Boston, MA - April 2010:
The students seeking a Bachelor of Music Degree with a major in Music Production and Engineering, at the revered Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts are blessed with access to thirteen studios that operate twenty-two hours a day, seven days a week. The school equips the studios with, in the words of the Music Production and Engineering Department's (MP&E) official manifesto, only "definitive tools" used in the pro audio industry. Consistent with its unwavering commitment to that principle and to the education of its students, Berklee replaced three of its older consoles with three new 32-channel discrete analog API Legacy Plus consoles over the winter break.
"We've received nothing but glowing reviews from students, faculty and staff," said Rob Jaczko, chair of the MP&E Department (formerly staff recording engineer at A&M Studios, Hollywood – with credits including Sheryl Crow, James Taylor, Bruce Springsteen, Don Henley, and countless others.) "API represents a professional benchmark that has been a sonic standard for decades. Innumerable classic albums owe their sound to API. We bought these consoles to allow our students to experience that important piece of the recording puzzle firsthand."
The three studios that house the API Legacy Plus consoles teach foundational classes in recording and mix techniques, where signal flow and the basic aesthetics of recording and mixing are taught. Because the Legacy is a classic in-line console, it serves to make lessons in signal flow intuitive. "The Legacys are very flexible in terms of routing," added Jaczko. "It makes straightforward tasks, such as demonstrating parallel compression in mix class, easy. But it also allows for more creative uses of console routing, which facilitates teaching advanced concepts and gives students the opportunity to truly master complex mix situations."
The three API rooms have also been designed to share a parity of equipment, allowing students to move projects between these studios with ease. Additionally, all Berklee MP&E students receive a laptop loaded with Pro Tools LE, among other definitive software tools. The three rooms with the Legacy Plus consoles also interface with Pro Tools HD. That makes the critical contemporary lesson of comparing 'in-the-box' versus 'out-of-the-box' mixing immediately available.
The three API studios also serve Critical Listening classes. "The simple act of putting tracks up through the API Legacy Plus is impressive," said Jaczko. "It's the classic sound. There's a certain musicality to it that is obvious when you hear it, but difficult to explain in words. This is a critical piece of ear training for our students.
The College also has aspirations to build a music technology building from the ground up. "We wanted our console purchases now to retain their relevance moving forward," said Jaczko. "We're happy to know the Legacys will be serving legions of students, for a long time to come!"