Earlier this year, we profiled several of Bend's live music promoters. This week, we step even deeper into the musical ether, looking at the recording culture in Bend. These are just two of the recording studios making musical magic in Bend.
The Firing Room
Wood says: "I was always the guy in the band trying to record. I had always had an interest in recording. I had home recording equipment in high school. I went to school for audio production and engineering and learned the foundation of recording." Wood believes it's all about the live room, which helps overcomes obstacles such as mediocre equipment.
"I tend to get more rock and roll, live band oriented projects, and I really enjoy that. I get some electronic music, which is more rooted in setting up microphones and placement."
While The Firing Room has a website, Wood says most of his business comes from going to shows. He has people coming in from Portland and Roseburg, and one day hopes to focus on getting more touring acts.
"At some point, I want to move the studio to a location in town. Maybe have sleeping accommodations where touring bands can come stay," Wood says. "I grew up here and there were a few studios, but nothing affordable, there weren't a lot of options. That was the main reason I went to school for audio engineering. I wanted to help the scene, have a place for bands to go that wasn't San Francisco or Portland."
The Firing Room
Big Mountain Productions
Scott Stimpson recently moved to Bend with his wife and dog. Upon entering the living room of the home he would eventually buy, which features 18-foot ceilings, he started clapping throughout the room. While the realtor may have thought him crazy, the clapping helped him understand the acoustics of the room. Stimpson's studio, Big Mountain Productions, lives up to the "home recording studio" title, utilizing many of the rooms in the house for recording.
Stimpson envisions bands setting up in the living room as he records from the beautiful control panel in his studio. With two additional bedrooms with work spaces upstairs, he hopes to invite traveling musicians to record their albums and stay for the duration of the recording process.
"I love music," Stimpson says. "A lot of good friends of mine are amazing musicians. I like to say that I feel like Forrest Gump, wandering through a world while history is going on around you. I can't believe the things I've seen and heard."
Stimpson got his start in music in New Jersey, working in the commercial recording scene and the private sector. He sees Big Mountain Productions as a hybrid of the two scenes. Stimpson brings 30-plus years of experience to the scene. "I'm not here to compete with others in town. I want to enhance what I consider a really cool music scene," Stimpson says. "Being at my advanced age, I don't really have anything left to prove, not that everything was all wine and roses before. I'm in another state in life, I want to be an artist, create with other artists, make some great art and contribute to this town that I absolutely love."
In addition to his home studio, Stimpson has a mobile recording studio — a large, plush RV with all of the equipment for recording on the go.