Jon Moreno, Arts & Entertainment Editor:
If a student ever walks down the hall in the B-wing of the Engleman basement and finds their feet vibrating from a mysterious bass line traveling through the floor, there is no need to worry.
That just means someone is in the new recording studio that was unveiled last Wednesday, laying down a track.
With the ribbon cutting done by Walter J. Stutzman, whose family helped fund the building of the studio–a room full of Mac computers, mixers, headphones and an area for vocals to be recorded–Southern officials opened the studio that was close to a decade in the making.
“About eight years ago, I went to the administration and said we need to have an electronic studio and they gave me a closet,” said Dr. Mark Kuss, a music professor at Southern and the man responsible for putting together the plan . “I packed that class for about a year and a half and can only fit six, but had 11 enrolled. There was a demand, so they finally gave me a bigger room. Walter gave us this amazing thing and we probably have the best studio for recording in the area.”
Kuss said he remembers having to borrow computers from the library to have his class, so it was a long time coming for him.
The studio itself took seven months to build and numerous music classes were cancelled because of it.
According to the Southern website, the space was designed by Paul Loescher and Dave Forrest of SCSU Facilities Planning and Architecture. The contractor was Mazzarella Builders.
Now that it is complete, Stutzman said he hopes this helps students trying to land a job in the music industry build up their résumés. Students will be able to show potential future employers that they can write soundtracks,
audio edit, make commercial music and more.
“It’s hard to get a job doing that,” he said. “But they’ll have the proof right there.”
Jahkeem Ohizep, a junior music theory major, spoke at the event.
“It’s really important to Southern that we have this new studio because before, a lot of people would question and ask, ‘oh, why would you pursue a career in music when you can go to West Conn or some other school?’ But for people who want to get into mixing and mastering and recording and electronic music, West Conn doesn’t offer that,” Ohizep said. “West Conn is a good school for jazz theory and now Southern has something to compete with. We have more to reel in students here.”
A big advantage of having a recording studio at arm’s reach is also the financial cost. Ohizep said students, who are already tight on cash, would not have to pay for studio time, which opens up a lot more opportunity for anyone involved in music on campus.
Despite already having an album out on iTunes, music major Rob Weiss said the old electronic studio was small and not as comfortable to lay music down in.
“This actually has more options and I look forward to actually recording in it,” said Weiss.
But not every Southern student is going to be able to simply sign up for studio time and get it. According to Kuss, there will be prerequisites that have to be met.
Kuss said students would have to take music 428 before being allowed to get into the studio to record to learn the basics on how to run a session. Two students will have to at least be in the room, one to serve as an engineer and the other as the musician.
But this is only the tip of the iceberg, according to Kuss.
“This is just the beginning,” he said. “I want to take the whole hall.”