The recent explosion of digital recording technology available to budget-minded amateur and small studio recordists has resulted in a similar burst in educational opportunities for those interested in working in the field.
Everything from DVD instruction to four year degrees in recording technology are available to students, as well as multi-day seminars at established studios. But the folks at GAT3 Studio in Charolotte, NC have put together an interesting program that falls in between the informal, in-studio seminar and a multi-year degree.
We first became familiar with Glenn and Susan Tabor at GAT3 when Kenny and Amanda Smith starting recording there a few years ago. Their last four albums were recorded there, as well as Kenny’s latest guitar project, Return. Kenny spoke so highly of the studio, and Glenn’s skills as an engineer, that we contacted the Tabors to find out more about their operation.
The Smiths were among the first and only acoustic or bluegrass acts to record at GAT3, whose 20 years – and multiple Grammy Awards – have come in pop, rock, blues and Gospel music. Kenny did a session there in 2004, and was deeply impressed by the sound and the gear. So much so that he plead the case and convinced Rebel Records, their label at the time, to cover the budget for their next project, Always Never Enough, at GAT3.
The instructional side of the studio, which they call the GAT3 Recording Program, is an in-depth, 11-week course held in classroom, lab and studio environments. Susan Tabor, Director of Operations, explains how it came to be.
“We have accepted interns and students from various learning programs and colleges for many years here at the studio. We saw many faults in the content of the other programs because we live in this ‘recording world’ everyday and we know what it takes to be able to do what we do. So we decided that we would develop our own curriculum and program at an affordable rate, and with convenient hours for students attending other schools, or those working a job.”
Classes are held three days a week, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6:00-8:30 p.m., and Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Sessions are limited to 8 students, and the tuition of $5120 includes all course books, a version of the Pro Tools software, and a digital interface. During classes, each student will have their own individual Mac laptop to use.
Students will work with several different engineers and producers, and have hands-on experience with microphone use and placement, tracking, mixing and mastering during the course.
More details about the GAT3 Recording Program can be found online. A new class will begin in January, and interested potential students can start the process by filling in an application on their web site.