The Noise Floor is a retreat recording studio on "The Isle of the Arts", beautiful Gabriola Island; a gulf island located in the unceded traditional territory of the Snunéymux First Nation.
We are best known by independent artists and labels around the Pacific Northwest having recorded a significant number of critically acclaimed artists from Vancouver, BC and the surrounding areas.
The live room is 20’ x 18’ with a ceiling height reaching 13’ at its peak. It is spacious enough to accommodate a 3-4 piece band and comfy for the solo performer. The floor is concrete (with radiant heat) and the walls / ceiling are finished in local cedar. The room is quite lively but not overly bright and is perfect when natural ambience is needed on acoustic instruments such as drums, strings or vocals.
“Freakout Island” is the smaller of the two performance spaces and has a “dead” or “dry” sound. It is built above a separate slab of concrete and its' physical connection to the live room is almost non-existent, resulting in minimal vibrational energy transfered to the other rooms. You can literally freakout in here without anyone knowing. Good room for tight drums and amp isolation. Sight lines to the live room are good and there is natural light from the back of the room.
In the control room you'll find lots of tape echo's, compressors, other outboard gear, plenty of a natural light and seating for everyone. There's enough room to set up a pedal board or keyboard station if you'd rather track in the control room with Jordan. There's also a massive white board on the wall to track progress and write ideas down.
At the heart of the studio is our vintage (circa '81) Neotek Series II analog console, most notably used in Studio B at Steve Albini's Electrical Audio. It features 24 channels of quiet / clean pre-amplification and a transparent 4 band parametric equalization section on every channel. We are the 3rd owners and have made some modifications to fit our workflow. Those mods are boring so we will leave it at that.
Our RADAR hard disc recorder has been with us since 2005 and is still unmatched in terms of sound and reliability. In simple terms this machine converts analog signal to digital, can store the audio on disc, and then either be used like a tape machine (recording & playback) with a remote, or feed digital signal to our DAW. The latter is the typical scenario these days.
The RADAR interfaces with the Neotek console perfectly and we believe they are one of the best sounding combos.
The studio kitchen includes a double induction cooktop, toaster oven, sink, full size fridge with freezer, french press coffee maker, pots & pans, dishes and lots of food storage. Coffee and tea is always provided. There is a bathroom with shower and a lounge with 2 couches and a television.
Clients are invited to stay at the studio as our personal guests at no extra charge. We offer 4 single beds (1 is a loft bed) for 4 guests in the band cabin. Sometimes you can get wifi out there but you’re on an island. Who needs it?
Our studio consists of 2 performance rooms (live room, dead room), control room, band lounge / kitchen and optional sleeping cabin.
$400 per day + GST
Price is per 10 hour day and includes tracking, mixing, writing and rehearsal. Sessions typically run from 11am-9pm. Contact us to discuss the amount of time likely needed for your project. We do not offer an hourly rate.
All sessions include Jordan as your engineer.
We do not generally accept bookings over 15 consecutive days in a calendar month. Some exceptions apply. Please inquire for projects longer than 15 days.
Sessions 7 days or more include ferry travel to the studio. The Noise Floor will issue you a ferry travel card which will cover the cost of ferry travel for 1 vehicle and up to 4 passengers from Vancouver to Nanaimo and/or Nanaimo to Gabriola Island.
$10 per minute of audio + GST
Vinyl pre-masters, digital, CD and cassette mastering services.
Please note we have a 10 minute ($100) minimum for mastering services.
$200 per song + GST
We offer a separate rate for mixing songs that have not been recorded by Jordan.
Our standard daily rate otherwise applies.
Our American and International clients pay in USD with no tax.
If you're looking for a fresh perspective on a studio or home recording, we have the knowledge, experience and tools to make your mixes stand out.
A 50% deposit is required at the time of booking.
Deposits are non-refundable.
Dates will not be confirmed until a deposit is made. The balance is due on the last day of the session.
Payment Options: Cash / Interac E-Transfer
We accept PayPal payments from US and International clients only.
KIND WORDS FROM KIND PEOPLE...
In January of 2017 Wolf Parade had the pleasure of spending a week at The Noise Floor, where we recorded overdubs and vocals for our most recent LP, "Cry Cry Cry," and we were very happy with the results. It is easily our best-sounding release so far.
We've been in many recording studios and have found that one common problem within that world is sterile, white-walled environments, wherein the focus is more on gear and pristine sound quality than it is on artistry and creatively inspiring spaces. The Noise Floor does not suffer from this problem (though the sound quality is just as good!) The space is easily large enough for a band to work in, yet has a cozy, welcoming feeling that makes one feel instantly at home, not worried about where you should throw your coat. The live room is warm-feeling, lit and decorated in such a way that makes it possible to spend hours at a time within if needed. (I personally had so much fun recording vocals in there that I didn't want to stop and probably did more takes than was necessary.) These same "vibes" spill over into the the engineering room and adjacent communal room, making the entire space a comfortable, relaxed environment wherein ideas flow naturally.
The Noise Floor's location on Gabriola is also a positive. The fact that the studio is located on a somewhat remote island gives the feeling that the rest of the world is on hold while you work on your album, and any help in blocking out distractions when working is something all artists will benefit from. Feeling like nothing else exists is very easy to do in the tranquil surroundings. There is warm, beautiful little cottage in the back yard, where I personally slept, and it offered a chill and private space for me to finalize and practice my lyrics before putting them to tape. Not to mention deep, silent sleeps.
Jordan Koop, co-owner and engineer, is very talented and great to work with. He was flexible with his hours, catering to the band's schedule. He knows his gear well and how to use it to a band's full advantage. He is full of knowledge and ideas but is also open to different ideas, suggestions, and alternative ways of working, should a band want to experiment. This is simply to say that, despite his skill and expertise, Jordan is not "stuck in his ways" the way that I've found other house engineers can be. He is very calm, kind, and funny, making it easy to feel at ease around him; to have him on the receiving end of a mic when you're trying out a new (bad) idea, or ask him to play a keyboard part back for the hundredth time.
Jordan and Terry Ondang, co-owner and studio manager, could not have made us feel more welcome. Really, it was all a very lovely and fun; a creative and productive experience that never really felt like "work." I remember now the album covers and stickers decorating the bathroom - the many bands that came before us - which made me feel like we'd joined a special club - The Noise Floor alumni. Really I can't recommend the studio enough and I hope I get to work there again some day.
YOU SAY PARTY
This studio is amazing! We found it a great benefit to escape Vancouver and immerse ourselves in the recording process. Away from any external pressures, we were able to focus on creating good work. Jordan is a fantastic engineer and producer, offering great input and ensuring we captured our best work. Would recommend this studio and this experience to any band looking for more out of the recording experience.
I have so many positive feelings about my experiences recording at The Noise Floor on Gabriola. I feel strongly that having a positive and supportive vibe during the recording process is super key to coming out with something great. Terry and Jordan are deeply kind and wise people who care so much about artists and their music. They have created a comfortable and inspiring space and I feel so lucky to have found them!
Working with Jordan as an engineer and producer has definitely helped me grow as a musician and producer myself. He has always made me feel totally musically safe to try out ideas and find the best solutions for the songs. I think having someone guide you in the right direction for your art is so rare. I have felt pushed in past musical scenarios in directions I don’t want to go and I really value Jordan’s approach. The whole process is always super fun and being on the island away from distractions is inspiring and productive.
Hush pup loves Terry and Jordan and The Noise Floor! They are an integral part of our musical lives and have helped us so much to carve out our musical history as a band.
-Ida Maidstone - Hush Pup
Coming to the Noise Floor to record my record was an amazing experience. I find communicating with Terry and Jordan very easy and it was a cozy space to be whether there were two of us or five of us. It’s worth the extra ferry rides to get away from the city and concentrate on recording. Being a non-binary person I felt that they made an extra effort to make a safe space for myself and my band. The resulting record bodiesofwater is my favorite one I’ve ever made. It’s a world class recording facility. Jordan is a great engineer and producer and the space would work for any band that wants to come and focus on their record.
Recording at The Noise Floor is a dang good time. Professional and incredible work from both Jordan and Terry, plus the beautiful experience of staying on the island. I couldn't recommend it more.
We have worked with the Noise Floor on every record we have ever created. Jordan and Terry have been a constant source of support for our band since day one and we wouldn't be where we are without them. Stepping away from "real life" to record at their beautiful studio on Gabriola Island is the ideal experience for anyone interested in fully immersing yourself in the beauty of nature and the peace of mind required to comfortably focus on making a huge and sick record. We constantly receive compliments on the uniquely live and yet huge and polished-sounding quality of our recordings. Jordan's patience and humor make working with him feel like working with an old friend and his technique is unbeatable. He is open, kind, and hardworking and it shows in the albums he helps to create. Terry has counselled us through too many emotional breakdowns to count. We love them both from the bottoms of our rotten hearts. If you aren't recording at the Noise Floor you are fucking up!
We had a wonderful time recording and mixing with Jordan and Terry at the Noise Floor on Gabriola Island. Jordan was technically very impressive, always listening and receptive to any of our comments but also realistic about our options. Jordan was able to translate our ideas perfectly in his mixing and recording of our album “Seeing Green”. Both Jordan and Terry were consistently accommodating and the facilities were amazing, it was like a vacation in the woods. We highly recommend the Noise Floor to any band that is looking for a professional and relaxing place to record their music.
The Noise Floor has provided the most unique recording experience that I have been a part of to date. Working with Jordan allowed for an incredibly creative and comfortable environment that brought the best out of the group. As an engineer, Jordan aims to capture an honest representation of the band while fostering new, creative ideas.
The studio itself is geared towards both comfort and creativity. The retreat experience allows the artist to fully immerse themselves in the recording experience without distraction. Both the cabin and lounge provide comfortable spaces to spend downtime and refocus. This lends itself to feeling like you're recording in your own home or rehearsal space.
Ultimately, the Noise Floor is a vehicle to realize an album based upon how you want it to sound rather than it being dictated by the studio. It's an opportunity for a band to focus on their art in a comfortable environment that fosters creativity.