Hostos Community College opens $1.05 million recording studio

Hostos Community College recently unveiled a new state-of-the-art recording studio serving students interested in digital media careers.

The $1.05 million facility, which was approved by the City University of New York trustees prior to the economic downturn, is a state-of-the-art music recording studio which will expand the media production capabilities of Hostos’ Digital Design and Animation Programs.

A ribbon cutting took place on Tuesday, May 10 with Hostos president Felix Matos Rodriguez, college vice-president Esther Rodriguez-Cardavoyne, Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr., and a representative of Councilwoman Maria del Carmen Arroyo.

The facility serves 184 students enrolled in the major, and offers 36 courses. It has seven independent learning modules tied into a central classroom and recording studio, allowing students to work in small groups and independently mix the same pieces of music performed live.

The students can then come back together as a class and compare notes said Rees Shad, coordinator of digital programs for Hostos.

“All modern media involves a collaboration,” Shad said. “So many students come out of high school and are unprepared for it. We prepare students in a learning environment where they work as a team, learning the skills they are going to need when they move onto a senior college and in their professional lives.”

The program offers instruction in what Shad called a “tripod” of different aspects of modern media production: sound production, game design, and digital design and animation.

Hostos expects that by the fall it will expand its course offerings to 43 courses, and have 90 more students registered.

The ingenious design of the facility lets students get a number of different learning experiences from the same 2,000 square-foot space, Shad said. After a career as a professional audio engineer, teaching is Shads’ new passion.

The architectural firm of Graf & Hewitt designed the studio, which is set up with Apple Computers running industry standard Pro Tools Audio applications. The studio takes the space of what had been a photo processing room that was no longer used.

Student Ronalda Livingston, 20, said that the students benefit by having the best kind of facilities available and open to them.

“This is the same kind of studio that professionals use, so we are not scaled down,” Livingston said. “We can go out and compete with all of our peers at other schools because we have access to the best equipment.”

The new studio also helps students get a better idea about how sound works, helping them get excited about future careers, said student Rondell Charles.

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