MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA A Solid State Logic AWS 948 Hybrid Console/Controller was chosen to upgrade Studio R103, the main audio recording facility on the Fairfield Campus of the Northern Melbourne Institute of TAFE (NMIT). The Institute offers in-depth vocational training in all aspects of audio production through its Sound Production certificate program. The AWS 948 provides the sound quality, industry standard ergonomic layout and DAW control capabilities that make it the perfect fit for an educational setting.
The highlight of the recently-upgraded Studio R103 is certainly the SSL AWS 948, says Darren Steffen, program coordinator, Sound Production, Department of Performing Arts, NMIT. The console interfaces beautifully with our Pro Tools® HD and Logic systems, as well as the bevy of deluxe outboard equipment we offer. The decision to upgrade an aging analogue console to the SSL was thoroughly challenging, but in the end, obvious. Our pool of experienced teaching staff has much experience using SSL in the workplace and, for many, there is no acceptable alternative console available. Since our students will more than likely encounter SSL in their professional lives at the more high-end production facilities, the AWS 948 is ideal for our application.
The Studio R103 control room can accommodate a class of 20 students, and employs an overhead camera above the mixing console to provide clear demonstrations to the larger groups. The associated studio room offers a recording room and attached grand piano and drum/vocal booths, with the main studio room substantial enough to handle a big band or small film orchestra. NMITs IT infrastructure allows transfer of data between any computer-based sound production workstation throughout the campus and the SSL console, making inter-discipline projects possible.
The premiere project we produce at NMIT Performing Arts is the Collaboration Project, continues Steffen. Music performance students write original material, sound production students record it, TV students shoot the video and the music business students manage the process and produce a DVD as the final product. For all students involved, this becomes a key reference source when presenting to prospective employers. The sonic excellence of the AWS has made a remarkable improvement in the sound quality of this project and there is no doubt this sonic excellence will ensure that future Collaboration Projects will be the best ever produced.
NMIT believes that building professional working relationships among students also creates excellent outcomes by consolidating clear working practices toward producing a commercial product. This process builds networks that extend beyond study life into working careers. The AWS enhances this development.
Training students on high quality equipment is essential to develop a true understanding of whats possible, states Steffen. The ability for the 948 to integrate with our DAWs, and at the same time provide that classic SSL analogue interface and capability, was at the top of our list of considerations. In addition to the sonic quality, the build quality, design, layout, digital/analogue processing combinations and flexibility make the AWS 948 a superb workhorse as our main console.