Electronic Music Lab Allowing Students to Record, Compose Music

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Sept. 10, 2007 — Students wishing to learn the craft of composing, recording and editing music will have a new home in the Electronic Music Lab at River Campus.

The spacious lab, with surround sound speakers, is located in the new performance building in Room 154A. The lab is being used primarily for recording and editing music and for electronic music composition, according to Dr. Robert Fruehwald, Southeast professor of music.

The lab makes use of a small ProTools system, a small-scale version of the system used to produce the soundtrack of “Lord of the Rings,” and Finale, a software program used for composition. Instead of producing sound using the standard personal computer, students are able to use two software sampler programs, Mach 5 and Sampletank, which produce a sound of much higher quality.

In preparation for the lab’s opening, River Campus funds were used to improve existing technology, Fruehwald said. In addition to the ProTools system, a new computer was purchased and plans were made to incorporate video equipment into the lab’s design. This is allowing students to produce scores for short films and gives them the opportunity to learn about video editing, he said.

“All of these new and existing forms of technology is giving Southeast students a marked advantage when it comes to recording audition music for graduate programs and making recordings to be played elsewhere,” Fruehwald said.

The exposure to electronic music can also be advantageous to Southeast students who will be able to study conventional as well as electronic music.

“At many schools,” Fruewhald said, “electronic music is a specialty, and the people who do it often don’t do conventional music with notation and live performers as well as electronic music.”

At Southeast, even students who do not choose to focus solely on electronic music can nevertheless be exposed to it as part of their education, he said.

The new lab is also may open up new possibilities for students and faculty.

“I hope it will allow us to experiment and try new things,” Fruewhald said. “I also hope to see us collaborate with faculty and students in other areas of the arts. Electronic music works well as music for dance, film sound tracks, and as incidental music for theatre.”

He says the facility, improved and enlarged in its new home at River Campus, is expected to be the site for years to come of many exciting creations at the hands of Southeast students and faculty members.