mikes music exchange

walk-in recording studio & guitar shop


Mike's Music Exchange was an experiment in audio engineering, acoustic engineering, musical instruments, and live stage performance. MMX was designed as a high quality listening room/recording studio/guitar shop for musicians in an intimate setting (100 seat capacity) in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

I had some great help in constructing and running the exchange - the facility was built by an awesome craftsman named Gordon Lux, and the guitar expertise came from a technical wizard named Bad Masciagna, who had no fear ripping into a $5000 Gibson or Taylor on his bench.



Each show was recorded live using a 32 track direct to digital micro recording system in conjunction with a live mixing console. The room was booked as a rental to the artist, who would receive a reference mix after the show which could be further mixed upon request. The artist could also sell tickets to help offset the cost of the recording session, or just use the space for rehearsal or studio recording / mixing. I recorded over 140 shows form the live venue with over a dozen studio mixes / demo CDs created for artists.


 isolation / student rooms

In addition to the live music venue, there were two isolation rooms that connected adjacent to the sound booth behind glass to facilitate up to three room simultaneous recording. The rooms also doubled as practice rooms and green rooms. These rooms, as well as the live stage room where acoustically engineered to flat response and provide enough isolation to make for some pretty clean recording.


guitar shop

Connecting the two spaces was the guitar shop, which specialized in a variety of custom guitars featuring Heritage (original Gibson), RainSong, Loar, VHT, SVK, Line 6, and others.  Between local artists and featured artists passing through on their way between bigger gigs, Brad was able to put is expertise to work in repairing, tweaking, and customizing guitars and equipment.


santa fe performance exchange

For all the fun and hard work it took to build and run Mike's Music Exchange, I had to close the place down and move on to other adventures. During the two year project I learned a great deal about the technology, the business, and most importantly about the artists and life in the live music and recording industry. Following its untimely demise, the torch was picked up by a local non-profit Santa Fe Performance Exchange, which I helped out in getting off the ground and running. The SFPX is still alive and support live music today, but no longer operates out of the venue. It was a great time and a great honor to provide professional artists a place where their music could be heard and appreciated.