Jersey City, NJ (April 2, 2021)—Hudson County Schools of Technology’s County Prep High School program is readying students for music industry careers at its new facility, which is outfitted with an SSL AWS 948 δelta in the main studio classroom and an SSL XL-Desk in a second teaching space.
“We wanted to incorporate the sound of SSL, which is used on a lot of pop recordings, into our studio, with all the patchbay setup and components,” says Wilkis Figuereo, supervisor of instruction, music and audio technology, Hudson County Schools of Technology. The County Prep High School program provides vocational education for students in grades nine through 12 at the Jersey City campus. “We teach students how to write their own songs and produce their own music. As their senior project they put their own label together and release songs.”
Students also receive Pro Tools and Dante network certification as part of their music and audio technology training. “We are exposing them to being able to record in a professional recording studio,” says Figuereo, who is also CEO and founder of Itec Audio Studios. “I wanted to make sure we brought some real-world experience into the space. And you’ve got to have a real analog console for that.”
The AWS 948 δelta is installed at the front of a teaching space with seating for about 16 students that overlooks a tracking room containing a baby grand piano and two iso booths. “I need my students to learn real signal flow using a real console,” Figuereo says. “And I wanted to be able to use the AWS not just for recording into the digital realm but also as a fully functional analog console. We’re very happy with the console. It sounds beautiful.”
The first console installed at the school was an SSL XL-Desk, Figuereo reports. “It’s in the classroom; I call it a learning station. It’s a smaller recording room with the same kind of setup and outboard gear as the recording studio. We have the students learn on that in the beginning. Then we bring them into the big studio for large platform recordings with orchestra, grand piano and everything.”
Dave Kotch, co-founder of New Jersey-based full-service design firm Criterion Acoustics, responsible for studio builds at Atlantic Records in New York City and Glenwood Place in Burbank, California, handled studio acoustic and AV design for the new County Prep facility. Veteran technical engineer Mac Bowne of Technophilia provided integration support. Construction began in late 2019, but with equipment deliveries disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic, reports Figuereo, the studio and classrooms were not fully operational until the start of 2021.
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