A dim purple light cast a moody, low-key glow in one of the Sound Lab’s newly renovated recording studios in Bellmore. Paired with a raft of recording equipment and music that filled the air, the room begged its occupants to let their creative juices flow.
And from Head Engineer Joe Lindsay and artist Sammi Rae, flow they did.
Rae is one of many young Long Island artists who have come through the Sound Lab’s doors in recent months. Since it opened last October, hundreds of artists have used the Bedford Avenue business to produce music of their own.
On a recent Wednesday, Lindsay, an experienced music producer, was rehearsing with Rae before recording new material. They brainstormed which Adele song they should work with, and Lindsey later picked out a melody on his electronic keyboard that gave Rae a chance to test her vocal range.
“I had no idea what was about to come — it blew up,” said Jay Ortiz, a Bellmore resident and Sound Lab studio manager who heads its marketing. “It’s growing quicker than I thought it would.”
Ortiz is one of the forces behind the scenes at the studio. As its manager, he helps organize the day-to-day operations while also leading a marketing team that helps promote both the Sound Lab and the music and artists that come out of it.
Before Lindsay joined the team, Ortiz was a “believer in not needing much equipment,” he said. “I felt that you could record anywhere, like a quick way of recording.”
The interior of the Sound Lab, in turn, reflected that — until Lindsay arrived. He helped deck the rooms out with sound-proofed walls, new lighting and equipment. With his more professional approach, Ortiz said, more and more musicians have been streaming to the business.
Now, “it can’t get much better,” Ortiz said.
The Sound Lab has also been the perfect outlet for Jesse Eplan, a Merrick native and John F. Kennedy High School graduate who has an audio engineering degree from the Los Angeles Film and Recording School. While Eplan helps many artists produce their songs, he, too, produces music of his own.
“When I do a session with an artist, it helps my music, too,” Eplan said. “I’m an engineer and a producer, but I’m an artist. My profession is just engineering.”
Eplan has produced and published music under his own name, using Sound Lab’s equipment. He leans toward R&B and hip hop, he explained.
“I want to be known,” Eplan said.
Artists leave Sound Lab with their music, the full studio experience and something more, Ortiz said.
“It’s not all about the money,” he said. “I want people to leave here with something more than just a song and an experience in a studio. I want to give some type of insight — to say, ‘I’m here with you,’ while they’re in the studio.”
On top of helping artists seeking recognition, the Sound Lab has many guests just trying to express themselves through creating music. Some classes are taught on music programs, such as Pro Tools, to help beginners.
There are also music classes for children to learn the basics of recording.
The Sound Lab is at 300 B Bedford Ave. in Bellmore. For more information, call (516) 804-2222 or visit @thesoundlabli on Instagram.