McGill University’s Will Bennet Nabs AES Gold Medal With the Help of Pro Tools

By in AES 2016, Education, Music Creation

When asked what he used when cutting his award-winning album, Aquarius Dreams, McGill University graduate student Will Bennett didn’t hesitate to answer: “Pro Tools. And I wouldn’t be surprised if in 10 years, I’m still using it.” Bennett, a native New Yorker who is earning his Masters of Music and Sound Recording at the Montreal school’s highly-competitive program added, “Every professor in the program teaches Pro Tools. There’s a Pro Tools license in every studio we have. They’re preparing us for the real world.”

The visibility of Avid Pro Tools at McGill, as well as Avid’ s sponsorship of the AES’ 2016 Student Recording Competition, highlights Avid’s long-standing commitment to education. For over a decade and a half Avid has been working hand-in-hand with schools all over the globe to establish a Pro Tools training program, developing content, curriculum and certification to benefit students. This – along with the expansion of new educational products like Pro Tools | First – are at the heart of Avid’s belief that they should take an active role in supporting, nurturing, and paving the way for the next generation of artists.

Bennett, for one, appreciates this dedication to emerging talent and Avid’s efforts to provide students with cutting-edge tools to express their creativity. “This was especially important to us in the AES competition, where we entered our album in Category 3 – a sort of ‘anything goes’ category that really stretched beyond the boundaries of traditional genres – in our case, into a hybrid mix we coined ‘psychedelic dream folk’.” Bennett went on to say, “Creating an album this unique required a lot flexibility and creativity from our software. We got that with Pro Tools.”

The AES’ gold-winning student also lauded Avid’s professional credentials when looking ahead to the next step in his career, post-graduation. “Ultimately, I’d love to be able to make a living as an Audio Engineer and Producer in the music industry – working with bands to create something amazing – and Avid is the industry standard. If you’re trying to get a job (at a studio), and you don’t know Pro Tools, you’re kind of out of luck.”  Bennett continued, “There’s a certain glass ceiling you hit when you only work with some of these other softwares; with Pro Tools, the sky’s the limit.”

The Avid Learning Partner (ALP) Program is designed to attract the most skilled training organizations in the industry and to provide assurance that you can get the quality of training on Avid products and solutions to the standard and location that meets your needs.

Will Bennett with the AES Education Chair – Kyle Snyder

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Part of the Digidesign and Avid family since 1995, my focus has always been in Product Management and Education, with an emphasis on developing programs and partnerships. Having recently transitioned into my current role heading up Global Education Strategy, I now focus on educational programs in media & entertainment.