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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Feven Getachew
Feven Getachew
May 6, 2024
Michael Lozada
Michael Lozada
May 6, 2024
Nathan Hoffman
Nathan Hoffman
May 6, 2024
Harvey Wilhelm `24.
Harvey Wilhelm
May 6, 2024

Freesound more free than ever

Residents of Main are probably used to the reverberating tones of blues, punk, ska, funk, rock, noise, and pretty much anything else coming from Freesound, Grinnell College’s all-inclusive music space, but many students on campus have not heard the recent changes to the organization.
Freesound is a student group which provides musical instruments and equipment for any student to use. The space is located in Main basement just left of the door to Bobs Underground Cafe.
This year Tucker Bush ‘12 (spring manager) and Ethan Kenvarg ‘12 (current manager) have refurbished, renewed, and revitalized Freesound.


Improvements include new equipment, such as an MPC and two turntables, which open up great possibilities for potential hip-hop groups.

“I’d love to have more hip-hop groups participate in Freesound,” Kenvarg said.
Also there have been numerous renovations to the space. Besides installing acoustic panels to sound-proof the room, Bush and Kenvarg arranged to provide P-Card access to the space.
“[Previously] there has been some theft/damage of the equipment because we had to leave the door unlocked all day for people to get in,” Kenvarg said. Now students who join Freesound gain access to the room with their P-Card.

Freesound invites any new members to join.

“To get involved, just email [freesound] and arrange a time to get sound-trained, which entails getting a tour of the room, learning how to use the equipment properly, and understanding the policies of the organization,” Kenvarg said.

The space is open from 4pm to 9pm on weekdays and noon to 9pm on weekends. Also anyone interested in participating in Freesound should check out the weekly meeting Wednesdays at 10pm.
“We have a democratic organization where everyone gets a say on when shows happen, what new equipment we buy, and what direction Freesound should go in,” Kenvarg said.
Currently there are numerous groups which bring in vastly different styles of music to Freesound.

“I come from a background of jazz, playing jazz trombone, but Freesound has been great for me learning other styles and other instruments,” Arthur Richardson ’14 said. “I can even pound away on drums. That would not be the case if the Freesound room didn’t exist”.

Come to Freesound to practice or learn.

“Some of the best music created by Freesound is from ‘non-musicians.’ It’s really cool to have a space and community that fosters that type of experimentation,” said Eric Jarvis ‘12, of Freesound band The Apple and The Oak. “It gives musicians a home outside the music department”.
Many Freesound bands have used the opportunity to open for concerts, such as Gluestick who recently opened for Bass Drum of Death, or Katie In ’13 and Kenvarg’s band which opened for Jukebox the Ghost.

“It’s a great jumping off point for bands at this school,” Kenvarg said.

Freesound will also be providing recording opportunities for student groups later this semester.
“We just got a SPARC budget to pay for recording both at John Edward’s home studio,” Kenvarg said. “It’s a very low key recording process, and depending on the quality the artist desires and the person recording them, it can take as little as a few hours to finish”.
Also watch out for Showvember with three different nights of music. Starting with an acoustic showcase in Bob’s Thursday November 3rd, continuing with dance/rock in Loose lounge Saturday November 12th, and ending with Freesound’s specialty, a punk rock extravaganza Saturday the 19th.

“This semester Freesound has been better than ever before,” Richardson said. “With a p-card reader, new equipment, and a functioning system for reserving the room, the user friendliness of Freesound is awesome.”

Check out Freesound to hone your skills, get a band together, or just mess around with a range of equipment. It’s a low-key environment where any sound is possible.

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