The Technological University of the Shannon: Midlands Midwest (TUS) in Ireland has installed 40 Audient iD4 (MKII) audio interfaces across their suite of production labs on the TUS Moylish campus. Used by students of BSc (Hons) Music Production & Technology and BSc (Hons) Creative Broadcast & Film Production, the compact audio interfaces are integral to both in classes. According to the co-programme leader of the Music Technology course, Michael Gavin, “The iD4s are central to workflow in these spaces.”
“the iD4 is in a league of its own here”
Put to use daily in a broad range of ways, from music production projects, light recording, mixing, sound design, sound for film and television to audio programming, both Michael and his co-programme leader Dr Malachy Ronan agree, that “having excellent converter technology, the Audient preamp and JFET instrument input alongside the dual headphone outputs allow students to collaborate and learn while providing a consistent experience from workstation to workstation.
“The quality of the converters make working in these rooms a dream,” they continue. “We have used other brands of audio interface in the past and while these served us well, the iD4 is in a league of its own here. The dual headphone output in a box of this size and price is an excellent feature. It lends itself entirely to the all-important provision of lecturer and peer feedback.”
The iD4s join an ASP4816 mixing console which was installed shortly before the arrival of Covid and subsequent lockdown. “This was less than ideal timing, but we knew that the console was there waiting for us upon our return to on-campus teaching,” explains Michael. Having produced some instructional content prior to switching to online teaching, they were able to utilise that alongside the “great educational tool” SAE Audient ASP4816 Simulator, produced by Dr Mark Bassett and SAE Institute Australia. “Students became very familiar with the console topology while reviewing this content so once we arrived back on-site they were ready to go with a great grounding and very little apprehension.”
“iD4 is a lot of product for its small footprint and price”
Feedback from staff and students has been overwhelmingly positive. “There is huge praise for the quality, flexibility and reliability of the Audient products we use here. The iD4 is a lot of product for its small footprint and price. The clear consistency between the iD4 and the ASP4816 console has been the talking point amongst staff and students since we installed the iD4s here.”
Suitable For All Levels
Used extensively by the entire Music Technology & Production student body – approx 120 students – the desk itself has proved invaluable across all year groups. “From first year students getting to grips with studio technology and signal flow, to final year students working on larger recording sessions and mixes. It’s the perfect tool to meet the many requirements we have in our teaching studios.”
ASP4816 is “the perfect tool to meet the many requirements we have in our teaching studios”
Integrating seamlessly with the iD4s, many projects that have been recorded using the ASP4816 are later taken to the computer labs where the iD4s live. “Students often start their mixes in the box using the excellent iD4 headphone amp! The iD4s are also used to add some light overdubs using the JFET instrument input.”
Recent projects include mixing the tracks for the band (and recent Music Tech graduates) Dylan Flynn and The Dead Poets, and fourth year Music Production students are currently completing some remix projects for local/national musicians using the ASP4816 as well.
It’s not just Music Tech students who get their hands on the Audient gear, however. Creative Broadcast students are also using the desk for their audio stream. Indeed, a group of Creative Broadcast students recently won the First Frame Best Documentary award at the Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival 2022, and some of the audio post-production was done on the ASP4816. “It really is the perfect tool for all of our needs,” confirms Michael.
To The Future
At the tail-end of the scheduled program review at TUS, Michael and Dr Malachy are very excited about what the next five years holds for them – and their prospective students.
Back in October 2021 the facility became Technological University of the Shannon: Midlands Midwest as part of a consortium with Athlone Institute of Technology. “It’s quite exciting where that could take us,” says Michael when asked about what the future may hold for them. “At a departmental level, we’re an ambitious team in an ambitious school, so our aim would be to develop our footprint, as well as our offering and increase our collaboration with the industry here, both indigenous and otherwise.”
Audient wishes them every success!