Full Sail University has installed seven Solid State Logic Matrix consoles and Duende PCIe cards as the centerpiece gear for the newly enhanced “Recording and Mixing Consoles” lab program.
Home to 13 SSL AWS 900+ consoles and three SL 9000 J Series consoles representing the largest installation of SSL music recording consoles and equipment in the world, Full Sail will use the Matrix to teach the basics of signal flow for both DAW and analogue projects.
The Matrix-based lab offers Full Sail the ergonomics and functionality of a larger analogue desk, while offering the on-console control of the lab’s Apple Logic Pro-based DAWs.
“When we decided to upgrade the program, we considered a lot of options, but all our research kept coming back to the Matrix as the console of choice,” says Dana Roun, director of audio programs for Full Sail University. “The Matrix just made sense for this lab and how this course work leads into other, more advanced parts of the degree program. We are an educational facility and we need to teach our students about what they are likely to find in the real world. Our students will definitely see the Matrix – and all SSL gear – out there in the industry.”
The seven Matrix consoles support course work revolving around the basics of signal flow and mixing. Once students gain the skills necessary to complete this course, they move on to full production situations in the AWS 900+ and SL 9000 J Series studios. The lab itself features six Matrix consoles, each controlling a dedicated Macintosh computer with Apple Logic Pro DAW software and SSL Duende PCIe cards. The seventh Matrix-Apple-Duende system is in a separate classroom.
“We replicated one of the lab stations and put it in a classroom,” explains Scott Dansby, industry relations director for Full Sail University. “The instructor typically gives a lecture for 30 or 40 students where he can point out features on the console and how to set up the signal flow between outboard gear, the computer and the Matrix. The six Matrix stations in the lab allow us to offer individual hands-on experience where each student can expand upon the material covered in the lecture.”
For the Recording and Mixing Consoles lab, students use pre-recorded material produced by students in the advanced classes using the AWS 900+ and 9000 J Series consoles. That multi-track material is brought into the Macintosh computers and serves as the basis for the mixing/routing experience taught in the lab.
The advantage of the Matrix and the Duende systems for Full Sail is that as students move into more advanced study, they start working on consoles with the same ergonomic design and audio quality as the Matrix, allowing them to focus on recording and production techniques, not learning different console topographies or compensating for tonal differences.
Pedro Uribe, course director for recording and mixing consoles for Full Sail University explains, “Matrix delivers the same look and feel that our students will find on the AWS 900+, Duality and the 9000 J and K Series consoles, while Duende gives the students exposure to SSL EQ & Dynamics processing in plug-in form. With the Matrix, students are learning signal flow through a DAW while experiencing analogue signal flow as they would find on the larger SSL consoles. A DAW controller can’t offer this.
“Matrix gives us full hands-on control of Logic software, allowing us to customize our softkeys so we can tailor our lectures and streamline the learning experience. At the end of the day, they understand how to work in a hybrid environment. On every level, Matrix is the right choice for this application.”