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Thief Robs, Vandalizes Louisville, KY Studio

By Katie Makal. Louisville, KY's Goldsmith Studios suffered more than $20,000 in damages after a thief broke in and vandalized the facility. Security cameras caught it all and a suspect has been arrested.

Louisville, KY—A person suspected of breaking into, robbing and vandalizing a Louisville recording studio just before Christmas has been apprehended by local police. At a court hearing on Jan. 1, James Daniel III, 43, was charged with burglary and criminal mischief for his role in the break-in at Goldsmith Studios, which is owned by musician, producer and engineer Brian Cronin. Daniel pled not guilty. Deemed a flight risk by the judge, his bond was set at $15,000.

On Dec. 22 at about 5:20 p.m., a man was recorded on surveillance video kicking in the back door of the recording studio to gain entry. Once inside, he used a vintage tape machine remote to smash recording equipment in the control room, including the facility’s Toft ATB 32 console, a Yamaha NS-10M studio monitor, outboard racks and an API Lunchbox packed with 500 modules from Radial, BAE and Shadow Hills, among others. Moving into the piano room, he destroyed two acoustic guitars as he damaged pianos and overturned a vintage keyboard.

Within 90 seconds, the intruder left the building with three guitars, including a 2010 Gibson SG, an Ibanez four-string bass guitar and a Samick Greg Bennett FA 2 electric guitar. The three guitars are valued at $2,800 and damages to the studio and equipment are estimated to exceed $20,000.

Cronin said that he was alerted to the break-in by Goldsmith Studios’ security system and praised the efficiency and professionalism of Alarm-1 Protective Services. “Fortunately I’d had cameras put in, which helped identify the guy who did it,” Cronin said.

Pro Sound News wants to hear your story. We’re going to continue the topic of studio security in an upcoming article and we’d like to hear your experiences—both positive and negative—about keeping your facility safe and running smoothly. Let us know how it went. 

Have you experienced a robbery? Have you had to file a claim for damages through your insurance company? E-mail your story to Clive Young ([email protected]) or post it in the Disqus comments at the bottom of this story. Thanks for reading!

Though the cameras did not prevent the robbery, they proved to be a great asset once the crime was in progress. He added, “Having an alarm system that’s tied into a monitoring station that will send police out is really beneficial. They showed up within 10 minutes of the guy breaking in, but he had already left.”

Cronin is working with his insurance company to repair the damages and replace his equipment, and noted, “It happened a month ago today and I’m still scratching the surface on getting it all put back together…. He did a considerable amount of damage in the 90 seconds he was in there, for sure.” He hopes to have the studio repaired and open for business in a month, though he notes that goal may be optimistic.

Related: Robbed Recording Studio Forges Ahead, by Kelleigh Welch, Pro Sound News, Oct. 20, 2014

Despite the setback, Cronin was able to celebrate the release of the 2018 Louisville Accord CD on Jan. 11, an annual charity album recorded at Goldsmith with the goal of giving back to the community.

Two years ago, Cronin and Crescent Hill Radio hosts Charity Radcliffe and CJ Cumberland co-founded The Louisville Accord, an original recording project that challenges local songwriters to write and record a song in four hours. Twenty musicians are paired across genres, delivering 10 completely original works of audio art. Proceeds from sales of the CDs are donated to a local nonprofit.

Cronin explained the genesis of Accord: “The three of us sat down over dinner one night [in 2016] and started talking about the idea of bringing different musicians together and seeing if we could get them to write a song together. Between the three of us, we knew a bunch of musicians in town. I’m not sure how it is in other cities, but in Louisville, we have these little pockets of different genres—they’re all really, really talented people and they don’t really intermingle. So the goal was to get people from different genres, put them in a room together and give them four hours to write and record a song, which is a pretty monumental task when people don’t know each other. I mean, writing a song in itself is one thing, but doing it with people you don’t know is something totally separate. And being expected to have it recorded within four hours of meeting the person is a pretty tall task.

Related: Overcoast Overcomes Flood, Deadlines, by Steve Harvey, Pro Sound News, Sep. 20, 2017

“Basically it’s 20 musicians from town and they’re paired up. The twist on it is that we end up putting out a CD that gives money to a local nonprofit. None of the musicians or anybody involved in the production make any money off of it. It’s all a labor of love.”

Cronin said that proceeds from the 2018 Accord CD are going to AMPED Louisville, a program that provides a safe environment for youth to explore their creativity through music. AMPED provides free access to education, instruments, technology and performance opportunities for Louisville’s young to thrive through the power of music.

Goldsmith Studios •