Increasing numbers of students at the audio engineering branch of Oxygen College
have resulted in the commission of a brand new, larger studio where a 36 channel
ASP8024 mixing console with Dual Layer Control (DLC) and patchbay now takes
centre stage. Newly opened in May, this latest addition to the Geelong West music
facility is in the care of Head of Audio Tom Isaac, who explains, “It is used
predominantly by our Advanced Diploma of Sound Production students.The students
and staff are very excited and cannot wait to get in there to record. We have other
analogue studios here at the college but none as large as this.’

Keen to develop the students’ understanding of signal flow, the fact that the studio
is analogue is definitely advantageous, reckons Isaac. “The Audient desk fits in with
our needs for a training platform which teaches students “out of the box’ mixing as
well as being a great sounding desk.’

“In this very digital age it’s important that students still understand analogue
workflows, routing, gain structure, TT patchbays etc. It’s amazing to see their
reactions when we say: “OK, lets mix this, but you cannot use ANY plug-ins! Only
the Audient and the outboard in the rack. It really gets them thinking about their
mixing craft and how records have been mixed in the past. We have some great
outboard units from TubeTech, Universal Audio, Manley, API, Drawmer, Lexicon and
Eventide to work with giving students all they need to pull together a great sounding

Keeping the students’ minds open to analogue has certainly had an interesting
effect, as he explains: “Whilst they appreciate our studios based on a control
surface, ProTools and “in the box’ mixing, a lot of students are very passionate
about classic analogue outboard and an analogue summing environment. They may
not be able to pinpoint specifically what exactly they like better about the sound of
an analogue summed project versus an “in the box’ summed project, but as their
critical listening skills develop, it’s been a great conversation starter.’

As the largest studio at Oxygen College with a large live tracking room, plus vocal
and isolation booths, it helps to teach the finer points of running a commercial
facility: they have simulated budgets, worked out a cost per hour of hire and have
strict deadlines for recordings. They also work in tandem with Advanced Diploma of
Music students, who release EPs as part of their course. “The Sound Production
Diploma students record and mix these with guidance from their trainers. Some go
on to be released and enjoy radio play,’ says Isaac.

The Audient console’s patchbay is getting a thorough workout as well. “Students are
very much looking forward to combining their favourite plug-ins with some high-end
outboard dynamics that they can insert via the ASP8024’s patch-bay.’

Oxygen College has been a creative arts training hub for five years now, providing
state-of-the-art, industry-standard and “real-world’ education, for a range of arts
including music, photography, painting and drawing. The college’s commitment to a
low student-to-facility ratio, ensures students have excellent access to studios,
equipment and training staff.

The Audient ASP8024 desk was supplied to Oxygen College by Audient distributor,