The University of Hertfordshire, the UK’s leading business-facing university, has installed both an AMS Neve Genesys Black G32 and a Genesys G32 within their School of Creative Arts. The technical upgrade also includes new PMC monitoring systems that were chosen for their ability to accurately reproduce the sonic characteristics of the consoles.
The School of Creative Arts, which comprises a community of 2,500 students and tutors, has two industry standard recording studios and nine editing suites. It was recently awarded the TEF Gold status.
Rob Phillips, the Principal Technical Officer for Music, believes the addition of Genesys and Genesys Black has helped aid the student’s development. “We chose to install a Genesys Black G32 in our main studio and a Genesys G32 in our second room,” says Rob. “Having two very different analogue EQ designs and being able to A/B them is a very valuable tool for teaching. Also having the choice of swapping EQ cassettes from one room to another to create a full ‘vintage’ analogue desk or a small format equivalent of an 88R is incredible.”
Rob adds that pairing the desks with the right monitors was an important consideration and the reason why the School decided to upgrade its monitoring to PMC.
“We now have PMC IB2S-A monitors in a stereo configuration in our main studio and result6 nearfield monitors in our second room,” he explains. “The clarity and depth of the sound is remarkable. The flat response, headroom and extended LF reproduction ensure that our students do not miss anything when they are tracking, mixing or mastering. They are an ideal partner for the AMS Neve consoles and we are very pleased to be able to offer our students the opportunity to get to grips with equipment of this calibre.”
Rob adds that installing Genesys consoles has improved the students’ workflow by giving them the ability to recall desk EQ and dynamics instantly.
“This means that students are able to maximise session time,” he says. “Previously they had to manually recall all of these settings which ate into their session. We’ve also effectively doubled our capacity by ensuring that both control rooms have identical signal paths and processing. Mixes now transfer effortlessly between the consoles and monitoring systems in each room, allowing students to maximise the use of our facilities.”
He continued, “The students have taken a real interest in the sonic flavour that both consoles can offer and appreciate being able to hear the difference because our monitors are so accurate and transparent.
Rob also praised the hybrid nature of the Genesys, which has allowed students to enhance their skills in other areas, which was not possible before. “Having Encore as a feature on the Genesys means our students can get to grips with a film industry standard – a huge advantage for them in the commercial market, especially given that we work closely with our Film & TV and Animation colleagues,” he says.
“Mixing in 5.1 (as opposed to just being able to monitor in 5.1) has given our students an incredible introduction to the world of surround audio. Re-ordering channel processing by ‘drag and drop’ and sharing the processing between channel and monitor paths is very fast and intuitive. The flexibility, high channel count and fast connectivity that MADI affords us have significantly reduced session turnaround time.”
Summarising on the impact the consoles have made at the University, Rob says, “The Genesys Black really is a game-changer. The student experience has been greatly enhanced due to the flexibility, scalability, DAW integration and modular design of this console. We’re very proud to be able to offer our students the chance to get some serious hands-on time on equipment of this quality and to work with industry standards such as 1073 mic amps, vintage and modern classic EQ circuits and Encore automation.”
And with a growing and thriving university, there is room for future growth. “In the future we would ideally consider an expansion of the monitoring in our facilities to bring it up to Dolby Atmos specifications, using more result6 monitors and appropriate sub-woofers.”