Nightsound: Not your typical recording studio

Chris Wimberley (left) and his Nightsound staff take a break from recording to pose for a portrait outside their West Main studio (Staff photo by Brian Griffin).
Chris Wimberley (left) and his Nightsound staff, left to right, Meghan Puryear, Taylor Herbert, and Adrianna Villa, take a break from recording to pose for a portrait outside their West Main studio (Staff photo by Brian Griffin).

A music hotbed on Main Street in Carrboro? While Cat’s Cradle may be the first to come to mind, it’s certainly not alone.

Chris Wimberley’s Nightsound Studios, located at 116 W. Main St., is dedicated to helping local musicians from all genres maximize their talent and resources, but with a personal touch.

“Nightsound is a place which is just as much art as it is science”, said Wimberley, Nightsound’s owner. “This place is about helping people get what they need to get out of their music.”

“This idea that people pursue music to get famous is something you see in a movie, but what real people get of music is self-affirmation, self-discovery and the ability to connect to their own community to reach something larger than themselves,” said Wimberley.

Wimberley, a renowned musician in his own right, opened Nightsound Studios in its current location in 2001. He became familiar with recording equipment to work on his own projects, but soon realized helping others with music was much more fulfilling.

“I started to write my own material and record it, and wanted to have control of it,” Wimberley said. “But then, somewhere along the way I learned it was way more rewarding seeing other people get that connection between themselves and the music they’re creating. Seeing somebody discover some part of their psyche through their music was a fascinating and rewarding experience.”

So far, Nightsound’s cozy and inviting atmosphere has hosted early recordings for well-known local musicians including Chase Rice and Hi Ho Silver Oh. But regardless of fame or financing, Wimberley said Nightsound remains committed to helping musicians of all skill levels and genres get the best out of themselves.

“We help people, within their budget, achieve what they need to achieve. We get to work with a whole lot of talented people that way. Chapel Hill and Carrboro aren’t known for one type of music, so we’re open to all types,” said Wimberley.

Meghan Puryear, Nightsound’s chief engineer and studio manager, agreed that their studio has set itself apart through the people-first relationships established with its clients.

“Everyone that works here has the goal of trying to give every musician the most attention and positive, constructive feedback for their work,” said Puryear. “We care more about the musicians and their well-being, that’s the top priority, not how much money they might bring in. I’m proud of us for that.”

Puryear, who began at the studio in college as an intern, has become an invaluable member of the Nightsound team, earning the highest of praises from Wimberley.

“Meghan Puryear is one of the best engineers with some of the best ears I’ve ever met or will ever meet in my life,” said Wimberley. “I’ve seen engineers with 30 years of experience scratch their heads at her mixes and say, ‘Wait how long has she been doing this and how did she do that?’ We’ve got one of the best audio engineers I’ve ever met working right here.”

Nightsound’s caring and talented staff has left an impression on its clients, including Wood Robinson.

Robinson first came to Nightsound three years ago to record a Halloween song with his band, Mipso. What he found in Wimberley and Nightsound was just as advertised. “Having someone excited to work with you is great,” he said. “Working with somebody that believes in you and your music is really a blessing.”

Robinson is now recording a solo project at Nightsound, and is among the musicians that have Wimberley buzzing with excitement as he thinks of the future.

“We’ve worked with artists you’ve heard of, but the artists we’re working with now, those are ones you will hear of,” Wimberley said with a smile.

In Carrboro, Wimberley feels Nightsound is in the perfect place to attract and help talented artists from all backgrounds.

“Not zeroing in on one type of music, being able to open the door to whatever Carrboro brings us has been what’s allowed us to be here,” Wimberley concluded. “Carrboro is such an amazingly talented place; I’m so lucky to work out of here because I’m surrounded by people using creativity to better themselves. It’s a great place to try and run a different kind of recording studio.”

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Author of the article

Brian is a UNC-CH senior journalism major from High Point serving as a writer-photographer with the Carrboro Commons.