From left to right: Facilities director Bill Carman, Dr. William Moylan and Professor Alex Case.
In November 2006, the Sound Recording Technology department at the University of Massachusetts Lowell renovated an existing control room in its facilities to make it compatible with surround sound. The upgrade included a new set of SLS loudspeakers to add to an Otari MTR 24-track analog deck and a complement of digital audio workstations, as well as a 48-channel API Vision console.
"The API Vision console is the only high-end analog console that is readily equipped for both surround mixes and stereo mixes,” says Dr. William D. Moylan, faculty member and coordinator for the program.
The new console is also the centerpiece of the program's undergraduate courses in multitrack production. Moylan recognizes that many of his students will go on to work with audio that remains inside a computer. "We find that students gain a much deeper understanding of signal routing, general work flow, and gain staging on an inline console like the Vision,” he says. “The knowledge that they gain working with the Vision can be easily applied to a digital audio workstation.
"One of the distinguishing components of our curriculum is the ability to listen critically and to recognize very subtle alterations in sound,” Moylan continues. “That's where the API excels. Its clarity allows my students to hear very small changes and to understand how the recording process alters sound."