3: Interview with Dave Zimmerman (Noisebox Studios)

September 1, 2020
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Today Ete sits down with Dave Zimmerman of Noisebox Studios.

Dave Zimmerman, owner and founder of Noisebox Studios in Provo, UT, is a musician, music producer, and recording engineer. Just try to schedule some studio time at Noisebox and you'll realize that Dave is doing something very right. Booked out for months, without having spent one dollar on marketing or advertising during the last 5 years, the word has definitely gotten out that Dave is fantastic at what he does. Studio recording is a competitive industry. Studios are constantly popping up and studios are just as often, closing. But 15 years in, and with ever increasing demand for his services, Dave obviously has a lot of business insights to offer us. Hear what he has to say in this episode of The Company Next Door.

Dave grew up watching his father going off to work each day to a job he absolutely hated, and he vowed not to let that happen for himself. In ninth grade, a drummer and pianist, already in love with music, he took a career test and was told that he should become a recording engineer. He had read that recording engineers all hated their job so he didn't put much stock in that.

Between the ages of 16 and 25, Dave had at least 25 different jobs. Most were your typical teen jobs but they actually taught him a lot. Working at a Laser Tag arena, Dave came to realize that you could actually have fun and make money at the same time. You could enjoy your job. Working in fast food, he came to realize that he did not want a job requiring you to to the same thing over and over. He didn't want to do something you could master quickly and then keep doing without being challenged.

Against his parents' wishes, Dave went into BYU's music program to pursue music as a career. Initially, he wanted to become a sound designer for video games. But he soon realized that, more than anything, he loved helping others with their projects, and that he was drawn to the technology parts of that process.

After graduation, now married and with a kid on the way, Dave decided to open Noisebox. It was extremely difficult, required serious sacrifice and took a great deal of work. Evenings were spent at venues trying to meet bands, and the rest of his time was spent perfecting his craft, just hours and hours of learning his equipment and software, practicing, and increasing his skill and efficiency as an engineer. Within a few years, his hard work was paying off, he was making it work. And it just kept improving.

Today, Dave is still in love with his job. He has a supportive wife, four kids, a beautiful studio, and more work than he can accept. How did he do it? Dave credits his efforts to see his business from a clients' perspective. He bases his business decisions on what his clients truly want and need (and it's not cooler gear). He works meticulously to bring his clients' vision into being. He also has no problem turning prospective clients away. If they don't share a focus on quality over expediency, he doesn't work with them. His reputation is the foundation of his success and he won't jeopardize that for a quick buck.

His operation is impressively efficient. Though he charges more, Dave has consciously honed his skills to the point that he can do what the client requests in no time flat. His clients appreciate that speed, and taking the times savings into account, they actually end up paying the same or even less than they would have elsewhere. Dave puts in the time to keep up with technology and industry innovations so he's always able to operate at that level. Workflows and systems are important to him and he's spends the necessary time to create and improve them.

Dave has had the opportunity to work with artists like GENTRI, and up and coming The People's Thieves.

The most amazing quote I've ever heard. You can't get better than this. Keep going with it.

- Enzo Whipple

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