Artist Collaborations Bring Real-World Experiences to Students
Published on Sep 16, 2021 by Abby Stassen
Full Sail’s Recording Arts faculty brings award-winning artists to campus so that students can have a firsthand look at professional recording sessions.
Full Sail is known for its commitment to hands-on learning that creates real-world experiences for students. That’s particularly evident in the Recording Arts degree program: Faculty members are always on the lookout for new ways to help students connect with artists and other audio pros. The school’s commitment to technology, experienced faculty, cutting-edge facilities, and industry connections set the stage for out-of-the-box learning experiences that are tough to find at other schools.
Front-Row Recording Sessions
Campus students were learning from home during the fall of 2020, but Full Sail’s Recording Arts faculty found a way to bring the music production process to life from a distance. Course director and Grammy-nominated producer and mixing engineer Darren Schneider brought in Grammy-winning Americana artist Aoife O’Donovan for a livestreamed recording session in Full Sail’s Audio Temple. The duo worked on her new album and brought the full process of writing, recording, and creating to students.
“We wanted students to see the pace and interaction on both sides of the glass,” Darren says. “Being able to see how sessions really go down in a professional environment is an amazing opportunity that is rarely shared.”
Full Sail’s inventive approach to livestreaming with a multi-source Zoom system gave students an interactive, customizable view of the session.
“The system provides multiple live camera feeds of the recording studio with an audio feed from the recording console. In addition, it provides a live view of Avid Pro Tools recording software, allowing students to watch as Darren tracked the session,” explains Mike Orlowski, Full Sail’s Media Systems Engineer. “Our students could see and hear the session in real time and ask questions throughout the recording process. We also wanted to give our students the ability to choose what they see during the Zoom call. For example, one student may wish to see a view of the recording console, where another student would prefer to view the Pro Tools software screen.”
The session’s results weren’t just beneficial to the students: Aoife loved her time in the Audio Temple as well.
“It was an incredible experience to workshop new material and create recordings at the Audio Temple. Darren’s unique ear, the resources at the studio, and the fact that students are able to listen and interact have all been hugely influential on the music I have written during the past year. I’m so excited to continue this relationship with Full Sail,” she says.
Artists Finding Their Voice at Full Sail
Aoife isn’t the only artist who’s taken advantage of Full Sail’s campus offerings. Musicians like contemporary Christian artist Koryn Hawthorne and Grammy-winning gospel artist Tye Tribbett have both recorded in the Audio Temple. Singer Le'Andria Johnson recorded lead vocals for a track on Donald Lawrence & the Tri-City Singers’ album, Goshen, and the Backstreet Boys recorded part of their single, “It’s Christmas Time Again”, on campus.
Several musical acts have also taken advantage of Full Sail Live, the school’s live performance venue, over the years. Grammy-nominated metal band Trivium – which counts graduate Corey Beaulieu as a member – came to Full Sail Live in 2020 for a livestreamed performance of their ninth studio album, much of which was also tracked in the Audio Temple.
First-Rate Facilities, From Recording to Post-Production
Students, faculty, and musicians alike can explore the audio recording process in Full Sail’s dedicated facilities. A song’s campus journey begins in the Audio Temple, a full-featured recording studio where professional musicians lay down tracks and students get a behind-the-scenes look at the first steps in the recording process. From there, audio tracks get tweaked and perfected in labs designed for mixing, engineering, and mastering. The Full Sail community can enjoy completed tracks and other audio events in the Full Sail Live venue.
You can find out more about Full Sail’s Recording Arts program and additional Music degree programs at fullsail.edu/area-of-study/music-recording.