I’ll be honest, when Pepperhead Studios officially opened in 2013, that was probably the worst time to launch a studio. I say that for a number of reasons. The overhead of a physical location makes any small business risky. Add to that something as specialized as music recording – a niche market for sure – and you have a recipe for uncertainty at best, particularly in a low-population zone like Central PA.
Another major factor is that recording technology has become so powerful, so cheap and so ubiquitous, that many people really can create quite good recordings at home without much more than a laptop (or iPad) and a couple of USB mics. People do it all the time. For many people, that’s enough. Even though it’s best to work with someone who knows the ins and outs of mic placement, gain structure, and song arranging, novices can still get their ideas out there in a very effective way. More power to them!
On the other end of the spectrum, there will always be large studios – with all of the tremendously expensive gear (vintage or otherwise). They can charge a premium for their services. Whether it’s $3000 mics or specially treated rooms with 100% separation, these facilities certainly have a place and are an important part of the fabric of modern recording. If you have the bank roll for a high-end studio, more power to you!
At Pepperhead, we take a different approach. We know we’re in the middle. We know that you might go elsewhere for lots of reasons, or you might opt to do it yourself. But our clients join us, and stay with us, because we offer something different.
For starters, we don’t get caught up in music industry hype. We’re not distracted by all of the flashy stuff to comes out of NAMM every year. More is not always better. We don’t entertain the “analog vs digital” argument because in the right hands, both work well. In the wrong hands, both can be a disaster.
We work with you to make the best possible product given a no-nonsense approach that keeps the project grounded in what matters: the music. We use tried and true mic techniques. We use the knowledge of our rooms and awareness of what can be achieved at a fraction of the cost of larger studios. That means live recording, with people listening to each other in the room… no auto-tune, and we don’t waste time with 25 takes when three will do.
At Pepperhead Studios, we want to cultivate a relationship. You’re joining a family when you come to us, and we would like that relationship to last and grow, just like those namesake peppers!