The painting and renovation work is almost finished. The music-mixing console awaits installation and the recording booth is nearing completion.
WMN Studio is almost ready to open its doors in January. The 2,000 sq. ft. music and multi-media studio, located in Function Junction, is the brainchild of Steve Clark. He believes Whistler is ready for a standalone studio offering everything from recording space, to green screens, to room to make webcasts or record videos.
Initially, WMN (Whistler Media Network) was a "radio project" for Whistler and as a company it had its ups and downs, but Clark says they have taken the concept — and the software — to a new level.
"It's all about production work now... our goal is to get the entire community involved, in certain respects," Clark says. "Artists who are already working on things, people who want to get into playing music, learning the production side, recording and producing, people on the video side as well, and those looking for space, whether it is for an art show or photo shoot."
Clark says having a versatile, multi-purpose space will make the project viable and has the blessing of his friend Ryan Brubaker, a "sound guy" for Bryan Adams, who said the best thing about the studio is its versatility.
"It's a really hard thing to make a go of it as a studio. He said a multipurpose space is the way to go. He said if we're to do any kind of a higher-level recording project or set up for a band for a week, you'd be bringing in more gear. It's a way better set-up than most studios that way," Clark says.
Scott Mitchell has been helping Clark with the heavy work in getting the space ready.
"The only studios anywhere in the area tend to be in people's homes; in their garages or dens," Mitchell says.
Clark adds: "The easy part for us is that we know all our customers. We're friends with all the producers, DJs and musicians in town. It's nice in the sense that we can ask them what they need. I want to treat it like a gym for artists.
"And there is not currently an activity or place that the municipality can market to artists coming to town. I'm interested to see the potential in that."
While WMN Studio is not yet launched, a few test runs for potential projects have been discussed and it's even gone a little further than talk.
"A buddy walked in and saw our pool table and said, 'I want to do a podcast tournament.' He got a few DJs together and we had a night here. It was just a small crowd but we had the tournament along with music, creating entertainment," Clark said. "It's like a sitcom. More music than talking, which makes it easy."
The tournament wasn't broadcast as they don't have their business license yet; the night was at the Beta-test stage. Clark thinks there are other possibilities.
"I'm going to start a mini-stick hockey series. I'm going to build a little rink in here and it can be a televised sport series, commentators, the whole bit. I'd like to do a Saturday Night Life-type production here, a late show, and cooking shows," he says.
"We're going to start off doing a few sample projects and give people an idea for what the potential use of the space can be."
A booking form is available at the studio's website, wmnstudio.com so that time can be booked to create podcasts or lay down tracks or show a movie.
"(Artists can think of their work here) as an ongoing piece of entertainment that will promote you as an artist, as well as draw a crowd and be fun and entertaining," he adds.
Clark intends to offer workshops, too, everything from sound production and audio engineering, to teaching budding DJs how to mix, or how to film with green screens. And the space will be available for media-based conferencing. A "studio 101" course starts in January.