Photo: William Bengtson
Flashpoint, the Academy of Media Arts and Sciences in Chicago, has purchased two TRUE Systems P-SOLO single-channel microphone/instrument preamplifiers and installed them in two sound-for-film suites in its new 32,000-square-foot production/post complex.
The educational facility, which opened in the heart of Chicago's Loop in September 2007, offers two-year courses in digital arts and entertainment technologies at its campus, which features multiple sound stages, graphics bays, Avid edit suites and audio rooms outfitted with state-of-the-art equipment. "The concept is that everyone works together," explains Recording Arts faculty member Bernie Mack. "What's awesome is that, for instance, the film students produced a two-minute film and were paired up with a Recording Arts student who did all the location audio as well as sound design and editing.
"We bought the P-SOLOs specifically to install them in our mini suites," says Mack. "They have everything we were looking for—features, controls, design and performance. They're perfect, especially for the price."
Flashpoint Academy chose the TRUE P-SOLO preamps after a lot of research, explains Mack. The physical form factor played a part in the decision, he says. "It was the fact that they are tabletop—they're heavy, solid boxes—and they have all the functions we were looking for: 48 volts, a pad and a nice big knob."
"The reason we purchased the TRUE P-SOLO is that they are very transparent and also the noise floor is significantly low," says Recording Arts chair John Murray. "When we first plugged it in, we turned it up and said, 'Wow, that's pretty quiet.' But we really love them for the transparency. They're mostly for doing voice-over work, so we wanted something that wasn't going to color the sound a lot.
"In our Recording Arts program, we have a large recording room, two post control rooms for sound design and four mini suites," Murray continues. "Two are built out right now and two more will be built out in the future. The mini suites are for doing sound for film, with Pro Tools HD, a small control surface, a plasma television and a pair of near-fields. They're connected to a narration booth where students can record voice-overs.
"We have a main music control room where we do a lot of our tracking," Murray adds. "We're impressed with these preamps, so we're potentially going to be looking for more in the future for other rooms. The P-SOLOs have been rock-solid so far and I can only say good things about them."