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Amplifying Hamline’s recording studio

Sophomore Noah Topliff takes over Hamline’s recording studio to inspire a new wave of artists.

Noah Topliff in the recording studio.

Elena Deeter, News Editor

Noah Topliff in the recording studio.

Elena Deeter, News Editor

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The recording studio has been under the jurisdiction of Hamline Theatre’s sound shop for a while. The studio is located in the basement of Bush Library. It has been quietly used over the years, but Noah Topliff wants the recording studio to be seen as a resource of which any Hamline student can take advantage.

Topliff, a sound technician at Hamline University’s Theatre is passionate about the recording studio. He explained all of its inner workings.

“It’s a small space, but it’s perfect for voice-over work, solo [instruments] and vocal performances,” Topliff said.

The space is small but they do facilitate larger projects, like the use of amplifiers and drums. The studio has mostly been used for recording rappers and solo acoustic work. Only a few students have done voice-over recordings for class.

Senior and co-manager, Jack Skaj has been trying to spread awareness around campus with flyers. He wants more students to take advantage of the recording studio. 

“I think more people aren’t using it because it’s only recently come into a fully functioning mode and people might be hesitant to use it until they’ve heard the quality of the audio we produce,” Skaj said. “But it’s hard to produce quality audio when people aren’t signing up to use the space.”

Topliff and Skaj are excited about the studio’s new gear. They have the latest version of pro-tools, and a good variety of mics. Topliff pushed that if they don’t have something, they can find a way to make it happen.

Senior Cody Vaughn is a regular at the recording studio.

“Personally, the Hamline [recording] studio was where I recorded my very first song, so it means a lot to me. It’s where my journey started. It has helped me get my way into Winter Wonder Jam and opportunities to get my later music on iTunes, Pandora and Spotify,” Vaughn said.

The recording studio allowed a fruitful collaboration between Vaughn and the team. 

“He came in with a couple of his friends, with some beats ready. We

set up everything [before they came in] so they wouldn’t have to do anything. That was a situation also where Cody didn’t want us to mix or master, so he could work on that himself. We can do this,” Topliff said.

Topliff wants to see a diverse group of people coming in the studio. He wants to see more rappers, full bands, voice work and podcasts. Not many people utilize the studio and Topliff wants that to change.

“We exist to facilitate anyone’s needs. We want to create an environment and space for everyone. We are willing to be flexible and we have a great team. Usually there are at least two of us helping out during a session,” Topliff said.

Their team includes Hamline Theatre workers Jack Skaj, Alexis Dykema, Aurora Payne and Megyn Johanson.

Their approach is simple. They meet once with the artist, discuss what they expect in their sessions and what instruments or vocals will be used. From there, they create a rough estimate for the longevity of the sessions. Topliff emphasizes that if the artists need more time, they will always offer that.

“It’s awesome and free, so come and check it out!” encouraged Skaj.

Email Noah Topliff at [email protected] or Jack Skaj at [email protected] to start recording.    

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Amplifying Hamline’s recording studio