Liquid 5th Productions is, and has been, one of the most respected a cappella production companies in the game.
Founded in 2005 and based in North Carolina, the organization has grown and thrived during its eight years of existence, bringing the best out of its ever-growing list of clients and translating their performances into outstanding, award-winning recordings.
Their roster of professional-grade producers earned L5 a whopping 27 nominations in the Contemporary A cappella Recording Awards in 2012 alone, not to mention multiple appearances on compilations such as the Best of College A cappella, SING and Voices Only. L5 has also engineered sound for live shows up and down the East Coast, perhaps most notably for the final rounds of the International Championship of High School and College A Cappella in New York. They also launched a new a cappella festival in 2012 called Amplify, held in idyllic Providence, RI.
The successes of their past year reflect the ever-growing nature of the company – especially as it moves into a new era, complete with a state-of-the-art recording space. Dubbed the A Cappella Studio, their new recording home base comes complete with booths of varying sizes (enabling them to employ different recording techniques tailored to a given group’s needs), and a polished, refined lounge area that personifies the polished nature of their musical works.
The glossy, 2,000-square-foot A Cappella Studio was christened with a grand opening celebration in late September, a party that allowed friends, family and clients alike to come together in the new space. And while talking with A Cappella Records soon after, L5 producers Carl Taylor (owner) and Chris Juengel expressed their excitement about the new possibilities of the updated, upgraded studio space.
“We’re trying to move ourselves in a direction where it legitimizes, just a bit more, the kind of work that we do,” Taylor said. “For us, we felt like working out of homes could only carry us so far – we wanted to create THE space, THE place for groups to come and record.”
L5 will continue to offer its remote services for groups not able to make the journey to Durham, but for those who can, they will be in for a true experience. Taylor went on to describe the location – a refurbished building formerly used for the production of the Durham Sun newspaper that also houses a Cuban restaurant called the Old Havana Sandwich Shop, the embodiment of industrial chic.
“The neighborhood is being revitalized, and has a new urban scene,” Juengel added, noting its address on the edge of an up-and-coming area of Durham.
As previously mentioned, L5 did the vast majority of its work as nomads before now, improvising and utilizing bedroom and closet spaces both in their native state and abroad, in the homes of clients.
“You name it, we’ve been there,” Taylor said. “The product is great, even when you do it that way, but I do feel that groups lose a little bit of the experience of what it’s like to go into the studio – to be a recording artists.”
And in addition to offering clients the star treatment they deserve, L5 also hopes to cross over a new threshold of musicality.
“We could have just continued … as we were, working at home or exclusively on campus or on location, and that would have been just fine, “Taylor said. “Or we could take a leap of faith and do something new and different – we opted to take the leap.”
Added Juengel, “We’re stretching ourselves … as musicians and producers. And we will continue to push ourselves to get better and better – to learn every day, and to go to new places.”