Chris Wimberley spent his childhood dreaming up songs in his head.
And though he didn’t go on to win a Grammy, he now helps artists get their own songs out of their heads and recorded for anyone to listen to as a producer and mixing engineer at Carrboro’s Nightsound Studios. He opened the studio in 2001.
“I’ve been writing songs since I was seven, and having greater control over those songs was originally something I wanted to do for me, but I get just as much, if not more, from helping other people with their songs,” says Wimberley, who graduated from NC State with an arts application degree in 2000.
During college, Wimberley had an apprenticeship at a local recording studio in Raleigh. He also had a mentor, Rodney Waschka, an NC State music professor, who became one of Wimberley’s first clients at Nightsound Studios.
Some larger music recording studios tend to be expensive, and sometimes artists do not get the personal attention they crave. But at Nightsound, Wimberley, 37, has created a place to redefine the music studios of the past and make them more community-based and affordable for anyone who wants to record a song.
“Nightsound has a creative atmosphere, and it’s a community resource,” Wimberley says. “We’re able to accommodate all of these very talented clients from all different kinds of music.”
Wimberley said that the studio has as many as five clients in one day. Musicians recording their music at Nightsound are of various experience levels and have different goals for their music. The staff members at Nightsound help with every step in the process to make sure that the song each client composes is recorded just like they want it.
“This place is really accepting and open to everyone,” says Geneva Walata, an apprentice at Nightsound and sophomore at NC State.
The variety of genres recorded at Nightsound make for a diverse culture within the studio. This diversity was a primary factor when Wimberley chose Carrboro for the location. “This town is one of the most artistic, creative, twilight-zone wonderlands that you could have an artistic business in,” Wimberley says. “ It’s just perfect for that stuff.”
Some of the artists who have worked with Nightsound are Morning Brigade, Davis Coen, Future Kings of Nowhere and Chase Rice – all from different genres, ranging from country to indie rock. “Expanding and redefining what a recording studio is for all these diverse and talented artists is still a challenge,” says Wimberley, “but it’s definitely a job that I love.”