Every once-in-a-while I have a SmartMusic tip.
When I talk about using SmartMusic with my students and one of things I point out is the balance slider. If I give an assignment with an accompaniment, I really want to hear the student more than the accompaniment. Students really need to listen to an assignment before sending it in. It is very easy to change the balance before sending it.
Now for the kid who forgot or rushed to get things turned-in and didn't listen, what do you do? You can send it back and if there is time, I do that. One more take is always good. However, I am often on deadline when listening too.
That's where a decent set of headphones can help. I have had some problem assignments become "listenable" by just pulling the side of the headphones with the accompaniment off my ear. One side is always performer strong and you can hear what they are doing. Saves you the time of a redo.
Don't forget to follow-up with the kid about his mixing tastes!
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