More free studio time at MTSU

We posted last fall when Robert Trapp, a Recording Industry student at Middle Tennessee State University, offered free studio time to any bluegrass band who would travel to Murfreesboro. Trapp had a project for his Recording Techniques class and, as an avid grasser himself, knew there would be bands out there who would jump at the chance for free time.

Struggling bluegrass artists don’t make a ton of money, in case you hadn’t noticed.

Well, Robert has just started his final semester at MTSU and his senior project involves an even more ambitious undertaking, which he is again offering to a deserving bluegrass band.

“I will be graduating this December with my BS in Recording Engineering and am working on my senior level project. I am to produce and record two songs for which I will provide the artist with a PR/Marketing portfolio along with further documentation for future release of the song masters. This is a chance for anyone interested to have the opportunity to record their material for free in two of the highest professional grade studios in the Middle Tennessee, along with having demos of the songs available for IBMA.

Artists who are interested need to act quickly and be able to have a relatively open schedule at night (the demo session dates are from 12:00 am to 4:00 am… not so fun). Once the 2 song demo is complete, further planning and preparation will start for the Master Tracking sessions.

This is a great opportunity for the financially strained artist to get their music out to the masses, and have it sound great as well. We will be working via an API Vision console and our SSL console. Highest quality = very expensive equipment but amazing sound 🙂

Artists: Jump on this opportunity before IBMA to get your demos heard and to have material/product to hand out!!!”

Such a deal… You can reach Robert by email at for more details.

UPDATE 4:10 – I corresponded some more with Robert this afternoon to get some more information about his background, and the reaction from within the MTSU faculty and community to his bluegrass projects.

“I went to ETSU for two years where I played for Ralph Stanley’s 80 Birthday (including playing with Dan Tyminski and Alison along with the late Porter Wagner). I then moved closer to Nashville to pursue a recording engineering degree and to try to get involved in the Nashville music industry. I played banjo for Rhonda Vincent’s daughters (Next Best Thing) in which we appeared at the Ryman Auditorium for the Bluegrass Nights at The Ryman event.

I have always loved acoustic music and coming from the engineer/producer perspective, I enjoy bluegrass artists because they’re phenomenal at what they do, understand music and where the song needs to go, and are all very genuine, honest, and fun loving people.

My projects at MTSU have gone over very well. Most of the students are into rock, electronica, rap,etc and being the only bluegrass/acoustic oriented engineer helps me get more exposure and have projects that stand out and are of very high quality. Every project I have done has been chosen at the end of every semester to be previewed for the entire recording industry department. This is a nice pat on the back due to the fact that only one project from every class can be previewed at listening night.

I am excited about this new project and look forward to working with phenomenal musicians and artists.”

He sounds like someone to keep an eye on.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.