Portland, OR-March 7, 2011-For over 100 years, Millikin University, a private comprehensive university located in Decatur, Ill., has had a unique approach to education. It stresses performance learning, requiring students to practice their learning both inside and outside the classroom. This is just what Ronnie Dean, professor and technical director for the Music Industries Program, which includes Music Business and Commercial Music majors, does.
Dean, who has been with the school for 26 years, started in Nashville, Tenn., as a radio, television and recording engineer working at various studios on many different projects. In his spare time, he taught part-time at Belmont University, which is where he caught the teaching bug. When Millikin offered him a full-time position as technical director of their Music Industries Program, he packed his car and family and moved to Decatur.
For many years, he taught his students analog recording in Millitrax, Millikin’s recording studio, and the theory involved in understanding recording. Recently, the school decided it was time for a new recording facility and Dean thought it was time to start thinking about the digital recording side of the industry. With the help of Ken Musselman at Milam Audio, Dean purchased two Dante-MY16-AUD cards for their new Yamaha DM2000 console and started the beginnings of their first all-digital control room.
“The use of the Dante-MY16-AUD is working out fantastically,” says Dean. “It’s been a boom from both a teaching and day-to-day operational standpoint. By using the Yamaha console and the Dante MY cards, the students are able to do things that were unheard of when I started years ago. I’m teaching them skill sets and practical recording knowledge that they can take into the real world, along with a greater understanding of Dante and how easy it is to use”.
The recording studio, two audio control rooms, and video editing facilities are the property of the School of Music. The main focus of their programs is still musicianship. Millikin’s Music Industries Program recognizes that today’s commercial musician needs to have an operating knowledge of recording. One of the classes started by the Music Industries Program department chair, Dr. Dave Burdick, is called “Studio Pressure Night,” where students studying songwriting, arranging, production, engineering, and musicianship all come together to practice their field of study or particular interest. Once a project is recorded on Pro Tools in the analog control room, it is taken to the digital control room and routed through the Dante-MY16-AUD cards to a second Pro Tools system for remixing. Because of the total recall capabilities of the Yamaha DM2000 equipped with the Dante Cards, faculty can work individually with any of the students associated with a particular project.
Dean says,” using these two products together helps the department accomplish the learning goals of the Music Industries Program and facilitate the university in graduating competitive students.” He is now one of the newest engineers singing the praises of Audinate’s Dante-MY16-AUD card.