PHOTO COURTESY OF JOSHUA AKKERMAN • Tools like the standing mic and keyboard pictured above are able to be used for free.

By Anna Smisek
[email protected]

The recording studio at the CSB campus is a resource most students may not be aware of. Tucked away in the Music Library of the Benedictine Arts Center are three rooms that allow for professional vocal and instrumental recordings. These services are offered for free to faculty and students.

The first room is the main space that contains a desk microphone and a 20-channel audio mixer. This mixer runs into a recorder that will hook up to a USB flash drive, SD card, CF card or directly to a personal laptop. This means that after a recording is finished, it can be saved on alternate media. Also in this room are multiple kinds of instrument and vocal microphones, along with any kind of cable one might need.

Beyond the main space are two sound proof isolation rooms. This way, two sets of recordings can be done separately. For example, one room could have someone playing an instrument while the other could have a vocal artist. Users can hear the sound from the other rooms through headphones, but each room will be registered independently. Then, both recordings will be sent to the main board and can be put together.

The recording studio can be booked online through the
campus website. To help get new users started, there are
step-by-step instructions provided, and a training session can be scheduled with Media Services. While the equipment is beginner-friendly, it is also advanced enough to handle larger recording sessions.

Before the recording studio was installed, musicians had no place to practice. Instead, they had to find empty classrooms or work in their apartments and dorms.

“Students have limited resources, so this addition provides a great opportunity,”
English professor Mike Opitz said. He also emphasizes how having a musical outlet can be beneficial to a student.

With the studio present, Media Services and the library have worked with instructors to help integrate media literacy projects into a variety of classes. Most of these projects are video and audio based.

One misconception is that the recording studio is only used by music majors; however, a wide range of majors use this type of media technology. People have set up interviews, recorded podcasts, recorded speeches and produced video with this professional sound system. One example is the campus radio
station KGNB.

“I always enjoy seeing the Recording Studio get utilized, and I’d highly encourage anyone who has an interest in doing audio recording, voiceovers, music, podcasts or any multimedia project to try it out. We have many talented people on campus and it’s amazing to see what’s been created in that room,” multimedia technician Aaron Utke said via email.

Other schools are also developing their own recording mechanisms.
In addition, Alcuin has added more advanced rooms and audio features to its Learning Commons for student use too.