An Audient ASP8024 with Dual Layer Control (DLC) and patchbay was the final choice for Northampton University, which Popular Music course leader Dr Gordon Okafor-Ross describes as “…very progressive and forward facing.”
Nine months of meticulous research by Okafor-Ross led to its installation ready for autumn term, where the desk further augments an already well-equipped recording studio.
Boasting ProTools 11, Logic Pro X, Ableton Suite 9, the collection of mics from Neumann U87 to Shure SM57 and everything in between, as well as the recent arrival of their brand new Eve Audio SC407 monitors (pictured), Okafor-Ross praises the Audient desk as a teaching tool.
“I liked the combination of great sounding pre-amps, a clear and easy to explain routing system that retains the ability to become as complex as we want, and a console that screams professional and contemporary to users, students, staff and visitors.
“For us it’s the logic and clear layout of the desk that makes it so useful to musicians,” he continues, underlining the fact that his course is for “…musicians who record, rather than for sound engineers.
“Our recording studio is a place where musicians have fun and enjoy recording so the Audient makes setting up for a session quick and exciting. Many other desks are so complicated that the actual recording session is a process of fighting your way through menus of other users’ preferences. With the Audient we have the immediacy of an analogue console with the next step into the DLC leading towards bespoke control surfaces.”
The fully integrated DLC module connects directly to the computer and enables the user to toggle easily between the control of the computer session and the analogue automation layer at the push of the DAW button.
As a part of the course, students are required to record in the studio and take their sessions away for editing and creative manipulation. They then return to the studio to finalise, mix and master their work, which means the Audient stays pretty busy. “We’re using the desk 24 hours a day, 7 days a week as a teaching and learning tool, as well as the students using it to record, mix and master.”
Okafor-Ross describes the degree course as having a very positive outlook. “Our students are creative and pro-active and their end of year shows are very exciting. We want our recording studio to mirror this and that’s why we have chosen an Audient console.” That, and the features that made the console stand out for him: “Quality, simplicity, flexibility, sound and customer service.”