Ardour curriculum in school


I seem to remember a school somewhere in Europe that used linux and ardour to teach recording.

(Could be my old addled brain playin tricks on me. :upside_down_face: )

I’d like to contact them about their curriculum.

I’m in the process of creating something like that for a teen focused recording arts program.

Any other suggestions welcomed! :slightly_smiling_face:

You are probably thinking of the SAE Institute. They sponsored some Ardour development back in v2 IIRC and had a customized version of Ardour. I don’t believe they are still involved or that they use Ardour anymore, but don’t know.

Of course I would say just post the questions here. It could be others can help you with the answers as well.


Hi Seablade! Haven’t chatted in a while. (I’m retired now, so I don’t hang in the theater sound forums anymore…)

SAE might have been what I’m remembering, but they probably wouldn’t be very forth coming with curriculum outlines and such to help me develop a non-profit program.

What I remember is a guy who was, I think, doing high school level stuff on and had a linux distro that was sort of like UbuntuStudio in that it came with the (at that point I think real time) kernel and jack etc.

But, I could be dreaming. These “memories” are coming from 10 or more years ago when I was fooling around with AVLinux… :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

My ultimate question is where to start to develop this curriculum… my experience in teaching is teaching engineers how to use CAD programs. :slightly_smiling_face:

I do recall that as well, but I think it was used as tool for teaching, not to teach the students how to mix.
Probably on Linux-Audio-User email-list 8-9 years ago.

Hey Mac, been a while you are correct.

Well I may not be ‘that guy’ but I may be able to jump in and assist on this so long as I have time, considering I teach with Mixbus at the University level for theater sound. It might be similar to where oyu end up.

Primarily my class focuses on a few things: First and Foremost it is about ear training. This is the hard part honestly. Teaching students to hear is the key to them being able to do anything else and is something quite foreign to many when they start.

I also teach the basic pillars of a mix, Volume, EQ, Dynamics (Compression then Gating/Expansion), Reverb and Delay, Chorus, etc. I don’t get to advanced in the first year, so no multiband dynamics or processing.

Usually by the end they are starting to put out some at least usable mixes, but it varies based off the student.

But at any rate, other than a general overview, what exactly are you looking for?


Maybe some background on what I’m involved in would be helpful.

The short description is we have a room in a room with some gear that we can approximate a studio with. I’ve a computer with Ardour that I can USB into the X32. I think for now we can do any return monitoring with the mixer, so latency issues might be sidestepped (at least initially).

And we have teens that want to learn how to record, mix, and edit.

We plan to start with a couple motivated high schoolers.

So, what I need to do is come up with some sort of curriculum that introduces the basics (and this case will probably include mic choices and placement to how to provide a monitor mix, etc.).

I’m guessing I’ll need to focus on the “how” of a recording session initially. (So, intro to multi track recording with Ardour, I guess. And all the virtual cabling…) Then progress into what to do with the tracks once the tracks are in Ardour.

So, some sort of course structure for the above is my goal. (I’m just WAGin here so I’m open to any way that makes sense.)

Source material for a variety of session types should be easy to come by, since the theatrical program provides lots of talent, in addition, the two music directors teach at local high schools and are private instructors as well. In addition, the organization wants to do voice overs, adds, etc.

An easy way to get organized is to choose a proper text and follow the order of subjects introduced therein. I use the Huber Modern Recording Techniques (7th Ed) which has a very logical flow and introduces microphones, type, choice, placement, digital basics, intro to DAW, etc. You could pair with another in the series or go with the Katz (industry standard) for mixing and mastering.

For project files, you should plan on creating templates with the desired configuration at first. Good examples are sparse, so I make my own. There’s no getting around this. The blank canvas is too much to overcome at first. Once you hit them with the side-chain compressed kick/pad you will have them forever and they will do what it takes to get there. (Or, depending on your population, just a really clean, well-recorded drum set mixed out to a few tracks.)

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Oh, and for source files, Telefunken makes STEMS available for free. These are invaluable for mixing practice.

Hmm… looks like Huber Modern Recording Techniques is up to 9th edition.

Yeah, I mentioned the 7th ed because that’s what I know and like. Haven’t reviewed the newest editions.

Yea I can tell you what I do, which is a bit different from your use case (Though may be changing soon as I rework the courses to be more generic curriculum instead of theatrically focused).

Right now I teach three classes, only two of which would apply for your process. The mixing class I actually don’t focus on microphone choices etc. beyond how tracks were recorded and what the positions translate into. I focus first and foremost on ear training exercises as I introduce topics of EQ, Dynamics, etc. to the students. I do this both by lecturing and demonstrating these concepts in class and what they turn translate to in audible demonstrations, as well as by reading on their part ot understand the technical terms associated with these so that they can apply them as I am demonstrating the concepts or they are working on it. I use Jason Corey’s Technical Ear Training book for this. As they progress through the book and concepts they begin to put together completed mixes from freely available material online and from recordings I have of live shows (Remember this is a theatrically focused class currently).

The other class that somewhat applies is the technical course which introduces different microphones, how they are used, how we whear and how sound acts in a space, and also unrelated topics like speakers, amplifiers, reproduction systems, wireless, etc.

It sounds like you would be using a combination of these for your course honestly.


Thanks for all the input. I need to read all this thread over again and begin some notes so I can collect my thoughts.

On another note. About using Ardour. Does the low-latency kernel (either provided by Ubuntu Studio or liquorix) buy me anything since my only connection to the X323 is going to be via USB port?

I’ve run Adour, Ubuntu Studio, USB-to-X32 successfully for a 27 channel recording only. But, never tried sending mixes back from Ardour via USB.

So, I don’t know about xruns and latency of the monitor channels via USB with or without the low-latency.

I guess for what I’m going to do initially, most of the return mixes could be done direct via the X32… :thinking:
(I’m guessing it’ll be the rare student that gets to that level in this environment. :wink: )

Probably not unless you are planning on doing live processing in Ardour honestly, provided the standard kernel is set up in a sane way.

If you have problems with XRUNS then I might look at it, otherwise I wouldn’t bother.


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