Audio equipment manufacturer Prism Sound has supplied the new Birmingham Conservatoire with a range of high-quality audio interfaces, including 20 of its flagship ADA-8XR multichannel converters.
Part of Birmingham City University and officially opened this week by its Principal, Professor Julian Lloyd Webber, the £57 million Birmingham Conservatoire boasts five new public performance spaces including a 500-seat concert hall, a 150-seat recital hall, a 100-seat organ studio, a cutting edge black-box studio called The Lab and an 80 seat Jazz Club – the first permanent jazz space in any UK conservatoire.
In terms of technical facilities, the Birmingham Conservatoire has seven industry standard recording studios including two 5.1 surround sound mix rooms, three stereo mix rooms, a 5.1 surround post-production edit suite and a dedicated mastering suite. The various studios are equipped with recording consoles from Solid State Logic and Avid and monitoring from PMC, Genelec, B&W and ATC.
“We have been working with world-renowned studio designers, acousticians, architects and partnering with leading manufacturers to build recording rooms on a par with any high-end commercial facility,’’ says Matthew O’Malley, Studio Manager at Birmingham Conservatoire. “Our performance venues, recording studios and teaching rooms combine the best traditions of analogue performance with the flexible functionality of 21st century digital systems. The new Conservatoire has complete AV digital interconnection as its backbone, allowing audio and video transmission and playback to run through every rehearsal and performance space. This will encourage new ways of teaching, learning and practising, as well as providing completely new landscapes for research.”
Birmingham Conservatoire has taken delivery of 20 Prism Sound ADA-8XR ADDA converter units fitted with Pro Tools compatible interfaces and one Atlas 8-channel USB interface with eight microphone amplifiers. Prism Sound have agreed with Birmingham City University to maintain and upgrade the converters to the latest specifications as the products evolve in future.
Graham Boswell, Sales Director of Prism Sound, says: “Birmingham Conservatoire wanted to have the very best and, as the brand selected by the world’s leading recording facilities and artistes, Prism Sound A/D and D/A conversion was the natural choice.”
O’Malley adds: “We had set a very ambitious, tight studio design and functionality criteria for ourselves. With the largest proportion of our studio work involving recording classical and jazz music we required the most pristine, transparent AD/DA converters available. We were not simply looking for a turnkey solution but for an ongoing relationship from which the potential for knowledge transfer and support for our music technology education programs could evolve. Prism Sound’s world leading design, performance and innovative approach to these criteria made them the ideal fit for the first new build Conservatoire of the digital age.”
With a history dating back to 1859, Birmingham Conservatoire is one of the leading music and drama academies in the country, being the third highest ranked UK conservatoire for music in the Guardian University Guide 2018. Over the years it has nurtured the talent of many household names, including singer-songwriter Laura Mvula, conductor Mike Seal and actor Nicol Williamson.
The new building was designed by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios and constructed by Galliford Try using 400,000 locally-sourced bricks. The main performance venues comprise independent ‘box in box’ structures built on dedicated acoustic foundation bearings for optimum noise control. In addition to this, double and triple-glazed windows have been used to achieve the onerous acoustic requirements, supported by bespoke timber panelling throughout the building.
Positioned on its parent institution’s City Centre Campus, Birmingham Conservatoire now sits just metres away from Birmingham City University’s wealth of media and recording facilities, including four TV studios and Europe’s largest static green screen.
About Prism Sound
Founded in 1987, Prism Sound manufacture high-quality professional digital audio hardware and software for music and sound production for the music, film, television, radio and multi-media markets and a range of specialized measurement equipment used in audio equipment development, manufacturing, system building and maintenance. The company’s product range includes a range of audio interfaces covering applications from desktop or mobile recording & production to major studio facilities; Prism Sound also produces the SADIE audio production workstation software used by major national broadcasters such as the BBC, as well as many of the world’s leading mastering houses and classical or live music recording engineers. Prism Sound measurement equipment is used to measure the performance of either audio electronic devices or electroacoustic devices and is well established in major manufacturing sectors such as automotive electronics, headphones and headsets as well as professional audio.
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