By Douglas Goldspiel
CCC Journalism Program
BLACKWOOD – The classroom is silent as students congregate around a hollow glow of a computer screen as local music talent and classmate John Gaspara, 33, strums his candy red Diabolo Gibson electric guitar. They watch as the lines bounce up and down from the various sounds mixing together to create one song coming through the complex microphone setup the students put together earlier for them. Dave Downham, professor and local studio owner, watches as the students fiddle with knobs and effects to try to work the maze-like program. The final product is one free song recorded courtesy of the Camden County College recording class to help Gaspara in his costly and difficult CD release.
Gaspara, who has been playing guitar for all of his life, has been slowly piecing together his own solo album not yet titled. He has been piecing this together for almost two years. He says there has been such a delay on creating the CD because “I just don’t have the money to spend on recordings. There are more important things, like my son and my wife. This is a great opportunity to get working on my CD again and not have to worry about the money and just about the music. I also feel like it was a great learning experience for my classmates as well.”
Downham, the class professor, states, “Every semester I do this. Local talent comes and and the students know so much. John was a wonderful client and very easy to work with, and I would have him back every semester if he would want to.”
Justin Miller, a student in the class, says he not only was able to learn the computer program, but “I was able to see the several different mic techniques and different effects to use on different sounds.”
Gaspara, who was a winner of a never-aired musical talent show, was able to lay down several tracks for his songs, such as vocals, guitar, bass and drums. With this wide range of instruments, the students kept busy solving different dilemmas such as incorrect routing and faulty equipment. Despite these issues, they were able to give Gaspara a professional-style recording for his single, “Who Were We Kidding,” by the end of the night. Gaspara said he was unsure if there will ever be a release date for his single or his CD.