With all of these great new bands in town, it just makes sense that great new producers would pop up. But just remember that there’s more to the auditory styling scene than Will Hunt, Jordan Richardson and Steve Steward, Britt Robisheaux, Jennifer and Robby Rux, and James Talambas.
Namely, there’s Ben Napier.
Since becoming a full-time producer and sound engineer in 2004, the green-haired TCU alum has worked with nearly 50 artists, including The Hanna Barbarians, Cleanup, Sonic Buffalo, Sally Majestic, Gold Jungle (later known as Skeleton Coast), Panic Volcanic, Walker & The Texas Dangers, and Droidekka. Not too shabby.
Like a lot of indie producers, Napier has been conducting his business at other local studios for years and, for the past year, at home, specifically a 750-square-foot space dubbed Green Audio Productions, to keep his rates low and still generate some ka-ching. And while he says he has “very understanding” neighbors, who’ve never called the cops on him to protest the racket going on under his roof, he’s ready for more space. “I’m also looking forward to not living at work,” he said.
In a couple of months, Green Audio will have new headquarters: a 2,000-square-foot warehouse east of downtown with three 300-square-foot practice rooms for rent. The new studio will consist of two comfortable rooms (performance area and control booth), a couple of smaller isolation rooms, a pair of DDA mixing consoles, and a bevy of stomp boxes, amps, outboard gear (preamps and compressors), and instruments, including a Hammond B3 organ and a Baldwin console piano.
Though Napier’s home studio will still be functional, he said, the new space will allow him to tackle bigger projects and to offer clients a more traditionally professional recording experience. “It would be hard for me to host one artist undisturbed for more than a few days in my current situation,” he said, adding that he’s really excited about his new workspace.
To celebrate Green Audio’s big change –– and to help Napier raise a little startup money –– The Grotto (517 University Dr., 817-882-9331) is hosting a show on Sunday by Cerebral Chauffeurs and Sonic Buffalo, a bruising Fort Worth quartet that broke up a few months ago but whose original lineup will reunite for this one night. (Sonic Buffalo was the first band Napier worked with once he began producing from home.) Cover is $5, and for every 10 people who pay, Napier will give each band four hours of Green Audio studio time. “I tried to make it a situation that benefits everyone involved,” he said.
On the way from Napier are new records by Droidekka, Sally Majestic, Panic Volcanic, The Royal Savages, and Shake the Moon.
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