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  • Dekuruy
    Posts: 148
    Joined: Nov 23rd, 2007
    Mainstage as visual aid for teaching, and more......
    Hi all! This is not a question. My hope is that in sharing some of the ways that I've recently used mainstage, others may benefit. It's also one small way of thanking Rounik, and all at MPV for their hard work and excellent tutorials. I'm a special education teacher, teaching students with special needs. These students generally learn better when a multi-sensory approach is used. Music, of course, especially the act of playing music, can be multi-sensory, and Mainstage - as well as Logic - can provide excellent visual input for these students. Of course, I use Logic and Mainstage in standard ways, for live performance, routing different MIDI instruments and controllers into either program as students play these instruments live. Mainstage, being designed for this, of course, has been great. In the classroom, both Mainstage and Logic provide very clear, attractive visuals of what's going on musically. Mainstage, however, because of the ability to add pics and text to that beautiful but quiet black background, has really been a great boon to the students' learning. They can see pictures of themselves next to the instrument they are playing, labels of the instruments can be added with text, they can see the keys, knobs, sliders, pads, etc. move or light up as they play them - many students love this - and they can begin to understand a little bit about the way sounds can be modified by routing these various controls to various plugin parameters, all in this visually friendly environment. In performance, for my students' shows, a projection of the Mainstage interface can be shown on a projection screen, above or to the side of the stage, and while students are performing on MIDI keyboards and controllers, the audience can see much more of what each student is actually doing in real time by watching the shelf and panel controls colorfully light up and move as the students are moving the corresponding hardware devices. Mainstage is used exclusively for this in some of the numbers of the shows, but in others, Logic was used, but the Mainstage interface was still being projected, and actively responding to MIDI, even though nothing was actually routed to any channel strips, and the Mainstage outputs were all the way down. So, in this way, I had the best of both worlds, with Logic's sequencer running, enabling touch tracks, sequencers, etc. from Logic's environment to drive the audio for the performance, but still enabling the audience to see what the students were playing on stage through the projection of the Mainstage interface. In the Mainstage 101 tutorial, Bill Burgess demonstrates how audio from Logic, or anywhere in your computer, for that matter, can be routed into Mainstage using soundflower. This very useful technique was used in one of my students' performances in which a classical piece, Handel's Harp Concerto in B flat, was routed into Mainstage from Logic using soundflower, and Mainstage was used to route various hardware controls to effects plugin parameters, so that the students could add modern type effects to the sound of Handel by turning knobs and playing pads on MIDI devices. These actions were made visible to the audience through the projection of the Mainstage interface onto a screen above the stage. Pictures of the students were placed next to the devices that each was manipulating. Here's what it looked like: [img]http://img52.imageshack.us/img52/8503/smainstageperformance.png[/img] Another novel but invaluable use for Mainstage was as a visual picture map of the stage and where everything on the stage needed to be set up. In these shows, each number requires quite a different stage set up, and the visual diagrams that I was able to print out from screen shots of Mainstage were a life saver. Here is an example of what I mean: [img]http://img46.imageshack.us/img46/5547/10stagediagrammintzer.png[/img] My stage crew was able to much more easily help with stage set-ups this way. I used to have to write everything out. So, I hope this is helpful in some way to some who are reading this. And, again, a million thanks to Rounik and all at MPV!!
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  • Rounik Admin
    Posts: 8713
    Joined: Dec 16th, 2006
    Re: Mainstage as visual aid for te...
    Hi Adam, Wow! You really have been using Mainstage (and Logic) in some novel and imaginative ways... The pictures and buttons/faders layout is really impressive - what a wonderful idea to depict interaction. I love it! Do you film any of the student performances? I imagine Apple's Education sector may well be interested in what you are doing... Might be worth contacting them. Furthermore, have you heard of the ADE (Apple Distinguished Educator) program..? Thanks for posting this - it's inspiring to read and see your workflow and ideas applied in Mainstage... :o) Rounik
    Reply
  • Dekuruy
    Posts: 148
    Joined: Nov 23rd, 2007
    Re: Mainstage as visual aid for te...
    Hi Rounik! Well, I must say I'm really flattered by your response. Thanks so much for the feedback, support and encouragement! It means a lot to me. ADE looks like a great network, if I can get involved. How would I contact Apple Education? Is there anyone that you recommend I try to speak with? Yes, I always try to video record my students' shows. They love to see and hear themselves on video. Great positive reinforcement. I just converted the raw DVD from my most recent show with HandBrake. l'm starting to do each class' performance in iMovie so that they can be accessed anytime on our school's server. One more question about my post above: Is it worth while to post it in the 'Educator's Unite' thread in the General > General forum? If so, would it be alright to just copy it from here - is that allowed? Let me know. And thanks again - a million! Adam
    Reply
  • Rounik Admin
    Posts: 8713
    Joined: Dec 16th, 2006
    Re: Mainstage as visual aid for te...
    Hi Adam, :) I'm not completely sure about how ADE works... had a chat recently with someone in the States who is an ADE... sounds like Apple need to be made aware of you... The links I have in Education are in the UK division - don't think these would be helpful to you... but, have you seen this page? [url]http://edcommunity.apple.com/ali/story.php?itemID=9671&version=7761&pageID=19544[/url] The videos sound cool... am sure it makes for a fantastic portfolio for the students and parents. Definitely, add to the 'Educators Unite' thread - copy and paste will be absolutely fine :) Thank you - Adam! Rounik
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