Florida-based Full Sail University is an innovative leader for education in the media and entertainment industry. “The hallmarks of a Full Sail University audio education have always been a brilliant faculty of active industry professionals, focused curricula, immersive learning, and state-of-the-art facilities,” says Brian Smithers, chair of the workstations department and audio course director at Full Sail University.
To ensure it provides students with the best education and experience possible, Full Sail University continually adapts its curricula and facilities according to industry trends. As audio professionals turn to collaborative workflows to facilitate remote working, Full Sail University has decided to embrace Avid Everywhere and adopt collaborative workflows powered by the Avid MediaCentral Platform.
“We’ve experimented with, and discussed with our students, nearly every long-distance collaboration tool since the concept was first explored, so we’re excited about the possibilities of Avid Everywhere,” explains Smithers. “For our online students, it’s even more exciting.”
Full Sail University has equipped its classrooms with Avid Artist Suite audio solutions, including the industry-standard Pro Tools | Software, Pro Tools | HD Software, Avid System 5 digital audio consoles, and most recently, a fleet of Pro Tools | S6 consoles.
“Pro Tools has been a driving force in the industry, so it has been our duty, and our pleasure, to teach this technology since the beginning,” says Smithers. “Our decision a few years ago to put Pro Tools in the hands of every Full Sail University audio student has enriched our students’ creative and educational toolkit immensely. We have more than 150 Pro Tools and Pro Tools | HD systems in our labs and classrooms, as well as on the laptops of every student and educator in the audio programs. We’ve had Avid control surfaces installed in our labs since the days of Pro Control. We currently have 17 ICON systems in place plus a System 5 in our dubbing stage.”
“Avid’s technology can be found throughout Full Sail,” adds Scott Dansby, Full Sail University's director of industry relations. “Primarily we are working with Avid’s audio solutions on campus in our audio and film programs, as well as our Project LaunchBox initiative, which allows students to begin a project at home or on campus, then connect their laptops directly to the System 5. Having knowledge of these tools is important for anyone who wants to work in the fields of professional audio and video.”
Power for professional production
Avid really understands and supports Full Sail’s mission to help our students become successful.
SCOTT DANSBY, DIRECTOR OF INDUSTRY RELATIONS, FULL SAIL UNIVERSITY
The System 5’s high-performance audio mixing capabilities gives Full Sail’s students critical experience in mixing large-scale feature films, shorts and other media projects with a tightly integrated, efficient workflow. With the addition of 25 Pro Tools | S6 consoles, that experience will be boosted by the superior ergonomics, visual feedback and intelligent studio control offered by Avid's latest control surface.
Installing Avid's newest console also ensures the university's post-production facility remains equipped with proven and trusted technology to ensure students gain relevant and valuable industry expertise for future success.
“By having two 12-station labs and a classroom outfitted with the S6, we offer students more exposure to the consoles than anyone else that we’re aware of,” says Smithers. “The S6’s familial relationship with the System 5 will enable our graduates to have an easier transition into one of the many facilities already using that console.”
Among the standout features of Pro Tools | S6 is its unprecedented visual feedback, enabling audio engineers to monitor every facet of a mix. Users of the console can view tracks, meters, panning, and other visuals on the master touchscreen, identify channel modes from the top-lit, multicolor knobs as well as see track names, automation status, and other info through color OLEDs across the surface.
Our close relationship with the Avid Worldwide Training program has enabled us to ensure that we are the experts our students expect us to be.
BRIAN SMITHERS, CHAIR OF THE WORKSTATIONS DEPARTMENT AND AUDIO COURSE DIRECTOR, FULL SAIL UNIVERSITY
It was these features, as well as the compact footprint of the console, that convinced Full Sail to purchase the S6 in such great numbers. “The biggest challenge with control surfaces has always been the limited feedback about track names, meters, settings, and parameters you can get directly from the console,” Smithers explains. “The S6’s visual feedback is far superior. We envision students being able to focus primarily on the console and only look at the computer display occasionally.”
Smithers says the courses will teach the use of the S6 from 'soup to nuts', including getting students to dig into system configuration, setup, and operation. “We’ll be able to demonstrate workflows as well as give students a close look at how the console is set up,” he adds. “Our students expect the cutting-edge, and the S6 is exactly that.”
Partners for success
According to both Smithers and Dansby, the university’s relationship with Avid goes far beyond that of a vendor and customer. “Our close relationship with the Avid Worldwide Training program has enabled us to ensure that we are the experts our students expect us to be,” says Smithers.
“Avid has been a great supporter and partner of Full Sail beyond just providing technology for our students to learn,” adds Dansby. “The company really understands and supports Full Sail’s mission to help our students become successful.”