Businesses, studios and education facilities across the country – and the world – might be in lockdown, but that doesn’t mean that everything grinds to a halt, as Audient discovered first hand when talking to Ciarán Robinson, Academic Manager at Tileyard Education.
The need to put a remote studio together at short notice gave him the impetus (and excuse) to get that second interface he’d been promising himself – and he chose EVO 4 by Audient.
We were keen to know how it’s all going, but first we asked: where actually is he at the moment?
Usually I’d be at our campus in the Tileyard complex in Kings Cross. Instead, I’m working from my home studio/office setup in Ruislip, West London.
It’s great that you are managing to keep teaching from home.
Yeah, we launched an online/blended MA in January, so a lot of the infrastructure was there already, and we were up and running pretty quickly – but that’s not to say it’s not been a very quick learning experience!
“so far it’s been going really well – all things considered!”
We’ve been using a combination of pre-recorded material, video conferencing and YouTube streaming, and so far it’s been going really well – all things considered!
It was amazing how quickly a community of music and production teachers came together when the lockdown was announced. Everyone is helping each other out with advice on equipment, setup and streaming, and there’s been loads of discussion on the best ways to deliver classes online – the Musicians@home Facebook group has been great.
I think that even once things get back to normal, we’ll be seeing more use of online delivery. There are some things that actually work better this way and this has been an eye opener to many teachers.
Tell us about your studio/office setup there.
I’ve got a pretty decent production setup at home, based around an Audient iD22 and quite a lot of video equipment I’ve picked up over the years. Some of the current configuration has been dug out of long forgotten cupboards and boxes though.
“Setup was as easy as plug in and go”
How does the EVO 4 fit in?
I was thinking of getting a second interface for use when I’m out of the office and the EVO 4 looked interesting. It’s turned out to be far more useful than I thought it would – having two interfaces makes some video production and streaming tasks much easier.
Setup was as easy as plug in and go, and once I figured out my way around the controls I was up and running.
What features have you appreciated the most?
It’s the little things, like the level metering around the dial that makes setting up quick and easy. I wasn’t sure if I would use the Smartgain feature, but it works perfectly.
Tell us how you’ve been using the Audio Loop-back facility.
Most recently, I’ve been using it with our Virtual Learning Environment video conferencing system (we use Beebop, who have been fantastic getting our courses online so quickly) and I can route the audio straight from the DAW into the conference. It’s allowing me to deliver live lessons, with decent sound quality and direct video chat with the students (though to be honest, the first thing I did was of course to sync up and link ProTools and Logic).
“it’s quickly becoming a core part of the online delivery setup”
Have you got any other plans for your EVO 4 now you’ve got used to each other?
My EVO 4 was originally going to be for use when I was away from my studio, but it’s quickly becoming a core part of the online delivery setup. I’ve a horrible suspicion that I’m going to have to find another portable interface – or invest in an EVO 8 when it comes out. [The latter is a great idea ~ EVO]
Will you keep it with you at home or will it go back to work with you?
It’s going to be joining me on my daily commute!