We had the good fortune of connecting with Robert Frank and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Robert, what’s the most difficult decision you’ve ever had to make?
When it comes to my studio business, I think the most difficult decision I had to make is a common one with people wanting to start out. That is, cutting the ties of your safety net and just going for it. I didn’t want to get older wondering “what if”, life is too short to play a supporting role in someone else dream, as far as I’m concerned. It was a very scary decision, and with the ups and downs of being self employed it can still get scary, but, happiness is worth so much more as we age.
What should our readers know about your business?
I’m an audio engineer and run Minor Chord Studio in the San Fernando Valley. I think, what sets us apart from others is our ability to create such an inspirational, creative environment for our clients by being hospitable, understanding, and most important, patient with everyones different needs and levels of artistry. By being welcoming, honest, and creating a relaxed atmosphere, clients keep returning and the positive word spreads fast. Not to mention the fact that they always leave with a product they can be proud of. If their not happy with a certain aspect, for whatever reason, we fix it, no fuss, no problem. Everyone that comes in to our studio is treated as a friend or family, we make it look easy and work fast. To me, I’d rather work with someone who is a genuine, honest person rather than an arrogant, difficult person, even if they may know more in the industry or field, this is something my wife and I are very proud of. I truly believe the hospitality aspect has played such a huge role in our success. I think people starting out need to know that this approach will help with success, in whatever field it may be. I’ve seen people build high dollar, huge studios with great gear, they have the “if you build it, clients will come” attitude. Unfortunately, if you don’t have great people skills success will be difficult, even if you’re good. Something else I must mention, we work with all genre’s of music, we’re not pigeon-holed in any way. This is something else that can be detrimental as well. I can be working with a great jazz project one day, punk band the next, I love it all the same.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Oh man, living in Los Angeles certainly has it’s advantages when it comes to entertaining! One of the greatest aspects of showing people around is definitely the food. I’d have to say Musso and Franks for breakfast is always cool, the history there is great, the environment, the building, eclectic crowd, oh yeah, the food! Grand Central Market in downtown L.A. is always a great time as well. Depending on what their into, there is always something to do or see here. The museums down in Exposition Park, Griffith Observatory, drive up to Mt. Wilson Observatory. I’ve come to find that most out of towners really enjoy something that we just don’t take advantage of as much as we should, the beach. I’ve driven people to Santa Monica, Santa Barbara, Ventura, the look on their faces always surprises me, I mean, growing up here the Pacific is just “right over there”. But some people have literally never seen the ocean, except in movies or t.v. If they’re into beer, we have plenty of breweries that are a great place to hang at the end of the day, I really dig Golden Road over by the L.A. Zoo, there’s a great little spot in Van Nuys called McLeod’s. Of course you have to mention Disneyland, another huge part of California history. The list can go on and on. Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I often mention the importance my parents and grandparents when telling my story. Their support and belief in me was so beneficial, I was given the freedom to be me, be an artist, not follow conventions. My grandparents were musicians and understood where I was coming from, my dads support (artistically and financially at times) is something I think about on a daily basis. I read the book “Think and Grow Rich” many years ago and it hit home so hard, it really clicked. I then realized that most of the men in our family were not highly educated degree holders but smart, hard working individuals that used their talents as a means of income. I can see myself following those footsteps.
Carol deLeon Nathan Giraldo