Apples & Oranges
The original plan was to keep the course strictly hardware based at least for the first two terms/years. Largely this had to do with keeping things as simple and as focused on the basic concepts as possible for the beginning student (software based tools require a good deal of initial investment and set-up: monitor, soundcard, DAW, MIDI controller etc.) but having taken a look thru the diminishing set of available hardware samplers its clear this might not be a possibility in the near future. Also taking into account accessibility and useability – making the course equipment as cheap and future proof as possible.
Initially I had the SP404 lined up as the sampler/sequencer of choice for the course but having come across the Akai iMPC and then the teaser trailers for the forthcoming iMPC Pro app I started looking into how I might use the ipad as the basis for teaching the various digital music concepts. There’s also Arturias excellent Minimoog emulation app the iMini which might do the trick for the synthesis module although their analog mono synth the Minibrute is cheap enough and has the benifit of physical faders and dials. On the interface side of things, for the ipad, the Behringer iStudio is looking like a likely canidiate as surprisingly, for todays specs anyway, it includes an RCA/turntable input. I’m looking forward to checking out the full functionality of the iMPC Pro as soon as its released.