TROY, NY — Founded in 1824, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) is one of the nation’s oldest technological research universities. The private research university recently installed two Yamaha Nuage advanced production DAW systems, which were provided by Parsons Audio LLC of Wellesley, MA. The new Nuage systems are used primarily by RPI staff and students, but are also available to external clients.
“We read a lot of press on the Nuage system while researching alternatives to our recording and mix system,” states Todd Vos, audio systems lead, The Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) at RPI. “Once we determined Nuage might be the way to go, we were given two really great demos by Parsons Audio, which closed the deal.”
Both Vos and fellow engineers Jeff Svatek and Steve Mclaughlin determined Nuage had the tightest DAW to control surface integration. “We were attracted to the programming flexibility of VST architecture, and were basically sick of the Digidesign workflow, exclusionary software/hardware model, master section functionality (or lack thereof), and sonic shortcomings,” Vos says. “It all came down to timing; we were ready to move on shortly after the Nuage system had been released. It was garnering decent feedback from users, so we pursued it.”
The first EMPAC Nuage system features 32-faders plus a master section with a JL Cooper panner. The second system is a 16 fader unit, with a master section and a JL Cooper panner. Both systems are connected to a large LAWO Nova 73 MADI network via PC-based DAWS running either 96 or 192 channel RME MADI cards with two UAD QUAD accelerators, SSD record drives and a Blackmagic SDI link to the facility’s Harris router for post work.
The two Nuage systems are used in support of all EMPAC productions, both internal and external to campus. These include video shoots, music production, film post, event documentation, media research, archival and restoration. A music engineering curriculum will start next fall at RPI, and the school has plans to use the Nuage for production there as well.