April 23, 2014

Music Production Studio Gets a Boost

Music Production Studio Gets a Boost
October 3, 2013

With over 40 College clubs offering a wide variety of activities from Frisbee to physics to whitewater kayaking, students can almost certainly find others who share their passion.

The Music Production Club is a newcomer in this arena of student-led clubs. Formed last year by two enterprising students interested in audio technology and engineering, the club garnered support to renovate the recording studio, which recently received new professional-grade recording equipment, including high-caliber microphone preamps and compressors, professional-level microphones, a keyboard, drum set, digital drum pad, and mic stands.

“The studio is a learning lab for students to record and produce their own original material, record and mix ensembles from a variety of musical styles, compose music and sync it to film, score films live in real time, create beats, remix, and more,” says staff advisor Darin Pierce, who trains the students to use the equipment, teaches songwriting seminars to help students create original work, and manages the studio.

Sophomore Nick Boyd, who co-founded the club, is pursuing a special major in music production and spends many dedicated hours in the studio developing his skills. “The club has provided me the opportunity to pursue audio engineering, which has fascinated me since I was very young,” Nick says.

Sophomore Merle Schmuland, who created a special major in audio engineering, agrees. “Access to the studio is important to me,” she says. “I often record myself on the piano and like to explore Pro Tools [a system for audio recording and editing] to manipulate sound. I’ll also work with the violin and guitar to explore the possibilities.”

“We just finished recording a song with Plus One, the a cappella group on campus,” adds sophomore Charlie Petch, who co-founded the club and also created a special major in music production/audio engineering. “It was really great to work with everyone and see how the recording came together. I am so glad that we have this fun, creative outlet.”

While many colleges and universities offer access to audio technology, Principia’s approach reflects its mission. Prior to obtaining a studio key, students sign a user agreement that includes a reference to Policy 10, which reads, “Teaching at Principia shall emphasize the point of view that education carries with it the obligation to use technical skills and intellectual attainments for the betterment of humanity.” Students appreciate this Principia difference. Pierce says after he read the Recording Studio Usage Agreement to the group during their first club meeting, a student commented on the policy, noting, “It fits perfectly with what we are trying to do here.”