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Thank You For 22 Fantastic Years

People ride roller coasters for the thrill of it all: the exhilarating anticipation of the climbs, the frightening drops, the hidden swerves, and the jolting twists and turns. The coaster I’ve been on has been more than just a thrill, it’s been the most amazing ride one could imagine, fueled by a community of creative people with whom it has been a privilege to work. It’s time to scramble aboard another ride in the amusement park, to find a new set of thrills. Sonic Arts will no longer operate as a recording studio and audio production facility effective Friday, August 22, 2014.

Unsurmountable challenges related to: the inability to come to lease terms that would allow us to co-exist directly above what will very soon be a bowling alley; the difficulty of relocating in haste while maintaining the standards we have set for ourselves, our environs, and our clients; and the lay of the industry landscape around us, have all contributed to this very difficult decision. Please contact John McDaniel for information about how Sonic Arts can assist you with your transition to a new vendor and for access to archived materials that you may need.

I owe twenty two years of success to the many people who generously shared their talents and passion for excellence, primary among them are the members of the Sonic Arts team: Danyelle Taylor, Randy Campbell, Austin Gorrigan, and past members Amy Austin and Whitney Szabo –all loved like family. My appreciation for the contributions you made to Sonic Arts cannot be measured.

I am overwhelmed with gratitude. I would love to list everyone that ever graced our studios and tell a funny story or spin a “you won’t believe what happened on that job” tale, but that’s to be done when we reconvene over a good beer… or two… or three… or… who’s counting? I sincerely hope to have that chance with each of you. Let’s not just say, “let’s get together.” Let’s do it. I thank you now for allowing me to indulge myself by listing a few folks who have taught me life lessons:

Russ Berger taught me what a recording studio should sound like. There is simply no substitute for great sounding rooms designed by the world class talents of Russ and his team at RBDG. I know this because from LA to Chicago to NYC and points in between, I’ve had the chance to experience first hand how the rooms at Sonic Arts compare to the best facilities out there. Russ, you gave me new ears. Alas, in these times, among the bedrooms, garages, attics and converted shanties, far too many don’t know what a great room really sounds like. There’s no plugin for that. They know not what they are missing.

Jeff Kraemer taught me about integrity. As a producer who always worked alongside his vendors in the pursuit of mutual success, he gave me my big break in the realm of surround sound, the first of many fantastic collaborations. When you combine travel, long nights mixing, intensely creative projects, and daunting technical challenges, you find out what people are really made of. Jeff is of the finest stock.

Cindy Bashore taught me what makes a great producer: honesty, forthrightness, communication, team play, and respect for professionals and process.

David Morrison taught me friendship. Nothing more needs to be said about a man that I love like a brother.

Craig Bryant taught me how great a client can be. Taken from us at far too young an age, he shall always reside in my memory as the best example of a thoughtful and appreciative client. Craig, you are missed.

Penny Bogard McDaniel, my wife of twenty-nine years has taught me about steadfastness. It’s tough enough to be married to someone in the industry. It’s doubly tough to be wedded to the industry itself by way of business ownership. Penny went all in to allow me to dream a dream back in 1992. Only the most steadfast love could have provided the strength to stand by me on this crazy roller coaster ride. Penny, I love you dearly.

Roger Miller sang, “You can’t roller skate in a buffalo herd.” and “you can’t take a shower in a parakeet cage.” I would add my own verse that says, “You can’t run a studio over a bowling alley.” If you remember the song, you will recall that each verse ends with, “But you can be happy if you’ve a mind to.”

I’m of a mind to be happy.

With heartfelt thanks for our years together, I wish peace to you all,

j mcd