“Recording our first collaborative CD at Empty Sea Studios was thebest decision we’ve yet made musically. Michael’s technical expertise, gentle handling and freakishly acute ear made for an extraordinarily positive experience. We are thrilled with the result and absolutely spoiled for any other recording engineer. Guess you’re stuck with us, Michael!”
Though many people’s first exposure to Empty Sea is through our concert series, our primary business is actually operating as a recording studio, working on projects in a variety of acoustic genres.
If you’re shopping around for a studio for your next project, you’re aware that Seattle has a large number of studios to choose from. Here’s how Empty Sea sets itself apart:
We Know Acoustic / Roots Music
As Michael’s background and discography makes clear, our passion and primary area of work is acoustic and roots music. That doesn’t mean that we can’t record electric guitars or drums, however! It just means that we take special pride in getting good, warm tones and natural presentations for those instruments that so often are overlooked in many studios. Fiddle. Harp. Flute. Tabla. Accordion. Nyckelharpa. We span the range from singer/songwriters to traditional music from a number of cultures to acoustic jazz, a cappella, blues, Americana, and almost anything where capturing the true acoustic sound of instruments and voices is a priority. There are better places to record a metal, hip-hop or electronica album in Seattle, but if you need to capture real tones from real instruments, this is the place.
Your Engineers are Musicians
As a lifelong multi-instrumentalist, Michael Thomas Connolly has played in a wide variety of genres and situations on a number of instruments, from playing clarinet and mandolin as a symphony member, to playing Hammond organ and Rhodes piano in rock bands, to playing accordion and violin on tour with the Indigo Girls. Michael has taught private lessons on several instruments for a number of years, and prides himself on communicating clearly and constructively. He brings this experience to the table on every project, offering as much or as little coaching as you desire to help bring your project to its best possible endpoint.
Staff engineer Jordan Cunningham is also available for engineering work at Empty Sea. A multi-instrumentalist who performs on guitar, mandolin, percussion and bass, he is ready to lend his ears and energy to your project.
Click here to read full staff bios.
You Can Work in Analog and/or Digital
These days, the speed and convenience of digital recording makes it the standard for recording projects. We offer it too, with digital recording up to 24 bit, 96 kHz rates and a variety of plugins for mixing “in the box.” However, if you’ve never mixed a song on an analog console, you owe it to yourself to give it a try! These days, we mix most album projects “outside the box” on our SSL AWS900+ SE analog console, using a combination of software plugins and outboard hardware to yield a spacious, “three-dimensional” mix. With tube and solid-state outboard gear combined with a large-format analog console, the sound of an analog mix is big, satisfying, and musical.
We also record to analog tape! For a warm, truly “larger than life” sound, nothing beats the sound of a well-maintained analog tape machine. We can either import your basic tracks into the digital workstation for additional editing, or mix straight through the analog board to your finished product!