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SHOWCASED MOMENT: Blackwater performs at the Roots n Blues n BBQ festival Saturday, Sept. 29. photo by Bailey Stover
SHOWCASED MOMENT: Blackwater performs at the Roots n Blues n BBQ festival Saturday, Sept. 29. photo by Bailey Stover

Darkroom records studio to come to RBHS

Professional-grade recording may soon be readily available for RBHS students.

A Darkroom Records’ recording studio, a Columbia-based series of student run recording studios, is in the process of coming to RBHS, sponsor and special education teacher William Rosen said.

“We are getting the software here. The studio computers should be arriving any day, and we are going to get the computers, put them on it and make a mobile recording studio,” Rosen said. “We’ll be able to do vocals and guitar and piano and things like that.”

Rosen hopes to have the mobile recording studio functioning before the end of this school year, but does not expect a full fledged recording studio to arrive this school year because of constraints on available space at RBHS.

The studio at RBHS is run with two Extended Educational Experiences (EEE) interns, Junior Luke Milyo and senior Piper Page. Milyo interns as a audio engineer and Page works as a studio manager in her internship under the direction of Rosen.

“It’s my job to interview candidates for the internship positions and provide guidance,” Rosen said. “A lot of the focus is working with [Milyo] and learning and teaching the software.”

The software can be tedious to use, Milyo said. Overall, he enjoys the learning process that comes along with using advanced audio techniques.

“The difficulty comes in making sure that you do everything precisely and correctly every time,” Milyo said. “Because if you don’t, the whole song can get screwed up. Basically, attention to detail [is important] the whole way through.”

The role of audio engineer for the RBHS Darkroom internship relies on the professional audio program Studio One, Rosen said. Milyo develops his abilities in audio work using this program at the Boys and Girls Club’s Darkroom recording studio.

“I’ve learned how to set up mics and software for recording, and the process of recording, adjusting settings to the musicians liking, communicating with them, etcetera,” Milyo said. “After we record, we’ll spend a number of days editing the song, which is what the majority of the time is spent doing. It’s tedious but rewarding work and also required and requires lots of learning.”

“Moving forward we are going to find a space. I don’t know if it will be here or at the career center. Within the next probably year or two we are going to have an actual recording studio here at Rock Bridge.” -William Rosen

Darkroom Records offers other learning opportunities outside of purely technical audio work, such as the role Page holds. As a studio manager, she works to ensure the studio runs smoothly by organizing the artists, finding and bringing artists into the studio getting them all signed up and ready to go and running promotional stuff and social media, Rosen said. A physical location at RBHS may help the studio attract more students. As of right now, Rosen said, there are still a lot of opportunities at Rock Bridge students to get into studio management if they are interested.

“I would love a room to come to RBHS because I feel like it would be so beneficial,” Page said. “Rock Bridge has a lot of artists that we are just now uncovering, and they have so much talent! I think we were all a little bit stunned at the sheer number of people interested in the studio this year.”

This demand may soon be met, Rosen said. With space the concern at RBHS, the Columbia Area Career Center (CACC) is under consideration as a location for the studio by Rosen and Darkroom Records.

“Moving forward we are going to find a space. I don’t know if it will be here or at the career center,” Rosen said. “Within the next probably year or two we are going to have an actual recording studio here at Rock Bridge.”

The recording studios around Columbia offer CPS students a chance at learning what the real world of audio work is really like. Rosen hopes students at RBHS know of the opportunity the studios present.

“Interning at darkroom is honestly one of the best experiences I’ve had as a musician in CoMo thus far,” Page said. “I’ve met so many great people and become more confident in music. I’m also getting the chance to really dive into the music scene in CoMo which is preparing me for the life of a musician and manager in the future.”

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