Paper Session 11 (Saturday 3:00-4:00) Salon A
Moderator: Ken Ashdown

A Comparison Study: A Tablet Based Recording System and A Professional Studio Recording

Timothy L. Channell
Director, Music Business Program
Radford University

As the digital audio recording movement continues to increase in popularity and demand, the industry purports that individuals can obtain a professional quality recording in their own “makeshift” studios without having to set foot into an established recording studio replete with high definition recording software, quality microphones, and acoustically superior recording spaces. The use of iPad and tablet technology continues to take prominence in amateur audio recordings and this study compared the use of tablet technology to professional studio recording equipment to determine if a level of perceived audio quality is apparent in the final product. With the use of Pro Tools as the recording software, this study compared the same student recording project simultaneously recorded through a tablet and laptop computer and a full Pro Tools HD studio rig. Following the completion of the projects a blind comparison survey was administered to an external population to determine perceived quality. Additionally, engineers were surveyed on the equipment and software for ease of use and practicality in a recording session.

As technology for audio recording, both studio and live recordings, becomes more compact and user friendly, quality research on the use of digital audio workstations (DAW) in the hands of relative amateurs compared to professional studio engineers is constantly in need. This research project evaluated current technologies used by student recording engineers and comparing the ease, functionality and final product to a studio setting using professional equipment. Amateurs were observed using iPad mixing through a standard Pro Tools 11 DAW. This equipment is relatively inexpensive and available to the general population compared to a Pro Tools HD professional system that is generally beyond the fiscal reach of most of the population. The participants engaged in recording a project using an iPad recording setup and simultaneously recorded the same project using the professional studio rig. The differences in the recordings are the computer (laptop vs. Mac pro tower), DAW (Pro tools 11 vs. Pro Tools HD) and the interface. Following the recordings a blind analysis, with an external population, was completed to ascertain if there is a perceived difference in the level of quality between the recordings as well as an exit survey of participants on the use of the equipment.

Creating Balanced Assessment Models for a Skill-Based Music Technology Course

Rick Hall
Adjunct Assistant Professor
The University of the Arts and Community College of Philadelphia

One of the challenges facing an instructor teaching a skill-based course, whether it be a music technology course or a group piano class, is how to create assessments that are equitable across a broad range of students with differing entry-point proficiency levels, degrees of technical aptitude, or confidence with technology. This paper is about developing strategies for creating assessment models that function independently of empirically measurable skill sets, focusing instead on transferable assets such as conceptual understanding, problem-solving and critical thinking. There is a difference between possessing executable skills and having the ability to acquire such skills by grasping the principles from which they are derived. Is creative application of conceptual knowledge a learned attribute that is as measurable as demonstrated competence in a particular skill? How can an instructor bring together these elements to design a technology course that serves a diverse group of students, from the relatively advanced to the technologically challenged?