Rock Solid Studio finds its feet in old Dunlap church building
AMI caught up with manager Jimmy Bridgeman to find out how business has been since the move and what he has planned for 2018.
Producer/engineer Jimmy Bridgeman, along with partner Jeremy Moser, made the decision to move their recording, mixing and mastering services to a new studio space in the summer of 2017.
As a result of relocating to the old church building in Dunlap, Illinois, Bridgeman has become the manager of an impressive reverberant space with 30-foot ceilings and plenty of scope for expansion.
AMI recently caught up with Bridgeman to find out what Rock Solid Studio has been up to since the move and what it has planned for the new year.
What drove your decision to move into the new building?
Bridgeman: Our last location was just a bedroom studio from which we were recording, mixing and mastering. I’d been recording for seven years in the area; my wife discovered this church building and in July last year we moved in.
We knew we wanted a studio where we could have a live room, this was the biggest thing for us. Where we’re located in central Illinois, there isn’t another studio anywhere near us that has a live room. We knew when we moved in that it would help us bring in clients from outer state and other areas. The acoustics are incredible and that’s also what attracted us - we couldn’t wait to mic up the space and capture the room sound. We have space to build isolation rooms too so there’s lots of potential to expand.
And what plans do you have in terms of expansion?
We’re currently renting the space but are looking to purchase it soon. We would love to build another control room that overlooks the live room - this would be where the stage is currently. We’re looking to get two isolation rooms, one underneath the balcony area and another broken up into smaller rooms.
What makes it such a well equipped space?
In terms of acoustics, the high ceilings give the reverb time a little longer, which helps us to record different things in there like saxophone, and enables us to capture a real live feel. Along with that, myself and Jeremy are both Christian and I’ve always dreamed of having a studio in a church. Just being in the building itself, for me, is very meaningful. There’s a lot of history to it and I think that adds a lot of value to it, along with the facility itself and the acoustics.
How has business been since the move?
Our workload has definitely increased. We’ve got a lot more clients coming from Chicago now and further distances. While we record all kinds of musical styles, we’re hoping that we’ll be able to attract more high schools and colleges since we now have the space to record small orchestras. We do have Illinois Central College coming next fall with a three-piece band so we’d like to pull in more of this kind of work. We’re definitely still in a growth phase, but this is happening quicker now we have moved to the new building for sure.
Has the move allowed you to expand the scope of services that you offer?
Yes, and starting in February we are doing a recording and mixing workshop with a live band, while we also held a songwriting workshop last fall. We’re starting to do a lot of these training sessions and workshops for people in this area of Illinois who can come and get hands-on experience on how to record a band. We want to offer people an opportunity to learn in a studio environment and learn more about what they’re passionate about. We’re hoping to keep branching out into different areas like this since we have the space to do it now.
To find out more about Rock Solid Studio’s gear, services and vision, visit its website here.