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New equipment expands possibilities for UCOL Music students

By UCOL on Tuesday, 07 February 2017

UCOL lecturer Graham Johnston with new Ableton gear

UCOL Music students will be able to explore music in new ways in 2017 thanks to the exciting acquisition of over $25,000 worth of top-of-the-line production and performance equipment.

German-based music software and equipment manufacturer Ableton donated 20 of its Push 1 controllers and Live software licences to the department as part of its Push Trade-In Initiative.
 
The Push Trade-in Initiative sees Ableton donate refurbished Push 1 units along with the Ableton Live recording software to music education providers and projects for young people.
 
Students will be able to use the Push controllers to create and programme beats, play notes and chords, and make and trigger samples.
 
The Ableton Live software is endorsed by artists such as Daft Punk, Nine Inch Nails, and Pete Townsend of The Who.
 
The Push controllers and Live software will be available to all Contemporary Music students at UCOL.
 
UCOL Music Lecturer Graham Johnston, who made the application to Ableton, says the new gear opens up exciting possibilities for students, especially when it comes to live performances.
 
“Not only will Ableton Live and the Push controllers be great for our students to compose, record, and arrange music, but the key is that they’ll be able to use them in live performances.”
 
“We’ve never had anything like this. We’ve focused on teaching students how to perform
in bands with instruments like guitars, bass, drums, and keys, so the Push controllers add another dimension. Our students will now be able to create new sounds and play them live.”
 
Ten Push controllers will be set up in a classroom on UCOL’s Palmerston North campus, some will be sent to the Whanganui campus, while others will be made available to staff.
 
A Push controller and the Live software have been installed in UCOL’s recording studio, which already includes programmes such as Protools, Reason, Logic Pro, and Native Instruments Komplete.
 
“The Live software and Push units integrate with all of the software already in the studio. It just adds to the awesome facility that we have here. I don’t think students realise how great the studio is until they walk in the door,” says Graham.

The UCOL recording studio has been developed over recent years with the advice of UCOL Lecturer and studio recording/production specialist Nigel Patterson, who plays piano/keyboard in acclaimed New Zealand Reggae Dub band The Black Seeds.

“The band have recorded in the studio and find it totally capable of producing a very high standard of recording, and a very productive space which functions really well,” he says.

 
Pictured above: UCOL Music Lecturer Graham Johnston lays down some beats on the Ableton Push controller in UCOL’s recording studio.
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