Chris Boerner in the guitar shop
Todd Atlas opened his Sound Pure business in Durham, N.C., 10 years ago as a way to improve his own, and other engineers’, access to boutique high-end mics. He worked as a sort of middleman, purchasing prized, limited-edition gear, keeping what he needed and selling what he didn’t. His inventory and areas of specialty expanded over the years until he decided, in 2006, to really let it explode: He took on a new hire, producer/guitarist Chris Boerner, and he purchased an 8,000-square-foot, red-brick warehouse in downtown Durham. They transformed the building into a unique combination of studio and boutique, offering handmade guitars and equipment, as well as commercial recording services.
“The things we are doing are not new,” Atlas says, “but the combination of services we offer is unique. And we see the industry in general going in the direction we’ve been going in all this time — emphasizing high-quality, boutique outboard gear rather than massive studio consoles.”
The studio facilities at Sound Pure comprise two control rooms, both equipped with Pro Tools HD3 rigs, an array of collectable new outboard gear and Focal Twin6 Be monitoring. The tracking room, Studio A, contains a Steinway grand and was designed to serve as a testing zone for clients of the guitar and pro audio businesses, as well as a commercial room and a base for music/audio seminars and events.
Todd Atlas at the console
“Last week, we hosted an event with [roots/blues musician] Otis Taylor. We were able to video the jams. The room was full of guitar and banjo players playing amazing blues. If we couldn’t use the studio this way and put these things on our Website to promote the studio and the shop, we wouldn’t be succeeding.