Electronic Music Lab

  • Photo of a girl using a sound mixing board.
  • Photo of a student playing electric guitar with a bow.
  • Photo of a student using music mixing software on a computer.

Western Michigan University has a state-of-the-art creative space for music composition students to realize projects involving digital media. Student composers work in the lab during Electronic Music Seminar, which is part of their degree program. Students learn about the skills necessary to complete projects that involve digital audio software including electroacoustic concert music, video game music, movie music, sound design, installations and multimedia works.

There are two audio workstations, one of which is a desktop and the other a laptop. The stations are equipped with Logic, Live, Pro Tools, Max/MSP, Native Instruments Komplete, Peak, Altiverb, Sibelius, iZotope Iris, and a variety of shareware plug-ins and standalone applications. Each station has an external audio sound card, mixer, microphones, MIDI keyboard and studio monitors.

There are also two multimedia workstations. These stations are equipped with Logic, Live, Max/MSP, Peak, Final Cut Pro, Photoshop, Aftereffects, Dreamweaver and a variety of shareware. Each station also has an external audio sound card, MIDI keyboard, and headphones.

To present student works involving digital audio at various on-campus and off-campus venues, WMU has a high-quality portable audio system. The sound system is designed around powered Mackie loud speakers, subwoofer and monitor. The laptop and sound card in the electronic studio travels with the portable audio system in order to provide students with real-time computer performance capabilities. Students have the opportunity to work with the components of the sound system and develop skills involved in live sound reinforcement.

Composition students are encouraged to receive additional instruction in digital media, and work with other equipment and software. There is a music technology lab that is open to all music students. There are audio engineering classes in the Western Sound Studios. There are opportunities to take classes to learn computer programming for music performance and perform live with the Kalamazoo Laptop Orchestra, or KLOrk.