November 4, 2000


By Lenny Roberts
OVN staff reporter

When Tim Frantz got laid off five years ago from his 14-year job as assistant manager at Heck's Music in Ventura, he didn't know how he was going to make his mortgage payment or support his pregnant wife. Until then, they had both been working for their future, and although they wanted children someday, the concept of stay-at-home-moms had kept them childless. 

"I'm a Christian and felt that God was asking me, 'What about children,' but I resisted because I had financial paranoia about kids," he said.

"So, I made a commitment to God that I would do the kids if He would do the money. I was shocked at being laid off, but encouraged because I knew it couldn't be a coincidence."

Four months into the pregnancy, Frantz was jobless because "keyboards were just not selling."

He believes that God, by moving in his proverbial "mysterious ways," provided the break that he needed.

"I sensed that God was telling us to invest our savings in recording equipment at home, and the phone started ringing. I always had dreamed about owning a recording studio, but never dreamed it could support my family," he said.

With his wife's blessing, Frantz bought some digital recording equipment, opened a home studio and began to, as he said, "pray a lot." 

The original studio, while small, was capable of recording local singer/songwriters and occasional members of more well-known groups, namely Duran Duran and The Commodores.

As his home studio grew, so did his family. Three daughters later, wife Barb is indeed a stay-at-home mom and Frantz owns a sparkling new digital recording studio in Oak View, which he opened Sept, 1. Mountain Dog Musicworks Recording Studio is named after the family dog, 10-year old Chalet, which the family was forced to put to sleep just last month.

Nested in the back of the Dahl's Market strip mall, adjacent to the Sheriff's Oak View Resource Center, the studio is Frantz's dream come true.

"I like the spot and I like Oak View," he said. "And it's eight minutes from our home in Ventura. I didn't want the warehouse look of an industrial district."

With his small home studio now a memory, Frantz has stocked his new venture with some of the latest available digital recording equipment and music synthesizers, with more new stuff on the way.

Frantz performs double duties as engineer and producer, although he is an accomplished musician on keyboards, guitars, and bass. He has toured and recorded with Christian bands, "Truth", and "The Bill Gaither Trio".

"In a sense, you could say that God kicked me out of the nest so I could learn to fly," he said. "Since then, God has been faithful to us financially. He's the owner of this studio; I'm just the manager."

Mountain Dog Musicworks Recording Studio, at 485 N. Ventura Ave., Suite E-3, was constructed and decorated by Michael and Diane Villa, and can be reached at (805) 649- 8500.