Micah Wilkins, Staff Writer
The radio room was being used as a storage space when senior Cody Wright transferred to Warren Wilson in 2008. It had not been actively or regularly used since the campus radio show ended in 2001.
“Apparently the equipment just sat around,” Wright said. “I came in here and I saw the equipment and I was like, ‘OK. Right on.’”
Wright, who studied radio broadcasting at his previous school, wanted to take advantage of the space that hadn’t been used for years.
“I started it back up, but it was kind of all in disarray,” Wright said. “I call this an extra-low budget studio…. But we’ve done a lot of cool stuff in here, even with the limited amount of equipment.”
According to Music Professor Steve Williams, who is technically Wright’s supervisor, he and Music Department Chair Warren Gaughan haven’t lead Wright in any way with the recording studio.
“Neither Warren or I have guided Cody in his use of the equipment,” Williams said. “He seemed to know what he needed to be doing.”
Wright has become more familiar with the equipment over the years, thanks to all the practice he has gotten in and recordings that he has done for the school.
“My supervisors, they’re letting me just go at it,” Wright said. “I learned all this cool stuff just from playing around with it. I really like to play with sound.”
In the year and a half that he’s been here, Wright has recorded over a hundred pieces from the different musicians and singers that wander into the studio. Wright has recorded and produced close to 25 acts, mostly of Wilson students. Some of these students return later to record more.
One student who has taken advantage of the recording studio is junior Cheyanne Zimmerman. Last semester, she visited the recording studio almost every Sunday night to record her singing over backtracks of some of her favorite songs.
Though her visits to the recording studio are fairly frequent, Zimmerman records songs simply for leisure, to have them to listen to later.
“Mostly I’m [recording myself singing] because I enjoy doing it, and it’s cool to say, ‘oh yeah, I have this on my computer, it’s me singing,’” Zimmerman said. “[Recording] was something to do on a Sunday evening that wasn’t homework.”
Not many students are aware that a recording studio exists on campus.
“[Last fall] I didn’t know we had a recording studio,” Zimmerman said. “I’d never heard of it until someone told me about it.”
Very few students use the music resources that are available to them, let alone know about the recording studio, according to Wright.
“Some people take advantage of it more than others,” he said.
It would only take about $500 for the studio to be re-vamped with new equipment, according to Wright, who currently works with ten-year-old equipment that has been used intermittently since 2000.
Williams is unaware of how helpful and useful the recording studio is to Warren Wilson.
“I don’t know if there is more interest or need from students or faculty and stuff for us to offer more time or not,” Williams said.
After Wright graduates in May, the fate of the recording studio is up in the air.
If people don’t use [the equipment] too much then they might not see a reason to replace it,” Zimmerman said. “I think if nobody takes Cody’s place, it’ll probably fade into the background again.”
However, thanks to Wright’s interest in and experience with the equipment, and his passion for music, the recording studio has survived and, in a way, thrived, despite being low-key and understated.
“It was never supposed to be this,” Wright said. “I wasn’t pushed to do this. I did it because I wanted to and because I love it.”