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CCRMA Recording Studio Policy for Students

CCRMA’s recording studio is for CCRMA teaching and research. It is not a commercial studio nor is it supposed to be used for non-CCRMA-affiliated projects. It is also not a rehearsal space.

Also please note that booking studio time on the CCRMA booking system does not correspond to permission or physical access to the studio room.

Gaining Recording Studio Access

In order to gain access to CCRMA’s recording studio, you must be an enrolled Stanford student and hold a recording-studio permit. How do you gain such a permit?

Music graduate students at Stanford (PhD, DMA, MA) who have had professional experience working in a recording studio or taken Music 192A (or its equivalent at another institution) can gain access to the recording studio with a recording-studio permit. This can be obtained by (1) successfully passing the recording studio permit test and (2) agreeing to abide by its rules/expectations and uphold the standards of a good studio recording citizen. It is advisable to take Music 192A which provides the needed training.

All other Stanford students who (1) have already taken Music 192A (prerequisite: Music 101), (2) successfully pass the recording studio permit test, and (3) agree to abide by its rules/expectations and uphold the standards of a good studio recording citizen can gain access on a quarterly basis when enrolled in Music 192C to work on their project. However, if not currently enrolled in Music 192C, permit-holding students may also request studio access on a one-off basis by contacting studio management.

Rules/Expectations and Being a Good Recording Studio Citizen

Reset to default configuration

We expect the studio to be set back to its default configuration before the end of each session. This means each reservation must allocate adequate time for this at the end of their session: Properly wrap all cables, clear the patchbay, recall the default mixer scene, mute the monitor, put away microphones (WITH their clips), fold and return mic stands to the holder, return all equipment to designated areas, remove all personal items, etc.

Please do not leave the studio in a mess. Doing so may result in losing access privileges either temporarily or long term.

No borrowing things from the studio

Please do not remove any items from the recording studio. (CCRMA has a gear closet for checking out gear.)

Borrowing things from the studio

The only exceptions to the “no borrowing” policy are the drum set, electric guitar and bass, and guitar/bass amps, which are sometimes needed for special events at CCRMA. To borrow any of these, take these steps to ensure nobody enters a studio with missing equipment that they expected to be there:

  1. Get permission from CCRMA staff.
  2. Reserve the live room for 15 minutes for when you plan to pick up the item(s). In the title, clearly state what you are borrowing (drum set or amp) so anyone booking a session can see. In the description, say where that equipment will be (CCRMA stage, for instance). Then reserve a 15-minute time slot for when you will be returning the equipment later that day.
  3. Reserve each item of equipment also in the same booking system; each has its own column as if it were another “room”
  4. Leave a note in the recording studio where the equipment is normally stored. On the note, provide your name, the date, what you borrowed, when you will return it, and where it will temporarily be located. Equipment must not leave the building and must be returned on the same day.
  5. Bring the equipment back to its proper default location in the studio (the same day you checked it out) and remove the note.

Booking Time in the Studio

The studio has two rooms: Live Room and Control Room. Since each room has independent recording capabilities, please consider which room(s) you actually will need during your session time and book accordingly; you can book either or both rooms for any particular session.

The person who made the booking must be present for the duration of the session they booked. It is not allowed to book studio time on behalf of someone else or to let a different person work without the person booking the studio time being present.

Please cancel any scheduled time that will not be used as soon as you know it won’t be used.

Since the drumset, amps, guitar, and bass are sometimes able to be borrowed, they now (since May 2023) have their own columns (as if they were “rooms”) in the Recording Studio “area” of CCRMA’s room booking system. If your session needs any of these, book them along with the room(s) you will use. (Hint: you can shift-click or control-click to select multiple “rooms” in a single booking.)

Drum Kit

The drum kit (aka drum set, trap set, etc.) is not set up by default. If you plan to use the drums, you must make sure to book enough time to set up and dismantle the kit and then properly put away all its parts. Failure to do so will interfere with other people’s sessions. You will be required to return to take care of the drum kit as soon as possible and risk losing studio access.


The permit-holder who is booking the time is responsible for the studio for the duration of the booking as well as resetting the studio at the end of the session. They must be present during the duration of the recording session and are responsible for guests’ behavior.

Reporting broken/nonfunctioning/missing equipment

It is inevitable equipment will malfunction or break over time in the studio. And as careful as we may be, we accidentally drop things on occasion. It’s OK; we’re not mad; we just need to know so we can fix it. Please notify studio management ( of any non-functioning or missing items.

Entering a Messy Studio

If one enters the studio and it is not set to its default configuration, that person should notify studio management (, and ideally also be a good studio citizen and return the space to its default configuration if possible. We should do our best to leave the space neat and tidy for the next person, even if the mess isn’t yours.

Any random objects lying around that you are unsure where they belong should be placed in the “random-item” bin in the control room. Studio management will return these items to their rightful place.

Food and drink policy

Food is not permitted in the recording studio. Open drink containers are also not allowed. Drinking containers with sealable lids are okay, however, do not place these on the recording desk or on top of/next to any equipment.

How to get a permit

The permit test consists of a series of studio tasks to achieve and concepts to understand, in the form of a checklist.  The contents of the test are here: Recording Studio Checklist

If you believe you can successfully do all these things, request a permit test by emailing

If you cannot successfully do all these things, we recommend taking Music 192A or receiving training from someone who holds a recording permit and is willing to train you for as many sessions as it takes.

This page of CCRMA documentation last committed on Mon Feb 26 16:40:21 2024 -0800 by Matthew James Wright. Stanford has a page for Digital Accessibility.