10 Mar 2020

Interview with Full Sail University's Program Director

IK and Full Sail have been working together over the years to make great musicians!

Over the years, IK Multimedia and Full Sail University have developed a special collaboration focused on offering the school’s students hands-on time and instruction with professional production tools used by top professionals, in a convenient software format. This collaboration has been growing and evolving each year, and currently, IK is offering all relevant student classes a custom-designed software suite called the Total Studio TRIO. It consists of IK’s SampleTank 4 SE sound and groove workstation, AmpliTube 4 guitar and effects tone studio, and T-RackS CS Deluxe mixing and mastering plug-ins. 

Full Sail’s program director of audio production, Brian Smithers, has been instrumental, working with IK throughout the development of this program to ensure that Full Sail students can experience and learn about the real-world benefits that come from using these top-notch audio production solutions.  Brian recently shared some of the beneficial ways IK’s solutions have been incorporated into Full Sail’s curriculum, how his students have received them, and what we can expect from Full Sail University in the future.

How have the products in the Total Studio TRIO been incorporated into your curriculum? 

The great thing is that the possibilities are endless. We might see an Audio Production student experimenting with the difference between a T-RackS classic compressor and an opto compressor in a mix, or we might see a Music Production student seeing how big a difference the right SampleTank drum kit can make in a song. A Recording Arts student can take a guitar track she recorded in one of our studios and use AmpliTube to re-amp it on her laptop at home until it sounds just right, and a Show Production student can use T-RackS to polish a recording of a show they produced. Having this enormous range of options is such a great learning experience.

What has the student response been to these new offerings in your classes? 

Oh, they’re just thrilled when they realize the possibilities. Every time Derrick from IK Multimedia comes to campus and meets with our students, light bulbs go off all around the room as students grasp the value of the IK Multimedia bundle.

When your audio production students are ready to enter the working world, what advantages do you feel they have from learning on each of these solutions? 

There are several readily apparent benefits. First, they get to experiment with different signal paths in T-RackS or different stompboxes or mic positions in AmpliTube to their hearts’ desire without burning studio time, which is a wonderful learning opportunity. Second, they have a tremendously expanded palette of sampled instruments and modeled processors to support their actual work for clients, which makes them immediately more flexible and valuable. Third, as audio engineers we all spend our lives upgrading and replacing gear. For many of our students, the IK Multimedia bundle is one of their first experiences with third-party plug-ins, and as such it really opens their eyes to the possibilities even as it gives them a solid toolkit.

How has the support been from IK Multimedia’s team? 

Derrick Floyd from IK has been a great friend to Full Sail for as long as I can remember. Even before he forged the current collaboration, he visited campus periodically and got to know our faculty and students. We’re talking back in the days when an early version of SampleTank was one of our first opportunities to teach multi-output plug-ins in Pro Tools. These days, Derrick is on campus several times a year to keep us up to date on the latest IK developments and to inspire our students. The rest of the year, he’s just a phone call away. We couldn’t ask for better support.

What else can students look forward to from this Full Sail and IK Multimedia partnership? 

Our key instructors are being outfitted with Total Studio 2 MAX, so we’ll have a consistent common language with our students and be able to demonstrate the use of these tools and to review student work that implements them. Not to mention the fact that we’re all gearheads and love to play with cool toys for their own sake! 

In closing, is there anything new at Full Sail that we can expect to see in the near future? 

At Full Sail, last year (2019) we celebrated our 40th anniversary and this year (2020) we are about to induct our 11th group of grads into our Hall of Fame, so there’s a great deal of excitement around the university. During the recent GRAMMY awards, our university gathered to celebrate 53 Full Sail graduates who were credited on 65 nominated projects. These moments continue to serve as inspiration for our students, and as educators, we are humbled and proud to watch our grads flourish. Day after day, it comes back to what got us here – serving individual students’ needs and preparing them for career opportunities now and in the future. We’re excited to have this great friendship with IK Multimedia as we enter the next phase.

To learn more about Full Sail University, visit Fullsail.edu/.

 For more on IK’s Music production tools, visit our Products page. 


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