On behalf of the staff, we would first like to thank you for taking the time to check out our Kickstarter Page for Southtown Sound! On this page, you will be up to date with our projects, ideas, as well as the plans we have for the studio. We hope you will join us each step of the way to making Southtown Sound a reality.
"So, what is Southtown Sound, and why do they want my hard earned money?", you might be asking. To help give you an understanding of this project and what it has to offer, here's a little background information about the community it will be a part of.
"The Black Sheep Cafe is an all ages music venue in Springfield, Illinois. The Black Sheep opened for its first shows in September 2005, and since then has become a notable venue in the Springfield, Illinois music scene. The venue is a drug and alcohol-free space and is also entirely volunteer-ran.
The Black Sheep Cafe has caused a number of other related businesses and projects to start in the Southtown neighborhood of Springfield. In late 2013 the Black Sheep announced that it would be teaming up with Error Records in Champaign, Illinois to open up Dumb Records- a new record store in the Southtown neighborhood. Also in December 2013 Brandon Carnes opened up South Town Studio directly behind The Black Sheep. Later on in 2014, Empire Board Shop (a skate shop) moved in above Dumb Records and later became Boof City Skate Shop. In 2015 the group of businesses making up the Southtown neighborhood launched a new "Project Southtown" to form a new not-for-profit group to focus on neighborhood cleanup and restoration."
Hopefully, this helps illustrate how the Springfield ecosystem has grown and flourished in recent years, expanding beyond just music and reaching out to the local community. This environment has also fostered an explosion of creativity, leading to some notable acts surfacing on the national radar. Some of these acts include Looming (No Sleep Records), Our Lady (Mayfly Records), Park (Lobster Records), The Graduate (Razor and Tie Records), and Renae. It has inspired many artists to make truly unique creations; this area truly has a sound and heartbeat like no other. As stated above, Brandon Carnes operated a studio within this ecosystem and became the outlet for many Springfield bands to bring their art into the world. However, the studio closed in Spring 2016, which has left a void in the scene. Today we are here because we would like to have the opportunity to take the torch and keep the flame of Springfield burning bright, but we need your help.
We are here because we want to bring a recording studio back to Southtown. We want to stay true to the values of our predecessors, by offering a below market value cost, and accommodating to all ages and genres. However, in many ways, we will be forging a new path. Our goals are to make this a dedicated recording studio rather than a living space, to set a new standard for quality, value, business conduct, and community involvement, and to set the stage for future generations of engineers and musicians to keep the studio alive.
Your pledge, no matter how big or small, will be instrumental in shaping this legacy. We hope to make Southtown Sound a household name not only in Springfield but to become a destination for independent artists across the midwest - even the country. If you make a pledge and this funding is successful, when you see a record with "Recorded at Southtown Sound" in the credits, you can confidently say, "I helped make this happen." If you are an artist that makes a pledge to book time, you will be an integral part of that heritage. Though, if you're not the sentimental type - we still have some very tangible rewards for your pledges.
While you and Springfield community are a huge part of this project, we would like to introduce you to the founding members: B.J., Kyle, and Mario.
B.J. Pearce will be acting as the studio manager; handling the booking, scheduling, financial aspects, facility maintenance, and ensuring your project has the best experience possible while recording in our studio.
"After playing music with bands for about +12 years it has shown me that an accessible, affordable and comfortable studio that supports the DIY ethic is vital to our music scene that we have here in Southtown. Southtown South is what will give members of the community an opportunity to record their art easily, and will allow them to share what our area cultivates all throughout the world. We would love to hear from you with your questions, comments, and concerns, so please feel free to contact us directly! Once again thank you for taking time out of your day for us, and remember no donation is too small. From my very own heart, I personally thank you and hope you have a wonderful day. Looking forward to seeing you at Southtown Sound!"
Kyle Noonan will be the senior audio engineer at Southtown Sound. With nearly a decade of recording experience, he has cut his teeth with many different genres of music, with a focus in various subgenres of alternative rock and metal. After his career in Air Force active duty, he did freelance audio work under Amity Sound. During this period he learned first hand about the risks and challenges of running an audio based business and honed his skills to operate independently and efficiently.
"Over the last year or so, I've learned so much about music. Not just music itself, but a lot of how to communicate creative ideas with others and coming to a consensus. A lot of this I've learned the hard way, but it has not only made me a better engineer and musician, but I'd like to think it's taught me a lot of patience and open-mindedness that I feel is absent in the studio environment. I am incredibly thankful for this whole opportunity, and it's my hope to use these traits and skills to foster and environment where creativity flows freely; where new and exciting ideas are nourished. As a newcomer to Springfield, I'm overwhelmed by the kindness and welcome I have been shown, and I hope that with Southtown Sound, we can shine more of that light to the outside world!"
Mario Cannamela will be a journeyman recording engineer at Southtown Sound. Specializing in various sub-genres of punk, he has been the frontline go-to engineer for bands in the Springfield area in recent months. His enthusiasm to expand his knowledge, willingness to try new things and prudent approach will undoubtedly make him a huge asset to the studio as he grows as an engineer.
"I have been playing in bands for about 6 years now, and recording bands on and off for about 2 years here in Southtown. I started out with minimal setups in just about any room I could use; living rooms, Black Sheep, Dumb Records, closets, or even in the very space we are looking to renovate. I haven't had much equipment to work with, so it always involved a lot of improvisation and creativity to get the sounds we wanted. The former operator of the studio, Brandon Carnes, embodied this philosophy, and it has served as a huge inspiration for me to further pursue recording. I'm looking to bring that same attitude to a professional setting. I am unbelievably excited to work under someone with the know-how and experience like Kyle and to be able to grow with the music community. I look forward to expanding and improving my recording abilities. I will work diligently to give back to my role models, band mates, and friends. Thank you so much for all your help and support, and I hope to see you around Southtown!
The Kickstarter will run through the month of December into the beginning of January 2017. During that time, we aim to address the most vital aspects of the renovation process that we can with the help of Project Southtown. These repairs include:
-Installing drywall and insulation on various walls
-Wall and ceiling repair and touchup
-Primer and paint for the walls
-Removing broken doors and kitchen appliances
-Installing a new floor
Our goal for the campaign is $8,000. Here's a basic breakdown of how that money will get allocated:
-$1,500 on 3 months of operating costs (rent, utilities, security, internet)
-$1,200 on acoustic treatment
-$1,000 on additional renovations, including doors, door frames, lighting, and a soundproofed control room-live room window
-$3,000 on studio necessities, including microphones, mic stands, preamps, headphone distribution, and other gear
-$500 on Kickstarter incentives
-$800 (or 10% of what we raise) on Kickstarter's fees
Once the campaign is completed, we will spend most of January and into February completing renovations, making purchases for the studio, doing trial runs, and readying the space to record. Bands who pledge funds for studio time through the Kickstarter get first priority in terms of booking.
If we reach beyond our initial goal, we have outlined stretch goals and how the money will be allocated beyond the initial $8,000.
If we reach $10,000, here's how the extra $2,000 in funds will be allocated:
-$500 for an additional month of operating costs
-$300 for more improvements to the space
-$1000 for additional studio gear
-$200 for additional Kickstarter fees
If we reach $12,500, here's how the extra $4,500 in funds will be allocated:
-$1000 for 2 additional months of operating costs -$650 for more improvements to the space
-$2400 for additional studio gear
-$450 for additional Kickstarter fees
If we reach $15,000, here's how the extra $7,000 in funds will be allocated:
-$1500 for 3 additional months of operating costs
-$1000 for more improvements to the space
-$3800 for additional studio gear
-$700 for additional Kickstarter fees
There are two main ways that you can help out. As a standard donor, you can simply make a pledge in return for incentives including T-shirts, mugs, other swag, or even a year's worth of media files for Southtown Sound recordings. If you're an artist interested in recording with us, you can pledge towards a project of your choice, which is ultimately studio time at a discounted rate ($15 an hour).
Please note that these are estimated project times, so if you would like an accurate quote for your project before you make a pledge, feel free to email us: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Below is a brief graphic overview of the incentives, and you can find more details in the appropriate reward option. Please annotate your pledge status so we can accommodate you accordingly!
*Black background annotates standard donor, while the **Gray background annotates artist.
*graphics below are mock ups
Risks and challenges
With any ambitious project, there are certainly some risks and challenges that are close behind. Some big, some small, but here we will address the most immediate ones.
First and foremost, Kickstarter is based on an "all or nothing" fundraising plan. That means if we don't hit our goal, we will receive nothing. We have already invested a lot of personal assets, and it would be unlikely for this project to recover from not receiving the funding we need. However, we hope that our flexible rewards will help encourage a diverse base of pledges, which will help close a lot of the larger gaps. We have also organized a fundraising show, which will help alleviate these gaps.
With that being said, the goal will only just cover the expenses we have laid out, leaving little breathing room. We have not allocated any funds for any of the staff, which means the engineers will be working their day jobs on top of running a professional grade studio. However, higher stretch goals will allow us to ensure we are able to outfit the studio to higher standards and potentially allow full-time work.
Lastly, with new ideas and ways of doing things, there will be a push against progress. Our success relies heavily on the support of the Springfield community, and there is a chance that some will not agree with the way that we operate. We would just ask for patience and open-mindedness and this studio finds its place, and we promise to do what we can to give back and return the courtesy.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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