Podcasting studio is LHS’s hidden gem

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Josh Truesdale

Editors Sathvik Manam and Josh Truesdale test out the equipment available in the Studio. Sathvik used this area to create his podcast, Talking Peanuts, which had three episodes earlier this school year.

Green screens, Mac computers, editing software, filming equipment, and so much more. It’s nothing new to hear that LHS has a large variety of technological resources for students to utilize. However, the extent of it isn’t exactly obvious, as hidden in the 300’s is the underused Media Studio.

The Studio is a gem unknown to many students, despite it being a fully functional space where podcasts and other audio projects can be produced. Multimedia teacher Karen Robinson is often in the Studio and has acted as its advisor since around 2005. 

“It’s accessible, it’s available, and at the moment I’m the one doing the coordinating,” Robinson said. “Students just need to come see me or contact me to get things rolling.”

There is a large amount of technology accessible to students in the Media Studio. This includes a variety of audio and film equipment. However, much of this equipment goes unused, presumably because not many students understand that it’s a good resource. Either individually or as a group, the Studio is available for everybody to utilize (with permission, of course).

The Media Studio in Room 307, more often called the Studio, is tucked away in the 300’s hallway near the Lancer Locker. It has an “on air” light just outside of the room that glows red during recording sessions. (Photo by Josh Truesdale)

“The podcasting studio has two separate recording locations,” Robinson said. “There is enough equipment and seating to have three people recording at once in each location. You can cram in a fourth person if necessary, but it might be a little crowded. It’s also set up so anyone can record individually and do things by themselves. The microphones we have are professional-quality.”

The Studio was recently updated and modernized. Just two years ago, John Beaulieu, the district video technician, rebuilt the room with the help of summer interns Garrett Calusdian, Ahna Gainey, and Gavin Warren.

“It took us about two week’s worth of work spread out over a month,” Gainey said. “While renovating it, we often had to wait for things to be removed by custodians or for parts we ordered to come in.”

In past years, the Studio was an under-decorated and user-unfriendly place. But because of the recent renovations, it’s become a lot easier for the average student to operate.

“It used to be very ugly,” Gainey said. “It’s much more colorful now, but before the room only had about two shades of beige. It wasn’t organized well, either. The way the microphones were set up was very impractical. On top of that, it was very uncomfortable. Now we have updated equipment, comfortable swivel chairs instead of those plastic ones, and a decorated space.”

Robinson would love to see more students utilizing this space and the updated equipment that’s available to them, especially considering how valuable all of it is for both academic and personal projects.

Inside of the Studio are two separate podcasting spaces, each allowing up to three people to record at once. These spaces are equipped with professional microphones, soundboards, and Mac computers. (Photo by Josh Truesdale)

“Over the years I have tried a million, gazillion different ways to try and promote radio and being involved in the clubs and classes,” Robinson said. “The facility is there to be used. The only issue is learning how to use it, but that doesn’t take much time or effort. All a student needs to do is come to me or another teacher with an idea, and then they’re free to use the Studio.”

However, Robinson will only be leading the Studio for so long, as she is retiring at the end of this school year. Other than the Studio, she will also no longer be an advisor to the Video and Podcasting Club, which is the primary user of the room. Robinson is hoping that another teacher will take over the Studio and the club once she’s gone, but she doesn’t have anyone specific in mind.

“As of right now, I don’t know if the club will be able to continue because I don’t know if there’s somebody who’s willing to step in and oversee it,” Robinson said. “A big part of being the club’s advisor is being able to help and teach its members the skills they need to know. If an advisor doesn’t have that background, it’s hard to help the kids grow when they aren’t sure what to do.”

Regardless of who ends up running the Studio and/or the club, Robinson is hoping that students will begin to take advantage of the resources hidden in the 300’s.

“This space is driven by the creativity of the students, but those that come to express that are few and far between,” Robinson said. “Few people actually consider starting a podcast, but so many people listen to them. In reality, all it takes to start one is an idea.”

Magazine Chief Kaylie Donahue checks out some of the filming equipment available in the Studio. Resources such as microphones, cameras, green screens, recorders, and a variety of other filming supplies are available for students to sign out. (Photo by Josh Truesdale)