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February 13, 1987 - Image 18

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1987-02-13
This is a tabloid page

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Two campus groups give hands-on experience

By Beth Fertig
known as sound production - is an
overlooked and underappreciated
profession. Few schools offer
training ,for it; Michigan is no
While you can't major in audio
engineering, the University is an
exception in that it has two very
unique student organizations with
the resources for students to learn
about the field.
Both the Music Co-op and
Eclipse Jazz have provided edu-
cational opportunities for many
University students. The Music Co-
op, whose home is a tiny office in
East Quad's basement, owns and
manages a fully operational eight-
track recording studio. Eclipse Jazz,
on the other hand, is not only a
student-run jazz promoter, but also
a workshop where its members can
learn about live sound production
and provide technical skills for the
concerts it brings to town.
The Music Co-op was founded

by two Residential College students
back in 1982. Their goal was to
establish a sort of musicians'
network and to create a co-operative
system of sharing and learning from
their own audio equipment. They
hoped to build a recording studio
where local musicians could record
for a reasonable fee and Co-op
members could find a way to learn
this profession.
After much construction, a loan,
and many, many cassette sales
(you've probably seen the giant
cassette on the Diag to promote the
bi-annual event), the Co-op gave
birth to Quadrangle Studios, its
very own eight-track baby.
Every semester the Co-op offers
two "tech seminars" - introductory
and advanced - where students can
learn the rudiments of sound
production, including microphone
set-up, use of delay units and other
effects, and the art of mixing a
Intro teaches the basics of sound
production in six sections: Intro -
duction to Sound, Signal Flow,

Microphone Techniques, Mixing
Boards/Power Amps, Outboard
Effects; and Introduction to Studio
"From Intro they can run live
sound, like at the Halfway Inn or
the U-Club. Its generalized so that
from the information we give them,
they'd be able to run any of the live
or studio mixing boards," said
Chris Evans, who teaches the Intro
Co-op members can continue
with advanced training, also in six
parts, a more loosely structured
course that teaches editing and
advanced studio techniques, even -
tually allowing the student to record
musicians in Quadrangle Studios.
Each series of classes costs $10. In
addition, Co-op members often
participate in Tuesday's Open Mike
Night, a weekly tradition at East
Quad's Halfway Inn. All equipment
for Open Mikes are provided by the
Co-op and run by the students.

Continued from Page 9
While some owners and agents
claim the Ann Arbor scene is as
healthy as the current economic
state will allow, others say they
believe the market could support
"I happen to believe that
properly managed, there's audience
enough to support more -than is
currently happening," Berry said.
"There are always 30-some odd
thousand students at the University
who, other than the freshmen, are
potential customers."
He suggests potential investors
have been lured away from the club
business by more promising
investments. "There's a misper-
ception on the part of the people
who have the resources to invest
that a club can't make it... And I
think they're wrong," he said.
Tiboni agrees. Referring to
persistent rumors that he plans to
reopen his club, he said, "I'm
convinced Ann Arbor could support
another club... judging by the
encouragement I get."
But Kramer says he thinks Ann
Arbor is as well off as could
reasonably be expected. "I think
Ann Arbor is doing what the
market will bear," he said. "We're
lucky in Ann Arbor to be able to do
some of the things we do."

Bender, who runs the Nectarine
Ballroom, agrees. When asked
whether he thought Ann Arbor
could support another club, he
replied, "Good luck... that's all I
can tell you."~
It appears that the current two
clubs will continue to constitute
the heart of the local scene for some
time. While the Nectarine has
begun to promote a few of its own
shows and the Ark, chiefly a folk

club, has offered some performances
appealing to the rock and popular
audience, there are no signs of any
significant expansion.
For the scene to grow as rapidly
as some hope it will would require
some investor to make a significant
risk. When and if such an investor
will appear is a question nobody
can answer. In the mean time, Ann
Arbor will remain, essentially, a
two club town.

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Mike LaGuardia talks with a band member in the East Quad studio.

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Phone: 662-2026

By Beth Fertig
audiophiles nodded approvingly, but
the news came a lot sooner than
almost anyone had expected: in
1986 compact disc sales outpaced
those of the ever-familiar record
The LP's market share dropped
below 20 percent (down from 30
percent the year before) while CDs'
share rose above 20 percent -
double the 10 percent share of
1985, according to Mix Magazine
(February 1987).
CD growth for 1986 experienced
an increase of 148 percent in units,
and 155 percent in dollar volume
while LPs, EPs, and singles
watched their unit and dollar
volumes decline 20 to 27 percent,
according to the Recording Industry
Association of America.
What this means to Joe
Consumer: the CD is here to stay.
What this means to Joe College
Student: you and your friends are
buying them.
When compact discs first hit the
marketplace a few years ago, they

Despite their significantly higher pricetags, discs now
outsell conventional albums in the United States.
Consumers like their durability and better sound quality.

were shunned by many because of
their novelty and exorbitant price.
CD players went for roughly $700
and discs somewhere around $20
each. Buyers were inevitably caught
between that passionate desire to
upgrade and the familiar reality of a
stringent budget.
But over the past four years or
so the novelty of the CD has worn
off, and with it the high prices.
While the cost of individual discs
has continued to float within the
$15-$20 range, disc players have
come down to an affordable $200 or
so - comparable to the price of a
good turntable. Not only can the
average consumer now afford to
upgrade his/her stereo system, but
so can the average college student,

whose budget is often still
struggling with food beyond the
pasta range.
In Ann Arbor, the increasing
popularity of CDs is much in
evidence. Discount Records is
perhaps the most striking example
of the CD success story: late last
year, the store remodeled its interior
to accomodate its increase in
compact disc stock. The back two-
thirds of the store are devoted
almost entirely to CDs, while
records dominate only the window-
area display.
Discount Records now stocks
approximately 10,000 compact
discs, according to store manager
Jeff Woodard, and only 6,000 record
titles. The store began carrying the

discs about three years ago when
only a few hundred were available.
Last year the store found itself
caught up in the nationwide disc
upswing, and to meet the
customer's appetite it began
providing rock, pop, classical, jazz,
and R&B discs.
"I'd say a good 60 percent of CD
business is just to students,"
Woodard estimated. "We kind of
make it affordable here if you buy
them - buy more, save more." He
added that over half of the store's
1986 sales were in compact discs,
and that they - like cassettes -
outsold records two to one.
At Schoolkids' Records discs are
also in high demand, with over
1,500 CDs in stock.

"The CD market is ever in -
creasing but we do not see the
demise of the album as yet, so we
continue to stock both and provide
the customer with whatever he or
she needs," said store manager Jeff
Gibson. Schoolkids stocks approx -
imately 15,000 records, but has
made some accomodations for CD
popularity with a disc display on
the wall where singles used to be.
"People are very tech-oriented
these days, and the portability of
the CD and the fact that they're
pretty much carefree - they don't
break like tapes and don't wear out
- is very appealing. It's kind of
like a one-time investment,",
Gibson said. As for the high price
of the discs affecting sales, he adds,
"This is not a poor college town by
any means."
Record sales are still Schoolkid's
strength. "There's been a lot of
articles on the death of the album
and the boom of the cassette and
CD," Gibson said. "I don't think
that's true here at all. There afe
many more titles on album than
CD. The LP is still cheapest for
manufacturers to produce and for
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