Murfreesboro, TN - Oct. 2008:
In an age when music technology schools and programs seem to be proliferating without bound, Middle Tennessee State University's Department of Recording Industry is distinguished by its reputation, age and size. Many of the industry's leading figures launched their careers in the department, which has been producing philosophically-grounded and technologically-savvy graduates since the late 1970s. Aligned with the School of Mass Communication, the Department of Recording Industry is home to some 1,500 students seeking both bachelors and masters degrees with sequences in music business, production & technology, and commercial songwriting.
MTSU is currently in the process of updating many of the major pieces of equipment in their expansive studio facilities. They recently ordered an all-discrete 48-channel API Vision surround sound console to replace a large-frame digital console in one of their two flagship music recording studios.
"We're replacing outdated equipment with the state-of-the-industry gear," said Dan Pfeifer, who chaired the committee of technical faculty who decided on the Vision. "The large format digital consoles still play a valuable role in broadcast, post-production, and, surprisingly, live sound, but very few people are still using them for music recording. The industry has moved back to analog consoles, and our decision reflects that fact."
The API Vision features three stereo mix busses, a dedicated five-channel surround mix buss, and ten auxiliary busses. Panning is achieved with three pots: a mode-switchable LR/LCR pan, a front-rear fader pan, and a rear channel pan. Since all the busses are active, students can simultaneously mix in stereo and surround, and an intuitively-designed monitoring section allows for easy A/Bing of multiple formats. API's Instant Reset Switch System preserves mixes and makes it easy for a class or a student to pick up a mix where it was left off.
In addition to its unique surround-sound capabilities, Pfeifer said the committee was pleased with the Vision's sound quality and reliability. "The choice of the API Vision complements our other technologies and will support our curriculum while meeting the needs of the professional industry," he explained. "Our students will learn critical listening skills, the mechanics of operating an in-line console, fader automation, and a collection of nuanced techniques required to generate effective surround sound mixes."
The Vision will join a Studer 24-track analog tape machine, a full-blown Pro Tools HD rig and collection of high-end outboard gear, including compressors, EQs and effects. In addition to projects, graduate students and advanced undergraduate students will use the room for engineering and production classes that focus on music recording and mixing.