Re: Sources & Curriculum

Subject: Re: Sources & Curriculum
From: Kevin Austin (
Date: Mon Nov 14 2005 - 00:03:22 EST

At 9:12 PM -0500 11/13/05, Tom Lopez wrote:
>The question I am asking Kevin and Owen is what do students need?

Er ... well, sorry, but this was in effect the reason for the thread.

It's about curriculum and facilities.

The student wanted to get MAX/MSP, but it was not part of the course.
This led me to throw a worm into the waters to get some bites about
the broader issue(s). For a few fortunate places, curriculum for
electroacoustic studies is a matter of 'fine tuning' rather than
design and implementation.

Each school will examine its priorities and resources, and its goals.

In terms of facilities, I have heard it said (in general) that
students shouldn't be using labs with headphones for anything
particularly serious. This may mean the acquisition of a number of
small 'practice module' type rooms (Wenger etc), and there would need
to be adequate monitoring facilities in each one. At about 5 hours
per week, per student, this means (about) one module for every 15 -
18 students. 32 students, 2 modules etc.

The software in the module would be that which is required by the course.

There is also the need for a "robust" listening / monitoring
facility, one in which each student would have 1 to 2 hours per week
to listen to their work on a higher quality system. There would need
to be one such studio for every 32 students.

If the program has 65 students, the absolute minimum is 4 sound
modules and 2 robust monitoring facilities. At the next level, there
would need to be one 'superlative' mixing / mastering studio. This
gives a number of about 7 studios for every 65 - 70 students;
approximately one 'studio' for every ten students. A program with 120
students requires 12 rooms.

If such a **minimum** standard could be agreed to by the
international electroacoustic studies community, it will be much
easier for instructors to report to their Chair / Dean / HOD, that
this is the 'norm'.

There would be appropriate software on each computer in the studio
complex. As the level rises from undergraduate to graduate, the
number of students per studio diminishes, and some other 'dedicated
facilities' become necessary -- live ea, a multimedia studio, analog
synthesizer, unique hardware, an archival dubbing studio.

Some schools will have recording arts and will need dedicated and
more complex studio facilities.

Curricular design would be balanced against the capital cost of
facilities. Breadth of program = depth of pocket.

The curricular design features would be such that the electroacoustic
studies program has courses in ear-training, and some aspects of
music theory, but oriented towards the focus of the ea student.

The ear-training would need minimal workstation facilities, and in an
ideal situation, there would be one "module" for every 20 - 25
students allowing them about 3 hours per week.

A well-dressed very basic undergraduate program with 100 student
would have 6 small studio, 3 robust (multi-channel?) studios, one
mastering studio and 4 - 5 'ear-training' modules -- 14 - 15 studios.





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