On any day or night of the week you can find two young men in downtown Kitchener, with headphones on and grooving out to some music. But they aren’t hanging on a street corner; they are in their recording studio, Sound Distillery.
William Muir and Dave Houde are the music engineers and producers behind Sound Distillery, a full-service recording studio that focuses on working closely with musicians to deliver a unique, quality result.
“We are a small studio and provide every element of musical production people need – recording, mixing, producing, editing music and video, as well as artist development,” says Will. As the youngest producer/engineer team in the region, Will says they can offer their clients a unique advantage. “We connect with our musicians and their audiences in different ways – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram – and are prepared to help our musicians long after the recording process to really see them succeed,” he says.
As musicians themselves, the music is the foremost element in their work, but they have created a stylish and fully decked-out studio where musicians feel comfortable to record and confident in the abilities of Will and Dave. “For me, music is all about creating relationships,” says Will. “I am guilty of being wildly optimistic about every project I work on and we strive to deliver a great song that when finished, will have a strong effect on someone.”
The music business is a tricky one to navigate and Will references his favourite quote from Hunter S. Thompson to illustrate how tricky it can be: “The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There’s also a negative side.”
While he acknowledges this is how the music industry can be, Sound Distillery tries to limit the distractions and focus on the end result. “Making a record is only 40 per cent of the process,” he says. “I want to see every artist succeed as much as they can, and we work hard to find genuinely good people for them to work with, who can provide the same quality results as we deliver.”
Established in 2010, Sound Distillery is drawing some diverse musicians to their studio; people who want to record folk, pop, rock, blues or country albums. “The type of people who seek us out want to have a timeless record or want to take their recordings to the next level,” he says. “Recently, we have developed a thumbprint for blues records, as we’re not afraid to have things sound gritty and old, while still blending in new and modern sounds.”
Will says he would love to work with local musician Danny Michel, who he has always been impressed by, as well as Bruce Springsteen. “Why shoot for anything less that the biggest rock artist in the world?” he says chuckling.
As you can tell from their approach to supporting artists beyond the recording studio, Will is community minded. He is currently working on a side project for at-risk youth, building a creative space where they can learn, create, explore and evolve in the arts community, by providing access to the needed tools, technology and mentors. Keep connected to Sound Distillery to learn more about this.
P.S. Will`s favourite topic of conversation: [wait for it…] Music.