Sacramento, CA – “The Audient is a fabulous replacement,” says Director of Commercial Music, Kirt Shearer of the ASP8024 Heritage Edition console installed at Sacramento City College (SCC). Taking the place of a 25 year-old desk, the addition of the Audient is part of a multi-year rebuilding of all audio technology throughout the music department, and is “the centerpiece of our entire facility upgrade,” according to Kirt.
SCC prides itself on being technology focused, and its three highly specified and varied studio rooms are testament to that. “The Audient is in Studio A control room, our main analogue room that can accommodate 2” 24 track and 32 x 32 Pro Tools,” explains Kirt, adding, “Studio B is the Hybrid room and our smaller Studio C is the ‘In the Box’ room.”
“It has been fantastic so far,” he says of the desk, citing the “combination of fantastically flexible routing on the analogue portion of the console and a comprehensive moving fader Pro Tools controller” as particularly useful attributes. “The more I examined the ASP8024HE, the more I realized how incredibly well thought out it is. You can tell how much care went into the design. It has amazingly flexible features and routing in a very straightforward layout. There just wasn’t another option that met all of the criteria.
“The thing that amazed me was how quiet the console is,” he continues, describing his initial contact. “The very first time I powered it up after wiring and installation, I brought up the monitors and faders and it was dead quiet. No hiss, no buzz, no ground loops. I literally spent ZERO time chasing down problems. It was fully working from the very first moment.”
Since then he’s found many more reasons to appreciate the console. “One of my favourite features is the double output buss routing. We run both 2” 24 track and Pro Tools HD. Since this is an educational facility, the ASP8024HE double buss outputs gives us the ability to track to either machine or both simultaneously without touching a patch cable.
“Next, the DLC fader section gives up Pro Tools control and some automated analogue faders. And then…12 aux sends with 2 headphone cue mixes! What other product in this range does that?
“Then there’s the class A preamps and the really flexible EQ,” he says. “The new feature of the 990 output section and the switchable Carnhill transformers are awesome!”
Luckily, the pupils at SCC agree. “Not only does it impress new, prospective students, but current students want to re-take classes they had taken earlier so that they can get more time on the console.
“One thing that has happened: the students are excited about using analogue technology and getting ‘out of the box.’ I set up a summing demonstration for the classes. It involved summing a mix within the DAW while simultaneously bussing the individual channels out to stereo pairs on the ASP8024HE. (That way, the panning was identical.) Then after level matching, the students could instantly flip between the DAW summing and the ASP8024HE analogue summing. It wasn’t close. Everyone wants to mix on the console now.”
As it stands, the future of SCC is certainly looking bright, with a more than 50% increase in enrolment since the Audient’s arrival. It was pro audio gear supplier, Vintage King that supplied the console - as well as much of the other kit. “The rack is well stocked,” confirms Kirt. “I needed 144 patch bay points for external equipment – it’s a good thing that’s the number the console came with.”