By Blair Giesen
If you love music you probably think that most of the music you listen to comes from LA or New York. That those cities are the places where the best musicians record their music and all the cool studio performances happen. Well not so fast.
Some of the best recording happens right here in San Diego.
I stopped by Signature Sound Studios this month and found something that was very unexpected. From the outside it looked like most of the nondescript commercial buildings in Kearny Mesa, but when I opened the door everything changed. I felt like I was transported to New York to a recording studio that had been around for years. The first thing I noticed were the framed platinum records hanging on the walls
As I arrived 91x was there recording Dan Smith of Bastille, who performed a beautiful song on a grand piano.
I sat down with Christian Cummings, the resident producer engineer, to hear this musical history of Signature Sound and the music being produced right here in San Diego. The list of artists that have recorded at Signature Sound Studios was so long it blew me away. Here are just a few: San Diego’s Blink 182, POD, and Switchfoot, along with mega stars U2, Santana and Jewel.
Signature Sound compares to the best recording studios in LA or New York, and has the largest control room and studio in Southern California. As Cummings explained “San Diego has some very talented musicians; you don’t have to leave San Diego to make it in the music industry.”
I pressed Cummings for some great stories about the artists he works with but he smiled and told me that everything you can think of has gone on here but he wouldn’t tell. He went on to say that recording has changed and sometimes artists stay for months at a time and sometimes it is a combination of home recording, studio recording and mixing it all together.
So, when you listen to your favorite song next time, remember, it might have been recorded right here in San Diego at Signature Sound Studios.
Blair Giesen is a San Diego-based media and marketing consultant and startup business enthusiast. His column, The Local – Businesses & Strategies That Count, appears bi-weekly in Times of San Diego and explores the stories of local San Diego companies that are doing amazing things. If you have a company you think is doing something amazing, send him a message or connect on LinkedIn or Twitter.
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