Sunday, April 24, 2016

WRST FM Hosts an Open House

In addition to all that the Department of Music has to offer, the university also has a fantastic and robust Radio/TV/Film program in the same building. This past week, they hosted an open house at the WRST FM radio station in order to show off the facilities to the public.

Since we were finishing up our Care and Repair class, we decided to make the short walk over to meet up with Professor Randall Davidson and other RTF faculty and staff. We had a great time checking out their technology and music collection, and I know that we will continue to deepen our connection to their program through Music Industry minors and other collaborations via the recording studio and radio station.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Caring and Repairing in the Studio

The class is hard at work on soldering cables and doing repairs 

A Friday tradition throughout the history of the Music Industry program has been the "Care & Repair" class. As you might imagine, as gear is utilized and many projects are taken on throughout the semester, it's only natural that there are parts that break and pieces of gear that need to be fixed.

Desi thoroughly cleans a channel strip from the console

One of the most common repairs is when cables need to be re-soldered. Aside from that, we also find ourselves often doing fixes to the vintage Sony mixing console, and cleaning up or tweaking equipment to ensure it's maximum sonic fidelity.

Dylan and Gabi work on a channel from the Sony mix console

One additional major task this year has been working on the studio design itself. From new curtains to adding new fiberglass paneling to the walls, there were a lot of tasks aimed at optimizing the studio both acoustically and aesthetically. We have all greatly enjoyed learning about the process of studio upkeep in both the analog and digital realm, and I look forward to continuing the process of working on our creative space for working and learning.

Replacement VU meter bulbs in our vintage Urei compressors

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Special Guests Visit the Recording Studio, Bearing Gifts!

The students were really excited for Wally to visit for an afternoon!
It was a huge treat to be paid a visit last week from program founder Wally Messner and one of his former students, Carlos Lewison. Over the past year, Carlos has been working with another alum, Darron Weasler, in order to have some DBX noise reduction units fixed so that they work with the analog tape machine.

Carlos with one of the nine DBX 150x Noise Reduction units he brought
Not only were they able to get them repaired at a DBX factory, but Carlos visited and delivered the units to us at the studio! Therefore, we took the opportunity to talk to the Care & Repair class about how noise reduction works, and have Wally help to explain how to properly calibrate the analog tape machine.

Wally checks the voltage while Adam makes adjustments on the tape machine
Although digital recording is very prominent in most studios today, there is an increasingly relevant niche for analog recorders and equipment, and having and understanding of that calibration and setup process will only strengthen our student's understanding of signal flow and gain staging. It was a great learning experience for us all!