Recording studio a home-away-from-home for musicians
The wall frames have only just been raised, but by August the Noise Floor Recording Studio will be alive with the thrum of guitars and drums as local B.C. bands craft their albums in the studio’s new digs.
Studio manager Terry Stewart and recording engineer Jordan Koop relocated their studio to Gabriola from Ladysmith at the end of May. Prior to that they operated studios in Vancouver.
The couple had wanted to escape from the city for a while, but when they did three years ago to Ladysmith, it ended up not being the place they wanted to stay permanently They’ve only been on Gabriola for about a month, but already they feel like they’ve found home.
Given the high concentration of artists and musicians on Gabriola, Terry said the island feels like a good fit.
“There’s a lot of amenities for a community of this size,” she added, a major attraction for themselves as well as their clients.
They expect their clients – who are mainly ‘college rock’ bands, indie, folk and punk rock – will feel comfortable on Gabriola and will be able to relax and find some peace so they can focus on their music.
The majority of their clients are from Vancouver with the rest from Vancouver Island.
“Because we connect so much to this community we’re really excited to meet some of the local musicians,” Terry said.
Moving out of the big city was a gamble for Terry and Jordan because they weren’t sure their clients would follow them. Happily, the gamble paid off.
“They love to get out of town,” said Jordan. Some only stay a few days while others spend a couple weeks recording an album. “They get to come out here and see some trees and some stars and some deer.”
He said the main concept behind The Noise Floor is for their clients to be able to fully immerse themselves in making their album and “just be in the zone 100 per cent of the time.”
Terry likens it to a retreat. “It’s very difficult for creative people to flip inspiration on command,” she said. “So if inspiration hits at 3 in the morning, you’re there.”
While not recording, clients can relax in their own room – the place has a “nostalgic summer camp vibe,” Terry said – equipped with two sets of bunk beds.
“A lot of the focus on other studios in B.C. is very equipment-oriented – like here’s what I’ve got and here’s how can I make you sound really good,” explained Jordan. “We have a lot of cool tools as well, but we put more emphasis on the whole experience.”
Added Terry, “If the artist is relaxed and comfortable, they’re going to perform better so rather than putting all of our focus on fancy gear, we’d rather that they … feel comfortable enough to create the album the want to create.
“In the end we’re just capturing their magic.”
Terry and Jordan are doing much of the renovations on the house, which is situated on a 1/2 acre in the north end of the island and is also where they call home, with the help of family and friends.
To learn more about the studio, visit www.thenoisefloor.ca