Rotary Music Performance Room and Digitization Lab

Cape Breton University, Sydney, Nova Scotia
What the facility does

Records music and dance performance; digitizes older recording media

Areas of expertise

This state-of-the-art recording studio and digitization lab is capable of professional quality audio and visual recordings for research purposes. The performance room features a Steinway grand piano, a wooden floor suitable for dancing, and an isolation booth, as well as high-quality microphones and recording equipment. As a fully sound-proofed space, it is also suitable for the study of sound and movement. We also use the space  for the dissemination of music- and dance-related research. The adjacent digitization lab is capable of recording performances, audio, video, photo and records digitization, and of playback. It is outfitted with sound equipment such as microphones, speakers, monitors, mixing boards, reel-to-reel machines, cassette decks, record players, as well as video cameras, stereo equipment and playback units in a variety of formats. It also houses computers, CD and DVD burners, older format audio and video machinery, audio and video editing software, encoding hardware and software, server storage and transcription hardware and software to facilitate musical analysis and transcription.

Research services

Digitization of audio and visual recordings, audio visual and photographic recording- both on- and off-site, editing audio and visual recordings, transcription of audio and visual recordings

Sectors of application
  • Arts and cultural industries
  • Education
  • Tourism and hospitality



Audio work station: Pro Tools HDX

Used for transferring archival audio media to a digital format. It is also used to create and edit born digital media.

Video work station: Final Cut Pro/ Blackmagic 4K Extreme

Used for transferring archival video media to a digital format. It is also used to create and edit material that originated in digital form - “born digital media.”

Bravo SE duplication system

Used for duplication of CDs and DVDs

Epson Perfection V500 Photo Scanner

Used to scan text and images as documents for archival preservation.

Tandberg StorageLibrary T24 LTO

Used to back up all digital media created while conforming to the Digital Archives of Canada Standards for long-term backup.

Photography kit – D7100 with micro and macro lens; lighting kit

Used to photograph archival materials, making them more accessible to researchers.  It is also used to create born-digital content for researchers who require the capturing of new content

Video kit – Sony HDV cameras; lighting kit

Used to create born-digital content for researchers who  require the capturing of new content.

Assorted portable digital audio recorders

Used for recording interviews or field work



2011 Labour Day Celebrations in Halifax and Cape Breton Songs of Protest and Struggle (blog post)


Review of Prefer Performance, a promotional CD produced at the RMPR and Digitization Lab (2011, Ethnologies 33/1: 320-22)

Cape Breton Study Centre Offers Gaelic Project Support (Stornoway Gazette, May 26, 2008)

Sounds of Preserving Culture Loud and Clear (Cdn University Press Release, Oct 11, 2006)

Interview with Richard MacKinnon and Victor Tomiczek (re: protest song CD project)

Protest Songs project website (including song recordings)

Cape Breton’s Diversity in Unity (Beaton Institute virtual exhibit)

Beaton Institute – Ethnocultural Resources Inventory

Exhibit: A Cape Breton Story of Ukrainian Dance… From Village to Stage