Audio Production lecturer Mike Holloway and SAE Oxford alumnus and Campus Support Technician Dani Bonventre recently went to New York City, where they attended the AES Pro Audio Convention, API Audio’s 50th Anniversary Celebration at SONY Hall New York and also fitted in a visit to SAE Institute New York.
Dani and Mike were invited to New York after attending an API and Amphion SX Pro event in the UK. The stateside events were a chance for audiophiles to come together with prominent audio companies such as Steinberg and Avid, which SAE works closely with. Dani said: “After attending events like these you realise it’s such a small world, where everyone knows each other.”
The trip was short but sweet, with Dani and Mike managing to fit in some sightseeing and pastrami sandwiches alongside all the networking. Dani said his favourite part of the trip was the API anniversary event, where Victor Wooten was playing. Dani said: “He’s a bit of a legendary dude, he’s a bass player with a very good reputation.”
Wooten has won the Bass Player of the Year award from Bass Player magazine three times, and was the first person to win the award more than once. In 2011, he was ranked in the Top 10 Bassists of All Time by Rolling Stone magazine.
Renowned American rockers, the Steve Miller Band also turned up at the API event, which was another highlight for Dani. He said: “It was essentially one big gig, it was great!”
When they were doing some sightseeing, Dani and Mike came across a shop called Armen’s Repair Shop. The proprietor buys up vintage synthesisers and sells them on eBay. He bought up a load of Roland Juno-60s for £100 and now they sell for about £18,000, because of the ongoing retro revival.
In their whirlwind trip, Dani and Mike also stopped by the SAE Institute New York campus, which unlike SAE Oxford, solely teaches Audio Production diplomas. Dani said: “It’s pretty cool, it’s got that authentic bare brick wall NYC vibe going on, and all the staff were really friendly. The studios are really well kept and maintained, and they have some cool tape machines. When it comes to teaching, they seem to share the same values and working practices as us.”
In terms of similarities in our teaching approach, the one-year Audio Technology Diploma taught in New York is a really nice programme, which gives students most of the same practical skills as the Audio Diploma in the UK. Their final module gives them a taster for everything from Sound for Media through to Music Business, and sets them up nicely for going on to specialize further in their chosen career path; or to jump straight in at Level 5 on the Degree programme, if they wanted to study abroad!
Going forwards, SAE Oxford hopes to work closely with SAE New York. This will involve collaborative projects, such as students working on recording a track together.
"IT WAS ABSOLUTELY WONDERFUL GETTING THE OPPORTUNITY TO MEET AND SPEAK WITH DANI AND MIKE FROM THE SAE OXFORD CAMPUS. WE HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO BRAINSTORM ABOUT HOW WE COULD CONNECT OUR STUDENTS TOGETHER THROUGH AUDIO WORK EVEN BEING OCEANS APART. MEETING WITH SOME OF THE OXFORD STAFF ONLY SOLIDIFIED THAT SAE STAFF MEMBERS AROUND THE WORLD ARE LIKE-MINDED AND EXTREMELY PASSIONATE ABOUT STUDENT SUCCESS."
- HILARY ROSEN, CAREERS SERVICES MANAGER AT SAE NYC
SAE NYC Campus Director Robert Aguiar and Technology Supervisor, John Naeder said "Mike, Dani and I discussed doing a Pro Tools Cloud Collaboration project with one of our classes and one of their classes. We wanted to utilize the global reach that SAE has, and make music from all over the world, starting with New York and Oxford. An example of this could be recording drums in New York and recording guitars in Oxford in the same Pro Tools session at the same time. It's clear that regardless of country, audio and SAE culture is universal in its mission and passion towards positive student experiences"
Dani said: “This is something we hope to make happen more and more - there will be ongoing integration to create a more meaningful partnership going forwards. Watch this space!”