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Natural captures: A look into WSBF’s live sessions

WSBF, Clemson’s radio station, has long been a space for creativity and innovation. The most recent addition to its repertoire is a revamping of Clemson Live Sessions — periods of around 45 minutes where local bands play a live set list in the studio.
“We’re trying to capture a natural performance from an artist or group in a way that’s true to who they are as musicians,” Chief WSBF Engineer Christian Steinmetz said. “We have a space, so we bring in musicians and they perform like they would at a normal concert.”
The concerts function like any other. For 30 to 45 minutes, the band just plays. One WSBF staffer hosts the session and keeps listeners engaged by introducing the show and certain songs. The band is also interviewed throughout the session so the audience can get to know the artists.
Although the live shows have been going on for several years, the WSBF team has worked to improve what already existed. “We changed the video format, the lighting, how we do the audio and a lot of other stuff to create a much more cohesive product,” Steinmetz explained.
WSBF staff records audio and video during all sessions and then edits them together into a video which is posted to their YouTube channel afterwards. The videos are high quality recordings of set up, introductions and music.
So far, the channel is host to five videos of SondorBlue (the most recent), Silvermane, Beach Sex, The Last Combo and Hot Showers.
“They come prepared to do the show,” Steinmetz said. “We’re here to put that on the air and make a product.”
WSBF Events Coordinator Wesley Heaton, among others, has been a big participant in the shows and sees a real value in what they can add to the university as well as to the Clemson area as a whole.
“I really love live sessions because we get to showcase local acts in a region where bands don’t really have that opportunity,” Heaton explained. “In upstate South Carolina and in Clemson, it’s really hard for you to make a name for yourself as a band and we’re here to facilitate that.”
As the platform for live sessions starts to grow, Steinmetz holds similar hopes to Heaton.
“These sessions are a great way for WSBF to expand its reach beyond our local broadcast. We really want to reach out to more groups and try to make more of a brand out of the live sessions.”
The performances act as a sort of showcase for the bands, according to Steinmetz. WSBF doesn’t act in a creative capacity as far as the music and actual playing goes, but instead they try to facilitate the artist in achieving their sound.
The bands play live Fridays at 7 p.m. and Saturdays at 2 p.m. The February lineup includes bands like Chew, Twin Studies and The Cisco Kids. The music is available either on 88.1 FM or And, if you hear something you like in a live session, the artists often hold a presence on music-sharing websites like Spotify or Soundcloud. This means that you can discover, listen to, and share music from any band you find noteworthy.
For any bands interested in participating in the revamped live sessions, information is easy to find. You can email [email protected]. But, if you’re still a little hesitant, it is easy to investigate further on Facebook under WSBFlive or on the YouTube channel:
WSBF Clemson live sessions are a great way to spread the word about your music as well as to interact with a more artistic branch of Clemson University. As Steinmetz says: “We want to create media that people will be able to truly experience.”

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