Week 1: Soundtrap
Course began by looking at the online DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) Soundtrap. Although I am used to other DAWs, it was great to get a feel for what students might use and the tools they would have access to.
As part of the class, we discussed the different kinds of tracks available. In the screenshot above we can see examples of audio tracks (top five coloured lines), and MIDI (the bottom two lines). We also experimented with automation in Soundtrap; although there are relatively few options, such simplicity is a great starting point for students who are new to working in DAWs.
Soundtrap also has an in-built beat maker. Like Soundtrap’s automation, this feature is very simple, which is a positive in that it is very intuitive and a great way to begin discussions with students around drum beats, but the lack of versatility could reduce its effectiveness in later stages. Nonetheless, having the beat maker as part of Soundtrap rather than a separate program allows for easy integration into student compositions and encourages students to think in a more holistic manner than they might with a stand-alone beat program.