Friday, November 8, 2002

Company Spotlight

Mountain Dog Musicworks Recording Studio

by Maria de la Torre
Ventura County Star staff reporter

Owner: Tim Frantz

Type of Product or Service: Recording Studio, CD production, in-house producers and musicians, music instruction and recording, audio books.

Where: 485 N. Ventura Ave., Suite E-3, Oak View, Ca. 93022

Date Established: March 1995

Telephone: (805)649-8500


Web Site: 

Questions to Tim Frantz:

Why did you decide to start your own business?
For the love of music. Music is my life. I've always enjoyed experimenting with recording technology. The time came for my wife and I to take the "leap of faith" and invest our savings in recording equipment and start MDM.

What was your educational and career background before you started your business?
I hold a Bachelor of Arts in Music from Azusa Pacific University, specializing in guitar, keyboard and composition. As a professional musician, I've toured with many bands of diverse musical styles. I worked for many years as a software/hardware department manager for a music retailer.

What do you consider unique about your business?
Accessibility - anyone can come in and record -- from a seasoned professional to a grandmother recording family stories. There's no intimidation here -- it's a comfortable atmosphere. In addition, the services of a producer/arranger are included, and musicians are on staff.

What business courses or advice have you found to be most valuable in getting your business off the ground and keeping it going?
Musicians are not often good marketers. I've had to learn how to take off my musician's hat and get out there and let people know that they can make their musical dreams come true, and that we've got a good thing going here at Mountain Dog. 

What were the biggest hurdles you overcame?
The first was location. We moved from a small bedroom in our home using a closet for a vocal booth to a custom-designed studio suite in Oak View. Also, many clients had never considered recording their own music before and weren't sure how to begin. 

Who is your target client/customer base?
Songwriters, singers, musicians in the professional venue. The beauty of this really is that anyone can record a project; songwriters may want a demo of their songs to sell to a well-known artist, a band may want CDs to sell at their gigs. Recently a family recorded a song to give as an anniversary gift for the grandparents. Parents have recorded their children singing for keepsakes.

What is your strategy to increase market share?
Hearing is believing. Industry professionals can hear for themselves what we do on our demo CD, hopefully realizing that there is a quality alternative to L.A. studios. We offer complimentary consultations for projects, as well as seminars for vocal students and songwriters. We are planning for expansion of the business to include CD distribution and publishing deals giving clients additional access to record labels.

What kind of competition does your business face?
In comparison to other service businesses, recording studios have few competitors. Often a recording studio is just a facility and an engineer. Mountain Dog offers technical expertise combined with artistic guidance to walk a client through the entire creative process. It's what we love to do.

-Who's New in Business
Maria de la Torre