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New recording studio in Wheelwright is open for business

By Brian Druckenmiller

Amid the large and loud construction projects scattered around campus, the completion of the recording studio in Wheelwright Auditorium may have gone unnoticed. However, this addition gives Coastal Carolina University and its Department of Music an edge in preparing music students who are pursuing a career in the industry.

“This is tiny compared to the big construction projects on campus,” said Steve Bailey, associate professor of music at CCU and internationally renowned bassist, who was a huge advocate for this project. “But this is very specialized…like creating a laboratory.”

The entire project revolves around the new state-of-the-art, soundproof recording booth. With the latest technologies, however, the performing artist does not need to physically be in the studio. Nearby rooms and offices have connections to the booth, technically making them part of the studio; therefore, a song played on the piano across the hall will travel through these connections and be concentrated in the booth for a crisp recording. The same technology also pertains to on-stage performances in Wheelwright—all future concerts can be recorded professionally for archiving and educational purposes, as well as for CD/DVD release. These capabilities are also portable, so any event happening anywhere on campus can be recorded as if it were taking place in the studio itself.

“This is one of the best—if not the best—recording facilities in the state,” said Bailey, who has recorded with many legendary artists such as Willie Nelson, Jethro Tull and the Rippingtons, and currently records with Victor Wooten in the “two bass” group named Bass Extremes.

Not only does the new studio give music students the chance to have their talent professionally recorded, but it also provides the opportunity to work with industry-standard technology. This includes using Pro Tools HD—the audio recording and editing software used in the production of most albums, commercials and movies. This experience is a great addition to any graduate’s résumé.

“What more could you ask for?” said Farrah Dickerson, a senior management major. She is enrolled in a recording technologies class and plans on managing her own recording studio in the future. “The opportunity to see and work in a studio is a huge advantage.”

The completion of the studio allows for the development of a new 18-credit academic minor: technology and the music industry. The minor, open to all majors, will benefit the “millennium musician,” said Bailey. “You must know your craft, and that now includes being technologically and entrepreneurially savvy.”

Bailey hopes the minor will be available for the Fall 2012 semester. Eventually, he plans to implement a new music degree with an emphasis on technology and business. Now that the studio is fully functional, the department is one step closer to that goal.

“I love it,” said Bailey. “I’m passionate about it. I’m excited we can finally put the word out there that we are open for business.”

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