August 15, 2014 10:50AM
By Eric Vo
WALLINGFORD — With their recording studio open for business, Lauren Knopf and Martin Abankwa are trying to give local musicians more exposure.
Knopf and Abankwa, both Southington residents, are the co-owners of Evil Kitty Media. The business is near the intersection of Church Street (Route 68) and North Plains Industrial Road in a former doctor’s office.
Evil Kitty Media has four rooms. One is used to record podcasts. Three others are makeshift recording studios and teaching spaces.
“Who would’ve thought that a (doctor’s office) would be perfect for a recording studio?” Knopf said.
The podcasts are played at nearby businesses and restaurants to help local musicians get exposure and possibly gigs, Abankwa said.
Abankwa studied theater and sound engineering in college. Knopf said she was invited to a music school, but decided to pursue business. She was an English teacher in Southington for nine years and is a classically trained singer.
Knopf and Abankwa are also DJs and perform at area restaurants and bars. They also give voice and DJ lessons.
Evil Kitty Media started in 2008, Knopf said. Before opening at 60 Church St., the business was run out of their homes.
“This is a late-night job,” Knopf said. “Here I am in this neighborhood with kids and I have bands coming in and out throughout the night.”
They decided to open Evil Kitty Media in Wallingford because of its central location, said Knopf, who grew up in Yalesville.
“We’re really excited to have something musical going in here,” said Dan Murphy, who co-owns Knee-High Academy and Epic Test Prep, a business next door to Evil Kitty Media. “We’re very excited to have something that is going to bring people in to do something artistic ... We’re hoping to do some stuff with them in the future.”
Walking into a recording room, Knopf pointed out that there isn’t a large mixing board with a large glass window separating the musician from the producer. Instead, microphones are set up in the middle of the room, a small mixing board is connected to a computer and soundproofing materials are nailed to the walls.
“It’s an all-digital studio,” Abankwa said.
Having the producer working in the same space puts the musician at ease, Knopf said.
“When you’re working with an artist in an intimate setting, it makes it more comfortable,” she said.
Each room is outfitted with a camera, which allows parents to observe lessons or recording sessions. Abankwa said a study showed parents want to be in the room during lessons, but it makes students nervous.
The cameras let a parent watch a lesson without being in the room. They can log in to the network, Knopf said, and watch the session.
“The facility is not just for music, but the arts,” Abankwa said. “We’re trying to stabilize ourselves in Connecticut and the community as a place to be somewhere you can go and be comfortable and play.”