It’s a long way to the top for student’s of Samuel Robertson Technical School of Rock program, but with a little help from some friends in Vancouver, the kids appear to be alright.
Students of the musical class in Maple Ridge were given a first-hand look at what it takes to record their music thanks in part to a visit Friday by Nimbus School of Recording and Media, based out of Vancouver.
Rob Stefanson of Nimbus said it’s important for students to be able to get a clearer understanding of what a career in the music industry looks like.
He said the days of bands simply plugging in and playing are long gone.
Artists today have to understand much more than just which note to play.
He said everything from marketing to engineering comes into play with so many young up and coming artists.
“There’s an advantage to having so much technology at your fingertips,” said Stefanson, a veteran of 15 years in the music industry. “Bands can record and mix their own music, and with the advent of social media, connect with their fans like never before.”
He said students now have the opportunity not only to improve on their music skills at post secondary schools, but enhance their business acumen in a complex industry.
For SRT School of Rock teacher Allard Ludwig, the chance to bring in Nimbus coincides with his desire to expand the program.
“That’s been my vision,” said Ludwig, who is in his first year overseeing the program. “The program is quite strong, but I want to expand on the technical side.”
This year the class is made up of six different bands. All are working on perfecting their sound, which will culminate with a performance at the ACT on June 22.
“It’s grown from and after school program to becoming a huge part of the school’s culture,” Ludwig added.
He said exposing the students to the finer art of actually what goes into making and recording music will only strengthen the program.
Nimbus’ head audio engineer Dean Marher, who has worked with such acts as AC/DC, the Tragically Hip and R.E.M., was also on hand. He set up shop just outside the classroom doors in Nimbus’ newest mobile recording studio.
For the students, the chance to hear their work professionally mixed was a rare glimpse into the other side of the music industry.
Logan Mahaffey plays lead guitar in one of the class bands. Drawing on influences like Noel Gallagher of Oasis, Blink 182, and John Mayer, he said he also loves classic rock of guitar god Jimi Hendrix.
While the five-member group may be struggling to come of up with a band name that sticks, the guitarist knows the chance to hear themselves professionally recorded is rare.
“This is a really great opportunity that doesn’t come along very often,” he said. “I appreciate the chance to hear about the other side of the business.”