SAE: One Week In

So, I’m now officially a student at SAE Glasgow, studying Audio Engineering. We’re one week in; so far we’ve only scratched the surface of sound theory, covering waves and the human ear, but it’s all stuff I find pretty interesting.

Our first class assignment was to take a piece of music we liked the production of, and make notes on it regarding panning, double-tracking, the levels of instruments and what not. We then listened back to some of them in class. We only got about of a third of the way around, so we never got to my pick, Crippled Black Phoenix – You Take the Devil Out of Me. The night before I was stressing over whether to switch to Kayo Dot – The Awkward Wind Wheel but in the end it didn’t really matter. Oh well. Other people picked artists such as No Doubt and Jimmy Eat World, so it was quite interesting listening analytically to music I don’t like.

Anyway, as part of the course, we get a MacBook. Apparently they should arrive within the next couple weeks. The very thought of suddenly becoming a Mac user scares me. I have a long standing dislike of Apple, including their computers. I have used Macs, and this might be just a typical Windows-user attitude, but the operating system seemed illogical and confusing in terms of file structure and even basic things like having no right click (resulting in having to press a key+ the mouse click for many important Photoshop functions).

This all being said, I’m very willing to give my new MacBook a fair shot. I don’t expect to migrate fulltime to Mac, but if it turns out to be more stable for music, I could see myself keeping the PC for everyday use and using the Mac as my primary recording platform, since our Books will come with Logic. I’ve been using Reaper as my DAW on windows, and other than a few irritating problems (caused by my Toneport’s Vista ASIO driver and not Reaper), I’ve not had any real complaints regarding stability. Thankfully, Reaper is being ported to OS X (the port is currently in beta) so I might just be able to run it on both machines.

And as a little aside here, Homophonies is now finally nearing completion, probably 75% complete structurally, I’m hoping to spend some time in the SAE studios hammering it into shape on proper equipment and getting a half-way decent mix done. I’m particularly pleased with a melodic drone section from side B I call “Ghost of Ebbing Bells” which was performed on fretless guitar with an EBow. I have included a little snippet of it below (since the final version of it is over 10 minutes in length).


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