It’s been a good year for the Nor’easters.

The stu­dent a cap­pella group, formed in 1998 as the university’s co-​​ed voices-​​only ensemble, released its first pro­fes­sion­ally recorded album and won a free album through a con­test run by the group’s recording studio, The Vocal Com­pany.

The group’s third album, “III,” released ear­lier this year, was the first to be pro­fes­sion­ally recorded.

The albums we’d done before were more like year­book albums, all student-​​recorded and student-​​produced,” said David Crozier, group pres­i­dent and  fourth-​​year elec­trical and com­puter engi­neering major. “But since we’re starting to get national atten­tion, we thought it was time to get some­thing pro­fes­sional together.”

The Nor’easters fin­ished in sev­enth place at the Inter­na­tional Cham­pi­onship of Col­le­giate A Cap­pella in each of the last two years and were included on a top col­le­giate com­pi­la­tion album, Voices Only 2012. Enter the slick sounding “III,” the follow-​​up to the Nor’easters’ first two albums, “Don’t Blame us for the Weather” and “Aural Fixation.”

Mem­bers of the Nor’easters plan to spend this year recording tracks for the ensemble’s fourth album, which is slated for a fall 2013 release.

According to Crozier, having access to a recording studio gives the a cap­pella group a chance to expand its reper­toire beyond modern pop rock tunes. “For a live per­for­mance you have to think ‘How will this affect the audi­ence?’ and how things like dynamics affect the song,” he said. “But with the album, we were able to explore things we just couldn’t do live.”

For instance, the Nor’easters’ ren­di­tion of Janelle Monae’s “Cold War,” which is fea­tured on “III,” takes advan­tage of dig­ital music tech­nology to create a dubstep-​​style sound.

III” can be pur­chased on iTunes or streamed on Spotify.