Red Door Recording Studio to Be Opened in Studio Theater

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LHS is opening up a new, state-of-the-art recording studio called Red Door Recording Studio that has the ability to be integrated into a wide range of classes, clubs and groups, giving students access to professional-level equipment not previously available. An exact opening date is not yet known, but it is expected to be soon.

Assistant principal Eric Maroscher started the idea for the studio many years ago, bringing on guitar teacher Mr. David Ness for instrumental expertise and Mr. Eli Kelly, the head of the IT department, for his sound and technical knowledge.  

The recording studio is tucked inside of the Studio Theatre in the hallway adjacent to the stage.

The studio’s budget of $25,000 — money that came from the school’s budget — was spent on state-of-the-art equipment and software. This amount was double the initial investment, thanks in large part to the Parent Cats organization.

With primary purchases of a powerful computer and console, microphones from Shure and Audio Technica, and instruments and amplifiers, students can now experience and use the tools of a professional recording studio that they might not have had access to otherwise. 

Unlike other schools, the console area has touch-screen technology, which LHS was able to get through the efforts of the school and the Parent Cats organization. The console is responsible for editing the recordings, and it serves as the connection between an audio interface and the incoming audio, according to Sage Audio, a professional studio located in Nashville.

Natalie Isberg
Unlike other schools, the console area has touch-screen technology, which LHS was able to get through the efforts of the school and the Parent Cats organization. The console is responsible for editing the recordings, and it serves as the connection between an audio interface and the incoming audio, according to Sage Audio, a professional studio located in Nashville.

The technical equipment isn’t the only highlight of the new space; Mr. Kelly explained that there are a load of instruments, such as Roland VDrums, a Kurzweil Forte 7 keyboard, a Gibson ES335 guitar and a Fender Jazz bass, which were chosen because of their high quality and ability to accompany a variety of different styles of music.  The studio can accommodate up to eight people with those instruments. More people and larger instruments can be set up in the Studio Theater makeup room near the recording studio because recording devices can be brought out there, too.

The recording studio is split into two parts: the tech side of the booth and the recording side.  The tech side is where the consoles can be found, along with a drum kit with audio that goes right into the console.  The recording side houses everything else, from the microphone stands to headphones. There’s room for a group to bring in guitars or any other small instrument.

The sound system room, which is located in and behind the Studio Theater, includes soundproofed walls, a drum set, a keyboard and a new sound mixer. The room is relatively small but is able to accommodate around eight people.

Natalie Isberg
The sound system room, which is located in and behind the Studio Theater, includes soundproofed walls, a drum set, a keyboard and a new sound mixer. The room is relatively small but is able to accommodate around eight people.

Mr. Kelly, who received a Grammy Award in 2008 as an engineer for a live recording of a band, is excited for all the new equipment and technology that can be found in the studio. 

The headphone monitoring system is pretty awesome. Each musician can control what they hear in their own headphones and the system is super easy to use,” he said.

While Mr. Kelly deals with the technical part of the studio, Mr. Ness has been able to integrate the studio into his own classes. Mr. Ness, who teaches the guitar and music production classes, said through an email that “at least half of the curriculum of the class Music Production involves recording in the studio and learning all the elements of recording.”

Everything about the studio had a lot of thought put into it, even the color of the door.  According to Mr. Maroscher, the red door was put in to invoke a feeling of creativity, experimentality and uniqueness; he wanted the door to be a color that was unlike any other door inside the school.  In Feng Shui, red doors have positive energy, and in American history, they are symbolic for celebration and welcome. The red door is the first thing users see, and it represents the possibilities that exist inside, Mr. Maroscher said.

Even though the studio isn’t officially open yet because of a summer floor maintenance project, many groups were able to use it last year.  Mr. Ness was able to bring in his LHS Guitar Ensemble multiple times, the LHS Jazz Combo got to record there, and a series of podcasts were recorded in the Red Door.  Mr. Ness said that Guitar Club has been composing their own song and will record it in the new space in the coming year.

In the recording area, there is a microphone, guitars and other sound equipment. Fine Arts students are currently able to record in the studio, whether it be solo or with a quartet, for example.

Natalie Isberg
In the recording area, there is a microphone, guitars and other sound equipment. Fine Arts students are currently able to record in the studio, whether it be solo or with a quartet, for example.

The space isn’t limited to just musical recordings, though.  For instance, the physics classes can use the studio during their unit on sound.

“There are endless possibilities with our new recording studio,” Mr. Kelly said.

Mr. Kelly and Mr. Ness both are pumped about what is going to be created with the new space.

We have such a creative group of students at this school. I can’t wait to hear [their] projects,” Mr. Kelly stated.  

The sentiments were echoed with Mr. Ness:  “I am excited that students will be able to learn to use [the studio] and record their own projects and have a professional-level recording at the end of the process.”

Currently, all scheduling for the studio is being handled by the Fine Arts Department, with the Music Department faculty supervising studio projects for their classes.  In the future, recording will be open to all groups who want to use it.

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