Local recording studio celebrating 40th anniversary

Published: Sep. 29, 2022 at 10:42 AM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - Imirage Sound Lab in Sparks is celebrating its 40th anniversary.

“The longest-running commercial studio in the state of Nevada,” said Tom Gordon, the studio manager and head engineer.

The studio has a collection of different instruments on site; most of them with a pretty impressive history. Which includes a piano used by both Ray Charles and Jerry Lee Lewis, and a keyboard used by Dr. Dre to record “The Chronic 2001″ album.

“This (studio) was originally catered for local artists and still is,” explained Gordon. “Locally, over 300 albums have been produced here in the last 40 years.”

Including some bigger names like Whitesnake, who recorded the remix of their “Greatest Hits” album in Sparks.

“Is now number one in Japan, we got the word yesterday,” said Gordon. “We’ve had the Beach Boy band in here and have done stuff with the Beach Boys.”

The studio has also been used to produce music and the score for a number of independent films.

“But the big feature film we’ve done here is Role Models,” Gordon pointed out. “So the end credit music from Role Models was done here.”

Gordon was a musician himself, first coming to Imirage Sound Lab while in high school in the mid-80′s to record with his band. Now he is the man behind the music.

“Interaction with the artist, saying that was good, but. Let’s try that again, I think you can get it better,” explained Gordon. “And I’m pulling from my history of doing records with all of these people when I’m doing a record with a local artist trying to get the bar higher.”

All in an effort to make recording more accessible to up-and-coming bands.

“You might see a movie a few times, you’ll listen to a song 200 times, right,” added Gordon. “And it will be ingrained in what you were doing in that time of your life, so it’s a memory trigger and it’s a time capsule of the era that the song came out as. So that’s a huge figure-head of the importance of music and our culture.”

Imirage Sound Lab is holding an anniversary party tonight from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., which will include food trucks and a raffle.

“We’re setting it up kind of like the Discovery Museum of recording studios, where we’re going to have a keyboard station here, a wall of all of our house amplifiers that people are going to be able to plug into. We’re going to have a Hammond organ expert who’s going to be walking people through the Hammond organ we have here. And then we’re going to have one of our engineers in the control room demonstrating that.”

Imirage Sound Lab is located at 1558 Linda Way in Sparks.