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Syracuse University Upgrades Dick Clark Studios

Syracuse University has upgraded all three broadcast audio production control rooms at its Dick Clark Studios.

The new SSL System T at Syracuse University's Dick Clark Studios.
The new SSL System T at Syracuse University’s Dick Clark Studios.

Syracuse, NY (February 21, 2024)—Syracuse University has upgraded all three broadcast audio production control rooms at its Dick Clark Studios, which support the school’s TV, radio and film curriculum and also produce programming for ESPN’s ACC Network and the university’s Orange Television Network.

Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications installed Solid State Logic System T broadcast production platforms, with two 48-fader S500 surfaces and a 32-fader S300 surface.

The university’s athletics teams, known as the Syracuse Orange, have participated in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) for almost a decade and are members of the NCAA or National Collegiate Athletic Association’s elite Division 1. “We’ve probably had more Tier 1 games than any other school; we produce about 120 games a year for ESPN / ACC Network,” reports Neal Coffey, manager of operations and engineering for Dick Clark Studios and an adjunct professor on the Television, Radio and Film program at the Newhouse School. “We’re almost like a small regional sports network.”

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One System T S500 control surface has been installed in audio control room ACR1 at the school’s Dick Clark Studios, which is named for legendary entertainer and Syracuse University alumnus Dick Clark, who graduated in 1951. The room is used to mix audio for all the facility’s ACC Network game coverage for ESPN as well as student-produced programming for campus cable’s Orange Television Network, such as Live from Studio B, a Sunday night variety show, and also Loud & Clear, a Friday night music show. The second S500 control surface has been integrated into ACR3, a newly constructed audio suite within production control room PCR3. The new room will enable the facility to handle two ESPN games simultaneously for the first time. The S300 is integrated with Ross Overdrive automation in ACR2, which is a fully automated room.

At its most basic, broadcast engineer Tom White says, “The console is very simple, very flexible and allows us to do any type of show—sports, music, studio—and switch between the modes of operation. But it also has a lot of other bells and whistles that you don’t normally get with other consoles right out of the box. As for sound quality, you can’t beat it. I love it.”

On the first day of operation, producing a soccer match doubleheader for broadcast at the start of the fall 2023 semester, Coffey says, “What was interesting is that one of the guys who was working in the production control room came in and said, ‘This really does sound better, doesn’t it?’ We didn’t have to wave a flag; people really noticed it.”