From its humble beginnings as a summer Bible school in the 1930s, Valley Forge Christian College (VFCC) has built a well-deserved reputation as a respected institution of arts and sciences. As part of the Assemblies of God Fellowship, VFCC belongs to a networked family of more than 30,000 independent colleges and universities worldwide.
Every year, the Assemblies of God sponsors an annual Fine Arts Festival as part of its recruiting drive. The Festival, held in a different major city each year, draws upward of 10,000 students, many of whom prepare presentations to showcase their talents.
As VFCC’s Digital Media Communications Department Chairman Lee Bilotta explains, the Festival is crucial to the school’s recruitment efforts.
“We offer three different music majors,” he notes, “as well as four different concentrations in Digital Media and Recording Arts, so the Festival is an amazing opportunity for the students to get a good look into our programs.”
For VFCC, the Festival and events like it are a great opportunity to showcase the school’s technology chops.
“For the past nine years, we’ve been offering students the opportunity to come in and record their presentations,” says Bilotta. “It’s a quick recording, but it’s very professional, and it gives them the opportunity to leave the Festival with something they’d probably not have had the opportunity to create.”
This year the school has stepped up its recording capabilities in a big way. “We used to arrive with a transporter van and set up a small iso booth on the convention floor,” recalls Bilotta. “This year, some very generous donors helped us to secure a 1994 Kentucky moving van.”
VFCC’s Mobile Media Command Center is a 48-foot production trailer that contains two separate recording studios, each equipped with a PreSonusStudioLive digital console.
“The front part of the trailer is a fully isolated 8x11-foot room,” Bilotta explains. “We record full bands in there. On the other side, we have a 4x6-foot iso booth where we record vocalists, trios, quartets, and such. We have two StudioLive 16.4.2 consoles, both set up with Universal Control and Studio One software.”
Recordings are made directly to DAW, with the console’s two-track mix outputting directly to a CD burner, making sound quality a critical factor.