The main entrance to the Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center is now open. Van Pelt Library and the Fisher Fine Arts Library are currently open to Penn Card holders, Penn affiliates, and certain visitors. See our Service Alerts for details.

Hechtman Recording Studio

The studio is a space for video, audio, and photo production. The room contains a video camera, microphone, audio recorder, lights, and backdrops including a greenscreen/chromakey backdrop.

Room and equipment available in the Hechtman Recording Studio.

The studio may only be reserved for media production usage. Personal, academic, and extracurricular media production are all welcomed. Reserving the room for non-media activities is prohibited, and those who attempt to use the room for non-media activities will be asked to leave and could be blocked from future reservations.

Editing and other post-production activities may be done in the Vitale Digital Media Lab, where staff are available to help with software like Adobe Premiere, Final Cut Pro X, iMovie, Audition, and Audacity.

Reservation Rules

The studio is open free of charge Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 9am-5pm, by reservation only.

You may reserve and use the recording studio only if at least one person in your group using the room has received a Recording Studio orientation.


Please read the studio policies (below) before booking or using the studio.

For more information, see the FAQ below

Where to print, copy, scan

Accordion List

  • Apple boxes to adjust height
  • Backdrops (green, white, or black)
  • Clapperboard (Dry-erase, magnetic)
  • LED Litepanel 1x1 Astra Bi-color lights with 1x1 soft boxes on Matthews C-stands
  • Prompter People Flex 15 (15-inch) Teleprompter
  • Rode NTG-3 Shotgun Microphone and microphone stand
  • Sennheiser lapel/lavalier microphone
  • Video camera: Sony PXW-X70 4K (SDXC card preferred)
  • Westcott Spyderlite TD6 with 36x48 soft boxes on light stands

Additional equipment may be borrowed from the Vitale Digital Media Lab

  • Only a person who has attended an official studio orientation session and signed the user agreement form may reserve the studio.
  • Only the person who reserved the studio may check out the studio room key from the Vitale Digital Media Lab (Van Pelt 1st floor, far west end)
  • The person who reserved the studio assumes financial responsibility for all late fines and all charges for any damages assessed.
  • The person who reserved the studio or someone else who has attended an official studio orientation session must remain present in studio for the entire time the studio is in use.
  • You may use the room for personal as well as academic or extracurricular purposes.
  • Users of the studio may not operate a for-profit business from the studio or be paid for sessions recorded in the studio.
  • The maximum permitted occupancy of Room 322 is 15 people.
  • Equipment in the recording studio is not available for checkout and may only be used within the recording studio itself.
  • The library will not store your videos. You will be expected to provide your own recording media. Our video camera and audio recorder each use SD Cards. You can expect to need 1GB/minute of video and 1GB/minute for audio. (4K?) Purchase SD or SDHC cards which are rated class 10. (Make chart based on Camera)
  • The studio is intended for spoken word. Musical instruments may not be played in the studio without prior approval from the manager of the Vitale Digital Media Lab.
  • Food and drink are not permitted in the studio.
  • No open flame is permitted in the studio.
  • No weapons, fighting, or violence is allowed in the studio. Failure to comply will result in removal from the studio and potential notification of law enforcement.
  • Quiet on the set! If you are in the studio and you are not recording, be respectful of those who are. Even seemingly insignificant sounds like rubbing your hands on your pants may be audible in your final video.
  • Any theft of property or intentional damage either directly related to or indirectly related to the studio will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
  • The University of Pennsylvania does not claim any copyright or ownership of material created and recorded in the Hechtman Recording Studio.
  • The person who reserved the studio is responsible for procuring permissions to record any material that is subject to copyright.
  • You may not store personal equipment, instruments, bags, or other items in the studio outside of the times you have reserved the room for. All equipment brought in for your session must leave with you.
  • The person who reserved the studio is responsible for returning the studio to its original state, as outline in the orientation session and on the Room Reset Checklist.
  • A fine of $25 per hour or any part of an hour will be assessed for the late return of the studio key to the lab. There is no grace period. Please plan accordingly.
  • Views and opinions expressed in the content produced in the studio do not necessarily reflect those of the University of Pennsylvania or any employee thereof.
  • The studio is subject to the same terms and conditions outlined in the University's policy on acceptable use of electronic resources.
  • Individuals violating any of these policies are subject to a temporary or permanent ban from the use of the studio.
  • Thank you for reviewing the studio policies. Our staff will be happy to answer any questions you may have.
  • These policies are subject to change without notice.


The room is approximately 19-feet-by-22-feet with 9-foot ceilings. There is sound absorption material on the walls to reduce echo, and there is a sound-treated door to help prevent external noise from entering the room.

Although the we have made every effort to make the studio as quiet as possible, the room is not completely sound proof, and you will occasionally hear noise from the environment. We strongly recommend having someone monitoring the sound throughout your recording session.

The Hechtman Recording Studio is available for use by current University of Pennsylvania students, faculty, and staff only.

You may reserve and use the recording studio only if:

  1. The recording equipment in the room will be staffed by a Recording Studio engineer; or
  2. At least one person in your group using the room has been trained by a Recording Studio engineer

There are no exceptions to this rule.

There are no fees associated with using the Studio during our standard operating hours unless the facilities or the equipment are damaged or the studio key is returned late.

At this time, we do not have the ability to broadcast from the studio. We may add that functionality in the future based on user requests and assessed need.

Absolutely. Feel free to bring your own camera, lights, microphones, etc. You can also borrow equipment for free from the Vitale Digital Media Lab, located on the 1st floor of Van Pelt in the Weigle Information Commons.

Everyone wishing to reserve the studio must first attend a training/orientation session. Sessions last 45 minutes and are held in the recording studio (Van Pelt 322) Contact David Toccafondi to set up an appointment.

Once you have attended an orientation, you may reserve the studio for up to 3 hours per week.

Studio reservations are first come, first served.

While we make every effort to accommodate scheduling requests, sometimes it is simply not possible to schedule an engineer during your booked time. Please be flexible and work one-on-one with us to ensure things are planned in advance.

Ask us for help! The staff of the Hechtman Recording Studio and the Vitale Digital Media Lab (215-746-2661) are here to help you make the most of our resources. Many of them have probably run into the same problems that you have.

Everyone wishing to reserve the studio must first attend a training/orientation session.

Email David Toccafondi

Location and Accessibility


For Wheelchairs

  • Sufficient doorway & hallway clearance
  • Clearance to approach table
  • Table with accessible surface height, knee clearance, and leg clearance

Nearby Bathrooms

2 large gender-neutral, accessible bathrooms are located near the 3rd floor east bank of elevators.  8 gender-neutral, accessible bathrooms are located in the 3rd floor west elevator lobby. (see floor plan)

Accessible Entrance

Accessible entrance, ground floor, Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center

Directions to the accessible entrance:   Word   |   PDF