Frequently Asked Questions - Foothill Music Tech

From MusicTechWiki

Can I get an Add Code for Your Class?
Yes! We usually give Add Codes for ALL our classes. It's best to enroll before the first day of class. But, if you are on a waiting list, or trying to enroll after the quarter starts, don't worry. We will do our best to get you in!
  1. Ask your instructor for an Add Code.
  2. Use the Add Code ASAP to finish enrolling.
    • This can usually be accomplished in your My Portal online.
    • If you need help, call the Office of Admissions (650)949-7325. (GREAT phone support)
    • Better yet, walk into the Admissions Office (with your add code and course CRN number). A very nice human will help you enroll.
  3. Learning to navigate the California Community College academic labyrinth sometimes requires patience and perseverance.
    • Unfortunately, enrolling is not as easy as a "Buy Now with One Click!" button on Amazon.
    • But the Foothill College Music Tech Program is one of the BEST in the country. And, the tuition is so low, it's worth jumping through a few hoops to register. Looking forward to seeing you in class!
  4. Note: After using an Add Code for Late Enrollment, make sure to go to the class Announcements area in Canvas to get up-to-date.
I’m having trouble logging into my Canvas Account.
For Online Classes, am I required to go to campus for any Labs?
  • No, you can do 100% all of the work remotely over the Internet.
  • Online students are welcome and encouraged to come campus ANYTIME and participate in our face-to-face classes, work in the IDEA Lab with fully loaded iMacs and book time in our recording studios. It's also great to connect and collaborate with other students.
For Online students, will a student edition of Pro Tools be given to us?
  • Music Technology Majors might qualify for a free Pro Tools Ultimate license, including iLok!
  • Other online students can either:
    • Come to open labs at Foothill College to do your Pro Tools assignments.
    • Purchase or subscribe to Pro Tools. (see below for details)
What DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) do you recommend?
That's up to you! There are many to choose from including Pro Tools, Logic Pro, Ableton Live, FL Studio, Reaper, Reason, Studio One, Cubase etc. (Garage Band, or Pro Tools First, are probably NOT the best choice for college level Music Tech classes.) The "DAW Wars" debates are over. They ALL sound amazing and you can do professional quality work on ANY platform!
  • Pro Tools is the industry standard audio production application. For students, it's only $8.25 pr month (with tons of plugins and sound libraries). Since Foothill Music Tech teaches the highest levels of Avid Pro Tools Certification, we recommend students take advantage of the opportunity and get up-to-speed with Pro Tools. Consider it a "tuition expense" supporting your education and career.
  • Every DAW has unique features. It's common for producers to have Pro Tools (to remain compatible and collaborate with professional recording studios all around the world) and also use a 2nd DAW for specialized, creative workflows.
  • Many producers, composers and beat makers have chosen to do EVERYTHING in Pro Tools (to keep their workflow streamlined and simple, on one platform.)
    • As a student, it's good to test out several different DAWs, so you have first-hand experience using them.
  • At this point in time, 99% of ALL music you hear on the radio, Spotify, iTunes, feature films, BillBoard Top 100 or the Grammy Awards was created with Pro Tools on some level.
Help! I Need Pro Tools Tech Support!
  • Enrolled students can find help here: Tech Support
  • Our ninja gurus are standing by to help you.
I have ProTools LE 8.0.5 running on my Windows 7 PC at home. Do you think that version 8.0.5 LE will be good enough for the classes that I want to take?
Yes, we will work with what you have. As a community college, we try to be as flexible and accommodating as possible. It's best for all of us to stay up-to-date with the latest hardware and software. But, realistically, there will always be new versions coming out, so we need to make the most with what we have.
The LATEST version of Pro Tools is available to students for only $8.25 per month. Click Here to subscribe. Consider this a tuition investment because you will LEARN about many features in Pro Tools not available in previous versions. This will be valuable knowledge that will help your career.
It's also important to stay on top of computer requirements for Pro Tools:
What Computer do you recommend?
What External Portable Drives do you recommend?
Any hard drive or SSD Drive will work.
  • 5400 RPM (rotations per minute) are "ok."
  • 7200 RPM hard drives perform better than 5400, and only cost a little bit more.
    Many manufactures are no longer specifying the drive RPMs. If they don't say "7200 RPM," it is probably 5400 RPM.
  • SSD (Solid State Drives) are faster, but much more expensive. Not required as external media drive for audio production.
  • G-DRIVE ev RaW - Highly recommended!
  • Note: Hard Drive technology is constantly changing, so we always need to do some Google research before purchasing the latest versions. When in doubt, ask your instructor before buying.
  • For more information, check out this tutorial: Hard Drive Management for Creative Pros
How do I format my drive for MAC?
It's always a good idea to REFORMAT any new drives you purchase! Do this immediately. Never use a new drive right out of the box!
How do I format my drive for Windows AND Mac?
It's always a good idea to REFORMAT any new drives you purchase! Do this immediately. Never use a new drive right out of the box!
How can I TEST the performance SPEED of my Hard Drive?
All of these are free.
How should I Back-Up my Hard Drive?
We practice the 3-2-1 Back-Up Strategy! Don't risk LOSING your data!
  1. Get a second 1TB Drive. Slower 5400 RPM drives are fine as Back-Up destination.
  2. Get Carbon Copy Cloner - $29.95 Educational Discount Price
    • Copy your Main Drive to your Back-Up drive with Carbon Copy Cloner.
  3. Get BackBlaze as a cloud-based backup. It will run constantly in the background.
    • Unlimited Storage to backup ALL of your hard drives!