Sound Lab

Invite your inner musician to come out and play.

  1. Sound Lab offers soundproof rooms where groups can come together to play as loud as they want, rehearse original  work, or perform a personal rendition of a classic. MoPOP provides the tools; visitors bring the creative spark.

    Museum guests performing in Sound Lab.

    Photo by Nat Seymour of Be Technical Graphics.

  2. Museum guests can experience recording like professionals in Sound Lab music booths.

    Photo by Nat Seymour of Be Technical Graphics.

  3. Museum guest performing in Sound Lab.

    Photo by Nat Seymour of Be Technical Graphics.

  4. Learn from the best! In addition to creating your own work, guests can perform renditions of classic tunes.

    Photo by Nat Seymour of Be Technical Graphics.

  5. Museum guests performing in Sound Lab.

    Photo by Nat Seymour of Be Technical Graphics.

Multimedia installations invite hands-on interaction so that visitors can explore the tools of rock 'n' roll through electric guitars, drums, samplers, mixing consoles, and more.


The heart of Sound Lab, The Big Drum recalls the early rhythms our ancestors played around the fire. You don't need any special skills to play it, other than the ones you'd bring to a conversation. Just listen and answer back.


Each of the tall semi-enclosed structures on Sound Lab's main floor contains three interactive instruments, including guitar, bass, keyboard or drums. These instruments use sophisticated audio, computer graphics and MIDI to guide you through a variety of learning activities, whether it's learning to play "Louie Louie," or discovering what a 12-bar blues is. You can also choose to forego a lesson to play instruments on your own or with friends and family. Acoustically optimized dividers in each trio let you rock your socks off without disturbing anyone else.


Twelve acoustically isolated rooms known as studio pods, contain interactive devices, gear, and traditional instruments. Take a lesson, jam with others in the room, try out vocals, and learn about the art of mixing. Special reverberation technology lets you adjust the sound so it's as big as an amphitheater, or as intimate as a living room.


Check out the state-of-the-art Jam Studio where you can record your own song using drums, guitars, keyboards, and vocals, then download and share with your friends for free.


How do guitar players make such different sounds? Can an audio engineer really fix it in the mix? Technology has played a huge role in the creation of the sounds of rock 'n' roll, both behind the scenes in the recording studio and up on the bandstand. Find out more about the recording process, amps, samplers, effects pedals, and microphones.


In the hands of a skilled DJ, turntables can produce music that would have been impossible just a few short decades ago. Ever wonder how DJs make that scratching sound or move from one record to the next? Find out in DJ Hallway, situated between Demo Lab and On Stage.


This family-friendly activity combines all of the musical ranges into one instrument for three people. Whether it be the low tones of the bass or the high notes of the flute, you can explore limitless possibilities with this interactive offering perfect for younger visitors. Try your hand at the marimba, located outside Sound Lab.

MoPOP would like to thank the following for their generous support of MoPOP’s Sound Lab: