The Women's Audio Mission (WAM), an award-winning non-profit organization that provides comprehensive training and job placement for women in the recording arts, outgrew its original training facility in San Francisco. With the help of supporters and the community, WAM recently purchased the former SF Soundworks recording studio—where R.E.M., Radiohead, Alanis Morissette and Timbaland have recorded—and expanded its course offerings. The new studio serves as both professional recording studio and training facility.
More than 1,200 women and girls will learn audio production and recording arts on the newly installed Audient ASP8024 console, plus an additional 80 to 100 independent artists will have projects recorded with the console in the coming year.
Over the past 12 years, WAM have trained over 6,000 women and placed hundreds in prominent audio positions with artists and companies such as Tracy Chapman, Pixar, NPR, Pandora, Electronic Arts, American Conservatory Theater, and SFJazz. WAM engineers and students have worked on award-winning recordings by Angelique Kidjo (who received 2014 Grammy Award for Best World Music Album), acclaimed author Salman Rushdie, Grammy-winning Kronos Quartet, the Academy Award-nominated soundtrack to Dirty Wars, and more.
"WAM is unique in that we are an educational organization but we also run a commercial recording studio," says Executive Director Terri Winston. "The 8024 is an amazing sounding console but it is also really great to teach on. It's very spacious, the channel path is intuitive, it has transparent mic pre's and really great routing capabilities so that we can have very complex and multiple headphone mixes for musicians performing or working in multiple rooms.
"I had used various DDA consoles so I was familiar with David Dearden's console designs and was already a fan," says Winston about the decision to go with Audient. "WAM also had the pleasure of being booth neighbors with Audient at the last Audio Engineering Society convention and I had a great time learning the inner workings of Audient with owner Simon Blackwood. I felt like WAM would be very well taken care of and my instincts were correct. It's been a joy working with everyone at Audient and the console has been fantastic."
Laura Dean, WAM's staff engineer and instructor, says that the console's sound and flexibility is key: "The sound is transparent and modern, the routing options are powerful and it's a great combination of minimal inline design with just the right amount of flexibility for current industry needs."
Visit Women's Audio Mission at www.womensaudiomission.org.