Article by: Isabel Quah
Photographs by: Jong Hyun Lee
The music practice rooms are the latest addition to the numerous exciting changes that has taken place in ISM this year. Having just been installed into the AMR hallway after the October Break, the music rooms are causing quite a stir amongst students.
Compared to the previous practice rooms, these containers are not only more spacious and numerous, but also have more elaborate room designs and advanced recording ability. These airlock soundproof rooms can record high quality sounds with just a click of the button, located on the remotes on the walls surrounding the rooms. In addition to this, USB drives and input sockets for external devices act as added bonuses, as this technology allows the direct transfer of files to a student’s personal gadgets for future reference. Most notably, the smaller practices rooms are fitted with VAE (Virtual Acoustic Environment) technology, which allows students to modify the echo of the room with effects such as auditorium, cathedral or large stadium.
In reference to these practice rooms, music program leader Mr. Odendaal stated, “The acoustic properties will help students improve their musicianship, because they will be able to hear themselves clearly, and be able to focus on the details of the music they are creating. Furthermore, Kris Crouch, the main vocalist of the band “The Shire” remarked, “one of the [practice room’s] major improvements was the technology to augment the acoustics of the room, as well as record and playback practice sessions. These characteristics emulate a real performance setting, making the production a little easier for both performers and musicians.”
Despite the benefits of these innovative practice rooms, there remains some inconveniences in the VAE technology. In several incidents, for example, students have felt slightly flustered upon realizing that the tracks they recorded in practice rooms were left undeleted in the built in memory of the room, and were accessible to the next user. Regardless, the music practice rooms serve as great additions to the music department, because they allow students to actively listen to their musical abilities, and help them grow as musicians.
As Mr. Odendaal comments, “The practice rooms are a great feature of our renovated music wing, greatly enhancing ISM’s Music Department!”