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Updated 3:00 PM May 2, 2006




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Super sound: Studio renovation to increase acoustic choices

The audio recording studio at the Duderstadt Center on North Campus will be renovated this summer to create a better learning environment for students. The acoustics will improve dramatically with the remodeled studio, which will receive a new 40-channel, analog API Vision surround sound mixing and recording console as part of the project.

"Using an analog console is a more effective teaching tool than a digital console because the layout is easier for students to learn the fundamentals of audio signal flow," says David Greenspan, Duderstadt Center coordinator of audio resources.

The studio closed for renovation April 19 and will reopen Sept. 5.

Occupying 1,800 square feet, the studio features a control room, a main recording room, an isolation booth, machine rooms and storage closet. To make the recording space more "live" acoustically, reflective surfaces, such as a wood floor and wood panels on the walls, will be added.

Jason Corey, a School of Music assistant professor of audio engineering who teaches three classes in the studio, says the panels hinged to the walls will be wood on one side and sound-absorbing on the other, allowing users to vary aspects of the room acoustics simply by changing the orientation of some or all of the panels.

"This is essential to teaching sound engineering because we can demonstrate how the recording environment itself contributes to the quality of the recorded sound," Corey says. "The recording environment makes a fundamental contribution to recorded sound and the renovation will make it easier to teach that aspect. With a given soloist or ensemble we can vary the acoustics of the room and demonstrate how the room is contributing to the sound being picked up by the microphones."

John Storyk of Walters-Storyk Design Group, a New York architectural design and acoustic consulting firm, designed the new control room and recording space. He has designed hundreds of recording studios, including Jimi Hendrix' Electric Lady Studio and Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York. Storyk also has given lectures on studio design to U-M students.

The audio studio serves as the University's recording facility for major projects, including the Internet Publication Project, which promotes publication of music recordings, scholarly writing and video productions. One major project is Block M Records, the University's recording label that makes performances available to anyone worldwide, primarily through Internet streaming or fee-for-download.

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