The Contemporary Music Center is a program based in Nashville, Tennessee that provides students with experience into the music industry. This experience is all hands on - no tests or quizzes just real life scenarios and situations. The program has three tracks - artist, business, and technical. I chose the technical track, hoping to get some live sound and recording experience which I thought would be helpful as I aspire to work in the radio industry. CMC immerses students like myself completely into the music industry, with all the good and bad. Throughout the semester we learn extensively in our various tracks, putting on a show each Thursday. To close up the semester and showcase our new knowledge, we pack up and go on tour to various colleges, universities, and high schools.
Off-Site Visits and Music Industry Experience
Throughout the semester the tech track (along with some other volunteers from various tracks every now and then) were given the opportunity to help with load ins and load outs for tour rehearsals. Basically, this was unloading road cases from trucks, helping set up staging and equipment for shows, and tearing down and loading back up road cases into trucks. Tours would rehearse in large open rooms available for rent all around Nashville. It was really cool to have this experience as we worked with a few different tours. We helped load in and/or load out for Jordan Feliz, Scotty McCreery, and Tobymac.
Early on the in the semester we also did some off site visits to places including the Grammy office and a few commercial and personal studios. Studios we visited included Sputnik Sound (owned by Vance Powell a four-time Grammy winning producer, mixer, and engineer). A little later in the semester we were able to visit Burns Station Sound and was able to watch an analog tracking session. Another super cool fact was Johnny Cash once recorded in this studio.
Understanding and practice of positions in live shows including Front of House, Lighting, Monitors, Stage Managing and more
Proficiency in Pro-Tools, tracking and recording eight different songs for four different artists (tracking eight and mixing four)
Understanding and proficiency in executing live audio using consoles including the Yamaha M7CL and the Venue SC48