Guidelines & Policies
The Vocal Booth is a soundproofed recording studio designed for voice-over work and podcasting. The space is equipped with modern, state-of-the-art equipment including a Shure SM7B broadcast microphone, a Universal Audio Apollo Interface, and an SPL Frontliner Channel Strip. The equipment is connected to an Apple iMac Pro workstation fitted with a variety of audio capturing software. The studio is beginner-friendly and streamlined by design and does not require advanced knowledge for use.
1. The Spirit of the Vocal Booth Service
The Vocal Booth has been established for the primary use of Loyola faculty, staff, and students active in coursework interested in capturing high-quality audio for podcasts, narration, voice-overs, and interviews. This space affords individuals the ability to use professional-grade equipment and software while providing a comfortable and quiet designated location near our service desk. Once authorization training has been completed, users can book Vocal Booth reservations within the Equipment Reservation System. The room can accommodate two individuals to collaborate on project work or record interviews.
2. Access and Communications
The Vocal Booth is a service covered by a portion of the Student Technology Fee paid upon enrollment in courses at Loyola University Chicago. There are no additional charges or per-use costs associated with access or use. Fines may, however, be assessed in the event equipment or supporting resources within the Vocal Booth are damaged during use.
Access is limited to current Faculty, Staff and students active in coursework, enrolled and attending classes for the current academic term as identified within the course details in LOCUS. Users must also have a valid Loyola University Chicago ID Card issued by the Campus Card Office at the lakeside campuses. Access is not available for Alumni, Friends of the Library, Reciprocal Borrowers/Visiting Scholars, Library Community Access Members, Emeritus/Retirees, Contractors or Sponsored Guests. The workstation within the Vocal Booth is configured like a standard lab workstation. Users must log in with their University Network ID (UVID) and password.
In order to access and use the Vocal Booth, Authorization Training must be completed successfully and in-full before use of the space is available. Please note that if there are fines, blocks or holds within the Equipment Loan Program, access to the Vocal Booth is also not available until the fines are paid in full. Blocks or bans from the Equipment Loan Program will also carry over restricting access to the Vocal Booth.
The Vocal Booth is ADA compliant and wheelchair accessible with a ramp providing ease of access to enter the booth. If it may be more comfortable to remove the rolling chair within the booth, contact a Digital Media Services staff member to assist in moving the chair out of the booth during such usage. Closed captioning is available on all visual-audio training materials involved in the Vocal Booth Training Authorization.
3. Acceptable Use
There may be several ways the Vocal Booth can help expand opportunities with digital media skills and enrich experiences as it relates to media creation, such as:
- Recording narration for training resources, guides or lectures;
- Recording dialogue or interviews for lectures or segments to be used within course materials
- Recording narration or dialogue to provide higher quality audio for older videos, materials, or video with less than ideal dialogue;
3.1 Limitations of Use
The Vocal Booth is intended for narration and dialogue recording only. While the space is professionally soundproofed, noise coming from inside the booth is not 100% muted. For the courtesy of guests working in the lab, we do not permit singing or musical instruments of any variety inside the booth.
For health and safety reasons, we are only allowing one person in the Vocal Booth at a time.
4. Authorization Training and Reservations
In order to access the Vocal Booth, clients must complete authorization training first. Upon completion of training, clients will be able to reserve the Vocal Booth in advance in 3-hour intervals to best ensure equity and availability of the booth. Training will cover a range of features and review of policies, including review of the technologies and equipment, proper use and care, and ensuring proper transfer of recorded materials and clean up of the space upon conclusion of use.
As we launch training in the Fall 2019 Semester, our initial trainings will be delivered in-person and must be scheduled with the WTC Digital Media Specialist based on availability. This will afford us more hands-on reviews and help to answer initial questions as we launch this service. Upon conclusion of the training, authorization access will be granted within the Equipment Loan System, allowing clients to review and reserve the Vocal Booth in advance.
Over the course of the Fall Semester, the training will be moved to an online delivery method for ease of self-paced access and review. Once authorization training is available in the online environment, it may take up to 48-hours (Monday through Friday only) to review and grant access to reserve equipment.
Upon successful completion of training, authorization will not expire at the end of the semester, but ability to access and reserve the Vocal Booth will remain available for the duration the individual remains active in the University as an employee or student active in coursework, as described above in the Access and Communications section. We reserve the right in the future to require re-authorization if we identify significant changes to equipment and software configurations in this space. Should such a change occur, we will notify active and authorized clients at least two weeks in advance.
4.2 Reserving the Vocal Booth
Upon successful completion of the authorization training, in order to use this resource, clients must reserve the Vocal Booth via the Equipment Reservation System. Reservation duration is limited to 3-hour intervals. Clients may make no more than two reservations per day.
Upon arrival, the client must visit the service desk located in Corboy Law Center room 605. A member from the Digital Media Services team will verify the client's identity, requiring a valid Loyola ID Card to be presented. The staff member will walk with the client to the Vocal Booth in order to unlock and review the state of the booth.
Clients must notify the service desk once usage has concluded. A member from the Digital Media Services team will conduct a thorough inspection of the Vocal Booth, ensuring equipment remains powered on and in the proper positions, the condition of the room and materials are in satisfactory condition, then locking the booth.
5. Advising Support
Digital Media Services staff and student workers are available to provide advising and consultation support while using the Vocal Booth. This includes assistance with any equipment configuration and microphone placement, adjusting volume levels or support with software applications. We strive to provide solutions to the best of our ability. In the event there is an issue or configuration that may not be remedied by our student worker support, we will document and review in order for our professional staff to assess, investigate further and follow-up contact if necessary.
6. Media Transfer and Storage
The workstation in the Vocal Booth is configured like a regular computer lab workstation. The system will automatically log off and restart if left in an inactive state for over 15 minutes. Upon restart, the system will erase any saved files or configurations to best ensure security to the system and prevent risks of academic dishonesty or personal identifical information or data to be left on the workstation. Any data that is not saved will be irrecoverable after the workstation restarts and reverts to default configuration. As a result, we strongly encourage clients to make sure the workstation and booth is not left unattended for greater than this period of time.
To save audio recordings or media created during use of the Vocal Booth, we recommend clients consider saving to Office365's OneDrive. The workstation does include a USB Port to save to USB Flash Drives or Hard Drives. Digital Media Services can loan these items to users from our loan program based on availability. Visit the Corboy Law Center room 605 service desk for more information.
To best ensure the upkeep and availability of the Vocal Booth, the following restrictions are in place.
- Food is prohibited. Food of any kind is strictly prohibited in the Vocal Booth.
- Berverages are permitted, with limitations. Beverages are permissible, however must be in sealed containers with lids, and cannot be placed on the equipment cart or workstation shelf.
- Singing and musical instruments are not permitted. Any behaviors that may cause disruptions to clients and staff within the Digital Media Lab will result in a request to cease the activity. If issues persist, we reserve the right to request assistance from Campus Safety to ensure activities cease and use of the Vocal Booth is discontinued immediately.
7.1 Equipment Damages and Misuse
Equipment within the Vocal Booth that is discovered in unsatisfactory condition after use may be subject to fines associated with cleaning supplies and labor used to return equipment kits back to fully functioning, satisfactory condition. Equipment identified with damages may result in a fine for the cost repair of resources in order to resolve any issues impacting the proper operation and use of the equipment. Repairs must be done by manufacturer-approved or authorized repair centers and include all charges for shipping, parts and labor. Accessories or components that are damaged must be replaced by University-approved vendors or specific manufacturer parts stores only. Replacement parts purchased by clients cannot be substituted in any capacity, regardless if non-standard but compatible or manufacturer-related parts as it must be authorized and purchased via the University directly.
Access to both the Vocal Booth and Equipment Loan Program will be restricted during the course of review to identify cleaning, repairs or replacement, and remain unavailable until the associated fine has been paid in full.
Failure to comply with these policies and restrictions may result in removal of authorization access to the Vocal Booth on a temporary or permanent basis, and/or fines for damages or misuse, depending upon severity. Such violations of restrictions will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis and at the determination of the Digital Media Services Manager.
8. Sanitation Process
The Vocal Booth is thoroughly inspected and sanitized after the conclusion of each reservation. Disinfectants are used on surfaces and frequently handled equipment. To allow ample time for our sanitation process, we pad one hour between each reservation.