Dave Snyder started his musical career in 1994 as a drummer for erstwhile rockers Ruth Ruth, a power trio from the suburbs of New Jersey with a three year run at fame and (not so much) fortune, on Rick Rubin’s American Records. He acquired a taste for production watching the knob twisters on the other side of the glass, and after a number of years recording with different bands and exposure to some of New York City’s greatest recording studios, Dave decided to make a go of it himself.
The first incarnation of his studio was a 100 square foot room attached to a rehearsal space in the basement of a tenement building on Rivington Street in Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Despite the smell of rat and lack of windows, many great local bands made their way through its sidewalk grate doors and together they produced some great records.
It quickly became apparent that the control room space was too small and the ‘live room’, with its seven foot ceilings and piles of other bands’ stuff everywhere, left something to be desired in the quest for great sound. There was nothing hi-fidelity about the space, but some of the gear Dave started to acquire was. After three years in the Rivington basement it was time to look for a real studio space.
Fellow engineer Aaron Keane saw an ad for a project studio up for sale on East 4th Street above Tower Records, so they made a call and took a tour of the space. One look was all they needed and Jarvis Studios was born. Though Jarvis Studios made some amazing records, time and more discerning ears made it sorely apparent how lackluster the control room sounded. The room had some problems in the low end that could not be addressed without completely rebuilding the space.
On the personal side, Dave and his wife Sara had dreamed of returning to live near Marlboro College (where they first met) to raise their growing family. In 2004 they decided to look for a property in Vermont where Dave could build a studio from the ground up and Sara could continue her focus on helping modern performing artists create new works. The search for a building site proved much more challenging than they anticipated, but the spot they eventually found was well worth the year and a half search. A beautiful farmhouse attached to a large parcel of land at the end of an idyllic sugar maple-lined road became the future home of both Dave’s family as well as the site for the new studio.
After six years of planning and construction, their dreams have finally been realized: Sara is enjoying success with her non-profit performing arts residency program, Vermont Performance Lab, and Dave has built a top-quality recording haven (now up and running!) that he can be proud to present to the most veteran of artists and producers.