Audient Heritage replaces 30-year-old Neve at SAE Institute

The SAE Institute in Leipzig has given its Studio 2 an overhaul, starting with the upgrade of its console to a 36-channel Audient ASP8024 Heritage Edition with patchbay and Dual Layer Control (DLC).

“It replaced our old and beloved Neve VR Legend console,” said Leo Baron, audio head instructor at the global brand’s Leipzig branch who specified the desk himself.

“It was not an easy decision to part from that old lady,” he revealed, referring to the Audient’s 30 year-old predecessor. “Yet it was not until I started using the Heritage Edition that I realised how convenient it can be to work on a fully functional piece of gear. No missing channel strips waiting for repair, no ‘dicky’ potentiometers; in an educational environment like this, sometimes a desk simply needs to be reliable and working, which is exactly how it is with the Audient.

“Besides the analogue sound, I also like having controls and real faders at my fingertips,” Baron added, although he is well aware of the benefits of learning the full spectrum: “An education in the audio engineering sector would not be complete having only covered the analogue or digital domain. You need both to be able to combine them in the way that suits your application.

“Of course being able to pop hundreds of plug-ins onto all the DAW tracks is great, but some people forget that simply adjusting a good compressor and EQ correctly could do the job just as well (and quite possibly in less time),” said Baron. “One of the things I like about the Audient console is the EQ section; it simply gets you to the expected result in no time.”

Leo tailored the new desk to the studio’s precise needs by taking advantage of Audient’s bespoke layout option. Top of his list was the DLC module, which integrates with the DAW and provides hands-on control. Students get to use Studio 2 after their have cut their teeth in smaller setups, digital environments and have learnt how to mic up a whole band: “At this stage they need to be able to be very flexible depending on what the project demands,” Baron concluded. “They can either decide to work completely in-the-box using DAW automation, plug-ins etc or to get the ‘real thing’ with full analogue processing, a desk full of signals with literally every fader to hand and make the song breathe with valve sound. Or even a hybrid with a combination of both worlds. They have all the possibilities! This is the whole point of Studio 2: not being limited, but rather figuring out what approach is appropriate for the desired outcome.”