Voyage Chicago Features Mystery Street Recording Company


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Today we’d like to introduce you to Joe Tessone.

Joe, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
My audio journey began when I was about 11 years old and I’d stay up late at night downloading five-second audio samples of sound effects and cartoons, on my family’s Windows 95 computer. I’d use the Windows “Sound Recorder” and was enamored by the ability to combine and effect different sounds to create some kind of story. While it they were, at best, one-minute single track recordings, there was something really special and exciting about it. A few years later, I joined a band, started playing guitar, and singing in a punk band. We saved up and bought a great mobile PA system for our garage and basement shows, and my love of audio gear took off.

As time went on, I’d pick up anytime a piece of equipment I could get my hands on, such as a four-track cassette recorder, digital samplers, keyboards, percussion, and of course, microphones.

After nearly a decade of messing around with gear, writing music, and recording my friend’s bands, I decided to turn it into a career and I enrolled into Columbia College Chicago’s Audio Design and Production program, where I graduated in 2007. At that time, my client base had grown significantly and I left the home studio world to open Mystery Street Recording Company.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Running a business, especially one in the arts, is always an uphill battle. We hit many obstacles along the way, including a fire that destroyed our entire control room, a basement flood that ruined tools and supplies, and various financial barriers for business growth. However, with every disaster and crisis, we always manage to bounce back stronger and more prepared for the next thing. With the fire, we were able to start fresh with new and better equipment and rethink our entire set up. When a bank would turn me down for financing, I’d go back to price negotiations with the vendor or find ways to raise funds, borrow from friends, barter, and just work longer and work more efficiently so that we’d be on solid ground and get what the company needed to thrive.

Please tell us about Mystery Street Recording Company.
At its core, Mystery Street Recording Company is a creative and professional studio for music and audio production. We also have fully equipped hourly band rehearsal spaces and a one-of-a-kind Audio Preservation Lab where we specialize in transferring and restoring legacy audio formats.

We are proud to have become one of the highest demand recording studios in Chicago and proud to have an excellent reputation for service and quality.

What really sets us apart is our focus on two things: audio quality and client relations. Our clients become our friends and we hold ourselves to extremely high standards.

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
It is hard to pinpoint one memory as an absolute favorite, but I can say that my favorite series of memories are the times that I spend with my Grandfather. He was a hardworking man who cared tremendously for his family. He taught me the importance of actively caring for our planet and its inhabitants. He was also a great cook and just a fun person to share time with. Every memory I have of him is full of love and kindness.