SAIC Media Center

Contact information, map and directions, contact form, opening hours, services, ratings, photos, videos and announcements from SAIC Media Center, Art school, 112 S Michigan Avenue Fl 8, Chicago, IL.

The Media Center provides the School of the Art Institute of Chicago community with audiovisual equipment and services to accommodate documentation, creation, instructional, and exhibition needs.

Operating as usual


Go to the Fire Sale Event posting in this page to find the list of probable inventory for the November 19th Fire Sale!


It's been awhile! Fire Sale coming 11/19/21. Big blowout! Everything MUST GO. Rock bottom prices! ARTICard purchases only. Sample inventory will be available soon.

SAIC Media Centers – Just another SAIC Sites site 08/31/2021

Welcome back!! Glad you're here. All Media Center locations will be open for Fall 2021 semester beginning on Wednesday, September 1st. To start, as we staff up to full capacity, our operating hours, until further notice, will be 8:30 to 5:30 Monday through Friday at all locations; Saturday 8:30-5:30 at MacLean.

Check our website for up-to-date info.

SAIC Media Centers – Just another SAIC Sites site Just another SAIC Sites site


Unsure what resolution is best for your project or how much memory it will require? Here is a helpful guide. For more guides and training materials visit:

Photos from SAIC Media Center's post 04/13/2021

Lighting Fundamentals Class learning some outdoor lighting techniques with equipment circulated by the SAIC Media Centers.


In-House-Interdisciplinary! The Media Center in partnership with FVNMA is proud to support the Fashion Department with equipment for their video production next week!


Did you know you can access many of the editing and specialty labs without having to pick up a physical key from the Media Center? Check out the *Room Reservation* checkout center on Patron Portal.

Learn More:


What does “MC” mean?

When you see “MC” next to equipment in our Patron Portal it denotes that something belongs to the full Media Center pool of equipment, anyone in the AIC/SAIC community can access this through certification or as general access.

If you see “ATS”, “FVNMA”, “PHOTO”, “PERF” that denotes equipment belonging to a specific academic department and requires authorization (enrollment in that department or a specific course).

All physical equipment circulating through our centers right down to our cables & adapters is tagged with “SAIC MC”. This just helps differentiate borrowed gear from any personal gear.


Want to enhance the remote teaching & learning experience or have a virtual interview, conference or lecture coming up? We have Web Cams and USB Conference Microphones available for checkout.

Learn more about our hybrid and virtual teaching resources @


Order Up!📌 One benefit of our ‘Reservations Only’ system is we assemble your reservation in advance keeping lines very short and interaction at the counter quick & efficient!

Reservations are available for pickup 2hours after being placed within our operating hours at @


*Media Center Request* is our special request form for extended checkouts or for requesting resources while we are closed between semesters.

Go to Patron Portal > Select *Media Center Request* under Checkout Center > Follow Instructions from there.

Requests for May 12-June 1st MUST be submitted by May 7.


Having trouble getting connected to our resources? Have questions about equipment or our services? Reach out to our staff!


Pulling focus on our access levels!

GENERAL ACCESS 🔓 Anyone with a valid AIC/SAIC ID can access.

CERTIFIED ACCESS🔐 Completion of an online workshop is required for access to this advanced equipment. Anyone in the AIC/SAIC community can take these courses.

AUTHORIZED ACCESS🔒 Enrollment in a specific department or course is required to access this equipment (for example FVNMA or PHOTO).

Learn More:


Ever unsure of what should be in your equipment case? Check the Contents of Kit tag!
Anything missing? Call the Media Center, our number is on the flip side of the tag ☎️


Famous last words! Your time is valuable, try to get the best image you can upfront.

DON'T ● Shoot in Auto Mode.
DON'T ● Use Auto White Balance.
DON'T ● Use shutter speeds under 1/60 (this will produce motion blur).
DON'T ● Rely on LCD for accurate exposure. Use histogram instead.
DON'T ● Increase ISO higher than 400 unless needed (this will reduce quality by increasing noise).

Want to learn more?
Download our 'Documentation Tips' guide on Canvas.
Media Center Training > Files > Documentation Tips


Need equipment for longer than the maximum 7 days for a special project or opportunity? We can often accommodate special requests. On Patron Portal select "Media Center Request" and follow the instructions from there.


Looking for better exposure?
The Media Center circulates light meters! They measure light falling on a subject (incident light) or being reflected by a subject (reflective light) - by converting these measurements the light meter defines what would be the most beneficial shutter speed & f/stop for your subject.

Reservations @


Suddenly inspired by this beautiful clear day to film? It's not too late to get equipment for the weekend! Patron Portal has a 2 Hour turn around time for reservations during business hours. We're open 8:30am-5:30pm M-F .
Reservations always required:


Remembrance of Sound Department Pioneer and SAIC Alumni
Leif Brush . March 28, 1932-March 15, 2021

The SAIC Media Center would like to spotlight the legacy of this pioneer in the field of sound art, experimental media and sound studies.

Beginning with an interest in radio transmission and a career in broadcasting, Leif's lifelong fascination with nature would direct him to the hidden sounds of vegetation and the elements. His Audible Sculpture took the form of what he would call his Terrain Instruments.

One Terrain Instrument that Brush developed specifically picked up insect sounds. Five wires of different gauges strung between two trees picked up slight vibrations from cicadas and crickets, which Brush amplified electronically to record. During his recording processes, Brush often discovered unexpected sounds, such as that of ants crawling across the monitor wires. These discoveries led to the development of new instruments, such as his “Insect Broadcasting System,” an extension of the cicada/cricket monitor that included its own “insect recording studio”, a plastic box with a thin metal floor that could pick up the sounds of ants walking.

He gradually turned his vast garden in northern Minnesota into his studio, populating it with Windribbons, Signal Discs, Terrestrial Whistlers....learn more about his life and his fascinating work via the links below.

Leif Brush received his MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1972 and taught the FIRST EVER sound class at SAIC, "Audible Constructs". He was an emeritus professor at the Department of Art & Design, University of Minnesota, Duluth, Minnesota from 1975 until retiring in 2002.

His legacy lives on through his many students, colleagues, collaborators and family. Thank you Leif!


Always wanted to do something with that stack of bulky old media? Love to get creative with found footage? Time to digitize it!

Outside of the Maclean Media Center is a self serve dub station!

Included in the rack is a Blu-Ray DVD player and a VHS player, additional media decks and the 16mm transfer unit can be checked out from the Maclean Media Center.

Reservations are not required for the dub station but you would need a reservation for any auxiliary decks.

The media is digitized as an mp4 1920x1080p. For best results bring your USB 3.0 or faster drive, or portable hard drive formatted in the exFAT format.


Get to know the Media Center nearest to you!
The 280 Building Media Center is located near the top of the main staircase, room 201. This location carries a wide variety of general access gear as well as specialized gear for the Photo Department. We primarily serve departments located in the 280 Building including Painting & Drawing, Sculpture, Ceramics, Print Media, Performance and more. Open 8:30am-5:30pm M-F.
Reservations required via


The Media Center carries a wide variety of microphones that are general access (accessible to anyone with a valid SAIC/AIC ID)....but how do you know what type is best for your project?

Understanding Polar Patterns and Directionality is one learn more download our Microphone Guide on Canvas
Media Center Workshops and Training > Files > Advanced Microphones.

Photos from SAIC Media Center's post 03/11/2021

Looking for a proper space to photograph your work?

The Media Center circulates access to a documentation room on the first floor of the 280 Building. To access just complete the online certification via Canvas


Looking to add some variety or dramatic movement to your videography? We carry a variety of stabilizers in the Media Center.
Students, faculty and staff can access these resources by completing an online Certification Course via Canvas.


New to the Media Center? Here are the basics on accessing equipment!

Want your school to be the top-listed School/college in Chicago?

Click here to claim your Sponsored Listing.

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Patron Appreciation Day 2018!!





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Chicago, IL
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