The Soundhole Recording Company was comprised of Cedar Rapids natives Daniel Dorman and Ian Williams. Long-time friends, musicians, and audio knowledge partners, we shared the common goal of producing high quality records for area artists.
Unforunately, the studio is no longer in operation. Daniel is still in the Cedar Rapids area and has a home studio, and Ian has relocated to Des Moines with a recording space there.
The Studio History
The Soundhole has found its home in a number of locations over the years.
Our doors first opened in 2004 as a 1-room studio located in Middle Amana, IA. The room was a great starting point for us, with no parallel walls, and a high ceiling that sloped from 8ft to 10ft. Amana offered us the opportunity to cut our teeth, trying out lots of equipment, different work flows, and countless room layouts. We spent several years at this location, spending our hours experimenting on our own and recording a wide variety of great bands.
In the winter of 2007 we relocated to a former record store in downtown Cedar Rapids. With the larger space we were able to operate in a much more flexible environment. There was plenty of room for live recordings without tripping over anyone else, and gave us infinitely more options for using the space creatively. For various reasons, this location was a short-lived endeavor, and we found a building that worked better for us in almost every way. On June 12th, 2008- day 1 of the 2008 flood- we moved to the top floor of the former Memorial Hall in Marion, IA.
Memorial Hall was a huge undertaking for us. The entire upper floor was ours to use, but was in extremely rough shape upon our arrival. Years of neglect had left the building in disrepair, and would require much modification before it would suit our needs. The summer of 2008 was spent knocking down walls, pulling up multiple layers of carpet, scraping up disintegrating carpet padding, tearing down wallpaper, repainting, and- believe it or not- still recording! Fall was fast approaching, and while the building was absolutely still a work in progress, we were able to officially open our doors for business once again.
Memorial Hall was a 100-year-old building, full of character and limitless creative potential. The building had been haphazardly patched, repaired, and added-to over the years, which created an unusual combination of old, new, good, bad, cool, and
utterly weird sections throughout. A steady stream of musicians kept us busy enough that we didn’t have time to finish the building and explore its full potential before, much to our dismay, the building was sold in late 2009 and we were unable to renew our lease.
Our belongings got moved to storage, and a selection of equipment slowly trickled into the attic of Ian’s house in Cedar Rapids. We temporarily became a mobile operation, recording bands in locations ranging from the historic Cherry Building to an in-home movie theater. Ian’s attic evolved into a partial studio, and two EPs were recorded there as well.
In fall 2010, Ian moved to a house on A Avenue, and the Soundhole has found its current home occupying the top floor. This location is our first to be able to utilize all of our equipment in a cohesive hybrid system, allowing for some of the best sounding recordings and mixes of any location we have occupied. The heart of the studio is our Toft ATB series board that adds a warm analog honesty to all of our recordings. Artists have the ability to record up to 24 simultaneous tracks digitally, layering as many tracks as needed. For lower-fi flavors, our Tascam 388 1/4” 8-track does a great job of adding a vintage touch, and a wide variety of cassette multitracks offer varying degrees of DIY-style quaintness. The A Avenue room has odd angles that provide a tight, focused sound that is ideal for rock and pop, and leaves plenty of room to sculpt and tailor sonic space within a mix. We offer a wide array of guitars and amplifiers, 3 available drum kits, electric pianos, and other various instruments to help you find the sounds you’re looking for. The A Avenue studio offers all the professional options of our previous locations, while being a comfortable, low pressure environment that helps nurture the creative process.
Of course, the Soundhole Recording Company is happy to work in any location that will help an artist make the record they set out to make. We are happy to book time to work in other studios, and are always willing to set up shop in any oddball location that you feel will yield the best result. Does your practice space have the exact drum sound you’re looking for? Does your church have a pipe organ that needs to make an appearance on your album? Talk to us. We are always excited to experiment with new locations and find new and exciting textures that couldn’t be achieved anywhere else!
The Soundhole Recording Company is comprised of Cedar Rapids natives Daniel Dorman and Ian Williams. Long-time friends, musicians, and audio knowledge partners, we share the common goal of producing high quality records for area artists.
Whether your goal is to accurately recreate the sound and feel of a live performance or to take advantage of the limitless creative opportunities of a recording studio, the Soundhole will provide excellent results. Bands and solo artists are both welcome, as any combination of live tracking and overdubs can be used to sculpt your music and create the perfect vibe.
Thanks to our years of experience as musicians, helping translate your ideas, emotions and intentions into a finished piece of music is an easy task. The Soundhole Recording Company has the ability and experience to record all types of music- from singer-songwriters, to punk rock, to jazz combos, to heavy metal bands- and produce a finished product that showcases the artist’s creative potential.