thought) I think we often underestimate some of our teens. Teens are building robots and conducting complicated scientific experiments in some high schools these days ... and as Lee pointed out, in many cases designing computer software. They are in many cases more technically minded than we may want to give them credit for. The short attention spans (at times) comes from boredom and/or disinterest, not from things they're actually interested in.

    I wouldn't stay away from at least a cursory overview (2-4 hours overall in the entire course) of the more technical aspects of basic acoustics and/or electrical design simply because they're teens. It's those kinds of sparks that lead some to want to know more.

    I also do think kids in high school automotive classes actually are (were) learning how carbs work. They were disassembling engines way back when I was in high school. It's (of course) where all of the teachers and staff get their cars repaired labor free.

    Short answer? Whatever the people designing the class thinks they should know. Just keep it fun so they don't get bored.

    Quote Originally Posted by 3daudioinc View Post
    So should it include basic electronics? V, A, R, C, L?

    What about basic acoustics?

    Or just "Plug the mic in here and push this button?" (Which you know is all they want.)

    "Dad, I don't need to know how a carburetor works, just give me the keys to the car!!!" Remember we're talking teenagers here.

    How about an Engineering Class to teach Recording? That's all semantics. I don't want to go there.
    Last edited by Lawrence; 10-01-2009 at 10:58 PM.

  10. #50
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    The Wolverine State
    Posts
    7,157

    Default

    I wanted to add...

    One method that works really well for this type of thing is physical setups. Backboards with interconnected circuits where students can make connections over here and then walk over there and measure the result. A lot of the telecommunications classwork training was done this way in my old job and it certainly makes it much more interesting.

    Make the entire classroom one big mixing console and push signals all over the place while measuring things like balanced and unbalanced signals, loss, etc, etc. That would keep kids up on their feet at those times and more engaged in what would otherwise be boring...

    Unless of course there is an SSL in there somewhere for them to play with.
    Last edited by Lawrence; 10-01-2009 at 11:27 PM.

Page 5 of 10 FirstFirst 123456789 ... LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •