New Beats for Reed

The Reed Campus Center has long been known for a place of classical, jazz, and a cappella, but dubstep, acid jazz, or K-pop? Those are just a few of the new sounds students can expect to explore once a Reed classroom is transformed into the new Digital Music Lab.

“This new facility will have a tremendous impact on our music program,” Ben Demerath, Fine and Performing Arts Department head wrote in an email. “Students will explore projects ranging from keyboard skills and ear training to writing their own arrangements.”

Students will be able to create original pieces, he wrote, as well as record, mix, and master their music using eight new iMacs—with extra memory and music-specific software—and a wall-mounted touch screen. To encourage collaboration, the lab will feature video conferencing equipment and a laptop that students can take to their rooms or other spaces across campus. All of the music that students create will then be stored on a dedicated server.

Demerath said the electronic music lab was made possible by an anonymous donor who saw an opportunity to help the Fine and Performing Arts program expand into a new area. By combining music theory, composition, engineering, and production, Demerath said the lab will help students innovate in new, modern ways—following in the footsteps of such alumni as Pierce Freelon of the Beat Making Lab at UNC Chapel Hill.

“We are thrilled to have this wonderful new resource available to our musicians!” Demerath wrote.

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