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Hundreds of Southampton Students Use ASP8024 Every Year

A staggering 1400 individual students have worked with the Audient ASP8024 console at Southampton Solent University (SSU) since its installation, and still the 32-channel mixing console “[It] soldiers on with its heavy daily use – a testament to its robust build,” says Paul Rutter, associate professor and programme group leader of the popular music scheme.

It is students of the BA (Hons) Popular Music Production and BSc (Hons) Music Studio Technology who will have had the most hands-on time with the desk during their time at SSU. “With over 230 students studying the Popular Music Production courses annually at Solent, we have one of the largest music production intakes in UK higher education. We needed a console that could cope with that type of rigour. It’s still working just as well as when it first arrived,” he adds.

When asked how the Audient desk became the heart of Studio 1 – the analogue treatment studio at SSU – Rutter explains: "All the rooms were specifically built in 2006 by Munro Acoustics, one of the world’s leading acoustic room designers and installers and the Audient console resides in the largest of these rooms. The sonic qualities are the key features of the desk, as well as its user-friendliness. With so many students using the desk too, reliability was a key consideration.” A full seven years have passed since the console was first installed, suggesting the decision was the right one. “The desk is used to its full capability,” continues Rutter. “We encourage advanced students to EQ on the way in a not just 'fix in mix' production. It's important that we have a very flexible EQ for this.

“Studio 1 is mostly used for recording bands and we are configured for 32 channels of I/O into Pro Tools. Alongside the Audient, Studio 1 has a wide range of analogue outboard that can be patched including Universal Audio compressors and Neve modules,” says Rutter.

“We use the ASP8024 with students to demonstrate large-format analogue workflows, including tracking and mixing. Topics such as routing, and auxiliary sends are often easier to grasp with this desk. The integrated patch bay is great for demonstrating how inserts work too,” he adds.

According to the website, SSU encourages: “The pursuit of inclusive and flexible forms of Higher Education, which meet the needs of employers and prepare students to succeed in a fast-changing competitive world.” None could be more competitive than the music industry, and to that end SSU sticks to its mission, having spent £2 million on studios (including the shell studio build) ensuring that students have access to a fully equipped studio – just as they would in a professional setting.

“BA(Hons) Popular Music Production is now in its ninth year and has a successful proven track record. Over 87% of graduates are in full time employment, a huge success for the course,” says Rutter.

He also describes the console's aesthetics as a quality. “Besides sounding great, its usability and price, the Audient actually looks really good too; on open days the Audient never fails to impress!”

12th July 2013

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