Vince’s Notes: The Midwest Sound: Producing great music in a farmhouse

By Vince Chiarelli

Nestled in the Rockford countryside, within a farmhouse, you will find a recording facility called The Midwest Sound. While this studio is fairly new, it is making quite an impact on the Midwest region.

The Midwest Sound was started in December 2011. When I asked head sound engineer Daniel McMahon why he decided to start this studio, other than just because of his love of music, he said, “It’s the only way I know how to make money.”

I recently had the experience of getting to record at the studio. While the outside of the studio looks like an old farmhouse, when you walk in the door, it’s a musician’s dream. There are high-quality recording devices everywhere, and their selection of instruments is top-notch. The studio also has a newly-renovated tracking room that is inviting and great to record in.

In addition to McMahon, Zach Staas and Ed Dulian are sound engineers at the studio. While I haven’t gotten to work with Zach or Ed, I am sure they are just as great to work with as Dan is.

Dan is a well-known musician in town and has a great ear for music. He is a talented multi-instrumentalist and currently tours with the band Miles Nielsen and the Rusted Hearts. Dan, along with Miles Nielsen, wrote the musical score for the Oscar-winning documentary Undefeated. Because of these musical accomplishments and more, you know you will be in good hands with Dan at the controls.

Some great musicians have passed through the studio so far, and it’s just getting its feet on the ground. Bands like Miles Nielsen and the Rusted Hearts, My God The Heat, Ron Rawhoof, Midnight Reruns, Derek Luttrell and Trapper Schoepp & The Shades have recorded there, and the list just keeps growing. If you are looking for somewhere professional and close to home to record at, look no further than The Midwest Sound. For more information, visit their website,

Please contact Vince Chiarelli if you have any original Rockford music or radio suggestions. He can be reached at

From the May 8-14, 2013, issue

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