Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 25/9/2017 (271 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
More than 30 years ago, Len Milne took a ride to Winnipeg ready to roll up his sleeves and rock his guitar, but little did he know he would end up building a music empire.
Milne owns Bedside Studios, a music recording studio that will be celebrating 30 years of contributing to the local music scene on Oct. 7. His career as a music producer started in the basement of a house on Evanson Street with an eight-track tape deck.
When Milne arrived in Winnipeg, he realized what people were playing here didn’t match his taste. The former country rock band member from Killarney was looking for the old-school, raw, punk rock sounds. He had been kicked out of his small-town band for playing too much guitar and decided to record his own music.
"The person running the band… said ‘You got to do something else. You can’t be in this small town band. You got to go somewhere else and do something else because you’re not suited for this. You can do everything we want you to do, but you have potential to go somewhere else.’ So he said he’d give me a ride to anywhere else I wanted to go, and I got a ride to Winnipeg," Milne told The Times.
"I started buying my equipment and recording my music, and eventually friends started asking me to record them, and it eventually turned into a business."
Three decades later, Milne purchased the William Whyte building for bargain and has been operating his business at 410 Pritchard Ave. for nine years. He decided to leave the traditional basements he had been working at and expand his abilities. The studio and the control room were designed and constructed by him and his friend Scott Pinder, owner of Polyphonic Mastering Labs and carpenter by day.
At the early days of his business, Milne started working with rock, blues and metal bands but became quite diverse with the styles produced at his studio. Nowadays, most of the stuff that is recorded and produced is rap-oriented.
"If you’re going to be doing studio stuff, you’re going to come across everything no matter what. If you’re open to everything you evolve," Milne said, recognizing his open-mind was a factor for success and growth. "It’s always been a learning experience for me."
Milne does it all. He produces, plays several instruments, writes songs and shares his knowledge not only as a music producer. Milne is a mentor through the Recording Connection, a trade school that offers training in audio engineering or music producing.
He said to be successful a music producer needs to know it all.
"It’s one thing learning how to run this gear, but it’s another thing as to knowing what you’re listening to as far as music goes," he continued. "If you don’t have that music-ability you’re going to fall short in making songs and make sense. If you don’t understand how the music structure works, it’s going to be hard to make a song."
Milne worked with some well-established names in the industry such as recording engineer Richard Chycki from Toronto, local band Bright Righteous, Mike Nash from Pipe and Hat, and American singer-songwriter Gurf Morlix.
"When you get a good product out, and people that you meet from other parts of the country and you find out that stuff that you’re doing here is equally on par with a lot of other places around the world that you’ve heard of, is pretty exciting," he said.
The success of Bedside Studios is hanging on its cedar walls with six Western Canadian Music Awards and three JUNO Awards nominations.
In celebration of its 30th anniversary, Milne will be opening the doors of Bedside Studios from 2 to 10 p.m. to those who wish to know the place and learn more about the work done in there. For more information go to www.bedsidestudios.com