Lecture 4 was a departure from the usual format, with our annual visit from the education technology industry experts at Roland. Ray and Attila took us through some of the coolest and newest gear. The things that really caught my eyes were:

BA-55 PA with wireless mic – very cool for schools, put it on a stand and use it as a mono PA for announcements, or turn it on its side and it goes into stereo mode. The wireless mic receiver is built in and you can buy extra mics if you need to do lots of vocal performing.

BR-80 Digital multitrack Recorder – this teeny little unit (pictured right) can record 8/64 tracks of audio from its built-in microphones or from a line in or external microphone. An unbelievable number of features in such a teeny and inexpensive unit.

Jam Hub – not a new one, but what a cool way of getting a rock band (in combination with Roland’s v-drums) to rehearse quietly in a corner of your classroom!

R-MIX Tab – the first iPad app I’ve seen from Roland, R-MIX takes tracks in your music collection and divides them into their individual tracks in a graphic interface.

That left us with a tutorial which was a little frenetic to say the least. We still didn’t have Sibelius 7 in the lab, but with time running out before the first assignment was due I decided to give you your Learn Sibelius lesson, which we did have to do at hyperspeed. We covered note input with the mouse, from a MIDI keyboard, using alphabetic entry plus dynamics, articulation marks and phrasing.

All of those lessons and many more to go with the book I’ve given you on learning Sibelius 6 are available freely as video tutorials here on my website.

In addition, I showed you how to make the transposed parts for your arrangement. Please don’t get this wrong, it really is quite easy if you follow the steps I outlined, but many people did stuff it up last year… just so you don’t have an excuse, here’s yet another tutorial video:

Last but not least, we looked at making PDFs of your score and parts. In MacOS this is as simple as choosing File > Print… and then clicking on the PDF dropdown menu (choose Save as PDF), while in Windows you’ll need to install a free print to PDF driver – I found one on CNET pretty quickly after a Google search. And if you download the trial version of Sibelius 7 (or buy the full thing of course!), it can export PDFs from the Export option (under the File tab) without having to print anything at all.

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