Wiebe Music buys The Playroom and creates a new sound/music company

A high note sounded for the music business with Tom Wiebe’s purchase of Pat Yacono’s Playroom and the official Dec. 1 opening of Earhole, the new name of the newly merged companies.

Sound engineer Yacono had been planning to sell The Playroom recording studio in order to move to L.A., while Wiebe was thinking about expanding 10-year old Wiebe Music into audio post and sound design. They were referred to each other by mutual friends and a deal was struck in short order.

Merging the two companies was “an opportunity to create new synergy,” said Wiebe, president of Earhole and the company’s executive producer.

Earhole operates out of The Playroom’s 4,800-sq. ft. studio at 11 W. Illinois, which effectively doubled Wiebe Music’s previous studio space at 10 E. Ontario, a building that’s gone condo.

Yacono and freelance engineer John Hanson handle mixing, audio post and sound design, and Steve Wiebe, Eric Sproul, Eric Lambert and Alberto Santayo continue as composers, who are now being called “creatives” because of frequent work crossovers.

Earhole’s space has two working rooms and a third one under construction. Equipment includes four ProTools HD systems, a regular ProTools Mixing Plus system, with 24-fader control, 5.1 SurroundSound and myriad other audio goodies and necessities.

Earhole’s current projects include radio commercials Corona/Richards-Dallas, TV spots for Pedialyte TV/Publicis, Dallas and Dell’s “Dave” campaign for DDB. About 85% of Yacono’s projects are commercials.

Yacono, who started out as a musician, has been a composer, mixer and sound designer. He was composer Ken Hale’s mixer for years and spent three years as Cutters’ composer. He said his dream is to work on movies and TV. While the L.A. didn’t materialize, Yacono said he’s satisfied to work on local indie features.

Make a note: Earhole’s new phone number is 312/527-1775.

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