The centerpiece of new recording studio and training facility
San Francisco, CA – Taylor Swift, P!nk, Gwen Stefani – what do they have in common? They are all music super stars and they are female. And they are not alone – women are well represented among top performers in the music industry. But look behind the scenes and what do you find? The technical aspect of music has largely been the domain of men. The Women’s Audio Mission (WAM), an award-winning non-profit organization that provides comprehensive training and job placement for women in the recording arts, has been busy changing this trend.
Over the past 12 years, WAM have trained over 6,000 women and placed hundreds in prominent audio positions with artists and companies such as Tracy Chapman, Pixar, NPR, Pandora, Electronic Arts, American Conservatory Theater, and SFJazz. WAM engineers and students have worked on award-winning recordings by Angelique Kidjo (2014 Grammy for Best World Music Album), acclaimed author Salman Rushdie, Grammy-winning Kronos Quartet, the Academy Award-nominated soundtrack to “Dirty Wars” and more.
Several years of enrollment growth lead WAM to outgrow their main training facility. With the help of supporters and the community, they recently purchased the former SF Soundworks recording studio where R.E.M., Radiohead, Alanis Morissette and Timbaland have recorded, and expanded their offering of courses to even more women. Since the new studio serves as both professional recording studio and training facility, WAM needed a mixing console that could serve both needs.
Enter the Audient ASP8024.
“WAM is unique in that we are an educational organization but we also run a commercial recording studio,” said Executive Director Terri Winston. “The 8024 is an amazing sounding console but it is also really great to teach on. It’s very spacious, the channel path is intuitive, it has transparent mic pres and really great routing capabilities so that we can have very complex and multiple headphone mixes for musicians performing or working in multiple rooms.”
The Audient ASP8024 is a premium recording and mixing console designed by analog guru David Dearden and combines Audient’s legendary analog circuitry with innovative DAW control and automation to provide the ultimate centerpiece for recording studios and education facilities. Each of the input channels features Audient’s Class A preamp and 4 band EQ – a combination so versatile that many ASP8024 equipped studios no longer find the need for outboard preamps and EQ. The console features 24 bus routing, 12 auxes, 2 dedicated cue sends, 4 stereo returns, stereo bus compressor and a comprehensive monitor section.
“I had used various DDA consoles so I was familiar with David Dearden’s console designs and was already a fan,” said Winston about the decision to go with Audient. “WAM also had the pleasure of being booth neighbors with Audient at the last Audio Engineering Society convention and I had a great time learning the inner workings of Audient with owner Simon Blackwood. I felt like WAM would be very well taken care of and my instincts were correct. It’s been a joy working with everyone at Audient and the console has been fantastic.”
For Laura Dean, WAM's staff engineer and instructor, the console’s sound and flexibility is key. "The sound is transparent and modern, the routing options are powerful and it's a great combination of minimal inline design with just the right amount of flexibility for current industry needs."
Over 1,200 women and girls will learn audio production and recording arts on the ASP8024, plus an additional 80-100 independent artists will have projects recorded with the console in the coming year.
For more about Audient and the ASP8024, visit www.audient.com.
For more about Women’s Audio Mission, visit www.womensaudiomission.org.