“The biggest thing was ergonomics”, says Peter Randlette, Evergreen’s Head of Electronic Media. “You can’t sit at the front of some consoles and reach the EQs. And I love the clarity of the [5088’s] signal flow, in terms of teaching students fundamental principles of recording and production. It’s really straightforward – it doesn’t mean it isn’t potentially complex, but it ‘feels’ really good…and the sound has been wonderful.”
Their 5088 is outfitted with 6x Shelford 5052 mic preamp / EQs, 8x Shelford 5051 EQ / compressors, 8x Portico 5033 EQs, 4x Portico 5032 mic preamp / EQs, 6x Portico 5015 mic preamp / compressors, and Rupert Neve Designs’ proprietary SwiftMix moving fader automation. “The quality of the physical fader control is outstanding…and the Portico modules all sound really good. Coming from my synthesizer background, I love an EQ where over a certain level you start to ‘hear’ the filter. These sound really good; not ringy or nasal. They don’t stick out.”
The 5088 is also employed to educate the students on the sonic differences that analog summing can make: “My students have been experimenting with bouncing from the box (Digital Performer, Logic, and ProTools) vs. the 5088 as summing, and oh my God – it’s hard to explain something so clear, but I think the high-frequency transients are not as colored, so the stereo imaging is just clearer…it’s something I don’t think I’ve experienced with other consoles.”
Evergreen has four music technology media labs outfitted with a wide range of equipment new and old. “We still teach students analog recording practices with tape”, which “really complements the digital production structure”. The school also has a number of “large, acoustically complex production spaces”, a band room with an iso booth, a recital hall with raked seating, and a THX video theater space.