Southwestern College’s Center for Recording Arts & Technology Adds Focusrite RedNet System
Begun in May 2008, under the direction of Professor Jay Henry, a two-time Grammy Award nominee for his engineering and production skills, the Recording Arts and Technology program at Southwestern College in Chula Vista, Calif., prepares students for careers in the entertainment industries of music, television and film, using state-of-the-art music studios and labs for a hands-on learning experience that emphasizes fundamental recording technique and knowledge. Henry recently directed the purchase of two Focusrite RedNet 5 HD interfaces for his Pro Tools|HD systems coupled with three RedNet 2 16-channel analog I/O interfaces for his main recording and satellite mixing rooms.
RedNet is Focusrite’s flagship range of modular Ethernet-networked audio interfaces that harnesses the power of Audinate’s Dante digital audio networking system to bring studio quality sound to any modern audio application. RedNet 5 connects a RedNet system to Pro Tools|HD via a standard DigiLink or Mini DigiLink cable. Up to six units can be connected to one Pro Tools|HDX system, supporting up to 192 channels at 96 kHz or 96 channels at 192 kHz. Pro Tools|HD Native and Pro Tools|HD are also supported. RedNet 5 is interoperable with other Pro Tools interfaces and features extremely low latency. RedNet 2 adds 16 analog channels in and out to a RedNet network and can be located anywhere an Ethernet cable can be run. Featuring Focusrite’s precision 24-bit AD/DA conversion for superb audio performance, it delivers 119 dB dynamic range at sample rates up to 192 kHz. The rear panel includes standard DB-25 connectors for analog patchbay or breakout cable interfacing.
Once these units are installed, the two studios at the core of the Recording Arts and Technology program will be able to be completely networked, allowing seamless access to audio between rooms and giving students and faculty a high degree of flexibility in how those facilities are used. “We’ve kept this program at the cutting edge since it began, and we’ve been waiting for a networked solution like RedNet to come along for a while,” explains Henry, whose professional and personal affinity for Focusrite products goes way back through his relationship with long-time colleague and current Focusrite Novation Inc. President Phil Wagner. “Phil and I go way back, and we understand how you need to both address the cutting edge of technology and also make sure that the sound is always the first consideration. I get that with the Focusrite RedNet system—we get seamless connectivity and the built-in Dante networking, and of course great sound at the same time. It’s going to be a great benefit for our students and teachers here too, as RedNet represents the future for recording and interconnectivity.
“The best thing sonically about RedNet is the detail and width of the stereo image,” Henry adds, “which is a direct result of RedNet’s next-generation AD/DA design and premium analog circuitry. RedNet sounds more open; it’s like taking the roof off your mix.”
Berklee Valencia Studio K Live Room
Photo: Mercedes Herrán
Opened in August 2012, Berklee College of Music’s first European campus—the futuristic Valencia Complex—was designed by Walters-Storyk Design Group. WSDG’s entire international team of designers, acousticians and system integration specialists collaborated on the technical and acoustic designs for the sprawling 18,000-square-foot East Technical Wing. The complex features five recording studios and multiple production/classroom/tech support environments. The 1,360-square-foot Studio A includes an 860-square-foot live room with high ceilings, variable acoustic surfaces for diverse recording configurations, two iso-overdub booths and a 500-square-foot control room to support classroom lessons. The studio is equipped with a 48-channel Avid System 5 digital console, Genelec 5.1 surround-sound monitoring and separate midfield speakers for stereo mixing, Pro Tools HD3, 24 channels of digital I/O, Grace Design mic preamps, and an extensive collection of outboard gear.
MTSU Studios D and E
Photo: Lou Johnson
Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) Studios D and E
MTSU, offering one of the most comprehensive recording programs of its kind in the world, reopened Studios D and E in August 2013. The identical rooms were redesigned by Carl Tatz Design using a custom application of the new Carl Tatz Signature Series family of control room acoustic modules by Auralex. It features a CTD PhantomFocus System using Genelec 1037C active monitors. Key equipment includes an SSL AWS 924 console, Pro Tools 10 HDX with 24 I/O, Empirical Labs EL8-X Stereo Distressor, Drawmer DS201 dual gates, API Lunchbox, two AKG C414B mics, two Neumann TLM 103 mics, and four Shure SM57 mics.
Monterrey campus Film Mixing Room
Photo: Sofia Mena
Tecnológico de Monterrey University (Mexico City and Monterrey Campuses)
Designed by Horacio Malvicino of the Malvicino Design Group, Tecnológico de Monterrey University, Mexico City campus, opened on February 20, 2013. The state-of-the-art educational facility houses two large audio control rooms that share a studio, and four production control rooms that share two studios and four iso booths. Variable acoustics with customized ceiling treatments provide adjustable reverberation time in all three studios. The studios also feature customized Helmholtz-type resonators and absorption panels. All console furniture and racks are custom-designed and fabricated. Key equipment includes an SSL AWS 948 console, Ocean Way HR-3 Studio Monitors designed by Allen Sides (Audio CR A), API 512 mic/line pre and Manley Massive Passive EQ.
Opened in December 2012, Tecnológico de Monterrey University, Monterrey campus is the first educational facility in Mexico to have a state-of-the-art film mixing facility. Designed by Malvicino, it features two large audio control rooms that share a large studio. It has a THX-certified film mixing facility with 30 seats. Variable acoustics with customized ceiling treatments provide adjustable reverberation time in both studios. All console furniture racks were custom-designed and fabricated by Malcivino Design Group. Key equipment includes an SSL AWS 948 console, a dual-operator ICON D-Control console, four Avid HD-3 Pro Tools systems, and QSC Digital Cinema Speakers.
WAM founder Terri Winston
WAM Celebrates 10 Years
In an industry where women make up less than 5 percent of the workforce, Women’s Audio Mission (WAM; www.womensaudiomission.org), a nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of women in music production and the recording arts, is working for change.
Now in its 10th year, the San Francisco-based organization has reached more than 4,500 women and girls who otherwise may not have access to high-quality training for a job in the recording industry. Through in-person classes, online training materials, a nationally recognized youth program, and a recording studio run entirely by women, WAM is steadily making gains toward closing the gender gap.
“It is critical in our media-driven culture to prepare more women for audio technology careers,” says founder Terri Winston. “We are incredibly excited to be planning an expansion for the organization so that we can serve even more students in a larger facility and increase our program offerings. Our members are well-prepared to enter a wide variety of careers throughout the industry and are quite literally changing the face of sound.”
Groove U founder and director Dwight Heckelman
Twenty-year music veteran Dwight Heckelman looked to the burgeoning music scene in Columbus, Ohio, as the new home for Groove U, a one-of-a-kind, two-year music industry career program. Established in 2010, the program is founded on the principles that the music industry is creatively engaged, apprenticeship-based, and most of all, relationship-driven.
Students learn the fundamentals of the music industry, and then specialize in areas such as audio production, live sound, music business, music video production and interactive development.
Groove U is housed in a former elementary school building in the heart of the city’s Short North Arts District. After undergoing a $1.2 million transformation, doors to the 30,000-square-foot campus officially opened in August 2012. The state-of-the-art facility now boasts two recording studios, 10 production suites, classrooms, a video suite, a career development center and a performance space. For more information, visit grooveu.net.
Mixer Michael Brauer during one of his weeklong mixing seminars at Studio La Fabrique.
Mix With The Masters Seminars
The Mix With The Masters seminars weeklong courses take place at the state-of-the-art Studio La Fabrique in the south of France, where A-list engineers, mixers and producers—including Tchad Blake, Chris Lord-Alge, Manny Marroquin, Jack Joseph Puig, Tony Maserati, Joe Chiccarelli, Andrew Scheps, Joe Barresi and Michael Brauer—help participants improve their music production skills. The next Mix With The Masters seminar, featuring Brauer (The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney, Coldplay, My Morning Jacket), will take place November 29 through December 5, 2013.
Participants learn technical and practical information on how to create great mixes, handle gear, run sessions, work with artists and manage a career. For more information, visit mixwiththemasters.com.
A student in the MIDI lab at Five Towns College.
Five Towns College
The Audio Recording Technology concentration at Five Towns College in Dix Hills, N.Y., provides students with the tools needed to succeed as professional engineers and producers of all styles of music. Famed architect and acoustician John Storyk, co-founder of Walters-Storyk Design Group, designed the college’s four state-of-the-art studios. Studio A is a professional audio recording and mixing facility featuring the SSL 9000J 72-channel console. Studio B is equipped with a Pro Tools HD 2 system and an Otari MTR-90 24-track tape machine. Studio C features a Neve Genesys console using a Pro Tools HD3 system, as well as a variety of outboard equipment. Students obtain additional experience through internships provided by the college’s Career Services Department. For more information, visit ftc.edu.