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The department possesses its own recording studio suite consisting of five fully sound-proofed acoustically treated rooms. This includes two control rooms, a live room and two Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) production rooms:
This is a traditional analogue recording solution, interfacing with the latest digital recording technology. The studio is centered round a Mackie 8-bus 24-channel channel inline mixing desk. Recording is facilitated using a custom built PC based DAW running Steinberg Nuendo audio recording and processing software with RME audio hardware. Together with the analogue desk and digital recording hub are a selection of outboard processing options including Lexicon, Drawmer, and T.C Electronic signal processors and effects units. Every device runs via the studio patchbay allowing virtually any configuration or signal routing option.
An extensive range of mastering solutions is also provided including Steinberg Wavelab audio editing software together with DAT, CD-RW, mini-disc and cassette two-track recorders. MIDI sequencing is also facilitated using the software mentioned above together with a range of MIDI synthesizers, modules and samplers, as required.
This room is designed for audio postproduction and surround-sound work. It offers the same Nuendo/RME DAW platform together with a Mackie Control Universal front end, Genelec 5.1 surround sound monitoring and Dolby Digital Surround encoding.
Both studio Control Rooms are connected via balanced microphone patchbays to the central Live Room where small ensemble recording can take place. A range of microphones are available for booking and use for recording purposes, as are a range of acoustic and electronic instruments including a full drum kit and an original MiniMoog vintage analogue synthesizer. Additionally a wide range of location recording equipment is also available for booking when working away from the studio.
These two smaller rooms each contain a PC based DAW running the same software as found in Studios 1 and 2, together with a MIDI controller keyboard and synthesizer module. This allows preparatory work to be completed prior to using the main studio control rooms or alternatively, smaller projects can be completed in their entirety.
The Studio Suite is used for teaching purposes, but otherwise can be booked by Music and Digital Media Systems students for assignments or personal use. Currently 4 hours per week can be booked in advance and any unused time can be used on a first-come basis on the day. Recent upgrades now provide full audio, video and data networking between the Control Rooms, Live Room and the Digital Media Suite. This provides a fully integrated multimedia production environment, enabling full audio-for-video production work for both teaching and research-based activities.
Studio suite provision is also enhanced by 16 Nuendo audio workstations in our departmental computing laboratory for large group teaching and student led assignment or personal use.