With the first band I ever recorded for money, we didn’t have preproduction, so I had no clue how the sounded other than what their influences were. In that situation, I’m left shooting in the dark and hoping that everything turns out ok.Read More
It’s the weekend and I am deliberately staying away from the studio today. Don’t get me wrong, I love what I do and my passion for music and music creation knows no bounds. However, the hours can get long, sometimes pushing 16 hour work days and deadlines can be demanding as my typical clients are becoming bigger (not complaining…). With that being said, you got to do something to fuel your passion otherwise…it just burns out.
At 13, I knew I wanted to be a musician. I don’t believe I was groomed for it; my parents were more of the nurturing type. I know that at that age, I had made up in my mind that playing the piano was more than just going to piano lessons and playing at church. It had started to become an expression of myself and an extension of my identity. So, I made it my goal to be the best and I would train like I was an athlete because…Lebron James (more to add about that later).
As I got older, I started to get involved in bands, which fueled my passion (more like EXPLODED it!). At that I point, I started to wonder about the technical side such as, how does all the PA equipment sound and more importantly, how do you make it sound better. Around that same time, there was a radio show that would come on late on Saturday nights called Lightforce Radio…and it BLEW MY MIND! I didn’t know that music could be so aggressive and I feel in love with bands like Further Seems Forever, Anberlin, Underoath, etc.
Fast forward a little bit, I went to college and studied music production mainly because I couldn’t afford a studio to record in and I wanted to learn how to record myself and market my own music. I had purchased an Mbox and my parents got me my first MacBook Pro (at that time they were called PowerBook G4) and got to work recording my music. My with less than stellar demos, I believed I was heading in the right direction. An interesting thing started happening. As more and more of my friends found out I had a little recording setup in my room, the more requests I got to record other people. In fact, I was the only person in my program that had a recording setup outside of the on campus studio and labs.
As a result, the little dorm recording setup snowballed into a home studio and then a professional one. I never thought that the dreams that I had would actually be anywhere outside of my head. Maybe it’s because I felt that no one actually took me seriously. I always knew that this was going to happen overnight and that’s probably why this has been the most rewarding part of my career journey.
I have been producing and owning a studio full time for 6 years now. It has been one of the most exhilarating experience I have ever gown through. there have been many highs and equally many lows, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Not many people can say that their passion is their career. As a result, to keep that passion burning and growing, you have to find other things you are passionate about. For me, there are 2 things that help me to continue to have a fiery passion for music.
BASKETBALL and BARBECUE. Those of you who know me personally, know that my 5’6” body is not a prototypical body for basketball, however, I feel like I can hold my own with anyone on the court and I actually train with that mentality (I can hear you laughing…). There is something about pushing my body and conditioning my body to perform a task in basketball that helps me to stay focused on any task in the studio.
I have always been into cooking and I have always felt that if I wasn’t so passionate about music, I would have become a chef. Now, when it comes to barbecue I’m not talking about propane and barbecue sauce. I’m talking about the low and slow, smoke, meat, and time. If you follow any of my social media, there are 4 things you will definitely find: My kids, music, basketball, and cooking food with fire. The last one was born out of a trip that I took to Spain and feel in love with the fact cooking with fire is more than just typical American barbecue. It is that low and slow time consuming method that I believe has helped me to be extremely detailed in how I approach producing and mixing.
The point I am trying to get across is that when you finally reach the point where your passion is your career (notice…I didn’t say if…I said WHEN), you got to find other things you can be passionate about so that your passion doesn’t dangerously burn out. I also believe that doing so, can definitely create some opportunities to continue to grow in your passion and we can all stand to get better and be better.
So...my first post...well here it goes. Whenever my wife or a friend introduces me to other people, there is always the customary state your name, right? For me, hopefully it ends there and I can quickly find wherever the food is. However, there is always that dreadful moment (again, it is probably just me) where someone will ask, "So what do you do for a living?"
I am a producer and own a recording studio...
The usual response is "Oh...that sounds cool..." To be honest, telling people that I am a music producer or that I own a recording studio has always been awkward for me, especially when it comes to explaining to people that are not musicians or not in a creative business or inevitably has a friend who has a studio in their spare bedroom (no disrespect).
Now that that is all out of the way...Hello. I'm Jonathan Gautier and I am a producer and owner of Sound House Studios, which is located in Downtown Lakeland. I actually never wanted to own a studio in the sense that I produce for clients. I really just wanted to have a studio to work on my music and shop it to record labels. However, what started as a small setup in my dorm room at UCF, snowballed into recording friends all the way up to producing for clients who are doing incredible things in music.
Honestly, this is only part of what I wanted to talk to you about. I often get asked, "What is it like to do what you do full time?" This is an incredibly loaded question. Every day that I walk into the studio, I am like I can't believe I get to do this. I literally get paid to write and play music for others. I make my own hours and can be in and out of the studio as I please. I spend my mornings in coffee shops prepping for the day and can walk around downtown where I get stopped multiple time by people saying hi. Seems super glamorous, right...?
Then, there is the other side. I am constantly feeling the need to prove that what I do is a viable career and not a hobby. That statement feels the most evident when it comes to the studios schedule. My schedule is in a constant state of flux and flow, which makes it a rollercoaster for finances and in turn sanity. The studio is located in a building that is 107 years old and we have many quirks that can be the butt of many jokes. In conversations with my wife, I have stated numerous times that my job can be SOUL CRUSHING!
With all that, I wouldn't want it to be any other way. I have learned so much and continue to have the desire to grow in every way possible. So, I just want you to know that if you made it to the bottom of this, I really appreciate you. Whether you get to walk into my studio or not my goal and desire is to connect and stay connected. Be on the lookout for more news about Sound House as well as The CULTURE. Thanks!