Studer has literally logged thousands of miles this summer, promoting its latest Vista 9 console to anyone interested in gaining experience with a broadcast audio mixing and recording platform that is making inroads into a number of major television studios and live productions. The company has put together what it calls the “Studer Broadcast Academy,” which invites audio professionals to sit though a three-hour session and earn a certificate that theoretically can be used to build a freelance resume.
The idea is to reach out to the freelance audio community and get them “certified” on the Vista console. At the end of a three-hour session, participants receive a certificate they can use to get work across the industry.
Katy Templeman-Holmes, head of U.S. marketing for Studer (owned by Harman Industries), is supervising the tour, which started in Ohio in mid-July and finished its first U.S. leg two weeks later in Washington DC. The tour will resume in September in the southeastern part of the country. Once someone completes a three-hour ‘module,” on board the truck, they are awarded a certificate confirming that they are well versed on the console.
“The purpose is to introduce the Studer Vista console to broadcast audio technicians and sound mixers, and provide a hands-on experience with its many features,” Templeman-Holmes said, adding that they have hosted people working with NBC, ESPN and other major organizations. “Different people got different things out of it. The certificate gives them a way of representing that they have knowledge of the Vista console and can hopefully get some work out of it.”
A healthy amount of freelancers were also in attendance.
The sessions, held on board a specially equipped 52-foot truck built by Harmon, also provided some real world education on audio mixing and other techniques in general. They were taught by working professionals and Studer personnel.
A variety of different modules are planned, but initially there is the “Vista Foundation” course and the Intermediate course. Each session was held in groups of up to eight people, keeping them small in order to provide the best learning environment possible. The company is looking to expand the program and its subject matter in a variety of ways that it said will be announced soon.
“The tour is a learning experience using the Vista console as the teaching tool,” Templeman-Holmes said. “Our objectives are certainly to market the console, but also bigger is the way we're trying to educate the [broadcast audio mixing] market. We believe this is more than just a product road show.”
Reaction to the tour, which started in Europe, and then came to U.S. this summer, has been was very positive, according to Studer. The next two-week tour will occur Sept. 19-30, beginning in New Orleans and ending up in Dallas, Texas.
The Studer Vista 9 console was first introduced at NAB 2010. It’s now used at NBC’s “Tonight Show with Jay Leno” and “Saturday Night Live”; and TBS’ “Conan O’Brien Show” and “Ellen” shows, which all have them in their respective studios. Sweetwater Digital, a live entertainment production company based in L.A., owns several Vista 8 consoles as well.
More information about the different modules can be found on the Studer website at http://usa.studer.ch/.