Western Sound Studio
Western Sound Studios is both a full-service commercial recording studio and a teaching facility in the School of Music at Western Michigan University. The studio is equipped with state of the art equipment including world-class microphones (Neumann, AKG, Royer, DPA, etc.), microphone preamplifiers (Avalon, Cranesong, John Hardy, True Systems, API), compressors (Cranesong, API, dBX), and much more. The studio is also home to a RADAR hard disc recorder, a Pro Tools HD3 Accel workstation, and a Digidesign 003 remote recording rig. (Click here for a complete equipment list) The studio records many of the School of Music's ensembles both in live performances and studio recordings for commercial release. Clients and students also have the option of using the 458-seat Dalton Recital Hall when the acoustics suit their projects. All students who complete the MAT project have the opportunity to work in this space. Since this is a functioning, commercial studio, students have the opportunity to work commercial recording projects.
Multimedia arts technology Creation Lab
The MAT Creation Lab consists of four state of the art workstations designed to facilitate the generation of high-quality audio and video content. The stations feature a variety of equipment and software. All students who complete the MAT program will work at these stations in five or more classes and have access to these spaces throughout their time in the program, after passing an introductory course. Two of the stations have capacity for 5.1 surround-sound projects, with Genelec or JBL speakers. There are also options to check your stereo mix with various speakers, including Event 20/20 speakers and M-Audio BX5 speakers. The stations are fitted with high-quality sound cards, including an RME Fireface800, a MOTU828X, and Presonus devices. Each station has mixer, including a Soundcraft SI Expression digital mixer and Mackie analog mixers. Two stations are fitted with a Korg Semi-Modular analog synthesizer. Various MIDI controllers are available, including Ableton’s Push2, and controllers made by Novation, Akai, M-audio, and Keith McMillan. Every workstation has the option for dual video monitoring. The computers have multiple Digital Audio Workstations, including Logic, Ableton Live, and Audio Audition. The stations are equipped with Native Instruments Komplete, EastWest Orchestra, multiple iZotope plug-ins, Max, SoundToys, and Altiverb. We also have Adobe software, including Premiere, AfterEffects, and PhotoShop.
Live Sound System
Students in the MAT program have the opportunity to assist and manage live sound equipment in rehearsals and performances. We have both powered and unpowered speakers. Our unpowered speakers consist of two JBL PRX415M speakers and a QSC RMX 2450 Amplifier. We also have 6 Mackie SRM650 speakers and 10 Mackie SRM450 speakers, in addition to multiple subwoofers. These speaker options facilitate various learning opportunities, including setting up speaker arrays for sound distribution or surround sound. A 32-channel Soundcarft SI Expression is available to learn digital mixing with a matched stagebox, in addition to various analog mixers for smaller concerts. Numerous microphones are available, including Shure wireless microphones, Nuemann KM184s, AKG C414XLs, and a variety of DPA microphones.
Non-Professional Recording Studio
Prior to working on projects in the Western Sound Studios, students have access to this space early the program. This allows for students to have hands-on learning experiences in their second semester of the audio engineering sequence. This recording studio has the capacity for 32 i/o with an Antelope Orion audio interface and Mackie Onyx 32-4 mixer. There is a drum kit in a whisper room for recording drums. The space also has baffles and a variety of microphone options. The space has a 2.1 Dynaudio speaker system for high-quality monitoring. The computer has Pro Tools, Ableton Live, Adobe Audition, and Logic X installed. Additionally, there are a variety of software plug-ins, including the Sonnox Oxford Suite, Native Instruments Komplete, various iZotope products, and Altiverb. Even though we refer to this as a non-professional studio, this studio is very well equipped and it is an amazing opportunity for students to have access to this space so early in their degree program.
Pro Tools Mix Station
After the recording projects have been completed in the non-professional recording studio or Western Sound Studios, the Pro Tools Mix station has everything that students need to mix and master their project. This station matches the primary software plug-ins available in the non-professional recording studio.
KLOrk, the Kalamazoo Laptop Orchestra, is a performing ensemble in which the musical instruments are laptops loaded with all kinds of sounds. We create new types of instruments using programming languages called ChucK and Max and then use every bit of the laptop to play them: the keyboard, the trackpad, the internal mic, the built-in webcam, game controllers, even tilting the whole thing side-to-side. KLOrk has a mobile station with 20 laptops, 20 tablets, and a variety of gestural controllers.
The School of Music’s computer lab consists of 18 stations that have audio and video software, including Logic X and Adobe software.