Electronic Music Lab

  • Photo of a girl using a sound mixing board.
  • Photo of a student playing electric guitar with a bow.
  • Photo of a student using music mixing software on a computer.

Western Michigan University has state-of-the-art creative workspaces for music composition students to realize projects involving digital media. Student composers work in these labs each of the three semesters they take Electronic Music Composition Seminar, which is part of their degree program. Music composition students also have the opportunity to work these labs in additional courses that are open to composition students that are part of the B.S. Multimedia Arts Technology program. Students learn about the skills necessary to complete projects that involve digital audio software including electroacoustic concert music, video game music, movie music, sound design, installations and multimedia works.

There are four workstations. The stations are equipped with Logic, Ableton Live Suite, Pro Tools, Adobe Audition, Max/MSP, Native Instruments Komplete, iZotope Iris 2, iZotope Ozone 6, iZotope RX4, iZotope Trash 2, and a variety of shareware plug-ins and standalone applications. Each station has Adobe Premiere, Aftereffects, and Photoshop. Each station has an external soundcard, mixer, microphones, MIDI keyboard and studio monitors. Two of the stations feature 5.1 mixing and monitoring capabilities.

To present student works involving digital audio at various on-campus and off-campus venues, WMU has a high-quality portable audio system. The sound system is designed around a Soundcraft Expression 24-channel digital mixer, unpowered JBL and powered Mackie loud speakers, two subwoofers, and on-stage monitors. Students have the opportunity to receive hands-on training in live sound reinforcement and to be involved in concerts featuring surround sound works in multiple formats, such as 5.1 and 7.1, and 8-channel surround sound. There is a laptop and soundcard in the electronic jusic studio that travels with the portable audio system in order to provide students with real-time computer performance capabilities.

Composition students are encouraged to receive additional instruction in digital media, and work with other equipment and software. There is a music technology lab that is open to all music students. There are audio engineering classes in a state-of-the-art studio, in addition there are classes focused on Audio for Video and MIDI Orchestration, which are part of the B.S. Multimedia Arts Technology program, can count for credit towards the the B.M. Music Composition degree.