Ahead of Hull’s year as the UK City of Culture in 2017, the University of Hull has completed work on a state-of-the-art 5.1 recording studio as part of larger expansion of the music facilities in the School of Music, Drama and Screen. PMC supplied all the reference monitoring in the new studio, including a pair of IB2S XBD-As and AML2s to handle the 5.1 audio.
Two years ago the University began a programme to unite its traditional on-site music facilities with its Creative Music Technology studios. The aim was to provide facilities for musicians of all kinds on the main campus. Prior to this, all music technology courses were taught on the University's Scarborough campus, over 40 miles from Hull.
As part of the programme, the existing Salmon Grove music studio in Hull was refurbished last year in collaboration with audio consultants The Studio People, and two new studios were planned and built from scratch: an Ambisonics studio and the 5.1 facility now containing the PMCs and an SSL Duality mixing console. Working with direction from Dr Andrew King, the University's senior lecturer in Music and Technology, the Studio People were also responsible for executing the design and construction in the two newly built studios.
"We have many kinds of speakers here. We try to give our students access to as many different types as possible, and we wanted something new. Also, we had made the decision to put our funding into a small number of very high-specification facilities rather than spreading it thinly over a larger number of studios. We already had one studio with an SSL console in, for example, and we decided we'd have another, the Duality. And then Mike Banks of SSL recommended we try some PMCs to go with it," explained King.
Dr King contacted PMC to audition some PMC speakers, Ian Downs selected a pair of AML2s. "I tried them in one of our existing studios, replacing a pair of monitors that I had never been happy with," said King. "They sounded superb, so we then went down to Metropolis Studios to hear some of the larger monitors. The level of detail is the first thing you notice, both with their smaller and larger speakers. They just seemed to have such life and clarity to them."
Following the Metropolis session, the University elected to install the full-range IB2S XBD-As as main monitoring in the surround studio, with the AML2s providing the 5.1 monitoring in conjunction with an SB100-A subwoofer. Everything was installed by The Studio People and tuned by PMC once in situ.
Peter Keeling, MD of The Studio People, was so impressed by the sound of the new studio that he recommended PMC speakers accompany another SSL console at another installation his company were just starting work on, which became the recent installation of PMC's new QB1 large-scale reference monitoring at Westminster University, London.