Electronic Music Studios

Manhattan School of Music maintains four excellent electronic music studios, providing students with state-of-the-art computers, software, keyboards, and other equipment for composition, recording, editing, sound design, and performance.

One studio, directed by Sam Pluta, is focused on classical composition, sound design, and interactive performance. The studio offers students an opportunity to work with state-of-the-art equipment and to acquire the necessary skills, knowledge, and experience to succeed in a professional or academic environment. The studio includes an iMac with MOTU Interface, high end Genelec speakers, Reaper mixing software, Max/MSP, and SuperCollider, as well as other software and hardware for composing, working with sound, and designing instruments for performance.

Another studio provides students enrolled in Performing With Electronics experience in performing with technology under the guidance of Todd Reynolds. This work gives them access to an increasingly important body of repertoire represented by such composers as Mari Kimura, Morton Subotnick, Ingram Marshall, Mario Davidovsky, Scott Johnson, Diego Luzuriaga, Anna Clyne, Chris Chaffe, Steve Reich, Alvin Lucier and John Cage. This facility allows students to explore current developments in music that involve electronics and computers with the most up-to-date music software systems, in addition to realizing older works using newer technology. It provides a basic, practical workshop for preparing pieces in the repertoire that involve electronics and a space to practice and rehearse with the equipment needed for each project. This space has been specifically designed for the School by Sam Berkow of the acoustical firm SIA Acoustics. The studio is Macintosh-based and is Max/MSP friendly.

Two additional studios, including the Jean Lignel Electronic Music Studio (Studio 506)*, are directed by Richard Sussman and focus on providing performance and compositional tools applicable to jazz, commercial music, and scoring for film and TV, as well as purely creative projects. The emphasis is on working with DAWs such as Protools, Digital Performer, and Logic, virtual instruments, MIDI protocol, sound design, multitrack recording and production techniques, and techniques for scoring to picture.

Studio 516 is a multi-workstation, networked, Music Technology Lab, featuring six student workstations and a master workstation. Each student workstation is equipped with Novation Impulse 61 keyboards and dual-core 21” iMacs running Logic 9, Digital Performer DP8, Finale 2014, Sibelius 7, and virtual instruments Omnisphere, Trilian, Stylus RMX, and Native Instruments Komplete 8 (Kontakt 5, Battery 3, Absynth 5, FM8, Massive, Reaktor 5, and Guitar Rig). The master workstation is equipped with a weighted action Korg M3-88 and a MacPro 8-core equipped with an Apogee Symphony 64 audio system, running all the same software as the student workstations plus the VSL Special Edition Extended Libraries, Protools 10, and Ableton Live 9 Suite (with MAX for Live).

Studio 506 is essentially a duplicate of the master workstation in Studio 516, with a Korg M3-88 and MacPro 8-core running identical software, and also equipped with an Apogee Symphony 64 audio system. This room is primarily dedicated to film scoring and audio recording sessions. In addition it serves as the rehearsal space for the MSM Electronic Jazz Ensemble, consisting of an additional M-Audio Oxygen 88 keyboard, Roland V-Drums, EWI, and Godin guitar and bass MIDI controllers. Equipment and software in these two rooms are updated annually to maintain the most current, state-of-the-art facilities possible.

Students registered in related courses are allowed to schedule individual studio lab time when available.

*Established through the generous gift of Jean Lignel (Class of 2000), the school’s newest electronic music facility was dedicated in 2004. Mr. Lignel donated state-of-the-art electronic recording equipment as well as funding to create an electronic music studio, expanding the School’s resources for students planning to pursue training in contemporary electronic music recording and production techniques.