DIY gear building: So easy an 8-year-old can do it?

When we first started doing the retreats in Capon Springs, WV, I had the idea of adding some DIY gear building workshops. I did not know if it would be popular, but I thought it would be valuable for creating a well rounded program. So I reached out to Peterson Goodwyn from DIYRE (DIY Recording Equipment) and asked him if he would be willing to come down and run some DIY workshops at the retreat. Much to my surprise, the DIY workshops ended up being wildly popular. Way more people signed up for the beginner’s intro to workshop than I would have imagined, and most participants immediately wanted to do the more advanced projects. I am amazed at how many attendees from that first year, that had never really used a soldering iron before, have now become DIY gear building enthusiasts all year ‘round. 

The retreats at Capon Springs are geared towards adults, but one year, one of the retreat mentors could only make it if he was able to bring his 8-year-old daughter. This young girl thought that building audio equipment seemed interesting and wanted to take the intro to DIY workshop. We agreed to let her do it, under the condition that her dad supervise her at all times, for safety. Much to everyone’s surprise, she not only enjoyed it, but really excelled and moved on to one of the more advanced projects. By the end of the retreat, she had built a 500 series EQ, which actually worked the very first time it was tested… something that several of the adult builders did not accomplish on the first try.  

The Song & Sound Retreat is still a program for adults, but if you have ever thought about building your own gear to either have fun or save money, but you thought it seemed too intimidating, just remember that an 8-year-old was able to do it, so you probably can as well.

Peterson Goodwyn will be back again this year along with some other folks from his company to run our “DIY Playhouse” (we are converting a children’s playhouse into a DIY workshop). Featured and guided DIY projects this year will be the L2A Passive Re-Amplifier kit for beginners and the G Buss SSL style compressor for advanced participants. Please note that there are additional materials fees for these projects. 

So if you ever wanted to try out DIY gear building, the Song & Sound Retreat provides a great opportunity to dive in with step-by-step guidance and peer support. 

Liz Redwing added as a mentor for the 2023 Song & Sound retreat

Liz has worked in and around the music and entertainment business for over 35 years and is the new administrative coordinator for the California Copyright Conference.  Prior to that she was the long-time administrative director for the Association Of Independent Music Publishers LA Chapter (AIMP). Liz also manages producer Ronan Chris Murphy, does copyright research for Skye IP Management and provides music business consulting for artists. She got her creative start at MCA Records and Interscope Music.

Liz will be holding ‘office hours’ for all Song & Sound attendees, to address your business needs, critique songs, etc.!

Singer/songwriter Dave Nach is back as co-host/mentor for this year’s Song & Sound Retreat!

When you hear about the music of a guitar virtuoso with a doctorate in philosophy, who cut his musical teeth performing and collaborating with singer-songwriter Al Stewart (“Year of the Cat”), you know you will be getting something different. In a career that has spanned a dozen albums and thousands of shows ranging from living room concerts to the Royal Albert Hall, Dave Nachmanoff has built a loyal fan base and a unique niche as a performer and songwriter. When not on tour, Dave Nachmanoff is busy producing for other artists, teaching master classes around the US and working in his unique niche of writing and recording custom songs.

Azalea Music Group’s Nancy Moran added as Song & Sound Retreat mentor!

Nancy is an independent Folk-Rock, Americana Singer/Songwriter with four critically acclaimed solo albums, a former member of the national touring group, The Four Bitchin’ Babes (2005-2012), the former Assistant Editor of American Songwriter Magazine and an accomplished background and harmony vocalist. She’s also an artist development and performance coach and the co-founder of Azalea Music Group where she teaches and mentors other singer/songwriters, musicians, and indie artists how to get their music out to a wider audience so they can make a greater impact in the world.

Composer/Producer Catharine Wood added as mentor to this year’s Retreat!

We are excited to announce our newest mentor for the 5th annual Mountain Recording Retreat.

Catharine Wood is an established Los Angeles-based composer/producer & studio owner. She launched her versatile career engineering on high profile commercials – including the first Apple iPhone spot. As a mix/mastering engineer, she has delivered over 500 (both original & client) commercially released songs airing on many major networks. Her facility, Planetwood Studios, LLC specializes in production & composition services for the Film & TV Industries.

Early Registration for the 5th Annual Mountain Recording Retreat is now open.

It is hard to believe that this is the 5th Mountain Recording Retreat. It has exceeded all my expectations and become something far more than a bunch of recording workshops. It is an amazing event in one of my favorite places in the world and when I think about the retreat, the first thing that comes to mind are the great friends I have made. I think a lot of other people feel the same way, as most of our attendees are alumni.

Registration is now open for the 5th annual Mountain Recording Retreat. We have some big discounts for early registration. We sold out last year so early registrations is strongly recommended. Sign up HERE.