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One Eleven Studios breeds a new generation for region’s music scene

Artists turn to Roseville sound engineers, teachers to help define themselves
By: Scott Thomas Anderson, Editor
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Nestled within the ashen brick storefronts of Roseville’s oldest district is a half-hidden chamber alive with sound — a rumbling, creative centrifuge for musicians hoping to leave their mark on the city’s landscape and beyond.  

One Eleven Music Studios was started in 2008 by recording engineer Kevin Prince and has emerged as the album origin point for artists ranging from acoustic pop to California reggae. It’s also expanded into a lesson center for music lovers of all ages.

Prince was 23 years old when he started the business and already a worn-in veteran of Sacramento’s club scene. Between 2001 and 2004 Prince was the drummer for the driving rock quartet Turning Point, getting regular airplay on 98 Rock FM and eventually seeing the group’s songs appear on soundtracks for independent films. All the while Prince was delving further into the world of the recording engineer. By the time he started pondering the idea of  One Eleven Music Studios, he was prepared to take his skills for sound-sharpening to the next level.

“I had been recording bands out of a practice room,” Prince remembered. “I was doing things a little differently than some engineers, and I needed a space where I could really pursue that.”

Family and friends were soon helping Prince with the work of converting an aged nail salon on Church Street into a state-of-the-art recording studio. Today, One Eleven is a clean, cozy performance space with red and black décor, guitars hanging on the walls, a Korg keyboard along the back and soundboard facing its isolation room. Prince and fellow sound engineer Jayson Angove use Pro Tools and a diverse array of rack processors and condenser mics to chase the exact sound each band is looking for.

Angove, a guitarist who performs with jazz and folk-rock groups in the area, started mixing at OneEleven when he was 21.

“Being an engineer means working with a different side of music,” Angove said. “I love it. I come in the studio all the time to do things, even when I’m not working.”

Prince and Angove have now collaborated with a number of artists on albums.

This year, singer-songwriter Devin Wright laid the tracks for his release “Let’s Live” at One Eleven. The studio managed to capture the smooth, swinging energy of his ballets and the vibrant tones of his relaxing guitar work.

The reggae band Simple Creation is another act that’s recorded at One Eleven, tracking its first album there before recently heading back in to start work on a new collection of songs called “Blue Dream.” In turning to OneEleven, Simple Creation found engineers that could balance its fat, punchy bass lines with ringing chords and razor-sharp vocals. Simple Creation has been playing venues all around California and Nevada since the release. 

“It’s cool helping bands shape their sound, especially if they’re not used to the recording experience,” Prince said. “For us, the best situations are when a band comes into the studio with talent, a good amount of rehearsing and open minds.”

Prince and Angove are constantly experimenting with micing techniques, especially around drum kits.

“There’s really no absolute right way to record,” Angove observed. “There are industry standards and guidelines you should know, but as far as getting the best sound, it’s all a matter of the approach you take.”

In 2010, One Eleven Music Studios expanded into the adjacent storefront on Church Street in order to provide music lessons. With Prince teaching drums and Angove teaching guitar, seven other instructors were brought on board to offer lessons in singing, piano, bass and other instruments.  The studio caters to aspiring musicians of all ages, trying to make potential students feel comfortable by offering a free “meet the teacher” session with no strings attached. Prince also offers cyber drums lessons —  compete with video and high-quality sound — for $10 a month at drummer101.com.

While Prince recently played drums for the Pinter Brothers during the grand opening of Sammy’s Rockin’ Island Bar and Grill, and Angove continues to gig with groups like Humble Wolf, both men are also enjoying the journey that comes with passing musical talent to new personalities.

“Teaching is a huge passion,” Prince said. “I love spreading the influence and finding new ways to deliver the context of music to students, especially here in a laid-back, happy environment.”

Scott Thomas Anderson can be reached at scotta@goldcountrymedia.com . Follow him on Twitter at ScottA_RsvPT.