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University of Wales, Newport installs SSL AWS 948 in new facility

Console Used for Educational and Commercial Applications

May 18, 2011

AWS 948 @ University of Wales, Newport

NEWPORT, WALES, UK – The University of Wales, Newport has installed a Solid State Logic AWS 948 in the recently completed City Center Campus’ recording facility. As the centerpiece of Studio 1, the AWS 948 is used for the Creative Sound and Music BA as well as the Creative Music Practice MA/MFA degree programs. The AWS 948, used in conjunction with Alpha-Link and Delta-Link modules, and a fully-loaded X-Rack, delivers the added capacity needed for the educational mission, while keeping within space and budget constraints. The console also draws commercial clients to the facility.

“Studio 1 was built as a hybrid facility capable of teaching students analogue signal flow capturing to a two-inch, 24-track tape machine as well as Pro Tools®,” says Jamie Thomas, engineer and technician at the University of Wales, Newport. “We needed a console that would work well in both worlds, as well as interface with our CLASP tape to DAW unit. The quality, design and fluidity of the AWS 948 allowed us to work in many different ways, maximizing the utilization of our teaching space.”

The University has built studios for animation, film, music performance and its black box theater. The primary focus for the AWS in Studio 1 is teaching how to record music that supports work created in the various disciplines. For this application, the staff at Newport decided learning on an analogue console delivered the richest educational experience.

“Our students needed to understand signal flow and the basics of recording and mixing audio, and the AWS 948 is the perfect platform for this,” explains Thomas. “The technical skills for understanding the process of producing music are being lost through software interfaces that only allow for addressing one component at a time. We are teaching students how to record music performances and how to capture a groove, not how to manipulate a computer. On the AWS, a student can work on a kick drum and the bass guitar at the same time because they need to work together in a mix. With the AWS, our intention is to reintroduce the notion of performing a mix.”

Another big advantage for the AWS 948 is the appeal to professional clients who might want to rent the facility. According to Thomas, the sound quality of the AWS is beyond reproach, giving everyone from beginning students to top level professionals the best possible results.

“We’re not a commercial studio as such, however we do commercial work, so just having the SSL name is very appealing,” Thomas continues. “We work with broadcasters external to the institution as well as other artists, so it is very important that we offer the very best equipment. At the same time, our students gain valuable experience working with our professional clients. In the end, it’s all about the sound and the AWS 948 gives us a sound that can handle any style music for any application. With the AWS, we can accomplish more missions in one studio space and that is a great benefit for an educational institution.”

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