So you wanna be a rock ‘n’ roll star? Or an expert audiophile? Or you’re simply looking for a musical interlude in your day? The Hamilton Public Library is a sound resource rife with plenty of options for musicians and music lovers.

Makerspace rooms are equipped with digital audio workstations, instruments and equipment. Photo: Hamilton Public Library.

Amateur and professional musicians alike are finding everything they need to produce great sounding music from start to finish at our flagship Makerspace at Central Library, as well as other Makerspaces at Turner Park, Red Hill and Terryberry Branches.

HPL is a band’s best resource for many reasons. Central Library has a spacious, state-of-the-art sound studio that is replete with an electronic drum kit, guitar, bass, keyboard, speakers, amplifiers and microphones. And learning audio recording techniques is easily done through the education portal, Lynda.com

Turner Park, Red Hill and Terryberry Branches also house sound studios where you can record and mix your own songs.

Musicians can also bring in their own instruments and hook them up to the Library’s audio interface.

A variety of the latest software and hardware options ensure your band can record the richest sounds to satisfy the most astute ears. And Audio Mastering Techniques lets you work like a pro engineer to create a cohesive album from a set of mixed tracks.

For the technophile, HPL has a dual cassette recorder for digitizing analog audio cassettes, or duplicating them to another tape. Garageband is here too. It’s software that lets you write, record and mix a song.

If all of this sounds like it’s way over your head, it’s not. Each piece of equipment, each instrument and all hardware and software come complete with simple-to-follow how-to instructions. Plus, HPL staff are always on hand to help make your sessions run smoothly.

Some of the workshops staff offer include Audio Recording for Beginners and Cut a Track with Garageband, each which covers the basics of connecting instruments, recording tracks, mixing a song and sharing the final product.

Take it from aspiring musician Sheldon Daly who is honing his talents at the Central Library studios: “The Hamilton Public Library’s Makerspaces are places to cultivate and harmonize musical talents. This includes guitars, keyboard, drum set, microphones and accessories – to record historical value, for free!”

To get started, you need a Hamilton Public Library card that’s in good standing, valid photo ID and anyone under age 14 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Book your studio time up to one week in advance, for up to two hours at a time, up to three times per week. Reserve online at hpl.ca, by phone or in person.

Melanie Cummings is a Communications Officer at the Hamilton Public Library who has lived in this city since birth. While she has no musical talent to speak of, she stakes a partial claim on her husband and three children’s musical prowess.