Saturday, December 15, 2018

Looking Back on a Productive Fall 2018

The Practicum Crew (from left): Jon, Hannah, Will, Tho, Sam, Alina, Tevin, Maya, and Shannon

Another busy and fun Fall semester wrapped up as students turned in their projects and finished their exams. On our last day of Practicum class, we listened to the projects that students completed over the course of the semester (pictured above). There was a great mix of genres from chamber music to hip-hop and soundtrack music. One of our students even did interactive sound effects for a video game. It is always enlightening to discuss the challenges and success that were encountered throughout the semester.

Jon accompanying Brody singing a song from the musical "The Last Five Years"

As a part of our Recording Studio Procedures class, we recorded various student singers in a number of different styles including musical theatre, country, and traditional Americana. Not only do students get to experience the challenge of capturing the audio, but they also get to perform for one another and hear their mixed and mastered audio afterward.

Additionally, one of our awesome alumni, David Lamb, visited us and brought his drum kit to do a drumming demonstration during the last week of class. Looking back on the semester, it is hard to believe how many projects were completed and how many different musicians were recorded. Although I think that everyone is in need of a holiday break, we are also looking forward to kicking things back into gear this Spring!

Monday, November 12, 2018

Instruments Are Put to the Test in Recording Class

Over the course of our Recording Studio Procedures class, students perform using a variety of instruments and then we learn the proper microphone techniques for ideal capture. Recently, the Titan String Quartet graced us with their beautiful sounds and played both a classical selection, and a more pop-oriented song by Coldplay. It was fun to hear how the various mic positions affected the overall tone of the captured recording.

In addition to string recording, we captured brass and woodwind instruments. Student Dan Wallner played both baritone and tenor saxophone so that we could record and discuss the various challenges presented when capturing such a complex and wide-ranging instrument.

Other students helped by performing on piano, guitar, trumpet, and trombone (Cooper, shown above). They all helped us to helped us to further understand instrumental capture and room acoustics. It is such a benefit to be able to maximize the musical skills of students in order to analyze sound recording on a deeper level. It has been a fun and enlightening experience!

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Students get back to work in Fall 2018

We welcomed an enthusiastic group of new Freshmen as students got back to work this Fall. It didn't take long for classes to launch into projects and new learning experiences. One such class is "Care & Repair", which tasks students with upkeep of the university recording studio. Some of our more recent projects have included soldering and repairing microphone cables and organizing important areas of the studio to have a better workflow.

Kristan and Maya hard at work on cable repairs

In another course, Recording Studio Procedures, we started with demonstrating stereo microphone techniques. What better way to show this than with a beautiful Steinway Grand Piano? Several of our students performed for the class so that we could capture the nuances between different microphone positions.

Molly plays us both a classical and "pop" style selection

To take things back to the very beginning, we had a fantastic opening meeting as the semester kicked off. Students used the opportunity to discuss organization opportunities including Students for Music and Songwriting Club. It is great that there are so many ways for students to be involved and continue to learn outside of the classroom. The year is off to a great start in the Music department at UWO!

Music Business professor, Dr. Sharon Tenhundfeld, asks club leader Doug to discuss Songwriting Club to students.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Many projects and visitors during the Spring 2018 Semester

There were so many exciting classes, guests, and projects from this past semester. Here are a few of the highlights: Above, we welcomed a special guest, Ryan from Rode Microphones, to bring in mics and discuss techniques using a drum kit. Student Ryan Thomas helped by performing for us. It was a fun and educational session that provide a lot of new insight!

We also continued work in our Group Recording Sessions class, recording many great bands throughout the semester. In addition to David Paul Martin, we recorded The Oxleys (top), Cold Soda Club (bottom), Wilhelm, The Present Age, and Christopher Gold. More live videos from the sessions will be posted soon!

Another special guest that visited us during the semester was the Chief Operating Officer of the National Repertory Orchestra in Breckenridge, Colorado. She talked with students about important business skills and practices, and gave valuable insight into the current and future state of the music industry.

Some other important events from the semester included hosting the State Solo & Ensemble competition (organized by Dr. Ken Liske), a Saxophone Summit featuring guest musician Jeff Coffin (organized by Dr. Drew Whiting), and guest composer Chad Rehmann. There is so much that we have done, but even more to come!

Monday, April 23, 2018

Students Present for the Second Annual Recording Concert

We had to contend with a massive mid-April snowstorm, but that didn't keep us from hosting our second ever Recording Concert at the Reeve Union Theatre. The concert featured introductions from Music Industry students and alumni, followed by a presentation of their recorded work. The audio was accompanied by video footage or a graphics visualizer.

The students did a phenomenal job, and we also enjoyed sharing some snacks and socializing following the concert. It is great to give students an opportunity to show their work in a concert format, just as student performers and ensembles do throughout each semester.

In addition to the individual student projects, videos from several of the Group Recording Sessions class video productions were also shown. Our final edit of David Paul Martin's "Come and Go" (including the class having some fun in the recording process) is shown above, and there will be much more to come!

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Group Recording Sessions Class Produces Live Performances

The Group Recording Sessions class is an upper-level course that takes place in the recording studio and other recording spaces in the Music department. This course is designed to give students hands-on experience with producing music for a variety of musicians. Throughout the semester, we are hosting guest musicians and recording them with both audio and video in order to create a live performance production. During our first week, student Jon Glowcheski played a Debussy piece, giving us the opportunity to test our setup for audio and video capture.

Following our session with Jon, our most recent guest was singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist David Paul Martin. During his visit, we had a fantastic session recording four of his recent original songs. In addition to our work in the studio, David had the idea to record a song at the end of the night in an art gallery that has a particularly unique and reverberant sound to it. This idea turned into the beautiful performance that you see below. We are continuing to work on David's other song recordings and also look forward to recording more bands in the coming weeks!

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Kids from the Boys & Girls Club Visit UWO

As a part of our connection to the community, Derrick Holt, the Director of Digital Audio Arts for the Boys & Girls Club of Green Bay, has paid us multiple visits with kids over the course of the past year. Each time, we have worked on a different project in the recording studio, which has included recording a radio commercial.

Some topics include learning how to perform in the studio, and what kinds of careers can be pursued in the current Music Industry. The kids learn that so much is possible if they devote the energy and passion to their pursuits.

On their most recent visit, the kids and students collaborated in class, and they decided to record a short song together. They performed "ABC" by Jackson 5, and featured the Boys & Girls Club kids providing vocals while the students played various live instruments.

The experience was a blast, and an excellent learning opportunity for not only the BGC kids, but for the students in order to learn collaboration and leadership. I look forward to keeping connected with the BGC and other important connections within our communities. Here is the final result!