Knowing what musicians want, Blue October members Matt Noveskey and C.B. Hudson built a studio to bring a quality of recording much needed by the Austin music scene.
By Alyssa Brant
With the idea of building a music studio for musicians by musicians, Blue October members Matt Noveskey and C.B. Hudson opened their own recording studio in March, which they named Orb Recording Studios.
“I like the idea of something being spherical and complete, something being a complete picture, that to me is what an orb is,” Noveskey explains. “That is what I think we have to offer.”
Orb is a 5,600-square-foot, state-of-the-art recording facility located in the heart of the Texas Hill Country. The two recording studios, Studio A and Studio B, both with accompanying control rooms, are equipped with top-notch gear and are convertible spaces, accommodating any number of players, from a solo artist to an orchestra. There is also an instrument library, as well as a comfortable 876-square-foot lounge and kitchenette.
“It’s not like building a house. It’s way more intense,” Hudson expresses. “During the process, we’d be looking in the cracks, and if there’s any nails down them, if there is anything like that, it could compromise the integrity of the room later.”
To ensure everything was constructed with the greatest attention to detail, they hired veteran studio architectural and acoustics designer Mark Genfan from Acoustic Spaces. With his help, they were able to create an amazing space that could cater to any musician’s needs.
“Most musicians are artistic people. They come in and they are all about the space and the energy and the vibe,” Noveskey says. “So that was a whole other aspect of it that we wanted to nail.”
Through their own experiences in different studios, they know being comfortable, whether it is mental or physical, is a major factor in the vibe of a recording session. They want their clients to have a sense of ownership in their work and be able to enjoy their experience making music.
“I think that is one of the reasons that the people who are here love being here,” Noveskey states. “They feel respected by us, and they feel like we are doing them right.”
Orb is also a successful studio because of the chemistry between Noveskey and Hudson. They both claimed it would not have been possible to do this project alone. Each of them bring different and equally important assets that allowed them to get this done and get it done right.
“We are kind of like a yin-yang thing,” Hudson explains. “I take care of more the day-to-day stuff, making sure we pay our bills, and Matt focuses on what he does best, his producing.”
In addition to starting a recording studio, Noveskey and Hudson had the idea to facilitate a music school for kids. They will have teachers for guitar, bass, piano and vocal lessons, and they hope to start by the end of the month. Both owners feel this is a great next step for Orb and they’re very excited about working with kids and getting them interested in music.
“We really wanted to go down an avenue that can grow,” Hudson says. “It’s another way to maximize the space we have, and I am glad we can utilize it this way.”
Both Noveskey and Hudson take pride in their studio, and a lot of it has to do with being in Austin. They feel they are bringing something new to the table that is different than any other studio in town.
“It’s good for this city,” Noveskey says. “It’s good for what Austin has the potential to be, and we want to be a part of that.”
In result of their hard work, Noveskey and Hudson won the AMP Austin Music Industry Award for Best Recording Studio for 2013. They have already hosted big-name artists such as Lil Wayne, Justin Bieber and their own band, Blue October. But even though Orb has already become very successful, they admit that it has been a hard and long process getting to this point.
“This is all grassroots, getting your hands dirty, spending years working on your craft, earning where you get, and that’s how it has been for us since day one,” Noveskey explains. “So in that sense, it has been an entrepreneurship every step of the way.”
9306 Ledgestone Terrace
Upcoming Event: Orb Session From Studio A
Noveskey and Hudson will host the first Orb Session From Studio A at 9 p.m. on Aug. 16. In collaboration with Black Fret, this event will feature a live stream of the Austin Music Awards’ Rock Band of the Year, Quiet Company.
“This is something we want to slowly get into because we feel like this is such a great place,” Noveskey explains. “It has such a ‘vibey’ atmosphere that we want to share that with people.”
This event will be a great opportunity to promote Orb, but it is also provides exposure for the band. Quiet Company recently finished their new record, Transgressor, which happens to be the first full album to be made at Orb, releasing this fall.
Noveskey and Hudson are also thrilled to work alongside Black Fret, who has chosen Noveskey to be a new member on the advisory board. Black Fret is a public charity headquartered in Austin that empowers musicians to create music. Members of this organization strive to build an endowed institution that will be able to sustain more than $1 million a year in grants to Austin artists.
“These are three big different things that are being tied together that I think is a perfect combination,” Noveskey says.
With plans already being made for the future, the owners are excited to give this opportunity to the fans of those who will participate in Orb Sessions from Studio A.
“It’s going to be a unique and intimate thing for fans to sit there and just be able to listen to one of their favorite bands live,” Hudson expresses. “It’s going to be fun to give that to them.”
Photos by Harrison Funk and Alyssa Brant