Kentucky’s Women-Led Recording Studio

LEXINGTON, Ky. — As Women’s History Month continues, Spectrum News continues bringing you stories of Kentuckians who are making an impac

This week, the focus is on three women who own and operate a recording studio in Downtown Lexington.

Sound Engineer April Edwards, Audio Engineer Danielle Barkman, and Musician Leah Arrington own Nitrosonic Studios. They all wear multiple hats to amplify sounds for other musicians.

‘I came in recording a session with Leah, and realized that I kind of fit there so I just, I had my foot in the door and I never left,” Barkman said.

In late 2018, Barkman and Edwards approached Arrington with a proposal.

“They got in touch with me and had that— it was like a “come to Jesus” moment. Do I really want to get involved in this business effort with other people? I want to have a day job, I’ve got kids, I’ve got all these responsibilities,” said Arrington, recalling the early days.

This led to the three women taking over Nitrosonic from the former owner.

“I knew that I would kick myself for the rest of my life if i did not take an opportunity like this which is the thing that i wanted since i was in high school, making recordings on just home stereo equipment, and figuring out how to do overdubs and all the fun stuff,” Arrington said.

They’re navigating and paving a new path for themselves and other women.

“We’re so underrepresented in this industry as women, it’s like 2% of engineers are women in this industry so we’re super proud to be part of it. and part of the movement to get more females into engineering,” Edwards said.

There’s been some growth but it’s slow. The non-profit Women’s Audio Mission reported there’s less than 5% of women helping create sounds, music, and media in the daily soundtrack of our lives.

But younger women are hopping on like Studio Manager Abigail Buettner.

“I think what we’re doing here is amazing we’re small, but we’re so powerful and we’ve had so much stuff, pushed up against us, and we’re still here and we’re still making a name for ourselves and that’s something that I’m really proud of,” Buettner said.

And yes, it’s not easy, but for these women, passion for their craft drives their hunger to make music.

“You can’t tell me I can’t do it if I want to do it. And I think that is the behavior I want to model for my kids and my friends’ kids and everybody around me. If you want to do it, go do it and don’t let anybody tell you no,” Arrington said.

Nitrosonic Studios offers classes on sound engineering for young students. They range from recording, mixing and mastering audio.

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