Accessing facilities

Whether you want to hone your skills in solitude, thrash out a group jam, capture some bold new sounds, or record a stellar performance, we have practice rooms and a recording studio to help you do just that.

Each facility can be accessed by visiting the University Online Store to add-on a termly or annual fee to your College Music Scheme Membership, which runs from September to September and must be renewed each year. All funds go towards replacing and upgrading equipment. The fee is often waived for those contributing time towards the scheme.

'The Garage’ band rehearsal space at Vanbrugh

The idea for a band practice space started when Dr David Efird (Vanbrugh Provost 2008-2013) was living on campus and invited students to practise on the drum kit in his garage.

Following a lot of fundraising and hard work from volunteers, staff and alumni, ‘The Garage’ became the modern band practice space it is today, equipped with an expanded drum kit, electric guitar, bass guitar and bass amps, PA system, mics and an electric piano, as well as an attached recording studio.

Located at The Warren on Vanbrugh Way, The Garage is perfect for groups looking for a space to jam or rehearse before a gig.

Derwent Studio at Derwent College

Derwent Studio is a large multi-use space, for music practices, small performances and flat-floor space activities.

It is equipped with a small PA with two microphones, a drum kit, instrument amp, bass amp, electric piano and Hammond organ.

It can be booked via the Derwent College Office ( for dance, martial arts, group activities and small performances.

If you have the Garage add-on and want to practise in the space, you can make your own bookings on evenings or weekends (outside of teaching time).

The Basement practice rooms at Langwith

Langwith has two practice rooms at The Basement: one has a piano and acoustic guitar, the other has a piano, electronic drum kit, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, bass, small practice amps and headphones.

As the rooms are in an accommodation block they are for quiet and acoustic practice only, and are not suitable for band practices or loud music.

Join the College Music Scheme and Add-On use of 'The Garage' and Derwent Studio or Langwith practice space. You will receive an email giving you access to the booking system, you can then use the below link to book.

Book now

The Garage recording studio at Vanbrugh

Equipped with everything you need to record your own EP or demo, including a silent ventilation system to keep your musicians cool, The Garage’s recording studio is available to hire for music scheme members.

The Mac in the studio runs Reper using a 16 Channel Mackie Onyx 1640i Firewire Desk.

We have a number of different microphones for specific instruments, equipment or styles, so please ask when booking.

Before you book

  1. The person booking the session must be a member of the College Music Scheme.
  2. As with all complicated equipment, it’s important that users know what they are doing. As such the recording facilities can only be operated by an approved Studio Technician. You will either need a Studio Technician to operate the recording studio for you, or be signed off as a Studio Technician yourself. If you have not been signed off to use the space, contact for a list of approved studio techs.
  3. If you want to arrange to borrow or hire instruments from the Instrument Lending Library for your session you will need to arrange this in advance.

How to book

  1. You will need to book a recording session. We recommend at least six to eight hours. Due to availability you may need to organise this for overnight or out of term-time.
  2. Email to reserve a recording session. State the date and time you require and provide the name of your Studio Technician.
  3. You will be sent a link to pay for your booking. You must pay prior to the session. We charge £5/hour or £25 for a six-hour session. Don't forget to also pay your Studio Tech (we leave this for you to negotiate but most student techs will charge around £12.50/hour).

When you’ve booked

  1. Before the session, your Studio Tech will need to go to Vanbrugh Reception to sign out the keys. They can also sign out The Garage keycard at the same time.
  2. While the Studio Tech is responsible for the equipment in the recording studio, you are responsible for the equipment in The Garage.
  3. If you would like any help with post-production mixing, a number of our Studio Techs also provide this service. You will need to arrange payment with them directly for any additional work.

Free recording sessions: If you’re willing to be the band for potential Studio Techs to train on, contact the College Music Scheme on to book a Wednesday afternoon session. You MUST be willing to commit to this and to turn up!

A number of sessions are run on Wednesday afternoons in term-time where you can learn to use the recording studio.

This is a three-week course with induction, shadow recording and observed recording. If you already have experience in using a recording studio, you can get 'signed off' to be able to hire the studio yourself with only one session.

Most people require three or more sessions, but once you are signed off you can offer your services as a Studio Tech and even make some money.

How to apply

  1. Add 'The Garage' add-on to your College Music Scheme Membership.
  2. Find dates, times and more information about sessions.


Sessions are heavily subsidised but attendees are asked to contribute towards each session. This money goes towards the upkeep of the facilities.