College upgrades console swapping ASP8024 for ASP8024-HE

College upgrades console swapping ASP8024 for ASP8024-HE

United States – Kansas City Kansas Community College (KCKCC) made it easy by swapping out their decade-old ASP8024 console for a brand new ASP8024 Heritage Edition from Audient. For coordinator and professor of audio engineering, Dr. Ian Corbett, it was an easy decision. “Teaching signal flow on the ASP8024 has always been easy, so why change a good thing?

“We’ve been using the classic for over ten years and it has survived the heavy student use and a move so well. Less than one minor repair every five years, that’s a great track record compared to some other products we’ve had.

Continued reliability and ease of installation were very important to them. “The classic ASP8024 cabling and infrastructure was of course already there for the new switcher, so installation couldn’t have been easier. A group of students to get the old board out and the new one in in the afternoon, the room was operational again.”

Ian decided to plan ahead for more flexibility, choosing the Dual Layer Control (DLC) option on the new mixer. “This way, we can also introduce the hybrid studio and prepare students for the other two studios they will use during their time at KCKCC.”

KCKCC’s audio engineering department includes three recording studios and a multi-station classroom/laboratory, as well as comprehensive live sound systems. The new console is based in a hardware-heavy, hands-on room, which studio students use in their second-semester audio engineering class. Each studio is dedicated to a particular class so that students have enough time in the studio to complete their assignments, so around ten to 15 students will use the new mixer each semester.

Ian champions working outside the box. “Recording is done in a DAW, but for most of this class, the DAW just functions as a multitrack machine, not a mixing desk, encouraging students to get it right while they follow along. This hardware mixing experience is essential preparation for jobs in the live sound, event production or broadcast industries, where there is no “Command-Z” and where DAWs do not are not the centerpiece of the production environment.

There are more and more students who have their own home studio (DAW and plug-in based) who initially question the need for such a hardware focus. “After explaining that the entry-level jobs we typically train for require confidence in hands-on real-time operation and commitment to decision-making and not DAW skills and signal flow skills and troubleshooting that they will learn will better prepare them for almost anything they understand and understand our reasoning for.

The arrival of the new console coincided with a number of studio acoustic upgrades, which had taken a few years to materialize. Having moved into new rooms giving them four times more space than they had in the old building, all rooms have now been refurbished to professional standards. “The improvement is huge. The sound upgrades obviously, but having different colors in each room gives the setup a “vibe” that it didn’t have before. It’s really a pleasure to show prospective students and see the excitement that the more professional – and sound – environment creates for students using it.

As before, much of the program focuses on music. “Not because that’s where the jobs are, but because it’s a great skill set and preparation for a wide variety of fields,” says Ian. The course has, however, evolved over the years. “In recent years we have added more non-musical components to introduce students to a wider variety of career paths, including gaming audio, audio for video, DANTE and audio networking for example. “, explains Ian. “We’ve also extended live sound components, and now teach Dolby Atmos mixing after upgrading our room from 5.1 to 7.1.4 a few years ago.”

With a dark look back: “The last two years have been stressful [for everybody], but especially training for the audio industry. Ian is pragmatic about the future: “It’s good to know that there are jobs again. But they’re not all where they were, so we need to open students’ eyes to the opportunities,” he says.

“We are a two-year program preparing students for the widest variety of opportunities possible, rather than training ‘experts’ in a very focused field. We will continue to add new technologies and techniques as needed. The past two years have shown how much more marketable a graduate who also has video skills. Installation and networking are probably the areas we will try to develop next. »

February 7, 2022

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