In the music studio, staff operate and set up music instruments as well as recording equipment; such as digital audio workstations (Sony Acid Pro 6.0 and Project 5), mixers, dynamic and condenser microphones, pre-amps, beat boxes, speakers, power amplifiers, head phone boxes and the proper connection/setting of cables and audio levels for members who want to work on music projects, which can range from remixing songs to recording a live band.
There is a wide variety among the members who use the music room, from adult members to students still in elementary school. Adult members usually have a recording plan on which staff basew their set up; while younger members usually need more direction in carrying out their ideas.
For example, staff has worked with adult members who just come in with a guitar and want to record a demo. In these situations, the staff set up microphones in specific degree angles in relation to the instrument in order to capture the best possible sound while staff teach them the basics of techniques.
Once the members are finished recording, staff walks the adults through the mixing process which involves panning (setting tracks at different spaces within a two-track channel in order to make the different instruments in a recording sound clear); equalization (cutting and boosting specific frequencies in order to smooth out any rough edges or muffled sounds); compression (setting threshold audio gates in order to balance the dynamic levels of the tracks); limiting (setting threshold audio gates in order to remove low level background noise from tracks); and the setting of effects such as reverb, delay, or chorus, among many others, in order to polish the quality of the song.
Once the project has been recorded and mixed, we render the audio tracks and send them to the Windows Media Player’s burn list and burn a CD of the project. If more than one song is put on a CD, staff will walk the members through the mastering process which involves balancing the audio levels between songs and balancing the overall frequency among the songs in order to preserve their continuity when played on a home or car system.
Younger members usually want to learn how to play instruments, so staff will teach them on whichever instrument they choose (usually the drums). Staff will teach them a variety of basic beats such as 4/4, 3/4, or 6/8 beats and when they get a handle on those basic beats, staff will teach them how to listen and play along to their favorite songs.
More advanced students ask staff to write a song with them using a guitar; that's when staff will start to teach them about the recording process.
Teens are given the same process as the adults do; however, teens usually come in groups/bands which take a little more time to set up since staff ensures everything is connected properly. After the groups finish recording, staff will walk them through the mixing and mastering process until their CD is ready to be burned.