Engineer and producer Vaughn Skow (left), director of the Volunteer State recording program, with A-Designs Audio rep Brian Thomas at the school’s grand opening
Volunteer State University (Gallatin, Tenn.) held a reception on April 16 and 17, 2004, for its new multimedia studio complex, which features a recording studio and audio editing suites, a large video studio and several video editing suites.
The recording studio (designed by Austin Belmar of J. Scalf & Associates) features a large tracking area with an additional isolation booth, as well as a control room with gallery seating for up to 16. In addition, there is an editing room with three Pro Tools editing suites with Mackie Control fader surfaces. The facility is rounded out with a studio lounge.
The Vol State recording program is led by engineer and producer, Vaughn Skow, who has taught there for the last seven years. Skow also served as design and construction consultant on the facility, as well as selecting and installing equipment in both the main studio and editing suites. “The Vol State studio is a perfectly capable recording facility. However, the studio is all about the students and I have personally chosen every piece of gear
based on its educational value,” he commented.
Skow picked A Designs Audio’s MP-1 mic pre as part of the studio’s gear. “The A Designs Audio MP-1 is everything you could want in a tube mic pre, and the sound is most definitely vintage tube,” he explained. “It sounds as warm and as big as a classic piece of ’60s tube gear with the
reliability and connectivity of a modern piece. If you want an instant trip to the sound of Motown in 1967 or The Beatles, the A Designs MP-1 will definitely take you there!” Pete Montessi, president of A Designs Audio, had known about Skow’s interest in the MP-1 and donated the pre to the school’s program. A Designs Audio rep Brian Thomas presented the unit to the school at the reception.
“Vol State’s class is trying to promote the ‘arts’ and I feel engineering is an art unto itself. From my own teaching experience, I know that money is always in short supply for the arts in any educational system,” said Montessi. He enthusiastically adds, “Nashville is also the home of country music! You couldn’t ask for a better location for learning, educating, playing and recording music.”
Also featured at the Vol State recording facility is a Pro Tools HD|2 Accel rig in the main studio, running on a silent Carillon PC, with a 192 expanded I/O. There is also a MOTU MTP-AV SMPTE hub and eight-port MIDI interface, as well as a 438-point long0frame patchbay. In addition, there are 24 tracks of high-definition 24-bit DA-78HR tape machines clocked to the Digi 192 I/O for additional clock stability, plus a Tascam BR-20 15/30 ips 2-track reel-to-reel, Sony DAT and a Tascam CD burner. The console is a Mackie 32-input 8-bus console in an Argosy 90 Series custom console.