NEW MARLBORO — A new recording studio, Off The Beat-n-Track, has opened on Norfolk Road in the Southfield section of the town.
owner Tod Mack has invested more than $50,000 to renovate and equip the barn that came with the house that he lives in with his family on the property. his partner in the new business is Will Curtiss of Egremont.
“It took me nine months to completely convert the old barn,” said Mack. “The space was raw — we rebuilt it from the inside out.” The 70-quare foot area has a control room with two tracking rooms, one of them large, and an isolation booth.
“The walls have up to five layers of soundproofing material, and certain places are up too a foot thick — even the bathroom is soundproofed,” he said. “iit’s a really well-designed space acoustically.
Mack said he converted the barn with “creative financing” — using low-interest credit cards.
He already operates as a production company and goes out and records people on location. “I’ve been doing that for close to a year now,” he said. With the studio, he intends to have a facility that people can come in to record.
A musician who has done all styles of music and a song writer, Mack also has done recoordings of the spoken word. he recorded Julius Lester, a Newbuury Award-winning author, reading his book, &ldqo;Ackamarackus,” on location in Northampton.
“I am somewhat new to the Berkshires; I’ve been here for 2 1/2 years,” said Mack. “I came here after 16 years in Atlanta, Ga. Originally from Ardsley, N.Y., I went to Emery University in Atlanta, graduated in 1986 and never left the city.
“We came here because we have family in the area,” he said. “My folks have a house in Mill River, and the rest of the family is in New York City or Boston, and we had a good idea that we wanted to be in the mountains somewhere; we had never been here before we moved here — it was the right place on the map.” he said. “We couldn’t have made a better move.”
He and his wife, the former Carrie Riggins of Davis, Calif., have a daughter, Caroline 3 1/2, and a son, John, 11 months.
While in college, Mack started playing guitar as a musician and songwriter and also was involved in bringing bands onto campus. he became interested in the business side of the music business.
“After I got out I got more serious about my own music and got myself to a point where I was able to generate enough money to do it full time for a living,” he said. “That required a lot of roadwork, and for most of the ‘90s, I was on the road to the tune of 200 shows a year from Maine to Florida.”
he sings along with writing songs and playing the guitar. “At some point along the way, I got into producing everything from demo tapes and CDs for bands to industrial trade stuff, kids’ books on tape — like a mini-song track narration of a book with music and sound effects,” he said. “After I moved up here I decided I didn’t want to be on the road and decided to focus on the recording aspect of it.”
Curtiss, born and raised in Egremont, is a bassist and recording engineer. A 1997 graduate oof Mount Everett High School, he attended Berkshire Community College for one year.
“He got interested in recording, started reading up on it, observing recording sessions and started buying recording equipment and teaching himself how to record,” said Mack. “He approached me at a show one night and said he had just purchased new recording equipment; he now is a partnet.”
Appointments at the studio ma be made by calling 229-9939.