The Justin Tranter Recording Studio
Recording Arts and Commercial Music Program

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The Justin Tranter Recording Studio is a state-of-the-art recording facility where students can write, compose, produce, and record music of all genres and styles. Made possible through a generous gift from Academy alum and hit songwriter Justin Tranter (Musical Theatre ‘98), the Justin Tranter Recording Studio (JTRS) is propelling The Academy into the realm of commercial music and record production. 

Gone are the days when making a record required a giant mixing console, reel-to-reel tape machines, and racks filled with signal processors. (A free iPhone app has considerably more editing power than the Beatles ever had access to.) Students will gain hands-on experience working with state-of-the-art tools to produce original music. But most importantly, the program will foster their abilities as artists. These students will have another avenue to develop and harness the power of their creative voices.

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The JTRS is comprised of three rooms: the control room, with 24 individual digital inputs processed through high-quality Audient brand preamps; the live tracking room, with an extensive microphone collection, a professional vocal booth, and custom designed acoustic paneling (in addition to the school’s existing professional instrument collection); and the MIDI lab, featuring four state-of-the-art production workstations. 

Although these spaces serve as a full-fledged recording studio, they also double as a groundbreaking educational facility with access to equipment never before seen at the high-school level. With five top-of-the-line Apple Mac recording rigs loaded with Avid Pro Tools and Ableton Live (including Push Controllers), students at The Academy have all the tools at their disposal to take their musical ideas and turn them into tangible recordings to be shared and distributed.

The educational component of the Studio is The Academy's Recording Arts and Commercial Music Program (RACM). This program is a sub-department of the Music Department and educates students in the study of recording techniques, songwriting, composition, music production, and the music business through individualized instruction and in small classes.

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The RACM program currently offers three sections of its Commercial Composition and Music Production course as an elective. This course provides an overview into the world of recording and has students create multiple music projects throughout a semester. In addition, the RACM program offers private lesson instruction with Director of Recording Arts and Commercial Music Jack Murray. These lessons are individually tailored to meet the needs of each student and cover the topics within RACM most crucial to the success of each student’s unique dreams, goals, and aspirations.

The Recording Arts and Commercial Music program is still relatively new at The Academy, and therefore, additions and improvements to the curriculum and course list will be made over the next few years. Future plans include expanding the curriculum to include courses structured around individual topics like music marketing, mixing and mastering, instrument recording, and live sound production, in addition to advanced levels of Commercial Composition and Music Production. Additionally, we hope to expand the program to include a student electronic music ensemble with opportunities to perform live throughout the city. Through the Recording Arts and Commercial Music Program, The Academy aims to offer greater opportunity for students to express their creativity, all while building content for their portfolios in an ever-changing music industry landscape.