Media technology

Full Sail University Leads the Way in Media Technology with Help from Tech Giant Avid

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WINTER PARK, FL – Full Sail University has built a reputation as one of the world’s premier entertainment, media, art and technology schools, offering degree programs in many fields of study, including music and recording and film and television. It sources its instructors and technological infrastructure directly from industry, putting its students in contact with business professionals, learning with tools essential to their field.

Full Sail’s relationship with media tech giant Avid dates back decades. The partnership has allowed the university to stay abreast of technological innovation while giving students access to the latest tools in the industry. Full Sail recently updated their Pro Tools, Media Composer, and Sibelius software and upgraded their dubbing stage to a dual-operator Avid S6 control surface.

Teaching Through Technology, Mentoring, and Project LaunchBox

Full Sail instructors have both a deep understanding of the tools and technology they teach and are active practitioners participating in their industry. This makes them particularly qualified and desirable mentors to learn.

“Our traditional Full Sail teacher comes from industry first,” says Brian Smithers, Director of the Audio Production Program. “Diplomas are also required, but I am a performing musician. We have faculty members who have made AAA games… I think the fact that the students know that we have been where they hope to go gives a lot of credibility and faith in our ability to lead them down a really pragmatic path. and effective towards their dreams. . “

A central feature of Full Sail training is the LaunchBox, which every student receives whether they attend online or on campus. For the Audio Production Diploma Program in particular, which is offered online, the LaunchBox contains all of the basic tools a student will need to complete their program, including Pro Tools | Ultimate (now replacing Pro Tools), microphone, laptop, headphones, and monitors. In Film and Television Degree Program, Students Receive a Similar Box, Now with Media Composer | Ultimate instead of Media Composer.

In addition to the hardware included in the LaunchBox, students have 24/7 access to their files, software, and courses, giving them more time to explore the tools and move forward outside of the classroom. classroom. For film and television students in particular, the school’s Avid NEXIS storage infrastructure allows them to access their work from any Media Composer workstation or post-production classroom on campus. .

The recent idea to update the Avid software in LaunchBoxes to “Ultimate” versions came in part because of the COVID pandemic.

“When COVID first hit, we were able to give our campus students access to Pro Tools | Ultimate Composer and Multimedia | Ultimate for a period of 90 days, thanks to the generosity of Avid, even if they weren’t in the labs for a few months, ”says Smithers. “It was kind of one of the things that got us on that train of thought.”

Scott Dansby, director of industry relations, agrees. “It was a big help in the early days of COVID. We were always able to provide some of the same tools for students who needed to move from campus student to online student very quickly. They were able to access many of the same features and functionality that they would normally have learned in a studio or lab from home. We didn’t have to make a lot of changes to the program for them.

For students of audio production, get Pro Tools | Ultimate in their LaunchBox gives them access to the same advanced functions previously reserved for Recording Arts students.

Take Full Control with Avid S6 and Pro Tools | MTRX

LaunchBoxes are just a fraction of the technology and training available to students on campus. For use as part of the Recording Arts bachelor’s program, Full Sail currently has 42 Avid S6 control surfaces – and Full Sail’s multimedia systems engineer Michael Orlowski was the mastermind behind all of the acquisitions.

“We bought 25 S6 M10 consoles in 2014 [replacing Control|24] and we split them up into two 12-station labs for our advanced desktop courses in Pro Tools, ”Orlowski recalls. “This install and use case worked so well that in 2019 we replaced our Avid ICON D-Control consoles. “

For these upgrades, the school purchased 16 more S6s to use in four surround post suites (configured with Joystick modules) and 12 individual mixing rooms in the school’s “Mix Palace” lab. And just a few months ago, it upgraded its dubbing stage with a new dual-operator S6, which provides 48 faders on each side, replacing a System 5.

“Have students [get familiar with] using an S6 and progressing into advanced labs like the dub step using a similar surface – the integration to prepare them for the lab has decreased dramatically, ”Orlowski said. “We’re seeing more and more courses that are able to take advantage of the labs and we’re able to use our S6s in multiple degree programs, which is huge. “

Each S6 comes with a Pro Tools | MTRX interface to manage routing and monitoring, which greatly simplified the workflow.

“What we love about MTRX now is the accessibility of Dante audio,” Orlowski said. “We are using Dante Virtual Soundcard to extract a surround stream from the Mac, so students can now audition surround stems directly from the computer on the same speakers they would use during active mixing. “

The question of the choice of software

While Full Sail has used Avid products extensively throughout its curriculum for decades, Smithers is keen to stress that software is a personal choice, with the exception of Pro Tools.

“Our general philosophy is that we teach tools, techniques and concepts, not software products,” says Smithers. “But Pro Tools is an industry imperative… and it would be a disservice to us not to make sure our students are familiar with Pro Tools. “

Dansby agrees, “What Brian said about Pro Tools rings true for Media Composer. For our film and video students who decide to go into post-production, Avid will likely play a pretty big role in what they do.

Learn more about Full Sail’s programs here and find out what its graduates have been up to.

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