Felipe Delgadillo’s ‘All Welcome Records’ is Where All Creativity is Welcome
It is a Florida summer in 2012. The windows of my downtown studio are open and I am looking down 14th Avenue from the dining room bench. Mid-lunch my phone rings and it is a number from California. I remember wondering which ad this phone call is about. Most of my days are spent surfing Craigslist postings from around the country as I look for a break in my music career. I finally answer and am told this phone call is in regards to an ad I replied to about a then Mars Volta influenced band, DAMEDAS, looking for a bassist. This won’t be the last time I hear from Felipe Navarro Delgadillo.
Fast forward two years and I’m in a townhome in Nashville speaking with Felipe about his latest venture into the world of music. Much has changed since the days we were going to be bandmates. I gave up on music and he has taken his small independent record label, All Welcome Records, and turned it into a playground for musicians looking for quality sound.
All Welcome went from an indie label in 2007 to a multi-service studio in 2011. The building, located in Inglewood, California, was an old ballet studio in the late 1970’s and had been abandoned for years. Since he had grown up in the area, he knew that this old ballet school was the place. The high ceilings and wood floors have a sound that Felipe immediately fell in love with.
“Personally, I have a sweet tooth for a more lively, reverberated room sound which our studio building naturally had before we did anything, we essentially accented the rooms with the notion to keep the spaces as close as possible to its natural origin.”
Felipe and his crew have been in the building for about two years now. Since September of 2013 they have taken the 3,330 sq. ft. space and turned it into everything a timbre-conscious artist could love. There are two audio production studios and art workshops. The office houses their vinyl record pressing operations.
Studio A is where the heart is. The front end of the control room is centered by a custom 8-channel Tree Audio console. It is tube powered and created for All Welcome by Ian Gardiner and Steve Firlotte. Felipe had always envisioned a valve-driven console because of the sound tubes give. When he came across one Steve had been designing, he knew it was the one he dreamt about.
“Our goal for Studio A’ has always been to provide a simple working environment for artists that aspire to make a LIVE record, the way bands did it back then because we believe this of recording yields the greatest results.”
Studio B has evolved into the mixing and mastering suite. He and his crew took a lot of time fine tuning the acoustics in the room. Even though this room is still in the works, little by little the vision of the mixing/mastering suite is becoming more and more focused.
All of the work in the studio has been done in-house–the construction and design. It was everyone’s first time putting something like this together. Yet, they all had the drive to accomplish it and learn along the way. No outside contractors means that those working on the studios know exactly what to do to achieve the desired acoustics. They also know the in’s and out’s of their home studio.
In addition to the recording side, there is also an art studio. These open-ended common areas are welcome to all creative mediums of all styles, “The main idea for our facility was to create something that we ourselves would want to use and, in exchange, also welcome anyone that would want to experience what we made for them as well.”
Ever since launching his studio in 2011, Felipe has kept his focus on growing his brand. He will soon be expanding into the retail sector of business. They’re currently in the process of developing and designing two hi-fi custom speaker lines. One will be a larger system for the more serious hi-fi listener. The other, smaller line will be made for desktop computer listening.
All Welcome is looking to bring back a sense of community by hosting workshops and peer reviews. They’ll also be collaborating with other record labels to showcase advanced record premiere listening dinner parties. It appears that All Welcome is more than just a recording studio. It’s a place where creativity is embraced and sharing it is equally as important.