ROCHESTER BUSINESS JOURNAL PRINT | CLOSE WINDOW
Audio engineer developing a sound business
By MAURA DOLLARD – 8/28/2009
Justin Yelle hopes his business, Kaotic Records, will help elevate Rochester in the music world, so that local artists will no longer have to travel to New York City to pursue their musical ambitions.
Yelle, 26, is president of Kaotic, a recording studio and record label in Fairport. He considered starting a business while studying to be an audio engineer at the Audio Recording Technology Institute in Orlando, Fla. Yelle is one of few certified audio engineers here, he says. While he could have found work in Orlando, he chose to return to Rochester and started running Kaotic in 2006.
The company offers recording, editing, mixing, mastering, post-production, video production and sound reinforcement services. It also creates and improves voice-overs and advertising jingles.
Yelle’s studio is equipped with a soundproof live room and vocal booth in addition to a control room. His business employs an array of tools used in the music industry, such as Pro Tools, a digital audio workstation for music production, and Reason, a virtual studio rack with tools and instruments to emulate synthesizers, samplers, signal processors, sequences and mixers.
Kaotic works closely with Video Propulsion Inc., a Rochester production house. Together they have created commercials and jingles for Time Warner Cable, Xerox Corp., the Brighton Cable Commission and others.
The record label has contracts with local bands Free Air and The Indras. Kaotic also offers services to other area bands, and roughly 10 pay by the hour to use his studio and services.
Kaotic offers an hourly rate of $35, but Yelle suggests that starving artists try out his one-song, $250 package deal. This allows bands with tight budgets to get the necessary amount of mixing and editing-a fundamental ingredient that most people overlook, he says. In short, it allows them to get the best music possible without feeling rushed, Yelle says.
“A lot of people don’t really understand what it is that needs to go into music to get such a good mix professionally,” he says. “They’ll pay for the recording time but then not want to pay for the mixing and editing, which really is what makes a CD sound as good as a CD does. That’s why we do the one-price package.”
For the last three years, Yelle has been promoting his business locally, often volunteering his services and contributing to fundraisers. Recently he put together a battle-of-the-bands concert to help raise money and awareness in support of the search for Brittanee Drexel, a missing Chili teen.
The local exposure has resulted in inquiries about Kaotic’s bands and services. While he welcomes the recognition, Yelle’s calendar is more than full. He has the help of two vice presidents, the other two staffers at Kaotic, but Yelle is the only one with the expertise to run the studio, he says.
“Really it’s timing. … I have to be everywhere. We need to get the two CDs out by the end of the summer. So I don’t necessarily have the time to go run the live show too,” he says.
Yelle would like to see Kaotic continue to grow and expand. Eventually, he hopes to move his business into the city of Rochester.
“I started out in an extra room of an apartment,” he says. “I’m hoping to be able to build somewhere downtown.”
Maura Dollard was a summer intern at the Rochester Business Journal. Fast Start is a biweekly feature focusing on young entrepreneurs. Send suggestions for future Fast Start stories to Associate Editor Smriti Jacob at firstname.lastname@example.org.
08/28/09 (C) Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303.