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Inside the back of a Chevy van is a room converted and carefully designed to defuse, resonate and capture music. The smell of dry cedar awakens the senses due to the cedar-lined walls and ceiling of the mobile recording studio.
Within the small studio resides the equipment needed for Jeffrey Bruton, president of GMB Technical Corporation, to perform high quality audio production services.
From the outside the truck has an unkept appearance so not to attract attention to protect the valuable equipment inside. Whether it be at a house show, a festival or a music venue in Seattle, Bruton is able to park the mobile recording truck out of sight or away from the show and still have “the best seat in the house,” Bruton said.
From inside the truck Bruton can separate each sound, each instrument or the cheer of the audience in order to record and produce a record with the potential to mix and adjust each note if need be.
“The artist is not affected at all by the mobile recording truck,” Bruton said. “I am able to capture the energy and true sounds of the artist in their element.”
Bruton explains when constructing a mobile recording truck like his one of the biggest challenges is weight. With walls three layers thick, using a light material was key; hence the cedar interior. Not only is cedar a lightweight wood choice, the rough side of the cedar boards were left exposed as opposed to the smooth side to allow for the texture of the wood to further defuse the musical notes flowing through the speakers. The speakers also are strategically mounted into the back of the van nearly flush with the wall so no sound can be lost behind them.
In a space as small as the mobile recording truck, “It was important to be extremely mindful of the design,” Bruton said.
Joining friendship, community, dreams
Bruton has been enthralled with music since childhood and has allowed his love for rock and roll to partially steer many of his life choices.
“Most of my decision and actions, like building the mobile recording truck for instance, was simply to service rock and roll,” Bruton said.
It was this passion for music that initiated the friendship between Bruton and Bill and Ana Yates, owners of Dungeness Community Studios. The Yateses and Bruton met about nine years ago at a local open mic night held in Sequim. Bruton and the Yateses have allowed their shared interest in music and audio production to grow. Blossoming from this friendship came the completion of the mobile recording studio in 2008 and more recently, within the past six months, the completion of Dungeness Community Studios.
“The two studios complement each other with their different abilities, yet similar, if not the same equipment in order to easily work together on projects,” Bruton said. “The mobile recording truck allows the freedom to go anywhere, whereas the studio is intended as a gathering place for artists to come and feel comfortable recording and creating music.”
Through the collaboration of the Yateses, Bruton and Paul and Jordan Schiefen, owners of Sequim lavender farm Jardin du Soleil, a music festival called Jungible Festival occurred for the first time last August.
“Jungible, now considered a dead word, means ‘to come together,’” Ana Yates explained. “Even the studio has ‘community’ in the name to further emphasize both the community effort it has been to build the studio and the direction we would like to see the studio go.”
The creation of Dungeness Community studios is not only facilitating a personal dream for Bill and Ana Yates, but it’s also facilitating the dreams of anyone who uses it.
“To actually see friends and artists create and accomplish their dreams by having a place to work is what it’s all about,” Bill Yates said.
In some ways both the mobile recording truck and Dungeness Community Studios are things of the past.
“The mobile truck is somewhat a dinosaur now as digital mixers are taking hold,” Bruton said. “However, I don’t want the risk of a computer crashing on me in the middle of a show.”
Also, working inside the mobile recording truck isolates Bruton from all the background noise and distraction at a show. This allows him to clearly focus on each and every detail during the production process.
Bill Yates agreed that recording studios just aren’t as prevalent as they once were, but for him he always had a vision of what it would be like to accomplish his dreams as a musician and that vision was creating music inside a authentic recording studio.
“Collaborating and creating music in a studio is not only about the music, but it’s also about the experience of working in that environment,” Bill Yates said. “Studios can have a very unforgiving feel to them and we’ve really tried to create a ‘vibey’ space instead.”
Though technology is indeed advancing and developing, recording and mani-pulating music on a lap top doesn’t encompass the same experience or artistic flexibility of either recording in a studio, Bruton explained.Nor does it capture the live energy with the clarity the mobile recording truck can.
With both Dungeness Community Studios and the mobile recording truck at their fingertips, each with their own strengths, Bruton and the Yateses look to the future with a shared openness.
“We would like to tap into the Seattle music market, host and record live shows and continue to develop naturally instead of by force,” Bill Yates said.
Currently, the studio owners are in the planning stages for the 2014 Jungible Festival.
Reach Alana Linderoth at firstname.lastname@example.org.