In the Studio With Jeremy Deaton

From teen years spent in a band, to handling the heat of being one of few interns (in about ten years) for a music studio, to making his own moves in co-owning a studio—what inspired Jeremy Deaton, Chief Operating Officer of Make Believe Studios (MBS) to make music a career?

“I knew I wanted to be involved in music but I knew realistically I wasn’t a good enough musician to do that as a career choice,” said Deaton. “So, somehow I kind of fell into it.”

Currently a co-owner and tracking engineer for MBS, Deaton started recording other bands in his youth and it gaged his interest. Yearning to make music more than a hobby, he headed to Full Sail University where he met Rick Carson, current CEO of Make Believe Studios.

Growing up in Spokane, Wash. Deaton made his journey to the other side of the country in Florida for school, then back to his home state afterwards working in Seattle for Studio X. There, he was an intern and assistant. He also worked with a live sound company, Carlson Audio Systems. It was during this time on his first day as a recording studio intern where his “Aha moment” hit him—this is what he was meant to do.

When Deaton was doing freelance work, the opportunity came about to start up a studio with alumni Carson in Omaha, Neb. He took the leap in 2009 and has been building up the company since. The new state-of-the-art studio in downtown Omaha is just wrapping up construction and set to open soon.

He’s all about sound and the gadgets required to gather it. A lot of the gear the studio has currently he’s had his eyes set on since starting in the industry ten years ago, and now his closet is full.

“One thing I really like is the Royer 121, a ribbon mic. That’s a new mic we have. We also have a lot of vintage gear,” said Deaton.

Earlier in his tenure, Deaton got some interesting experiences on the job. The Dalai Lama—yes, involvement with sound for the Dalai Lama—and Eddie Vedder were two projects that came to mind.

What advice does Deaton give anyone interested in entering the industry?

“Every day [in the industry] is a new challenge,” said Deaton. “You’re going to have to work really hard.”

Hard at work in one of Make Believe’s studios, Jeremy Deaton (left) examines his toolkit as Dojorok (right) practices what he’s going to record on the turntable for an original audio track for a UNO Mavericks Hockey project.

Deaton repairs a headphone jack; one of his many roles aside from COO and tracking engineer.

Lights gleam red and green on the mixing console. This is one of many pieces of gear necessary for Deaton to work from.

The studio helps everyone from local musicians, to national artists, commercial work and occasionally projects for TV and the movies.

Sounds from microphones and instruments enter the microphone preamp device before making their way into the mixer for Deaton to work from.

Deaton is all too familiar with the dedication entrepreneurship entails. It requires tiring, long nights and very busy days at the studio.

“Yes, that’s my BAE,” jokes Deaton. The BAE 1073 is one of Deaton’s favorite pieces of gear.

Essential components of a music studio are a pretty penny. “Two of those [units within the console] are more expensive than any car I’ve ever owned,” said Deaton.

Deaton’s knowledge in sound resonates clearly. Deaton explains the way the boards in the live room are precisely positioned, and how the amount of space in between determines which frequencies get absorbed into the wall and what sounds reflect back outward.

Having the perfect acoustics in a live room is important. Everything in the room holds a purpose. The architecturally eye-catching ceiling acts like a sponge absorbing just the right amount of sound.

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Ceiling lights mirror off the isolation booth glass. The ISO-booth sits patiently, eagerly waiting for the next recording artist to stop in and get audibly creative!

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