At the heart of the University of York’s newly refurbished Richard Orton studio sits a brand new Audient ASP4816 mixing console. The studio was designed and built by Studio Manager, Ben Eyes with help from his technical team. “The studio represents a perfect blend of old and new,” he says.
ASP4816 – “a really robust, tactile console with great build quality”
For Music & Sound Recording BA programme leader, Dr Liam Maloney, the arrival of the desk heralds a new era for the University. “We have a range of different studio spaces in the department, but we’ve never had a high quality in-line console before.
“Working with in-line architecture is a skillset not many institutions offer, so we’re really thrilled to have a console that allows our students to get to grips with the flexibility and intricacies of this different way of working,” says Liam, an audio engineer who produces house and disco music when he’s not teaching at York University.
Running all industry standard DAWs, a Dante system, Genelec SAM and Adams monitors, the new studio is filled with classic 80s synthesisers including DX7 and Casio CZ3000 and modern drum machines. It went operational just a few weeks ago and according to Liam, “it’s the talk of the department!”
He continues, “Staff are loving having the desk as a point of difference from the other consoles we have in the department. It’s really exciting to be working in a purely analogue domain with a really robust, tactile console with great build quality. It’s fantastic for demonstrating on, too.”
ASP4816 “fantastic for demonstrating”
What about the students who are new to this kind of console? “The jump to in-line is initially a bit baffling,” concedes Liam. “However, within 15 minutes of demonstration and work, they have found their feet and understand the routing, short and long fader arrangement and are confidence monitoring. Whilst it might seem a bit unusual to begin with, students quickly grasp the workflow and love it.” He adds: “There have been lots of compliments about the EQ circuits too!”
As an alumnus of LIPA, Liam himself trained on Audient’s classic ASP8024 so he was doubly sure that the compact, in-line mixing desk from the British company was the way to go for the newest studio. He cites his affinity with Audient products as the main reason he purchased Audient Nero, studio monitor controller for his personal use. “I’ve got to say that Nero is fantastic,” he says.
Today, all recording course students of the University of York’s music department get access to every studio and all equipment from the second week of teaching. “We don’t hold back certain equipment for certain cohorts. We think all students should be able to learn, experiment, stretch and challenge themselves.”
For Ben, the Audient’s transparent preamps are a huge draw. “The Department offers many different recording experiences for recording students on the MASR and MA production courses; from classical, contemporary and new music to jazz, rock and electronic. I have used Audient preamps whilst working at EMS in Stockholm as an artist in residence and they coped admirably with everything from a Buchla modular synth to delicate vocals. I was so impressed I have also installed an ASP800 mic pre to add some extra microphone inputs to the system and to provide conversion for the main mix outs from the desk,” he adds.
“we’ve never had a high quality in-line console before”
Ben would like to thank Matt Thompson, Steve Ruane, Ben Vogelsang, Ben Hammond at Reel Production Group, Angel Catano Flores , Steve Burton and Paul at Kernow Carpentry for all their hard work on the studios.
Exciting times for Liam, Ben and the Music & Sound Recording students & staff at the University of York Department of Music. Audient wishes them every success.