Week nights in Ramona, drummers, trombonists, guitarists, keyboard players and percussionists stream through the back door at . The store doubles as After Hours Studio after dark, and musicians from all over San Diego county come to record their albums there.
"We record from about 6 p.m. 'til the cows come home," said co-owner Jon Hasz recently. "Then on Sundays, we have sessions all day. We do ska, country, death metal, folk. It's a lot of fun."
On Monday night this week, several members of The Amalgamated filtered in to lay down tracks for their second album, which is tentatively called Hip, Slick and Cool. Their first album, Boss Universal, is nominated for the San Diego Music Awards. Hasz produced it.
"These guys getting nominated is a feather in both our caps," he told Patch.
Hasz has co-owned the store with Baylee Strayer for about five years. He has worked there for 10 and has been doing "serious recording for two or three years."
"We've done about 20 albums here in the past two years," he said.
The 26-year-old began working on his technique at an early age.
"My dad bought me some equipment when I was a kid and I turned out awful stuff out of my garage," he said.
For several years, Hasz has produced an annual compilation CD of local artists.
"Producing so much music really sprouted the idea for RMC Radio," he said.
RMC Radio is the store's . To hear it, click here.
These days, Hasz uses software called Reaper, a competitor to Pro Tools for digital audio. He said the small recording studios are doing well in this era.
"Some of the big name studios are becoming recording universities to survive," he said.
Amalgamated guitarist and Ramona resident Reggie Costa said part of After Hours Studio's appeal is that Hasz creates a relaxing environment and he'll work with musicians to expand their creativity. His fellow band member Rip Pena of San Diego said Hasz has a great ear and the best equipment.
"Jon has some of the best recording equipment in San Diego," he said. "He gets a lot of specialized equipment that you can't find anywhere else because of his relationships with dealers. He's always upgrading to the latest."