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The student news site of Milwaukee Area Technical College

MATC Times

The student news site of Milwaukee Area Technical College

MATC Times

The student news site of Milwaukee Area Technical College

MATC Times

Bands jam sessions in the M Building – Downtown Milwaukee Campus

MATC+students+gather+around+the+audio+board+to+watch+a+recording+session+in+instructor+Matt+Smiths+class.+He+is+having+a+student+%E2%80%98tweak+the+EQ%E2%80%99+on+the+track%2C+which+adjusts+the+frequency+levels+on+the+equalizer.+
Photo by Sirphazzun Johnson
MATC students gather around the audio board to watch a recording session in instructor Matt Smith’s class. He is having a student ‘tweak the EQ’ on the track, which adjusts the frequency levels on the equalizer.

Music instructor Steve Peplin is a regular visitor to the Advanced Techniques class in M170. It’s one of MATC’s Audio Production classes taught by Matt Smith. Smith says this class “builds on Techniques of Sound Recording where students learn how to operate a recording studio, learn basic technique, and as we’re doing now record bands as they come through to get more real world experience.”

When MATC staff visited Smith’s class on a Monday afternoon last semester, his students were using the two in-class studios to record strings for Peplin’s Strangelander project. Smith says the class has worked with him “quite a bit on this project where he’s brought in different musicians and he’s taking all these tracks back to his engineer and layering everything off-site, but we’re giving him all the raw materials.”

Peplin watched as Smith’s class recorded violin and cello tracks by two members of Strangelander. The tracks are going to be added to the other material that was already recorded. Smith says Peplin is bringing “a lot of really interesting musicians for us to record, so it’s a mutually beneficial situation.”

In this class, Peplin says the “students learn how to do a job (in the music industry), just like a plumber or electrician.” Bands that are recorded in Smith’s class are usually Rock or Indie Rock. Students have workstations in the class that they rotate through.

Smith says, “We try to give them (students) an experience of not only working the gear, but also working with people and understanding what it’s like to work in an environment with creative people.” He admits that “Sometimes it can get a little tense or heated, and it’s your job, as what is essentially a customer service representative, to diffuse situations and make sure the musicians leave happy and we try to do that.”

You can listen below to behind-the-scenes audio of a strings jam session for the band Strangelander that happened in Smith’s classroom. (Please note this audio was recorded on an Android during an interview and we decided to share it so you could hear some of what happened during the session.)

 

 

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