By Lee Caplan
Adjacent to Rutgers-Newark’s state-of-the-art Apple computer lab, energetic newsroom, Sega Genesis console, and well-crafted student photography advertised on the wall, the fourth floor of Bradley hall’s contains another well-hidden gem. Unbeknownst to many students and faculty alike, Rutgers-Newark harbors an up-and-running recording studio owned by the theatre department.
Meet 22-year-old Joe Sapienza. Joe is the recording studio manager and Audio Production Club adviser. He got involved in the recording studio during the spring semester of 2012.
It all began due to his enrollment in a class entitled Rock, Music, and Culture. The final task was to make a rock and roll song. Instead of doing what other students were doing, making simple loops and creating easy vocal recordings, Joe wanted to create an authentic rock and roll song.
Thus Joe’s introduction to Eric Johnson. Eric Johnson is in charge of the theatre department’s recording studio. Joe ended up doing engineering work on his group’s class project as well as others. Eventually, Joe asked Eric if he could intern at the studio and the rest is history.
The Audio Production Club meets at 2:30 every Wednesday during the much-beloved free period. You can find the club on the fourth floor of Bradley Hall.
The Audio Production Club, or APC, is an organization founded by Marshal (last name withheld) and Sapienza. Its mission is to expand the use of the recording studio to reach the students on campus.
As of now, the APC has approximately 10 to 20 students involved. Students get the opportunity to see how a real recording studio works. The goal of the APC is to teach the students about all the different aspects of audio production. This includes mic selection, studio maintenance, producing a song, and working a mix down. As of now, the Audio Production club is in the process of getting official recognition by Rutgers University.
The studio also participates in assisting in school plays, recording the Rutgers-Newark Mosaic jazz ensemble, and annually records the Rutgers University choir live.
This semester, the APC made a rap song from scratch. This included a home made beat as well as many of the APC students rapping over it. This rap project was designed to teach the students about the basics of the popular music software program Ableton. This project also taught students how to record vocals and mix a track.
Member of APC and rapper Omotade Fatiregun is a Rutgers-Newark student majoring in economics and video production. Mainly addressed as Tade, he has been working with the Rutgers-Newark studio on his own personal recordings since September 2012. Tade’s stage name is Ohwon. He enjoys the Audio Production Club because of the people and the environment. Tade also enjoys how each club member gives new ideas and different insights as a result of the diversity of the club’s membership.
APC member and Rutgers-Newark student Gabe Thomas is studying psychology. He has known Studio Manager and Sapienza since his Freshmen year of college. Gabe had gotten involved in the studio during the fall semester of 2012. Gabe believes that the APC is the studio’s way of getting more students involved in the recording process. Since joining the APC, Gabe has gained much real world experience and has worked with different musical software packages such as Pro Tools.
Thomas believes that students come back every Wednesday simply because they are interested in this process. Gabe hopes to learn more about the ins and outs of recording studios as well as mastering computer-based musical programs.
Five years from now, both APC adviser Joe and APC president Marshall would love to see the club run self-sufficiently as well expand upon its current membership.
The APC is a little known student-run organization that brings musicians and non-musicians together to create, learn, and enjoy in a professional environment. So if you find yourself with nothing to do on campus on Wednesday afternoons come check out the Audio Production Club at 2:30 p.m. on the fourth floor of Bradley Hall.