Sign up for our free weekday bulletin.

Sarnia recording studio has been wellspring of local music

Published on

Troy Shantz

It’s the end of an era for a downtown Sarnia recording studio.

DNA Music, owned and operated by Adam Miner out of 141 Christina St. N., is closing its doors in June.

The building has been sold and Miner is moving the studio to a house just east of downtown. He’s also dropping the DNA Music name and now operating as Adam Miner Music.

Over the past decade the studio has recorded 40 albums and too many smaller projects to count. But given the ongoing expense and relatively low demand for a professional recording studio in Sarnia it’s time to move on, Miner said.

“I must have $100,000 tied up in equipment and it all needs new strings, sometimes new tubes,” he said.

“The overhead is something like $2,500 a month (and) how many rock and roll albums do you need to make to cover that?”

DNA Music has been a fixture in the careers of many area musicians. Local favourites Nic Swales and Marinol Nation each laid down several albums in the space.

Miner said it’s too hard to pick a favourite, but the 2011 release of “Echoes of the Atmosphere” by Hello Bella was a memorable experience.

“So many of them have been awesome. I’m looking forward to making new memories and new records in a new space.”

The studio has also hosted narration and cartoon voice-overs, and a few hobbyists have booked sessions to record karaoke tracks.

Over the years, Miner accumulated almost 100 instruments including guitars, toy pianos and a massive pipe organ – all shoehorned into the 2,800-square-foot space.

“We have more guitar hangers than anyone else in the city… except for maybe Picker’s Alley,” Miner said.

Woodwind instruments and horns sound excellent in the studio space. Though drums are more challenging, he knows by now where to position everything for best sound.

After pursuing a recording and performing career in Toronto, Miner returned to Sarnia about 12 years ago and began recording musicians and performing locally.

Around the same time, Miner’s father purchased the downtown storefront. He and his dad would eventually switch spots.

Closing the studio is bittersweet, Miner said.

“But I’m actually kind of looking forward to a new set of rooms to work with, a new challenge.”

He also looks forward to completing his latest album, which was successfully crowd-funded in November. The album includes a track called “Christina,” an homage to the time at DNA Studio.

More like this