The Backdoor Studio Logo

General Questions

All current SDSU students.

No.  It is open to every student at SDSU with a valid Red ID and you don’t even have to use it for school projects! Record your garage band, produce YouTube content, record a podcast, etc.

Yes. Reservations must be made 3 business days in advance to use the studio. Walk-ins are allowed to use the editing bays, though reservations are encouraged. Please see The Backdoor Studio Reservations page to see how to reserve the Studio or an Editing Bay

Follow The Backdoor Studio Reservations link. You will need your RedID number.

A Backdoor employee will manually activate your account. We appreciate your patience.

The studio can be reserved for a maximum of 3 hours at a time. Each student can have a maximum of 3 reservations scheduled at any given time. Reservations can be made back-to-back to extend usage time.

The Backdoor Studio hours are posted on The Backdoor Studio Reservations page

The studio is in the Aztec Student Union on the first floor behind the Information Center.

Food and drinks are not allowed in either the studio or editing bay room. Water can be brought in using sealable water bottles.

Yes, staff from The Backdoor Studio will be available to help get the project going and offer limited assistance. However, the person using the studio should have a basic knowledge of equipment and software and be prepared to produce their own project.

This project has been in the works for several years. Former A.S. President, J. Cole, as a member of the Aztec Music Group (AMG), proposed the idea of a student sound studio that was open to students from all majors. After researching and conducting student focus groups to ensure that the services available in the studio would meet the diverse needs of the students, the Aztec Student Union Board (ASUB) and A.S. Board of Directors voted to move forward with a plan to create a non-academic based, student-run sound & video studio for all students to use.

The naming of the space is in honor of an important part of SOSU's history. The (original) Backdoor was located in the former Aztec Center (which was torn down and replaced by the current Conrad Prebys Aztec Student Union). The space was originally intended to house two lanes of the Aztec Center bowling alley when it opened in 1968. Instead, the students voiced their opinion and asked for a space for coffee and music. The coffee part did not last, but the live music certainly did…for more than thirty years. This space became known as The Backdoor because the guests entered literally through the back of the venue. Despite a capacity of only 250 guests, The Backdoor hosted over 3,000 concerts featuring more than 5,500 bands and musicians, including Jimmy Buffett, Linda Ronstadt, Patti Smith, Tom Petty, REM, the Ramones, and Metallica.

User Access

Yes. You can record video using our green screen. We can also provide a black or white backdrop. Other backdrops and props can be brought in by the user.

Audio Questions

Yes. We can help you get setup to record any type of instrument or vocal you would like.

You can bring your own computer or other external recording device.

Other Equipment Questions

We have a comfortable studio chair along with a few rolling and folding chairs available for other accompanying guests.

In both the studio and the editing bays we have 2018 iMacs and one iMac Pro to help render video faster.

Yes. You can bring in any equipment you would like to. However, we cannot guarantee your equipment will seamlessly integrate into the native environment of the room.

You can bring your own computer or other external recording device.

Editing Questions

An external drive or cloud storage service is recommended. You cannot save to our computers. Any saved projects will be deleted each night.

No, a user's project should never be saved to the studio computers. The user should always save his/her project to a USB drive or a cloud service.

Using the Studio

You can head to the Information Center located on the first floor across from Aztec Lanes and Oggi's. Be sure to bring your RedID!

Your reservation time includes your setup and teardown time. You may need to arrive early to unload and move your vehicle (see: "Where can I unload equipment") if you have a lot of items. Anything of ours that you are using will already be setup.

You can use the loading dock in the basement of the Aztec Student Union if you have a lot of equipment. You access the loading dock from Aztec Circle Drive coming south off of College Avenue. Once unloaded, you must move the vehicle and park it elsewhere. Vehicles left unattended may be cited or towed. There are flatbed carts and hand trucks to help you move your items.

Most likely there is a reservation ahead of yours so getting into the studio early may not be possible. You can always get to the Student Union early to unload and be ready to enter the space at your reserved time.

To make it easier and less confusing for our users, your reservation time includes all of your setup and all of your teardown. For example, if your time is from 3:00pm-6:00pm, you can enter the room at 3:00pm to get setup and at 6:00pm you should be walking out of the space, leaving it exactly how you found it when you first walked in.