Euphonic Studio ™

Recording studio and music instruction adventures since 1979

Announcement: Welcome to the Euphonic Studio Blog!

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Euphonic Studio, a full-service recording studio with video capabilities located in Mount Vernon, Iowa serving Cedar Rapids, Iowa City, Waterloo, Cedar Falls, Coralville, Marion,  and the surrounding area with top quality recordings in a friendly, relaxed atmosphere at affordable prices.  We have the best of both digital and analog worlds along with a professional grand piano (Mason & Hamlin) and Hammond organ with Leslie for your use.  We feature award-winning recording equipment such as RME Fireface UFX, Focusrite ISA 428, Michael Joly custom mics, Octava, R0de, Urei, Lexicon, TC Electronics,  Aphex, Alesis, Yamaha, Warm,  Audio-Technica, DBX, Shure, Allen & Heath, JBL, Crown, Otari, as well as software products Cakewalk Sonar Platinum, Cubase 8, Sony Vegas Pro 13, Celemony Melodyne, and plugins too numerous to list. We have a wide variety of fretted and unfretted string instruments, synthesizers, and amplifiers available for your use.

You are welcome and encouraged to arrange a free tour of our facility and evaluate our recordings.  You can get a feel for what we do here and what I’ve done as a musician by listening to the recording samples in the “Euphonic Studio Artists” link to the right.

For more information please write bill@euphonic.us or phone 319.895.8002.

Bill Niemi, Euphonic Studio Engineer

Bill Niemi, Euphonic Studio engineer, music instructor, arranger, and composer.

Looking for information about music lessons?

Please visit our lessons site, www.euphonic.us 

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Written by Mr. Bill

June 14th, 2012 at 7:04 pm

New video release… “Oh Babylon”

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Euphonic Studio announces the release of our new video, “Oh Babylon”, written and sung by Joe Baumhover.

This is just in time for the election madness.

Please enjoy and share.

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Written by Mr. Bill

October 9th, 2016 at 4:11 pm

Equinox update

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Seriously, we should update this more often than twice a year.

New projects

Our African friends The Amen Choir have returned for their second CD project.  The new CD, on the heels of the Long Story release, will include 8 songs.  We hope to have the tracking done in November.

Joe Baumhover’s EP project has morphed into a CD.  He’s recorded 11 songs here, and one of them, Oh Babylon, will be released as a video and single soon.  Joe’s work is deep.

We have an upcoming classical voice recording and video session with returning artist Emma Garwood.  She is planning to start in mid-October.  Emma is a wonderful musician and it was fun recording her previous work here.

I continue to work on chops to create a video of my favorite classical piano pieces.  At the top of the heap are a Brahms Rhapsody and Khachaturian’s Toccata.

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Written by Mr. Bill

September 24th, 2016 at 12:16 pm

Posted in New Releases

Amen Choir Releases “Long Story”

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The CDs are here! Available for purchase and download.

The CDs are here! Available for purchase and download.

We are proud to announce the release of the 13 track CD “Long Story”, performed by the Amen Choir and produced here at Euphonic Studio.  It is available as a CD or download through all the usual digital sources.  We would prefer that you use CD Baby at this link:

 

http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/amenchoir3

 

Probably the best way to describe this project is to just let you read the CD notes.  We are very happy to have the project finished and in our hands, but at the same time a bit of sadness that the joy of creating it is through.  Here are the CD notes.

LONG STORY – The Amen Choir

An upbeat, inspiring, beautifully performed collection of praise music in contemporary African styles

The Amen Choir’s own Long Story began in the Burundi civil war of 1993. Many outside of Africa aren’t familiar with the geography or the history, so here’s a bit of background.

Burundi is a tiny African nation located between Rwanda and Tanzania.  During the 1993 genocide, Western journalists mostly reported about Rwanda, and we heard stories of some of the worst brutality imaginable between the Hutu and the Tutsi peoples.  The fighting crossed national borders. In Burundi,  more than 300,000 people were killed and many tens of thousands were forced to flee for their lives.

Many of those refugees made their way to Tanzania, and then on to various parts of the US.  Families were split and then reunited. Members of the two opposing groups often lived in the same housing.

Eventually, order began to return from chaos and the Burundi refugees began to reassemble in the upper Midwest in the unlikely city of Cedar Rapids, Iowa.  During the gathering process, ancient tribal barriers began to fall away and the new Americans united to a common purpose… to serve God and love one another.

This CD exists due to a series of improbabilities. It’s improbable that anyone could have escaped the bloodbath in Burundi, and improbable that survivors could have relocated to the US. It’s improbable that those refugees would regroup as a community in the upper Midwest. It’s improbable that young people with no written tradition of music could write and perform music like professionals. And it’s very improbable that an African praise choir would have created this beautiful work in my little studio in Mount Vernon, Iowa.

Yet, despite the odds, the Amen Choir worked through their legacy of struggle and many daily challenges to make this improbable CD. That leads me to believe that although it was improbable, it was also inevitable.

When the human spirit is bursting with song, music will be sung. When your people’s history is written in the blood of genocide victims, everyday adversity is small potatoes. When a songwriting talent of the magnitude of Eddie Niyonzigiye meets 20 young people who are moved to praise God and rejoice in his name… well, the CD is before you. It is a testament to the gifts of these musicians and the devotion they have to their faith, families, their church, and to each other.

The heart of this music was hammered in the foundry of human suffering, burned by the searing heat of irrational violence, tempered by wisdom one can only learn by experience, and given life by its creators in their love for our Creator.

This project has changed our lives forever.

Bill Niemi
Euphonic Studio, August 2016

 

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Written by Mr. Bill

August 23rd, 2016 at 1:35 pm

Posted in New Releases

Sticky: Euphonic Studio Releases Christmas Songs

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Listen to Candles for free!

Buy Candles on iTunes
Buy Candles on Amazon
Buy Candles on CD Baby


Listen to Louisiana Christmas for free!

Buy Louisiana Christmas on iTunes
Buy Louisiana Christmas on CD Baby

Artwork for the Euphonic Studio single release "Candles", sung by Leya Neema, choirmaster of the Amen Choir.

Artwork for the Euphonic Studio single release “Candles”, sung by Leya Neema, choirmaster of the Amen Choir.

Euphonic Studio is happy to announce the release of two Christmas songs, “Candles” and “Louisiana Christmas”.

Both songs were originally recorded at Euphonic Studio in Carrizo Springs, Texas, when we were located there.  The songs have been completely re-recorded and features Leya Neema (choirmaster of the Amen Choir) on vocals for “Candles” and Bill on vocals for “Louisiana Christmas”. Bill did the arrangements and played many of the instrumental tracks along with the Brush Country Ramblers band.

We hope you enjoy these songs! Please do LIKE and SHARE and also note that these songs are available through the normal digital distribution channels.

We were very happy to get these two projects done and available before Christmas. Both songs are really holiday songs more than Christmas songs, but they do both offer an upbeat look at being separated from loved ones during the holidays.

In case you’re wondering, that is Bill in the cover art, the photo taken at Schmitty’s 61 Club in about 1979.  That place was a classic country watering hole and dance hall and Bill played there with different bands many times over a period of several years.

This is the artwork for our first Christmas release, Louisiana Christmas.

This is the artwork for Louisiana Christmas, one of Euphonic Studio’s two Christmas releases.

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Written by Mr. Bill

December 2nd, 2015 at 2:17 pm

Euphonic Releases Bill Niemi Single “The Traveler”

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Artwork for our latest release, The Traveler, written and performed by Euphonic Studio's Bill Niemi

Artwork for our latest release, The Traveler, written and performed by Euphonic Studio’s Bill Niemi

Euphonic Studio is proud to announce the release of our latest single, The Traveler, written and recorded by Bill Niemi during the Euphonic Minneapolis days in the mid-80s.

This is the first public release of any song that features Bill as vocalist. It is written and performed in a style that is reminiscent of Paul Simon and Crosby, Stills, and Nash.

LINKS

You may purchase a copy at CD Baby, iTunes, Amazon, and all the usual digital distribution channels. You may listen to the song for free at any of the links below.

Buy The Traveler at CD Baby

Buy The Traveler at Amazon

https://soundcloud.com/euphonic-studio/the-traveler

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Written by Mr. Bill

April 30th, 2015 at 3:47 pm

Amen Choir Releases “Salamu” and “Ifi”

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Artwork for the Amen Choir's newest single, Ifi, released 4/1/15. The song is part of a CD recorded by the Amen Choir at Euphonic Studio.

Artwork for the Amen Choir’s newest single, Ifi, released 4/1/15. The song is part of a CD recorded by the Amen Choir at Euphonic Studio.

This is the artwork for the Amen Choir single “Ifi”, released April 1, 2015.

Please LIKE and SHARE… Thanks!

We are happy and proud to announce that the second single from the Amen Choir’s CD is now available at the following links:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SoundCloud (listen for free) https://soundcloud.com/euphonic-studio/ifi

We will put the lyrics up here and on SoundCloud as soon as they become available.

Thanks for listening!!!

 

This is the artwork for the Amen Choir single "Salamu", which means "Greetings!"

This is the artwork for the Amen Choir single “Salamu”, which means “Greetings!”

We are happy and proud to announce the release of the single recording “Salamu” by the Amen Choir from their 12 song CD which will be released later this spring.

This is the artwork for the Amen Choir single “Salamu”, which means “Greetings!”

You can listen to the song for free on ReverbNation and SoundCloud at the links below.

You may also purchase your own copy of this uplifting song at this link:

Here’s the link for SoundCloud:  https://soundcloud.com/euphonic-studio/amen-choir-salamu

We will begin working on the video for this song shortly.

Here is a lyrics translation for any viewers who don’t speak Kirundi or Swahili:

Salamu

(Greetings)

Kirundi

Chorus:

Greetings our Burundi!

We greet you in the name of Jesus Christ

Leader hello…

Brothers and Sisters we greet you…

Vs 1

Many among us did not see you

But because of our parents we know you

Our Burundi we greet you

Our Burundi we send you these greetings

Chorus

Greetings our Burundi!

We greet you in the name of Jesus Christ

Leader hello…

Brothers and Sisters we greet you…

Swahili

Greetings Tanzania!

We greet you in the name of Jesus Christ

Leader hello…

Our friends we greet you…

Vs 2

We were refugees from Burundi

We fled to you

And you welcomed us

You also opened up the way for us to come to America

May our God Bless You

Greetings Tanzania!

We greet you in the name of Jesus Christ

Leader hello

Our friends we greet you.

Salamu

To our home we send a song of love and our greetings. And although many of us didn’t get the chance to see the land that our parents, grandparents, and so on were born and raised or where and how our traditions were developed we still love you Burundi and we still call you home. The stories that our parents tell paint beautiful and colorful picture of who and what you are. We say hello to the leaders and the ones we left behind.

Tanzania our second home, the place that most of us were born, we greet you as well. When we were refugees fleeing the horrible face of death, you took us in and you open the doors for us to come to America, our new home. To the leaders and to our friends in Tanzania we say we greet you say hello, thank you and may God bless you. We are who we are today because of you.

 

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Written by Mr. Bill

March 4th, 2015 at 3:36 pm

Posted in recording

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Sign up for the Euphonic Studio newsletter

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Euphonic StudioThanks for visiting our website!

To keep up to date on new releases, opportunities for musicians, gear updates and reviews, and general happenings in the studio and with our clients, please sign up for our newsletter in the form below.

We promise the following:

1. We will never share your email with anyone else!
2. We will never spam you or ask you for money!
3. We will never advocate for outside interests (political or otherwise)!
4. You may unsubscribe at any time!

Thanks for joining!

Bill & Lori Niemi
Euphonic Studio LLC

Please enter your email in the box below and then click the Sign me up! button.  You will receive an email asking you to confirm that you wish to be added to the list.  If you don’t see it within a minute or so, please check your spam folder… sorry about the inconvenience.

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Written by Mr. Bill

January 8th, 2015 at 11:43 am

Posted in Meta

Derrick Patterson’s Singles NOW AVAILABLE!

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Euphonic Studio is happy to announce that Derrick Patterson’s 2 singles are now available for sale at iTunes, Amazon, CD Baby and scores of other outlets.

Please click the link below and add your own copy to your REAL country music collection for a mere 99 cents!

Thanks from all of us independent musicians who contributed to the project!

NEW January 25, 2015… Video release

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Written by Mr. Bill

December 27th, 2014 at 12:23 pm

Posted in recording

CD Projects

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It’s been quite a while since I’ve updated the blog. A lot has happened since the last update, including my successful run for City Council here in Mt. Vernon. Serving our city in this capacity has been very time consuming, and at the same time very rewarding.

So here’s an update on recording activities….

I’m also working on arranging/mixing a set of songs from singer/songwriter Mark Randolph of Cedar Rapids. Mark’s music takes an unflinching look at life from a very unique point of view. These are taking some time due to overdubs bus so far I’m happy with the results.

The two African groups took most of the winter off, but will be returning to the studio shortly. The Glory Singers (Quad Cities) will be back in the studio the second week of March. The Amen Choir will be returning in April. With groups of that size, and the awful weather we’ve been suffering this winter, it’s been difficult to arrange recording time. Further, some members have just returned from Africa to our crummy midwestern winter.

I have a group of 12 songs recorded by Brandon Douglas awaiting mix. These range from Schubert art songs (accompanied by pianist Alex Doser) to show tunes with backing tracks. Brandon is a wonderful singer and is a voice student at Simpson College.

I’ve been getting some lyrics for collaboration from a gent in Illinois. If you are a lyricist looking for someone to work with on your project, drop me a few lines! We’ll talk.

As far as equipment changes, there haven’t been a lot. I built some active splitter boxes that function as no-load direct boxes. This allows me to get a dry signal from the electronic instrument as well as micing up the amp. I find this useful for re-amping once in a while.

I have been doing a bunch of mixing through my A&H board to the Otari half track. I really love mixing this way as opposed to mixing “in the box”. The results are startlingly better. There is a natural tape compression that happens. Some people mistakenly believe that digital recording is more accurate than tape… not so, not in the least. It’s a CONVENIENT way to record, but not more accurate. In fact, every digital recording is an approximation of the original sound. By mixing through analog equipment, you can reclaim some of the lost depth and stereo image. The results will make you smile, I think. I always do.

As busy as things are, I can still fit in your project. If you’re looking for a great place to record your demo, CD, or specialty product, give us a call at 319.895.8002!

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Written by Mr. Bill

February 24th, 2014 at 11:15 am