Music , , , — November 3, 2023 8:01 — 0 Comments

Seattle’s Don Farwell on His Next Move, Recording in Seattle

Don Farwell is one of the most beloved Seattle engineers the city has seen over the past decade. He has worked in the Emerald City for years, most recently at Earwig Studio in Wallingford recording bands like the Black Tones, Warren Dunes, Tres Leches, Sloucher and Black Ends. He has also provided engineering work for the multi-time Grammy Award-winner Ryan Lewis. In that capacity, songs Farwell has tracked have been released via Sub Pop Records, played dozens of times on KEXP and been featured in outlets like Guitar World and American Songwriter. The former assistant at Bear Creek Studios who once got Dave Grohl coffee is all grown up!

Now, though, Farwell is changing his practice in the Pacific Northwest. He’s moving from Seattle to the burgeoning music community in Tacoma, where he will be working out of Chris Blount’s On Purpose recording studios as well as working via a mobile basis. Bands and artists can come to Don or Don can come to you. Your choice! Here below, we caught up with Farwell to ask him about his upcoming practice. These are his answers to our burning questions.

TMR: Earwig is closing in Seattle, why?

Don: Over the past 13 years, I’ve tried to stay affordable for local bands. Now, the cost of running a recording studio in Seattle is too high. It’s really that simple.

TMR: Where will you be working as of now?

Don: Starting in 2024, I will be freelance engineering in other Puget Sound studios but mixing in Tacoma.

TMR: What services will be available and how can people hire you?

Don: I can help with any aspect of making records! Until Earwig finds a new home, I can produce and engineer at any studio or even your own home. Contact me through our website.

TMR: You just bought a new elaborate recording console, what does that provide?

Don: We just bought a vintage Sphere Eclipse C. It’s an incredible, 40-channel console and deepens our commitment to the analog mixing process. We’ll be using it at our temporary location in Tacoma. TapeOp has a great article on the history of Sphere where they talk about the development of this console. Once you read this article, you’ll understand why WE HAD TO HAVE IT.

TMR: You will also be working in a studio and on a mobile basis, how would that work for a band who wishes to hire you?

Don: 1) I’m familiar with many studios in Seattle and Tacoma. I can help artists select a studio that’s appropriate for their goals and am available to engineer for them. 2) My mobile rig will be geared towards simple overdubs. That way, if all you need are guitar or vocal overdubs, I can bring quality gear to your home or practice space. It will be a way to get a great sound but save money. 3) Once tracking is done, I’d prefer to do the mixing in Tacoma on our new mixing console.

TMR: What will the Seattle space be used for now that you’re leaving?

Don: I don’t know! I’ve been trying for a year to find someone to take it over. I came really close, but couldn’t manage it in time. It makes me sad to think of that building becoming anything other than a recording studio. I hope my landlord has better luck finding someone. He used to run it as Crow Recording in the 80’s and 90’s, so he’s sympathetic to the cause.

TMR: What do you love most about what you do?

Don: I love my job! I get to make records day in day out. Collaborating with musicians to capture their musical vision is endlessly fulfilling and worth the hard work and long hours. I live for the look on people’s faces when you’ve exceeded their expectations. The world is a big, scary place. I love creating a sanctuary for musicians! Oh, and anything related to recording electric guitar (duh!).


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