Euphonic Studio ™

Recording studio and music instruction adventures since 1979

Hansel & Gretel Overture

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We are happy to release our recording of Englebert Humperdinck’s stunning Hansel & Gretel Overture, composed in 1892. Although the opera it precedes is seldom heard, this piece is a beloved classic piece for children of all ages.

This was an 8 month project using Bandlab, EWHO Opus Edition, and the original score.

Written by Bill Niemi

April 20th, 2022 at 11:26 am

Amen Choir finishes second CD, “Dufise Ivyizigiro”

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Amen Choir

Amen Choir finishes second CD at Euphonic Studio

Amen Choir finishes second CD at Euphonic Studio

The Amen Choir’s second CD is now available by contacting the group.  They are selling the CD at their live performances.

It’s name in Kerundi, “Dufise Ivyizigiro“, means “We Have Hope” in English.

The Amen Choir consists of refugees from Burundi, a tiny African nation between Rwanda and Tanzania.  There has been a long history of ethnic tensions in that region between the Hutu and Tutsi tribes.  During the Rwandan genocide, over 300,000 Burundians died because of the violence.  However, many Burundians fled for their lives through Tanzania and eventually to the United States.

Their dedication to each other, their Christian faith, and their music has been an inspiration to us as they have worked through 2 CD projects over the last 4 years.  Their first project, Long Story, is available at CD Baby at the following link:

The seven song CD took 2 years to complete, and it’s finally here!  The music is wonderful! Here’s one of my favorite cuts from Dufise Ivyizigiro.  Enjoy!

Atcha Kulia

Written by Bill Niemi

February 13th, 2018 at 3:55 pm

New video release… “Oh Babylon”

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Oh Babylon

We cannot aspire to greatness without a moral compass

Oh Babylon

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

The lyrics reflect Joe’s view of the current state of world affairs, in which he sees a lot of parallels with ancient Babylon.   The release of this song and video was timed to just precede our national election, which left our country in a hot mess.  Joe is not a political person, he is commenting much more from a religious viewpoint.  My thoughts are that the pig-headedness that brought down Babylon is alive and well in our own nation, right now.


Please enjoy and share.  Euphonic Studio does not monetize our videos on YouTube.  You can watch Oh Babylon and all our videos without commercials.

Written by Bill Niemi

October 9th, 2016 at 4:11 pm

Amen Choir Releases “Long Story”

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Amen Choir – Long Story

Amen Choir's much anticipated CD "Long Story" is here! You can purchase your own copy at CD Baby at the link in the article.

Amen Choir’s much anticipated CD “Long Story” is here! You can purchase your own copy at CD Baby at the link in the article.

The Amen Choir indeed has a long story.  They are happy to share this story with you.  Please take a moment to read the album notes below, and purchase your own copy of this beautiful work by the Amen Choir for your own collection.

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:

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.

A work of devotion

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. Further, it’s improbable that those refugees would regroup as a community in the upper Midwest. It’s also 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. If 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.

Euphonic Studio, August 2016

Written by Bill Niemi

August 23rd, 2016 at 1:35 pm

Amen Choir Releases “Salamu” and “Ifi”

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Salamu and Ifi celebrate the impending CD, Long Story

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.

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




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 buy your own copy of this uplifting song at this link:


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





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


Greetings our Burundi!

We greet you in the name of Jesus Christ

Leader hello…

Brothers and Sisters we greet you…


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.


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.


Written by Bill Niemi

March 4th, 2015 at 3:36 pm

Two Years of Recording With Lisa Tracy

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For some time now, I have been thinking about how to write this blog piece, which is really a combination of a thank you, a tribute, a brief description of a journey, and let’s not forget, a whole big lot of great times and great music. Today I thought I’d give it a go.

Our friends and clients, Lisa and Mike Tracy

Our friends and clients, Lisa and Mike Tracy

When Lisa called for the first appointment I was impressed by the calm and matter-of-fact way that she described her recording project on the phone. She knew what she wanted, and I could tell that she knew because of previous experience in recording studios. Her project goal was simple; it was to find and record all the “lost” material that she’s written over 30 some years and to do it as simply as possible. Sort of like MTV’s “Unplugged” series.  I was looking forward to the chance to record someone with her experience, and maybe a bit nervous, too.

Lisa and Mike (her husband) came over for their first session.  They were warm and delightful people of about the same vintage we are, so we had a lot of commonalities in family, music, and growing up during the same era. This has contributed to an ongoing growth in our friendship. Our conversations are always interesting and memory-dislodging. Typically Mike or I will think of some off-the-wall song and then try to remember the band. Or we share stories of the road, talk about old friends, family, pets, or whatever. Lisa and Mike feel like our family when they come over and it always seems a bit brighter on days they visit.

Lisa reviewing lyrics while she warms up for another take

Lisa reviewing lyrics while she warms up for another take. This was in the room ambiance stage of my recording style; you can see a pair of PZM mics mounted on Plexiglass directly in line with the music stand.

Oh, I haven’t gotten to the recording part yet. Lisa happened to start working here when I was near the beginning of my analog-to-digital transition. Two years back the best mics I had were a pair of R0de NT1-a. My A/D-D/A converters were DirectPro 24/96 Aardvarks. I had 4 of them to do 16 tracks at a time but had never had to record more than 8. I was running Sonar 5 Studio on a Dell P4.

If you’re a gear geek you now have a snapshot of how things were here in December 2010 when Lisa began recording. We started out recording the voice and guitar simultaneously. I used a pair of Sony back-electret mics on the guitar and an NT1-a on her voice. When I listen to those recordings on today’s equipment, I can hear two things. First, the quality of the recordings has improved by a couple of orders of magnitude, which you might expect from 2 complete digital upgrades and a passel of new mics and software. The second thing, and definitely the most important thing, is that the performance and the music comes through regardless of the equipment.

This is a topic of a whole different blog post; in music, is it the media or the message? I can support my side of the argument with monophonic LP records going back to the middle of the last century that contain important and timeless performances. Oops, I said the “p” word. Performance.

Lisa Tracy warming up for a recording take

Lisa Tracy warming up for a recording take

For musical works of art, the performance is the message, not the media. Lisa’s music fits into the categories of musical works of art, and also musical works of spirituality. So the medium is definitely not the message here; the message transcends the mere recording and she would probably say it transcends the performance of it as well. She’s just the messenger. Lisa’s message is Good News. We always say we could stand to hear a little good news, hmmm? If you listen to Lisa’s music it’s all about Good News.

The earliest recording I could dig up from my hodge-podge of files backed up from recording hard drives of computers gone by the wayside is from December 3, 2010. It’s a song called “Don’t Jump in the Cage”, and I believe that this was the first one she did here because I remember the jazzy feel of it. I couldn’t find a mix of it, so I did a fresh one. It was recorded with 2 mics; the R0de for vocal, the Sony on the guitar.

Don’t Jump in the Cage


Lisa began her musical journey as a child starting with piano lessons.  I’m not clear where she learned to play the guitar; I think she just watched other people and learned that way.  I can say that she is is a very solid musician.  If we do multiple takes on a song, it’s amazing to me how consistent her tempos are.  The takes always end within one or two seconds of each other.  Her voice is clear and strong.  She records her songs with conviction and grace.

Her songwriting is mostly spiritual in nature but once in a while she’ll throw one out there that’s not.  The one that comes to mind immediately is “Just Like You”, which I was honored to play bass on.  So far that’s the only one of her songs that has a second instrument overdub, although we’ve talked about it on a couple of songs.

The Tracys say that they are nearing the end of their backlog of material, so we may not be seeing them as often as we have.  We are very thankful for their friendship and business over the last 2 years and especially the way that the atmosphere gets a bit more joyful when they come into our home.  Lori and I look forward to future recordings with Lisa as she becomes inspired.

So what have we accomplished in 2 years?  Almost 40 (39, I think)  songs, by my count, expertly crafted and performed.  Lisa’s music has driven my decisions to improve and upgrade Euphonic Studio to the state where it is today.   She has created an impressive body of work here, and on 2 CDs recorded elsewhere.  One of them, Emmaus, is as well-recorded as music I’ve heard from LA or New York studios.

One last thing I should mention.  Mike sends out a “song of the week” each Wednesday to anyone on that mailing list.  So Lisa is sharing all of her music for free, and encourages people to use it (with accreditation, please), in their own services or for personal inspiration.  If you would like to be added to that mailing list, please contact Mike at

You can also find many of Lisa’s songs on her page on this website.  It’s my goal to get them all up, and remix the older ones through our analog system that is at the end of the full circle we have traveled.  Sigh.  Life is a journey, is it not?

Written by Bill Niemi

December 30th, 2012 at 2:27 pm

Posted in recording

David R. Weiss’ Songs Brought to LIfe at Euphonic Studio

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I’ve remarked many times over the last 30 years how fortunate that I’ve been with the projects and people who have been attracted to Euphonic Studio.  From the very first demos I did for friends and students through the bands, spoken word, singer-songwriters, college students, and other folks, we’ve had a great group of people.

David R Weiss

David R. Weiss, author, lyricist, poet, speaker, and theologian who is the creator of the book and CD “To the Tune of a Welcoming God”.

To this assembly we now add poet, writer, theologian, and speaker David R. Weiss, who has written the lyrical text  for the CD project now underway called “Tune of a Welcoming God”.  David created the words to “help us fashion a church that reflects God’s longing for welcome and God’s passion for justice.”

The lyrics are written over familiar melodies, mostly from hymnals but also touching the world of popular music and Christmas songs.  The themes deal with contemporary social problems and are frequently on the cutting edge of our new battleground, namely LGBT rights.  Other topics include the hate spewed from so many pulpits, the cruelty of poverty in a land of plenty, and our corrupted government and the wars it chooses to fight.

The music is being performed by Sara Klosterboer,  her father Jim Klosterboer, and her brother (via email) whose name I don’t have (David, possibly?).  The recording sessions have been a joy, with hard work, good fun, and amazing talent coming together for a wonderful melding of gifts… music, message, comradery, and finally, the sound we chased.

David R. Weiss is also the author of the book To the Tune of a Welcoming God.  If you follow the link just before, this will take you to a description of the book.  It will also take you to a link on how to buy the book, which I just gave you.  You may also contact David if you are interested in having him speak at your school, church, or event.   For a wealth of information about David R. Weiss, his writings, and speaking tours, please visit his website directly at

I am in the process now of mixing the 16 songs that will be on the CD that accompanies the book.  I consider it a great honor to be part of this project, and I hope that our presentation of David’s music will be a useful and well-received asset to the book.


Written by Bill Niemi

July 9th, 2012 at 1:06 pm

Posted in recording

Lisa Tracy 1 year anniversary at Euphonic Studio

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We just passed the one year anniversary of Lisa Tracy’s work at Euphonic Studio.  She and her husband Mike came in for a studio tour in December 2010 and decided that this place had the right vibes for them to record.

We like to think of the Tracys as part of our family.  They have been coming over for recording sessions roughly every 2 weeks.  Mike figures that at this rate they have another year’s worth of material.

We are extremely gratified to have someone of Lisa’s artistic caliber recording here.  Her work has been one of the forces driving me to upgrade the recording systems and ancillary equipment; I want to capture her beautiful voice, guitar style, and songs in the best way possible.

Thanks to Lisa and Mike and here’s looking to another year of recording!

Written by Bill Niemi

December 23rd, 2011 at 9:17 am

Posted in recording