SUNBURY is to become Hume's music hub with the opening of a recording studio at the suburb's youth centre.
For a fee, Studio S is available to anyone for recording and an audio engineer is on site to help out. At $20 an hour during the day and $35 at night, it's Melbourne's cheapest studio to hire.
Scott Blackman, the studio audio engineer and manager, came up with the idea about six months ago and has overseen its establishment.
"I've been in the Sunbury music scene for about six years," he says.
"Some people said there was a recording studio at the youth centre and some said there wasn't. I happened to be dropping off a flyer and a worker took me through to see the studio.
"It was just two bare rooms and some cardboard boxes.
"I explained about my sound-engineering background and
put together a proposal for council."
Mr Blackman provides the whole recording package for local artists. All they need to do is take in their instruments and he'll do the rest.
There are two rehearsal spaces - one large and one small - as well as an array of professional recording gear.
The studio uses the latest in digital recording technology. It cost $20,000 to establish, with half the money from the council and the rest from the state government.
"The response has been huge. We've run a few projects to help local artists and to help us learn and understand the equipment," Mr Blackman said.
"We're hoping to have someone use the facility at least once a day. The demand has been pretty high, so that's not unrealistic."
He also hopes to teach sound engineering to young people.
"The whole idea was to teach people about recording.
"Every bit of equipment was chosen so it would be easy to teach on; it's user-friendly and there's a plan to use it for educational purposes."
Studio S will be officially opened on April 7.
BY CHARLOTTE CULLUM JENKINS