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Alhambra, CA – November 2009… While the end result is always about excellent sound quality, technology-driven careers such as professional audio have a high dependence on the equipment and the processes by which the end result is achieved. The ability to work with the latest tools is every bit as important as a conceptual understanding of the actual task. For this reason, Pinnacle College regularly revises its programs and facilities to remain competitive in an ever-changing, highly competitive industry. The school is now in the final stages of a dramatic, quarter-million dollar modernization project to provide students and faculty with the most up-to-date, creative environment for fostering meaningful careers in the sound arts.


Francis Buckley, Pinnacle College’s Development Manager is responsible for ensuring the school remains on the cutting edge. In addition to his teaching duties, Buckley oversees equipment

selection, facility design requirements, as well as spearheading ongoing curriculum revisions to ensure relevance in the audio profession. A well-known audio industry veteran, Buckley’s credits include over 70 albums, including six #1 albums, three #1 singles, and fifteen top 10 singles, as well as an engineer GrammyÒ Award for his work with Quincy Jones. “Our philosophy is to focus on how things work—not how to work things,� states Buckley. “Understanding the process is more important than learning any individual piece of gear. The best analogy is automobiles. Nobody ever says, ‘I only know how to drive a Ford.’ Every car has the same functions: turn signals, brakes, headlights, etc. It’s a matter of learning the process of driving—not the individual model of automobile—or digital audio workstation. This was school founder Brian Ingoldsby’s approach to teaching audio engineering. By understanding the process, you maintain your competitive edge.�


Pinnacle College’s new state-of-the-art campus encompasses two studios, computer labs, classrooms, and lecture hall facilities. Studio A is equipped with a Solid State Logic AWS 900+ SE analog console, a full 5.1 surround sound setup using Equator Audio Research Q12 reference monitors with a Q18S subwoofer, a Digidesign Pro Tools|HD digital audio workstation (DAW), lots of outboard gear, plus two 52-inch LCD displays for viewing computer screens, presentations, etc. Studio B is geared toward learning the ins and outs of audio post production. The room has a Pro Tools | HD system with a C|24 controller, 5.1 Equator Q8s and two 47-inch display monitors.


The computer labs and classroom/lecture halls are equally compelling. The labs house multiple computers running many of the most popular desktop applications, including Pro Tools, Apple Computer’s Logic, Steinberg’s Cubase, and other software. These rooms are designed to provide the hands-on experience that complements what takes place in the school’s theory classes. Also included in the upgrade is a full line of Rode condenser microphones, a Cascade C77 ribbon mic, Hear Technologies 8 channel headphone system, plus lots of plug-ins and soft synths to keep the students motivated and engaged.


“I wanted the students to interact with the tools they will likely encounter in today’s studio/production environments,� says Buckley. “Not only is our SSL a full on analog recording console that offers our students real world console experience, it is also a controller for all the major DAW applications. The accuracy of the Equator monitors and its room correction software offer students a chance to see and hear how the characteristics of a room directly affect the sound. Together, this equipment creates a formidable setup.�


As one would expect, acoustic treatment of the various rooms is essential and has been fully implemented. “I designed the acoustic treatments,� notes Buckley, “and we’ve adhered to tried and true practices of studio sound proofing. This includes bass traps and acoustic panels throughout the facility.�


Though change is inevitable in any learning environment, the values of Pinnacle College’s founder remain rock solid. Dan Heck, Program Director at Pinnacle College reports, “Brian Ingoldsby’s original vision holds true, but we continually update it to current state-of-the-art standards and studio practices,� says Heck. “With small class sizes and great teachers, our students are excited and motivated to learn and excel. The ability to train our students in a modern facility like this is genuinely exciting. There’s a lot of creativity blossoming here.�

 About Pinnacle College

The mission of Pinnacle College is to provide practical training that will prepare students for entry level positions in the fields of audio engineering, multimedia, and technology. Pinnacle College will remain alert to occupational trends by researching and forming strategic partnerships with industry leaders, engineers, educators, and government agencies. In addition, Pinnacle College will continuously upgrade its curriculum, equipment, and facility to reflect the requirements of present and future employers. For additional information, visit Pinnacle College online at or contact them at (626) 284-0050.



Photo info: image of Francis Buckley, Pinnacle College’s Development Manager, in the studio by the school’s new Solid State Logic AWS 900+ SE analog console.