The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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Hidden Gem: The Digital Media Lab

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Looking up at the UMass library

What I love about UMass is that it offers a ton of free academic resources on campus for every student. If you can think of it, there’s likely a place on campus you can find it. One of my favorite places and resources to use is the Digital Media Lab. In my classes, there are often projects or extra credit opportunities to create a video. Sometimes I just want to use some high-end equipment and create my own videos. Regardless, the Digital Media Lab is the perfect place for this. Conveniently located on the third floor of the library, the Digital Media Lab has awesome equipment you can use for free.

The lab has four soundproof rooms for audio recording (and when I say soundproof, I mean soundproof). The entire room is covered in acoustic foam panels so right when you enter the room, all sound is muffled. In addition, there are professional speakers, microphones, and even more. Two of the rooms are for small groups, while two larger ones are for bigger groups. The setups in each are very easy to use and are as simple as plugging in your laptop and getting started right away. I’ve used these rooms to record some voiceovers, and every time the audio came back very crisp.


The Digital Media Lab also has two green screen rooms that you can use, one small and one big. Green screen videos are actually really simple in any editing software, are a ton of fun, and give your project that extra something special. What makes it better is each of the rooms comes with an HD camcorder, professional lights, and more equipment. If you need help, there are people working there all the time who know exactly how to operate the equipment. I’ve used both rooms, and when presenting in front of my classes, the professor and peers were impressed, but it's really just the editing effects.


My personal computer is way too slow to handle any heavy editing, but the digital media lab has dozens of professional iMacs to use. They have all of the softwares you need already installed, alongside any equipment, like headphones, at your disposal. Before I went to UMass, filming and editing a video was a lengthy and tedious process, but, with all the stuff they provide, it’s very smooth. I would definitely consider the Digital Media Lab a hidden gem because it allows students to use thousands of dollars worth of equipment for free, anytime they want! If you have the chance or need to record audio or a video, check it out!


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