"It's been a long time coming," says Jeffery McNulty, the Vera Project's technical manager. "All the engineers here, we always said once we get into the new space we want a studio. And now we have one."
Since moving into their Seattle Center location in February, the Vera Project has been finding ways to use the new building to its fullest potential: They have their popular screen-printing room, they always feature local artists in the gallery space, and both the main show room and the lobby consistently host live music events. Now they've completed another piece of their ever-expanding project—the Vera Project's recording studio officially opens Thursday, November 15, and McNulty is looking forward to all the possibilities it brings.
"Primarily it's going to be for teaching," he says. "We're going to record as many of our live shows as we can, and to begin with, it's going to be a learning process. Kids will be able to come up and learn Pro Tools during our live shows and bands will end up with a two-track live mixdown of their show. And if they like it, they can come back and have it remixed at an hourly rate. If they plan ahead, and play really well, bands could end up with a demo or a live album.
"It's also going to be open to the public," McNulty continues. "We only have a certain amount of hours available every week, but it is a fully functioning studio."
The recording studio is equipped with Pro Tools HD, and McNulty will be joined by other engineers including James Nixon of KEXP/Glenn Sound studio fame. When building the space, the focus was to keep it ideal for young people who want to learn how to record and bands who are working on a budget.
"We're gonna start with $35 an hour, which is a good price considering what we have," says McNulty. "And bands will have to remember, if they want to record here, there's going to be two to four people learning right along with them during the process."
The studio has already been used a few times, including the taping of a recent Band of Horses performance. According to McNulty, engineering classes will start soon.
"We have a very successful live sound program here and I'm sort of modeling it after that," he says. "People will have to take Sound 101 to get the basic idea and become familiar with the equipment, and then they can move on to the advanced classes and start recording shows. And anyone is welcome to come down and check the space out. All ages means all ages."
The grand-opening party is Thurs Nov 15 from 5:30–7:30 pm. It's free. More information is available at www.theveraproject.org.