A 24 channel ASP8024 Heritage console with Dual Layer Control and patchbay takes pride of place in Studio One of Vision West Nottinghamshire College, wowing students and teaching staff alike both aesthetically and sonically.
Audient got in touch with Learning Advisor and Studio Coordinator, Rob Mann to ask him more about the college and its studios, the concept behind the Create Records songwriting, production and performance showcase – and of course congratulate him on the arrival of the new desk.
«It’s such a simple to use but beautiful sounding EQ and we love it.»
Thank you! This is an upgrade in one of our two recording studios here at Vision West Notts College. We have been using a smaller format console in Studio One for quite a while now and felt it was time to upgrade.
We strive to give our students an experience in education that is as close to what they might find in the professional world as possible and the ASP8024 HE offers a wide range of great features that allows our students a great, hands on learning experience.
Has ASP8024-HE been launched straight into teaching? How are you finding that?
We have been using it since its installation into the studio and we love it. The sonic character it provides is beautiful and adds that extra depth to the students’ recordings.
One of our technicians at the college was already very familiar with the desk having learnt on these desks previously at university so it was a fairly easy install and setup. This also made it a fairly seamless task when the tutors started to teach the students how to set it up for a session and work through the routing etc.
«ASP8024 HE offers a wide range of great features that allows our students a great, hands on learning experience»
What was it about the Audient Heritage that persuaded you that it was right for West Notts College? What are your favourite features or advantages?
We spent some time looking at our options and what we wanted/would need to make the studio the best learning environment it could be as well as it being the best sounding environment we could give the students. We were leaning toward the Audient from the beginning due to its fantastic reputation and simplicity/functionality. It is so easy to work around and the channel flow is perfect for teaching on. It makes the tutors lives so easy when explaining signal paths and gain staging and the dual faders makes input monitoring and mixing so simple.
Some of our personal favourite features are the Dual Layer Control, making for easy session management when students are monitoring their recordings/mixes and the EQ section. It’s such a simple to use but beautiful sounding EQ and we love it.
What has been the reaction of students/other lecturers to the arrival of the desk?
Overall the desk has gone down enormously well with both teaching staff and students. The students in particular were very taken aback by the sheer size of the console to begin with. Having worked on much smaller format consoles in the college previously it’s quite a step up for them but they seem to be diving in head first and getting very excited about the desk and it’s capabilities.
Does the studio have any commercial use or is it purely for educational purposes?
Currently we haven’t got anything fully setup to accommodate commercial usage of the studio however it is something we are going to be looking into in the near future. Opening the studios to the public properly has been a talking point within the department for a while and now that we have the Audient it seems only natural that we look at putting the studio out for commercial use.
How many students will get their hands on the desk over the course of a year?
Over the course of this year we will have around one hundred students having hands on contact with the desk. These students are both Music Technology and Music. They will be using it to record their coursework and recording performances from other students in the Create department.
«Overall the desk has gone down enormously well with both teaching staff and students»
Studio One where the new desk is situated consists of one large control room and a large live room which has a separate booth for vocals/general isolation built in. The live space is big enough to comfortably fit 8-10 performers at any one time so live session tracking is a breeze.
In the control room we run Logic Pro X and we have numerous plugin bundles on our Macs including Waves, FabFilter, Native Instruments Komplete. Also In the control room, we have a selection of outboard gear as well including some DBX Compressors, Lexicon Reverb units and numerous other digital effects units which are all routed through our patchbay.
Tell us about Create, and how the recording studios fit into that. Have you got any alumni that are shooting for the stars in the industry?
Create Records (also on Facebook) is essentially the brand under which we showcase our students’ best work. With such a diverse range of students studying a variety of units and pathways, there’s always something worthy of the spotlight – sometimes a great original song, sometimes a new music video, sometimes a studio EP or album. The studios here provide the necessary recording space for these things to happen.
We’re also always proud to feature material on Create that our students have done outside of college with their own bands. Two Level 3 Music Technology students that finished with us only last July are currently making things happen with their pop punk band ‘Catch Fire’.
How would you describe the future of West Nottinghamshire College’s music technology dept?
Amidst a somewhat challenging time for the Further Education sector, and indeed arts education in general, we’re always trying to push things forward and take things to the next level. It really is all about ensuring that our students are fully prepared for their next steps, be it university or employment. That’s what we continually strive to achieve, and the new desk will certainly help us on this mission.
Thanks Rob for your insights and long may you enjoy your Audient ASP8024-HE!