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Professional recording studio ready for performers, student sound engineers

by Public Relations and Marketing | Published Mar 26, 2021

Audio production has always been a part of College of Lake County’s (CLC) Digital A/V Production and Editing A.A.S. degree, but a new space is allowing professors to take the student experience to the next level. In early 2020, a brand-new recording studio quietly opened its doors at the college, only to be closed back up when the pandemic struck. Now with in-person learning on the rise, the digital media and design (DMD) department is preparing to welcome the next generation of audio engineers into the space.

Digital Media and Design department co-chair Michael Kozien demonstrating the recording studio features“Building this was like building a house from the ground up,” said DMD department co-chair Michael Kozien. “When students visit, it’s a pretty impressive selling point for them to know that we have this recording studio.”

Photo: DMD co-chair Michael Kozien conducting a demo of CLC's recording studio equipment.

The studio relaunch comes as the department adds five additional certificate offerings: graphic design, 2D animation, 3D animation, web design and A/V production which will see students spend time in the new space. While musicians and other performers will occupy the primary recording room, the real A/V magic happens in the attached sound engineering room. It is here students will interact with the latest in digital audio workstations, mixing and mastering recording tracks in the same manner as professional productions are done. A multitude of speakers and microphones await students who will be guided through this world by professors like Kozien, who also acts as the studio manager.

“Students learn the fundamental in their first audio class, DMD 173: Introduction to Digital Sound, and then we move into the more advanced class, which is DMD 275: Audio Recording and Production,” said Kozien. “That’s when we go in and they record and engineer a full band from setup to recording, mixing to mastering. They learn every stage of the process to completion.”

It’s an ideal classroom for anyone looking to delve into audio production, but it’s also a true starting point for careers in a field in which having experience is vital.

“Students can start working here in the studio almost as an in-house internship recording either for classes or assisting other CLC groups who want to come in and record,” said Kozien.

Though the studio is not yet available for public use, Kozien’s long-term hopes include opening it up for local artists to use as an affordable way to capture their craft while also giving students even more real-world experience.

About College of Lake County

College of Lake County is a comprehensive community college committed to equitable high-quality education, cultural enrichment and partnerships to advance the diverse communities it serves in northeastern Illinois. Offered at three campuses in Grayslake, Vernon Hills and Waukegan or online, college classes are affordable and accessible to help each student achieve academic, career and personal goals. More than 70,000 students graduated with degrees and certificates since the college opened in 1969. The College of Lake County is the only higher-education institution ranked among the top 15 best places to work in Illinois by Forbes and is a national leader in many areas, including sustainability and conservation.