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Old 05-07-2008, 10:25 AM
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Chris Mara Welcomes You To 1979


In a seemingly endless sea of DAW based overdub and mall tracking rooms, Nashville based engineer/producer Chris Mara decided to buck the trend and build a very large (yet intimate) all-analog tracking facility geared for the independent artist, recording musician, and of course- rock bands. The sole occupant of a 38,000 square foot ex-record pressing plant, Welcome To 1979 (aptly named due to its eclectic and vintage recording equipment) offers more than 6,000 square feet of recording space, loading dock, secure private parking, and several rooms that provide ‘crash pad' style accommodations for out of town artists.

"I wanted to put together the largest studio equipped with the best sounding gear that any independent artist could ever hope to afford," says Mara. "Finding a building that didn't require much build out, and slowly collecting the equipment over the past ten years really helped me keep it affordable. Plus, since the artist/band can stay here at the studio, it saves them even more money on hotel rooms." Mara continues, "Many bands have been working their tour schedule around recording here to save on gas money too- and since Nashville is central to many markets, I've noticed several bands looking at using the studio as their ‘home base' to break into some new tour markets as they record- which I think is helpful to them in light of the rising gas prices."

Since so many engineers (and even artists) have their own Pro Tools rigs, Mara has found what they need is "more and more serious square footage, a great sounding console and a solid 2" analog machine." A lot of artists have been coming in to track and overdub on analog, then bringing their [Pro Tools] rigs over to transfer as they wrap things up. "I figure, with so many rigs around town, why don't I use them when I need them, and use the money that I would've spent on one for things like mics, consoles, and tons of space?" says Mara.

The idea has been catching on already. Most people come in with the intention of just tracking a few songs, and decide to cut more songs and do all the overdubs too, trying to staying analog as long as possible. They even bring in their existing projects on Pro Tools to run tracks through the console, tape machine and outboard gear.
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