Ryan Mitchell is a 32-year-old student in RMCAD’s Music Production program. As an online student in Trinidad, Colorado, you might think Mitchell is insulated from the hands-on technical learning you would expect to find in an on-ground degree, but that could not be further from the truth. This online program stands out in part because of its incredible technology that Music Production students can use and learn from. The student equipment package is a collection of software and hardware with an estimated value of over $2,400, all included with the cost of registration. This equipment was handpicked to provide students with the experiential learning they desire. For Mitchell, this meant taking his home classroom to the next level!
First, what would a music production program be without microphones? Luckily, the student equipment package delivers options, starting with a dynamic microphone, Shure SM 57. This highly durable microphone is ideal for capturing low frequencies from drums and bass to delicate noises your ears cannot hear. If you’re looking to capture vocals and other higher frequencies, then look no further than the Audio Technica 4040. This condenser mic is especially useful when used in tandem with a dynamic microphone. Mitchell shared, “Microphones are really useful once you know the dynamics of your space. You have to basically tune the room in your home studios to make sure the sound doesn’t bounce in odd ways.”
Another important component of the music production student package, includes the Solid State Logic 2+, an audio interface that serves as the hub of the home studio. This device allows students to plug in up to four lines of input, monitor multiple stereo mixes, and easily loop audio back. One of the best interface features is its multiple mixes, meaning performers and producers can hear different audio in real-time. This setup becomes powerful for producers when paired with the Komplete Kontrol A49. The A49 is a 49-key MIDI keyboard that allows students to set tempos, adjust levels, play chord progressions with single keys, and add bends and modulation to music.
The program also provides students access to multiple industry-standard Digital Audio Workstations (DAWs), such as Reaper and Ableton. The value of knowing each of these tools has a direct impact on creative opportunities. Mitchell shared, “The libraries in these programs really push my creativity which is helpful because I work with a lot of different artists who all work on different DAWs and so it’s very beneficial to know multiple platforms.” In addition to DAWs, music production students get access to Steinberg Dorico, a digital music notation software that creates sheet music for the 21st century. Mitchell said he likes how the program is “really fun for people with backgrounds in school bands. It’s an especially great program for writing scores, full ensembles, and quartets.”
Knowledge isn’t the only thing students have gained from the online program, they have created a tight-knit virtual community. Mitchell, who is a peer mentor and tutor, told us that within his first year at RMCAD, he and several other students launched an online audio club. He said the club’s goal is to keep people involved in the program. “It makes me feel good when someone reaches out and asks for help. I don’t want anyone to have these hopes and dreams but feel lost in how to pursue them,” shared Mitchell. To learn more about careers you can get with a degree in Music Production click here.