Specializing in preparing students for careers in communications and the arts, Emerson College, through a collaborative initiative between VMA Prof. Pierre Archambault and the TRF Audio Group, recently added a 32-channel API 1608 analog console with full automation to its studio facilities to provide high-end sonics and a transitional work-flow between its other studio facilities. The school is located in Boston, Massachusetts and currently enrolls over 4,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students. Among schools of its type, Emerson College is unique for its long history — Charles Wesley Emerson founded it as a school of oratory in 1880 — and its recent growth. The new API 1608 will be used to teach courses in Advanced Recording and Introduction to Sound Design.
"We are a school of communications, focusing on Sound for Visual Media Arts," said Bruno Caruso, Audio Technical Supervisor with Emerson College. "We use our studio facilities to teach Sound Design, Mix to Picture, ADR, Foley, sound for gaming, and voice-over." Emerson's studio facility already contains an entry-level room, with an analog console workflow, and a high-end post-production suite with an Avid ICON Digital workflow. The post-production suite already uses a collection of API 512c mic preamps and an API Channel Strip to handle any source recording. "We were certainly very happy with that sound," said Caruso. "That was a factor that moved us in the direction of API for our console purchase."
The goal was to add a studio space that bridged the technological gap between the entry-level room and the post-production suite. "Of course the API sound was an important part of our decision to add a 1608, but there was more to it than that," said Caruso. "It's an analog board with a great sound that's very easy to teach. The students can stand around the board while the Faculty demonstrates techniques. Moreover, including automation gave us a pedagogical bridge between the entry-level room and the post-production suite."
Emerson College purchased its 32-channel API 1608 through nearby Parsons Audio (Wellesley, Massachusetts). "Everyone at Parsons was great," said Caruso. "They gave us demos of everything we were considering and lots of other support. They were instrumental in pointing us in the right direction for our needs. Through them, Todd Beeten of Sound Construction built us custom furniture and racks for our facilities" Caruso was also impressed by the help he received from API: "As far as I'm concerned, the entire industry should look to API as an ideal model for customer service. Right off the bat, our phone calls were always answered by an actual person and that's very reassuring. Their lead technical support guy, Radovan Maricic, had the complete answer to any question we had right on the tip of his tongue. He knows API inside and out, outside and in. There's no 'I'll check into that and get back to you.' He knows exactly what's going on, and that made it easy to install and commission the board."