When Warner Brothers contacted Jimmy Hill, owner of Amplified Wax Recording Studio about a Coca Cola commercial for a band called Nikki and Rich, Hill decided to get out of the house and start his own business on a more professional level. Hill’s interest in the recording realm began with his experience in the music industry. During his college years Hill played in a band while studying business at Eastern University, Spokane Wash. After the band dissolved, Hill worked at the original “Blvd. concert house” as a sound technician. He eventually went back to school and studied Audio Engineering at Spokane Falls Community college and later became a technician for the INB Arena and Opera House; meanwhile doing his own sound recordings in his house.
“I left the Arena because my bands were so abundant that I wasn’t having time to record, and what I really wanted to do was start my own business,” Hill said. “So I quit the Arena and started working out of my house.”
After working on the Warner Brother’s project, Hill knew it was time to find a professional studio where he could work. He found a space for rent right next to the Garland Theater. Hill always envisioned his studio being next to a reputable music shop, which is why the location appealed to him so much; sandwiched between a historical movie theater and Mark’s Guitar Shop. Hill got the keys to the new space in January. Band members from various groups traded album work in exchange for helping Hill with the construction.
The studio’s grand opening is scheduled for May. The name “Amplified Wax” was something Hill had been playing around with for a while.
“I put words together all the time,” Hill said. “I think of band names when I’m not even in a band. “Amplified Wax” was fitting when we did the studio because of the old concept of “vinyl” being known as “wax” and then us fusing together the analog and the digital. Amplified Wax is a combination of the new and the old.”
Hill and his wife Mandy do everything themselves. He manages the audio recording and accounting and his wife is their main graphic designer.
Hill has high hopes for the future. He is currently renovating the downstairs of his new studio into what he calls “Studio B,” a place where bands can come to record a quick demo or practice in. Hill loves managing his own business; watching it grow and making it work.
Story by Brianna Anderson