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Audient Heritage: Teaching Tomorrow's Engineers at SAE Zurich

Audient Heritage: Teaching Tomorrow\'s Engineers at SAE Zurich

Switzerland – “Our students really like the new desk and are even more keen to get into the studio since its arrival,” says Thomas Frei (pictured), director of the Swiss SAE Institute in Zurich, where one of the first ASP8024 Heritage Edition consoles to come off the production line was installed. If its mere presence motivates the students, the Audient console is bound to impress the staff. “Our teachers love the desk and the many possibilities that the EQ section offers,” he confirms, having heard the line: ‘Finally, a well thought through in-line concept,’ from a number of them over the past months.

The fact that the Heritage is an analogue desk was a strong factor in choosing Audient, as Frei considers teaching the analogue signal path very important. “If you really understand the concept of analogue, you will do much better in the digital domain, too. You can still run into analogue desks at live gigs nowadays,” he says. Before taking the plunge, Frei sought counsel from his counterparts at SAE Institutes around Europe, many of whom have the flagship ASP8024 consoles and are “very happy with them.” Further research revealed that the Heritage was in the pipeline – essentially a reimagined, improved version of the original ASP8024 – and his mind was made up. “I knew that was the one we were going to get.

“We really like that it features the all new variable mix bus technology Retro Iron, which adds punch and ‘vibe’ to the consoles’ mix output,” says Frei impressed with the circuits, which although unique to the Heritage, are a homage to the finest in late 60s' American and British console technology. When engaged, the Retro Iron output card also provides subtle low bump and high lift mix EQs inspired by classic mastering equalisers of yesteryear.

“The integrated compressor on the master track is an excellent tool, it makes it quick and easy to check how it’s going to sound on your mix,” continues Frei, listing some other features that have stood out to him. “I really like the metering too: you can see both input and tape return at the same time, so you don’t have to switch the meters.

“All Audio Diploma students will get the chance to get their hands on our beautiful desk,” continues Frei. Over the course of a year that number will total well over 100 budding engineers. “I can already say that we don’t regret our decision going for the Heritage desk.”

The Audient console is located in Studio 2, and completes an equipment upgrade which began back in 2012. “The set-up in this studio includes Pro Tools HD Native running on a Mac Pro, and three sets of monitors. We currently use a pair of Genelecs, a pair of Blueskies and a pair of Fugus speakers, which provide students three sets of different sounding monitors,” explains Frei, adding that it is solely for students’ use. “What better way could there be to master your skills than with this set-up?”

SAE Institute Zurich is just one of some 56 SAE Institutes around the globe. “Our admissions are growing in number and we love to teach new students every year, it really is our passion.” In addition to the original audio courses, the facility also offers web design, film and game art/programmming.

16th May 2017

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