September 18, 2020

By BRENDAN DALEY

The Sound Distillery may be a new venture. However, co-owner and self-described music geek Dave Houde is already looking forward to producing albums that will “take over the world.”

When Houde, along with business partner William Muir, launched the Charles Street recording studio in the fall, they weren’t just opening a business.

The Sound Distillery needed to provide more than a service. It needed to provide an atmosphere – one that would allow the musician to feel as if he hadn’t left his bedroom. Additionally, there needed to be synergy within the studio — a converted, top-floor apartment.

“People who work at studios aren’t as musical as they should be. They should be able to work with the band. I want to kick ass as much as the band because I feel like I’m a part of it,” said Houde.

Adamant that the recording process can either make or break an album, Houde says that many of his favourite albums were recorded in houses-turned-studios – an approach used by the Rolling Stones and Pink Floyd.

“(Other studios) always felt clinical,” he recalls. “Sure, the foam on the walls is functional, but they felt too clinical.”
And so the two set out to make a clubhouse.

Loaded with top-of-the-line recording equipment, a range of high-end guitars and miscellaneous gear, the Sound Distillery has everything needed to record.

“The studio and gear is secondary. However, we have better equipment and more of it.”

In the short amount of time the Sound Distillery has been open, Houde and Muir have worked with a broad range of genres. They have worked alongside rock, metal, folk, jazz and hip-hop acts and have even taken on larger names such as West Memphis Suicide – a Cambridge “greasy blues metal” band.

Houde, who has played in bands and “made mistakes,” says his new goal is to help others.

“I’d like to see the artists we work with get to the next level. Many only last four to five years. They jump into things and blow their chances. They get tired and jaded.”

Instead of a set price, Houde says he and Muir will “tailor everything to a bands’ budget.”

“Once I know what (their budget) is, I can help them spend that in the best way possible. This may mean recording three songs rather than 10.”

In addition to recording, Houde and Muir, who graduated from Fanshawe College’s music industry arts program, also offer radio advertisement services, location recording and audio consultations to name a few.
“We just want to create unique sounding albums tailored to the artist,” says Houde. “Arcade Fire will stand the test of time because they didn’t apply a mold to their sound. They took the time and effort and we want to produce similar results.

“We’re younger and we have this hunger. We just want to prove ourselves.”

For more information, or to contact the Sound Distillery