Jay Rozema, the faculty member from the Theatre department (see the Stage Lighting activity) approached me about creating a soundboard simulator that would help his students visualize the tracking of audio inside the workings of a soundboard. Like the Stage Lighting activity, he required that it be a simulator, rather than an activity. And, he also asked if I could deliver scenarios to help the student further their mastery. It works like this.
As the students enter the activity, they select a scenario, which delivers a story: “You’re running sound for X band this evening; they have drums, guitar, bass, keyboards and vocals. It’s a small bar so you won’t need to mic the drums or bass. In addition, the vocalist has asked for a set of on-stage monitors so he can hear his performance.” Students are to set up the soundboard the way the scenario asks. When finished, they save the scenario and load another. When all scenarios are complete the student submits his/her work to the faculty who can review each scenario’s settings and leave feedback for the students to revise and resubmit.
This activity was created using Adobe Flash (with heavy AS3 classes). An XML back end defines the scenarios, so they can easily be changed or added to without needing to recompile the original flash FLA file. All of the components of the soundboard are coded as individual AS3 Class files so they may be used in conjunction with other soundboard related activities that may come in the future.
See the public version of the Interactive Soundboard activity.