Jan 18 2017

Another Year Of Amazing Music, And Some Good News!

Hello, and thanks for visiting thesoundmill.ca, the online home of The Sound Mill | Recording Studio!

Well, we’re in the trenches of another P.E.I. winter, although it feels like we’ve turned a corner. The days are getting slightly longer, there’s a bit of brightness in the morning sky as the kids trundle off to the bus, and, knock on wood, there’s been no “snowmageddon” to speak of.   We’re all shaking off the holiday food and drink excesses and getting back down to business! Here at the ‘Mill, it’s the time of year when I like to remind you that, even though it doesn’t seem like it, the busy summer season will be here before we all know it, and now is the perfect time to book your winter and spring sessions to have some new product in the can in time for summer.    Hit the ‘contact’ link and get in touch now…we’re all ready for you, whether you’re a novice or a pro, a solo act or band, any style, any genre.

I won my first Music PEI award 10 years ago. While the physical form of the trophy has changed over the intervening years, the feeling of being nominated for one remains the same: thrilling! This year, the ‘Mill and our clients grabbed a total of FOURTEEN nominations, and I could not be more proud. Congrats to The Royal North, Andrew Waite & the Firm, Jessica Gallant, and Maxine MacLennan, and thanks to ALL the wonderful folks who’ve chosen to work with me to realize your musical vision. I’m nominated for Recording Studio of the Year, Producer of the Year and Live Music Production Professional.  I’ve been named PEI’s Producer of the Year for the past 3 years…hoping to keep the streak alive! 😉

 

 

 

Another recent honour for the studio was a cover story spread in the pages of Professional Sound magazine.  This publication is Canada’s bible for pro audio, and it was a huge honour to be featured.  It was a grand time having the editor, Andrew King, out to the studio to chat and show him around, and I’ve already gotten a lot of teriffic feedback and comments on the article. Thanks Andrew and everyone at Professional Sound, and cheers to my pal Glen Strickey for taking the super-rad cover shot, and drummer extraordinaire Alan Dowling for being the drum model.  You can read the article HERE.

Who’s been in the studio lately? We’re continuing to work on a Christmas album with our very good friend Kelley Mooney, which is going to be a gem of a production, due out in time for Christmas 2017.  I’m also stoked about a full-length debut album from newcomer Jill Chandler, which I’ve been producing over the past few months and will be out later this year. She’s got some powerful songs, and a voice that could cut through granite!  Also in the studio over the next bit: Brian J. Dunn, Andrew Waite and the Firm, Fiddlers’ Sons, and hopefully YOU!

 


Jan 7 2016

Rolling Into 2016 at THE SOUND MILL!

 

Photo by Glen Strickey

Photo by Glen Strickey

Well well well. Another year has slipped through our fingers, and we are filled with the unlimited promise and possibility a new year brings.  I’m looking forward to collaborating with a lot of talented musicians once again this year…maybe you’re going to be one of them?  But before we march ahead, lets’ take a moment to reflect upon the year that was.   I’ve had the pleasure of bringing a number of amazing projects into fruition this year.  Here are some of the highlights.

One of the most rewarding projects I worked on this year belongs to roots-rockers Andrew Waite and the Firm: their debut EP “Burning Through The Night”.  The songs and musicianship are top-notch, and no one brings more passion to singing than Andrew.  This one is really special.  Have a listen to the slow burn and atmospherics of “Immaterial World“, one of my favourite tracks on the record.  Co-produced, mixed and mastered by me here at the ‘Mill.

It’s not too late for Christmas music, right? This year, I had the joy of rounding up ten different PEI artists (or groups of artists) to contribute new versions of holiday classics on “A Special Island Christmas“, a Christmas album in support of Special Olympics PEI.  I got to have a dream list of artists join me in the studio: Lennie Gallant, Tim Chaisson, Paper Lions, Meaghan Blanchard, Gordie MacKeeman and his Rhythm Boys and many more, and I think we achieved our goal of making a timeless Christmas collection to be enjoyed for many years to come.

If you like hard-edged, straight ahead, pedal-down rock and roll, look no further than Loyal Thieves.  These are a great bunch of guys who just wanna play it loud and have a good time.  I had a blast producing their self-titled EP.

Speaking of rock and roll, The Royal North lives and breathes it…these guys are the real deal.  Featuring an A-list cast of PEI rock royalty, paired with the soaring vocals of Chris Dalziel, the results are sweaty and fierce.  Check ’em out.

Switching gears to country/gospel, one of PEI’s best-selling and most loved artists is singer and songwriter Kelley Mooney.  I had the pleasure of co-producing her debut inspirational album, “Still”, with a blend of reimagined gospel favourites alongside Kelley’s own personal and affecting compositions.  This record features PEI’s best session players and I think it’s a “big league” production all the way. Check out our arrangement of the traditional “O Happy Day”, complete with childrens’ choir!

Folk singer-songwriter Bryson Guptill realized a long-standing goal to release an EP of his lovely songs this year.  We’ve been working on the tunes for a while now, and it’s wonderful to have them out there in the world.  Featuring a top-notch band of Alan Dowling, Deryl Gallant, Kim Dunn, Dan Currie, Sean Kemp and more, I strived to really serve the songs as best I could.  Have a listen to his terrific song about the many seasons of love, “One Little Note”.

Those are just a few of the many excellent projects I had the honour of working on this year, as producer, engineer, mix engineer, mastering engineer, or session player…and sometimes all five!   If you like what you’ve heard, I’d love to help you realize your musical vision in the studio here at The Sound Mill.  As you can see, I work in just about any genre, and I’m standing by to help you with your musical goals in 2016!  Drop me an email, Facebook message, or phone call to get the process started, and see how easy it can be to make it happen!


Jan 28 2015

2015 ECMA Awards Nomination!

A look at the main live room, from the studio entrance.

A look at the main live room, from the studio entrance.

Hello and thanks for visiting!

I’m super excited to share today’s big news: I’ve been nominated for a fifth time, for the ECMA “Studio Engineer of the Year” award!  The trophies will be handed out in Newfoundland in April.  I am very honoured to be nominated again this year, and I’d like to send my congratulations to my friends who were nominated as well.  Lots of PEI representation in this year’s batch of nominees…well done, everyone.

These days, I’m working on a gospel album for Kelley Mooney, a folk EP for Bryson Guptill, finishing up a country/rock album for Dan Currie, picking away at a bunch of new and old songs with John MacAllar,  and some various other odds and ends.  I’m super stoked about a new band who will be recording at the Mill in the coming weeks: Andrew Waite and the Firm.  Andrew has a passionate, steamrolling set of vocal cords and a stash of excellent songs, and he’s aligned himself with some fantastic players in his new band.  This will be one to watch out for.

So, yeah, things are moving along here at the studio these days…projects in various phases, from “start” to “middle” to “near the end”.  When it comes time for folks to record, I sometimes wonder if people think I am “too busy”?  “Oh, Jon’s probably too busy, I won’t call him.”  The answer is probably “NO!” (exclamation mark for emphasis).   I am lucky to have a fairly regular amount of studio work, but I am usually NOT too busy for your project too.  If you are thinking of beginning a new recording project, I definitely hope you will call or email to see how I can help you achieve the best results possible for you and your music.  And we’re probably more affordable than you think, too!

That’s all for now…I’ll check in again soon. Thanks for reading!


Feb 18 2014

Welcome to our new online HQ!

studioslice

Hello, and welcome to the all-new THESOUNDMILL.CA!  Please leave your shoes at the door…and feel free to help yourself to a complimentary pair of slippers.

Well well well…finally, a new website.  A major salute to the talented and terrific April Condon who designed and/ or photographed much of what you see on this site.   At long last, I’ve gotten enough info on the site to unleash it upon the unsuspecting masses, and I chose today in particular to launch it, because we’ve received some excellent news:

The Sound Mill has been nominated for the 2014 ECMA ‘Studio of the Year’ Award, and I (Jon)  have been nominated for ‘Studio Engineer of the Year’!  This is indeed thrilling, and we are very proud of this achievement.  It is thanks to our terrific clients that this is possible, so I take my hat off to you (even though I am not even wearing one!).   We are very grateful you chose to work with us this year, and it makes us very happy to be a part of your successes.

Speaking of successes, major high fives to our buddies/clients Gordie MacKeeman and his Rhythm Boys and Matthew Reid on their 2014 ECMA NOMINATIONS as well!  I engineered or co-engineered both of these albums, and it always makes me happy to see my clients having success with their recordings. Well done, you guys. Good luck and see you at the “big week”, East Coast Music Week, right here in good ol’ Charlottetown PEI, April 2-6th.

On top of all the excellent ECMA news, I was also recently honoured and delighted to be named the 2014 Music PEI ‘Producer of the Year’!  Cheers to all the fine folks who voted for me this year, and once again, major gratitude to those who entrusted their music to me to produce this year.  I am humbled.

As usual, the studio has a lot of widely varying projects on the go right now: rock band Banokkburn, fiddler Sheila Fitzpatrick, indie-rock phenoms Coyote, folk songwriter Bryson Guptill, celtic-folk singer-songwriter Emma Doucette, the multi-talented Matt Steele, brit-pop-rocker Peter Forbes, and songwriter John MacAllar are all among those who have been or will be in the studio in 2014.  Fear not, though…we still have space available for you!  Now is the time to start thinking about getting your next recording together for the summer performing season.  Big or small, we’d love to help you realize your recording dreams!  Hop over to the contact page and get in touch to discuss your next project.

I think that’s about all for now, whew.  Have a good look around, and please let me know if anything is broken or behaving badly.  The website still has that “new website scent”.

Cheers all…take care!

JM