Information Commons Recording Studio

Meeting Room 1 serves as an amateur recording studio for Library cardholders working on audio or video projects. Please see our policies and guidelines below, as well as technical details.

For tutorials on how to use the equipment and software in the recording studio, visit the Recording Studio Tutorials page.

Recording Studio Policies and Guidelines
  • Reserve time in the Info Commons recording studio at www.bklynlibrary.org/rooms or at the Info Commons reference desk.
  • All users of the recording studio must adhere to the Public Behavior in the Library Policy and the Public Use of Meeting Rooms Policy.
  • At least one person using the recording studio must be 17 or older, have an active BPL library card and leave a valid state-issued ID at the Info Commons reference desk for the duration of the session. The studio reservation must be in the name of the ID holder.
  • We recommend that there be a maximum of three people using the recording studio at the same time. Under no circumstances may there be more than five people at one time.
  • The recording studio can be reserved in 30-minute increments. The maximum session length is three hours, and each cardholder can make up to two reservations per calendar month. Reservations may be scheduled up to 28 days in advance.
  • Info Commons staff may be able to accommodate special requests for additional use of the studio. Please contact us at infocommons@bklynlibrary.org.
  • Reservations are nullified if unclaimed within 10 minutes of the scheduled start time.
  • Please make sure that you save or export your project before the next person's reservation begins.
  • Please bring your own large-capacity (16 GB or more) drive to save your work to (see below).
  • No food or drinks are allowed in the recording studio.
Recording Studio Technology and Equipment

Please note that this is an “amateur” recording studio! The room's sound quality and lighting are not what you might find in a professional studio. It is an opportunity to work with quality equipment and introduce you to the production process; it does not guarantee a perfect product.

  • The studio's equipment includes:
    • an iMac editing station
    • a Canon Rebel T4i DSLR camera (with Rode shotgun mic and Manfrotto LED panel) for video recording
    • an AKG perception condenser mic for audio recording
    • a green screen
    • a pop shield
  • The iMac station’s software includes, among other applications:
    • Audacity
    • GarageBand
    • Pro Tools
    • the Adobe Creative Suite, including Premier Pro
    • GIMP
    • Celtx
    • Final Cut Pro X
    • iMovie
  • You should bring your own large-capacity (16 GB or more) drive to save your work to, as all the files you create using the recording studio iMac will be erased after logging out of your session. Please note the following:
  • To clean up audio a bit in GarageBand, try the following steps in the Edit menu effects:
    • Increase Noise Gate to cut out low-level noises. If you increase it too much, it can potentially cut out softer vocals.
    • Speech Enhancer can also help reduce noise. Set it to Manual and then you can slide the Reduce Noise button between Quiet Noise and Loud Noise.
    • Visual EQ set to Vocals Soft Background helps cut out and soften background noises.
  • Audacity has a Noise Removal effect. Instructions are on their website.

Info Commons staff cannot provide one-on-one assistance on demand in the recording studio. Some proficiency in using computers and recording devices is expected to achieve results. All are welcome to attend one of our digital media classes to learn more about making audio or video projects on your own.