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New Gear for Audio Tech

By Thomas Meal

Audio technology studio

Photo: Thomas Meal

New cables, consoles, and cases keep arriving, all in anticipation of the Audio Technology (ATEC) Program’s new studio complex opening in fall 2010. But ATEC’s Matt Weiner, Matt Boerum, and Paul Oehlers couldn’t stand waiting.

Eager to let students unwrap the new toys—and produce high-end professional work for their portfolios—ATEC is revamping its current studio space for this fall with a 32-channel API 1608 recording console and a 36-channel Wunderbar, gear that's “legendary for its audio design, the backbone of myriad top-selling records,” according to program director Oehlers. Adds Boerum, “These aren’t just professional machines. They’re what’s used in the best studios, where students should shoot to land careers.”

Oehlers stresses that “the quality of facilities is essential to the learning process in audio technology. This equipment not only facilitates learning, but it will generate new types of learning. Students will be able to try recording techniques that two years ago we could only talk about.”

The biggest change in instruction will occur in Sound Studio Techniques 1 and 2, taught by Michael Harvey, where students learn hands-on techniques like mixing in 5.1 Dolby Surround Sound. “I think that AU has potential to become one of the preeminent recording schools in the nation, and it will provide students with even greater opportunities to learn outside the classroom,” says Weiner, computer and audio supervisor for the Katzen Arts Center.

Oehlers credits much of the program’s success to the professionalism of the studios maintained by Boerum and the Katzen Arts Center classrooms run by Weiner. “I never have to worry about anything not working,” says Oehlers. “I have seen support staffs at other programs around the country, and there’s not one that’s even close. AU is really fortunate to have both of them.”