Recording studio Charleston Sound is ready to unveil its second annual local compilation album — a 13-song collection titled Charleston Sound Presents: I Got Music Volume 2. The disc features top-quality productions of songs by regional artists.
"Leading up to the first one, the idea to do this annually wasn't born yet," says recording engineer and studio owner Jeff Hodges. "It was such a great experience that we decided to put it together every year, comprised of local and regional artists who'd been in the studio for sessions over the last year. We want to feature the best of the best of some of the recordings by some of the best artists."
A longtime musician and producer, Hodges designed the fully equipped, 2,000-square-foot facility in Mt. Pleasant in 2008. With top-notch gear, a spacious layout, a vast collection of drums and amps, and an optimistic approach, Hodges established Charleston Sound as a destination for local and national bands alike.
Keeping a busy schedule and working with a staggering variety of acts, the studio has polished its technique and approach quite a bit over the last year. Hodges fine-tuned his ear for the acoustics in the main performing rooms and at the mixing desk as well.
Whereas most of the bands on lasts year's compilation dropped by to record one song, each of the acts featured on I Got Music: Volume 2 spent considerable time in the studio with Hodges. Some of the sessions by the artists featured on the comp were lengthy endeavors aimed at tracking full-length albums for commercial release. Others came from a recent low-priced "indie artist" offer, where local bands could record and mix four songs at a discount.
"We've really gotten to know the room for sure, mainly because we've had so much traffic," he says. "It's been everything from hard rock to jazz to orchestral, choir, and gospel stuff."
Charleston Sound's debut compilation featured songs by 11 local artists. This year's Volume 2 includes new original tracks from 13 acts (see review on the right).
It's a promotional tool, but it's also a celebratory move as well. The studio not only survived its first two years in business; it succeeded beyond expectation. There's rarely a slow week at the facility.
"It was tough to decide on the bands and tracks, but I think it's a good slice of what's been happening over here," Hodges says. "It's a good glimpse in, and it took shape naturally. There's some good stuff ... and some unexpected stuff, too."
Proceeds from this year's comp will benefit the Charleston Animal Society.
"It's not about making money for the studio," says Hodges. "It's about getting the bands out there in the best light that they can be heard in — with a really pristine recording and mix — and also to give back to the community."