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Sarnia recording studio has been making sweet music since 2008

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Cathy Dobson

Adam Miner is an easy interview.

He’s got so many ideas about the direction that music and video production is taking; so much enthusiasm for the local arts scene, and so much to say about it, that he barely stops to take a breath.

“If people think the last 10 years were transformative, the next five years are going to blow them away,” he says of the local recording market.

“There is a glut of individuals out there making content.  As the technology keeps expanding, getting cheaper and more accessible, it’s going to give a voice to more and more people.”

Miner, 35, owns the DNA Music Recording Studio on Christina Street. In square footage, it’s one of Canada’s largest recording studios and has the city’s biggest microphone collections and acoustic instruments, said Miner.

He has produced at least 40 albums and countless singles and videos since forming a partnership with his father, Dave Miner, and establishing DNA in 2008.

“A lot of people come to make music with me. They don’t have the illusion that they are going to make millions. They just want to make their own entertainment.”

The upshot is DNA Music is solvent. “We were the first studio to actually make money in Sarnia,” Miner said.

He attended Northern Collegiate and admits he was a terrible student.

“I barely passed,” he said.

But Miner, who is a singer, songwriter, producer and recording artist, said he is proof academics don’t always make the man.

In 1997, he cut his first record in Kitchener because no studio existed in Sarnia at the time.

“The more I recorded, the more I learned about song writing,” he said. “I learned from other producers and loved all of it.”

For a time in his 20s, he was invited to work with award-winning Toronto producer Jeff Wolpert and moved to the city.

“I was looking for a record label,” Miner said. “That didn’t happen for me and I’m kinda glad. It forced me to make a major decision between staying in Toronto or coming home.”

He was lured back when his father bought the building at 141 Christina St., which has great acoustics because of its angled walls and high ceilings.

“Drums sound really good in here,” Miner said. “It’s just right for rock and roll.”

Miner doesn’t have a sign outside the studio, which is painted bright orange. The people who need to know where it is, already do, he said.

Indeed, a steady stream of people interested in writing, performing and recording drop into the studio, day and night.

“In Sarnia, we’re all just making excuses to work with each other,” Miner laughed.

DNA Music has several projects on the horizon including mixing the music for a movie being shot locally this year.

Miner is also about to launch a new interview and entertainment show to be recorded in front of a live studio audience and available monthly on YouTube. Starting Nov. 7, he is collaborating with Dave Burrows, Natali Bravo and Ian Alexander to produce “Sarnia Tonight” and record it at DNA Music on First Fridays.


Do you know a local artist, dancer, poet, singer, or actor who has a great story that should be told?  Contact Cathy Dobson at [email protected] or 226-932-0985 to recommend them for the Arts Journal.

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