Sacramento CA; October 2023 – When Kirt Shearer became Commercial Music Program Director at American River College (ARC), he made it his first priority to purchase an Audient ASP8024-HE large format analogue console. His decision was based on solid experience teaching with another ASP8024-HE during his previous tenure at Sacramento City College. It just so happens that he specified that Audient desk as well.
“I really love the upgraded master buss with the switchable Carnhill transformers and the 990 op amp summing circuit,” he says, when asked about the console’s features. “The headroom of the desk is really great. And I still say that the ASP8024-HE is amazingly well thought out. It has 14 aux sends! It also includes the very unusual feature to route different aux busses together so you almost never run out of routing options when using both small and large faders at the same time.”
Feedback from staff has been nothing but positive, too. Jon Talbot, who runs the ARC labs commented, “The intuitive flexibility of the ASP8024-HE just stays out of the way and allows for absolute freedom and creativity…oh, and it sounds great!”
Kirt estimates around 120 students will get their hands on the desk each semester. “We have four studio techniques classes, one sound design class, and a mixing and mastering class that will all be using the console. We also will be using it on our ‘Friday Sessions’ series, where we bring bands in from the community for an ‘all class’ extended recording session. All of these will be exclusively using the recently upgraded studio.”
He is delighted to report that its arrival has caused a stir amongst the youngsters. “We did the installation over the summer, and we couldn’t keep the students away from the studio! So far they have been very happy with the features and sound of the console. Just as with the SCC installation, we have had students enroll in classes because they wanted time on the console.”
American River College boasts a strong Commercial Music faculty, many of whom are working professionals in the industry and bringing that experience to the students. The live sound professor owns a successful live sound company; the music business professor happens to be a senior editor at TapeOp magazine; the songwriting professor is a professional songwriter and musician; the ProTools instructor wrote the textbooks for Avid and Kirt himself comes from 30 years of studio engineering and producing.
In his role as ARC Program Director, Kirt is already making excellent headway with his plans. “I have already been able to accomplish a few major goals,” he says. “Our next project is adding a new hybrid mix room with a Pro Tools HDX system and a full array of outboard gear. This room (as the three others) will have a great selection of virtual instruments in and will be available all day for students to work on their own productions. After that we are looking at expanding our current 5.1 mix rooms to Dolby Atmos.”
For further information about American River College and their Music programs visit their website.