Things continue to go well a the Adams 12 STEM Magnet Lab School in the Denver metro area. They’ve moved beyond learning the system to finding ways to integrate the 9 Box into their curriculum. This is fabulous progress when you consider that I’ve only spent an hour or two over 4 sessions with the teacher Gregg Cannady. So to recap:
Session 1: Unbox and Install software and wire up hardware
Session 2: Learn startup sequence and learn and play with the method
Session 3: Learn how to make 9 Box refills from royalty free sounds in Ableton Live
Session 4: Learn how to insert recorded audio or field recordings into the 9 box (this session)
Gregg can now boot up the the system and start making music in about 3 minutes. He’s started teaching 6th graders themselves how to as well. Now some 6th graders are working on a project where they will gather audio, build their own 9 boxes using this audio, create arrangements, practice, then do a performance using the AudioCubes! They’ll do this with multiple groups with 4 players each and because it’s recorded audio and performed with spatial control and the 9 box method each performance will have a different palette of sounds and be unique.
In the photo above, you can see a shot where Gregg created two stations on either side of the computer – so one or two players on each side. Part of what I’ve provided as part of the method are printable Table Top Quick Start guides, just print the 9 pages and tape together based on the reference boxes in the corner of each page. Checkout this older post on the hand-drawn prototype of the quick start. On the wall you can see the teacher taped up the boot up sequence notes. I’ve come to fine that the boot up sequence is about as complex and time consuming as replacing and tuning a string on a guitar. Once you understand it, you don’t need the instructions, especially since the sequence itself is baked into the Table Top Quick start diagram.
Next is a shot I took of a wall in Gregg’s classroom that I thought was cool.
As a first method for getting audio into the 3x3 grid of clip slots within Ableton Live we decided to record directly into clip slots using a mic plugged into the the NI Audio Kontrol 1 sound card. So, arm a track, click on an empty slot, record, hit enter – done. I also taught Gregg how to trim audio within a clip so they could do some creative editing and create multiple clips from one source clip.
As a test, we recorded some vocals, and some percussive sounds with instruments in the classroom which was great fun.
Lastly, here is a shot of the 9 Box template with instructions on the wall. Check out the Mastering Theremin DVD behind the computer. This comes in the box with Moog Etherwave Theremin’s by the way.
More to come…