High school recording wtf



  • At my high school, I took Music Technology as a throwaway AS level (I am not sure how this translates to non-UK countries). I thought you would be interested to know the system used for recording coursework (Which is of course judged on quality).

    1. Music is played in the main room with XLR leads trailing out of the open door to the 'studio' (Cupboard) along the hall. Apparently the sockets put through the joining wall are just not good enough.

    2. This is fed through a 10 year-old, 24 channel mixing desk. No more than 8 channels are ever used at once.

    3. The aux sends from this go into a 32 channel dual hard-drive recorder (very nice and expensive I may add!)

    This is not really the wtf part, it is almost what I would do. The wtf part is that despite the recorder having an ethernet port and an 'ftp access mode' in the menu, the teachers all insist that it is impossible to get any files from it digitally. (They have also never tried).


    So, how do we get the recordings off?

    1. Play the recording one track at a time through the mixing desk and into an audio CR recorder.

    2. Import the audio CD into Cubase, and mix it down as required.

    3. Export the project as a .wav and burn it to an audio CD using WMP.

    A recent review of this process was carried out by the Edexcel examining chief for Music Technology, and he advised WMP loses too much quality in converting the .wav into CDA format. Here is the amended process:

    1. Play the project live (note that this will be preview quality rather than full mix), and record it using a specially purchased £200 portable SD recorder plugged in via a head-phone lead.

    2. Upload the file onto a laptop, and use the enterprisey CD burner that came with the recorder to create the CD.

    Here is a summary,

    Analogue -> Digital -> Analogue -> Digital -> Cubase format -> Low quality analogue -> Digital -> CDA format

    It is a testament to the quality of modern equipment that my coursework still merited an A.



  • Holy shit, there are insane people everywhere!



  • @Lazy-lump said:

    Analogue -> Digital -> Analogue -> Digital -> Cubase format -> Low quality analogue -> Digital -> CDA format

    (WARNING: EXTREMELY PREDICTABLE JOKE AHEAD. PROCEED WITH EAR PLUGS AND GOGGLES.)

    Gee, if that's the state of your audio stuff, I wonder who your video teacher must be...



  • @WWWWolf said:

    @Lazy-lump said:
    Analogue -> Digital -> Analogue -> Digital -> Cubase format -> Low quality analogue -> Digital -> CDA format

    (WARNING: EXTREMELY PREDICTABLE JOKE AHEAD. PROCEED WITH EAR PLUGS AND GOGGLES.)

    Gee, if that's the state of your audio stuff, I wonder who your video teacher must be...

     

    Of course, for that joke to work Lazy-lump must be in 9th grade or under...

    PS:  The goggles...guess what they did.....why do we still bother with them at all?



  • I hope you used wooden tabled to hold all this gear! 



  • Given that it's a cupboard, I think it's safe to assume that they are made out of something wood like.



  • Sorry, I wasn't too clear with the description of the studio. I said cupboard because it is so small, rather than being an actual wooden cupboard.

    You will be glad to hear that everything is on a wooden table though ;-)



  • @Lazy-lump said:

    Sorry, I wasn't too clear with the description of the studio. I said cupboard because it is so small, rather than being an actual wooden cupboard.

    You will be glad to hear that everything is on a wooden table though ;-)
     

    <hints id="hah_hints"></hints>I was going to say that it sounded like the audio version of a wooden table.

    Ever heard of DAT, folks?  Sheez... or just get a $200 USB audio interface with XLR and record straight into Cubase, then burn the WAV.



  • Each of the 8 computers in adjoining room has an external input/output device featuring 2 XLR inputs.

    Because of the IT guys not knowing anything about audio settings, however, they are completely unused.


    Don't get me started on the computer system though, I am fed up of it! When I joined the course last year it was 6 computers, all with an an-passworded administrator user account as default. No network, no backup drive. Different software on each computer. Anti-virus hadn't been updated in 7 years, covered with spyware etc etc...



  • @Lazy-lump said:

    No network... ...covered with spyware etc etc...
     

    That is an interesting combination...



  • @Lazy-lump said:

    Anti-virus hadn't been updated in 7 years, covered with spyware etc etc...
     

    <hints id="hah_hints"></hints>Pretty typical of a high school network.  During my stint as an admin, random computers in the main lab would just start failing to boot, citing some corrupted boot file (can't remember which one, might have been ntldr).  I knew they were running some crummy trial version of McAfee with an update license that expired years ago, so I installed Norton A/V on one of the working machines and scanned the network shares - IIRC it found somewhere in the vicinity of 30,000 infected files.  And then I got into a pissing match with the staff admin, who thought that I must have caused the infection because those viruses hadn't been reported before (duh).  Eventually I did convince them to actually register their anti-virus software, once they realized it would be a lot more of a hassle to reformat virtually every machine, virtually every day.

    This must have been almost 10 years ago, but academia has always embraced new technologies and new ideas with all the speed and enthusiasm of continental drift.



  • Yikes. When you said 'Audio CR recorder' I thought you meant 'Cassette Recorder'. Then I wondered why the next step wasn't spending hours in Cubase getting all the audio realigned.

     

    I had an Akai DPS12 (12-track digital recorder/mixer). Getting audio off that into my PC went as follows:

    1. plug in the huge clunky 4x plextor scsi drive.

    2. burn the project file from the DPS 12 to a CD

    3. take CD to the PC,  rip it to an ISO file.

    4. Use 'DeepStripper', a custom utility, to extract WAVs from the ISO.

    5. Create stereo WAVs from any stereo tracks using Wavelab

    6. Import WAVs to Cubase.

    I've now got a Korg 1212. Workflow is:

     1. Drag and drop WAVs from Korg to PC via USB.

     



  • Yes, sorry for the typo. Unfortunately I can not correct it...

    It still takes a few minutes re-aligning the tracks though, the CD recorder and playback are both started by hand.



  •  I used to use two cassette decks to overdub. Then one day I had finally saved enough money to buy a shiny new 4-track.



  • @MasterPlanSoftware said:

    @Lazy-lump said:
    No network... ...covered with spyware etc etc...

    That is an interesting combination...



    Spyware is worse with no internet connection (but less of a security risk), it keeps causing crashes failing to phone home.



  • @Lazy-lump said:

    Spyware is worse with no internet connection
     

    Right, and with no internet connection the even more interesting part is where it would come from.



  • @MasterPlanSoftware said:

    Right, and with no internet connection the even more interesting part is where it would come from.



    I suppose they must have had internet at some point, there are definitely ethernet ports in the room; they just don't seem to be connected to the outside world any more.



  • @MasterPlanSoftware said:

    @Lazy-lump said:

    Spyware is worse with no internet connection
     

    Right, and with no internet connection the even more interesting part is where it would come from.

    The Spyware Fairy?



  • @Lazy-lump said:

    I suppose they must have had internet at some point,
     

    Based on the information provided, I do not feel comfortable in making that assumption.



  • I am not going to give a complete dump of the computers' situations. It would be hard to get them in such a state without access to the internet, I can't see students being bothered to use flash drives that extensively.


    PS. I got the Brontok worm on my flash drive from one, and it got flagged up on one of the regular computers. Next day the IT department hunted me down and told me I must have a virus at home =( I was also blamed for ruining all of the music computers.


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