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Getting in the Booth or Trying to



Ocean Way B Control Room, Courtesy of Belmont University




Jonathan Cole, a senior audio engineering technology major, has passed the prerequisites to book perk time at the studios on campus and Music Row. 

 

However, there are no spots open.  

 

“I think we’re kind of just hurting for space. I think this has probably always been an issue at some level just now we are getting to a level where there is next to no perk time,” said Cole.  

 

Belmont advertises that AET majors and music business majors with a production emphasis can book studio time for personal projects, yet these spots are few and far between due to classes taking priority and there only being four full studio spaces.  

 

The studios available to book are Quonset Hut, Columbia Studio A, REM Studios A, B, C and Ocean Way Studios B and C.  

 

There are also audio suites, editing labs and computer labs that can be booked but have less versatility.  

 

Tyler Heberlie, a junior AET major, appreciates the editing labs but prefers the studios.  

 

“The only thing you can pretty much book are edit labs and those are great and everything because they have plenty of plugins for whatever you want to do for mixing,” said Heberlie. “But you cannot record a full band, drums, anything like that because it is an extremely small room. You could do vocals, but it would be pretty hard.”  

 

If students are enrolled in Audio I and Audio II, you can book academic studio time for homework and projects, but once you pass these classes studio opportunities decrease.  

 

The classes they pass determine the studio they can book and as they pass higher level classes the equipment quality improves.  

 

Session lengths also fluctuate depending on the studio they book and work they plan on doing.  

 

Mike Porter, the studio manager for 34 Music Square East, oversees the schedule there.  

 

“Practice sessions start booking at about two in the afternoon and they’ll run possibly until six. So, that’s four, one-hour blocks right there. The academic sessions will start after that and generally those will run 6-9 p.m. or 9:30 p.m. We’re trying now to have one perk session every evening,” said Porter.  

 

Students are questioning whether one time slot of perk time a day is enough. 

 

“You can’t decrease the amount of instruction that occurs because that’s an academic requirement, you can’t kick people out of the program. There just needs to be more availability for studio time, which at this point is only going to come from having more studios or spaces to record in,” said Cole.  

 

Students who have passed the classes are eager to use the spaces for outside projects, but there is a priority list the studios adhere to.  

 

Michael Janas, chair of AET, is aware of the lack of perk time but said the classes and academic time should always come first.  

 

“That’s the top priority. The class gets conducted and they are able to work on skills for that class,” said Janas.  

 

Other majors do not have to be in specific spaces to do homework and learn, but for audio students, the studio is where they do the majority of their work.  

 

Events such as showcase auditions also take priority over perk time since the studios are shared spaces used by Belmont.  

 

“When I started here over 20 years ago there was a lot of perk time but there were also 2,200 students in the university. Now there are over 2,200 students in Curb College,” said Janas. “We’ve done some expansion, and that expansion is ongoing, but it doesn’t always keep up with the amount of students in our programs.”  

 

A suggested fix for this lack of space and time is for students to use their Belmont connections to find studios outside of Belmont.  

 

“We have different students and graduates who have studios around town and there’s this sort of network throughout Nashville of places where people can go. You’re entering this career, go ahead and do that and let me help you, if you want, find a place to do that,” Janas said.  

 

While this can be inconvenient for some students, it is a better solution than nothing. 

 

With a growing program comes growing pains. 

 

“We do keep looking at alternatives for additional space and that kind of thing and there are some things growing,” said Janas.  

 

These additions will take time and until then students will have to check the Belmont studios website weekly to see new perk time openings. 

 

Students can then only hope they are the quickest to book the high demand perk time spots. 

 

“That’s the thing that Belmont promises or promotes at least, is that when you’re an AET major you get to work in studios. In the real world, I have a ton of studio experience, you have to be in it to know what you’re doing. I think it’s really important that Belmont makes space in the future for not only academic sessions but the perk sessions,” said Cole. 



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This article was written by Bree Fabbie

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