Thursday, October 30, 2014

Nightsound Recording Studios - Best In The Triangle

I never do things the way people want me to. They way society expects me to. So, sue me. I ought just to post a nice review of Nightsound Studios, the amazing studio helping me (Pop Voxx / Geoff Gilson) to get the tunes out of my head, and into something approaching a commercial form. But, in light of some bits and pieces, that doesn't sit well with me.

I do have a review. And I have posted it on Yelp. Please go read it. 'Like' it. Or 'Compliment' it. Whatever it is that Yelp does. Then rate Nightsound five stars. Then, if you have had dealings with Nightsound, tell the world how wonderful they are.

Why? Well, first, 'cos they are - as my review makes clear. But most importantly, because they have suffered what every artistic endeavor is vulnerable to on this wonderful anarchic device we call the open internet - a vengeful troll.

I know about this. I was performing a difficult set on New Year's Eve, when a drunken a-hole came up, mid-song, leaned in, and loudly told me I sounded like shit. People. Fellow artists and arts-lovers don't do this to each other. Not mid-performance.

I don't know who the dickhead reviewer of Nightsound on Yelp is. All I know is that art is not precise. It is a creative process. If something doesn't gel, that's life. Move on, and find something that does gel.

That's what grown-ups do. Children take advantage of Yelp's open reviewing opportunities, and have a scream and a whine. Which is where we come to my not behaving as society expects me to.

I should quietly do my review and move on, myself. But the amazing team at Nightsound are more than engineers and producers. Chris Wimberley, Taylor Herbert, Aubrey Adcock Herbert, Meghan Puryear, Adrianna Villa, Geneva Walata, they have become family. They have given five years of their time, often for no pay, to help me get a sound out of my head, that has sat there, lodged, for thirty years.

But I'm not just talking about what Nightsound have done for me. Last year, Nightsound spent about a hundred hours with Morning Brigade. I have spoken with band members, Peter Vance, Gabriel Reynolds and Nathan Spain. They all love Nightsound.

So too do Henbrain, who recorded with them recently. I partied with Zack Hargett and Erika Libero last Halloween at the Nightsound Studios. BTW, Chris? Are you guys doing a Halloween Party this year?

Skinny Bag Of Sugar regularly provide session musicians to Nightsound. I know. Rob J. DiMauro just laid down brilliant drumming tracks for my six songs. If you don't know them, Skinny Bag are a local 'cover band' (which as descriptions go is like describing Mark Zuckerburg as someone who has a bit of money). Anyways. The musicians in SB are some of the best session musicians you will find outside of LA or New York. I wouldn't be asking them to perform if they weren't. And they wouldn't be making themselves available to Nightsound, if Nightsound wasn't the best.

Does this sound like I'm tagging folks to spread the word? Damn tootey. I'm mad. These are my mates. They are good people. Professional people. Kind people. Creative people. Making a difficult living. Supporting local artists. Help out.

Share this post. Compliment my review. Give Nightsound five stars on Yelp. Write a short review. Support Nightsound. Support local artists and musicians.

Oh. In addition to linking to my review, here it is in full:

"SHORT VERSION: Nightsound Studios provide a range of recording and production services to suit your budget and particular needs. They will tailor their amazing creativity to ensure that you get what you want. If you have an off-the-peg sound, which needs a simple recording package, you will leave happy and with change in your pocket. But their forte is combining the singular talent at their disposal to help nurture local musicians, and develop sounds and styles which may still be nascent in the mind of the creative artist. I know. At times, I have been both of these clients.

LONG VERSION: In 2009, after allowing some tunes to bubble in my head for thirty years, I finally worked up the nerve to attempt to download them onto a demo CD. I approached Nightsound Studios and Chris Wimberley, having met Chris while he was supporting local musicians on our community radio, WCOM.

He and his engineering team were professional, to-the-point, cost-effective, charming, helpful and attentive. They did precisely what I asked. Produced an eight song demo, to my precise specifications. I'm a prima donna. I get like that.

Then Chris and his senior recording engineer sat me down, at their expense, not mine. And told me, bluntly but kindly, that they genuinely saw more potential in my music. And would like to help me discover the sounds they felt I continued to hide within me.

For the next five years, they worked with me. 90% of the time they gave, the advice they shared, the nudging they engaged in, they gave pro bono. They very genuinely wanted me to discover myself. To get myself ready, before committing to the potential they saw in me.

At one point, I was convinced I was ready. Chris was happy to take my money, but still he was not convinced. He suggested I form a band, to test my music with the public. Didn't want to. Play with a solo guitarist. Didn't want to. I can be stubborn. Cf. prima donna. Chris persisted. What about just dragging out the Casio workstation I used to compose, and letting rip with that? Hmm. Ok.

For eighteen months, I performed. Loved it. Found out what the public liked. Developed a finished sound - still only in my head. It's a Casio. Not Taylor Swift's stadium band. And was ready to get back into the studio, to create a more commercial-sounding EP of six of my songs.

Nightsound and I have been working on that these past seven months. We are halfway through. It has been an intense, but focused journey. It continues to be. There is no cookie-cutter approach. This is about coaxing a brand new sound out of a reluctant brain. Mine.

But Nightsound and their wonderful team are up to the task. Dedicated. Professional. Patient. Quick-witted. Creative.

Have there been moments of tension? Of course there have. I would expect nothing less. I didn't hire a building. I hired a team to challenge me. Have they been up to the challenge? Every day.

If you want a team of professional producers and engineers to record a sound you have already clear through performance and recording elsewhere, Nightsound will provide you with the most attentive, cost-effective package in the Triangle area.

If you are someone still growing, still developing, you will not find a better team on the East Coast to challenge, to nurture, to develop your talents. Always with you. Always supporting. Always conscious of the size of your pocket.

Every professional endeavor seeking to support fellow creative artists is going to have the odd relationship that doesn't go quite the way the creative artist would like. That has not been the case with me. But grown-up creative artists (even the prima donna's among us, like me) recognize that creativity is a flavor. It is not like matching paint.

If it don't work out, you move on. Then again, there are some who would not be satisfied if the Archangel Gabriel opened up a recording studio with Pharrell Williams and Paul McCartney. For them, I feel only sadness.

Now, I return to finishing off the second part of my active project with the wonderful Nightsound team ..."