Dallas Musician Keeps It “Reel” at His Deep Ellum Recording Studio

The Ferralog Recording Studios in Deep Ellum could be a museum of gadgets gone by. The studios are dotted with old typewriters, televisions and recording equipment that uses something most people don't anymore: tape.

"I'm pretty old school," said Ferralog Recording Studios owner Nathan Adamson. "But I think I've been old school since I was a little kid."

You won't find a computer in the room, anywhere. That's exactly how Adamson wants it.

"I've always loved tape machines," said Adamson. "The cool thing about analog tape is it hasn't changed in 70 years."

The reel-to-reel tape is a throwback to days gone by. Much of it is from the 1980s.

"Yeah, it's like a Datsun 510 of recording equipment," Adamson joked. It still works and it's still reliable. "Even if it's not high-end stuff, it's more fun to look at this than to deal with a computer screen, and once you see the music – once you see the waveform – it changes the way musicians think about what they're doing.

On Monday evening Adamson's 18-year old son, Nash Griggs, was laying down bass tracks for a local band recording at the studios.

"I'm pretty excited to be working on it," Griggs said. "This is really building it up from the ground up."

The equipment on which Griggs was recording predates him.

"This is what I've grown up around" Griggs said. "It can't really be nostalgic for me because I wasn't alive."

The father and son duo works with local artists. They also play in a band together. Griggs plays bass. Adamson plays drums.

"I've lived here since 2003," Adamson explained. "And this is the best time I've known to be a musician in Dallas."

Even as time marches on, it's standing still inside Ferralog Recording Studios.

"These typewriters and these tape machines, they still do what they do as well now as they did back then," said Adamson.

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