HULL, ENGLAND – The University of Hull’s School of Drama, Music and Screen has expanded the studio facilities for its Music Department with the addition of a Solid State Logic Duality. The centrepiece of a newly-designed and constructed studio, the Duality is the second SSL mixing console installed at the University of Hull as part of an extensive facilities upgrade being carried out by studio designers The Studio People. Joining the University’s previously installed SSL AWS at the Salmon Grove Studio, the Duality will provide students in the Creative Music Technology program with the equipment to study hybrid studio workflow that combines DAW control and traditional analogue signal flow within a single control surface.
Chosen by Dr. Andrew King, Senior Lecturer of Music and Technology at University of Hull, the large-format SuperAnalogueTM console is used “as a ‘front end’ to what we are doing with our students,” he explains. “This is not a sound engineer training course per sé, though some of our students do go into that type of career. It’s also for people hoping to be in creative industries, media, and teaching. Based on discussions with our industry contacts, we felt it was critical to expose students who choose to follow that path to large-format consoles.”
Many Hull students enter the school with computer-based recording skills, usually having used a laptop with Logic or Cubase. “Though they have knowledge of the field, our students generally have not had prior access to what we consider a professional studio,” continues King. “So, we try to complement mixing in-the-box with an analogue workflow in order to prepare them for high-end studio engineering and the Duality is the perfect tool to teach this. It has the best DAW control over Pro Tools software, which has become such a mainstay in studios. It’s this combination of analogue signal path with DAW control that makes the Duality so valuable to what we are doing. Referencing the analogue workflow of the Duality while using Pro Tools enables students to comprehend why we might insert a compressor before the EQ or vice-versa. Once they have that sort of tactile understanding on a console, it’s easier for them to apply the concepts to software.”
The University’s Creative Music Technology Program was originally started on a separate campus about 73 kilometres north of the school’s current location. “Essentially, we had music on the Hull Campus and music technology on the Scarborough Campus,” continues King. “Two years ago, the University decided to amalgamate both programs to one area. Since it was impossible to move the studio facilities, we had to rebuild. In order to design a studio around the Duality and a teaching environment, we started from scratch and added quite a large control room and studio floor, bigger than many similar institutions, so that we can record either an ensemble or use the facility for multi-tracking.”
Students at the University have access to the music studios 24 hours a day, seven days a week. “The students are with us for 30 weeks out of the year,” adds King. “During that time, they have sole access to the studios outside of regular class hours. Some institutions hire out their studios for professional projects, but I think we have to prioritise our students and allow them to record a variety of projects. The students record everything from rock and pop groups to larger orchestral ensembles, or even just voice-overs. Students are assigned projects, but the essence of the program is for them to get into the studios and work on their own ideas.”
Solid State Logic is the world’s leading manufacturer of analogue and digital audio consoles and provider of creative tools for music, broadcast, live and post production professionals. For more information about our award-winning products, please visit: www.solidstatelogic.com.