GM Sound Studios turn 40 1983 - 2023
Jimmy would be first to congratulate any business that has traded for 40 years, let alone one that has both feet firmly planted in the music industry. Hats and boots off to the good people at GM Sound Studios in Campbellfield, Victoria.
The complex includes rehearsal spaces, audio and video recording facilities, and even an event space with licensed bar. You don’t have to be a musician to support GMSS, knab yourself one of these rockin” T-shirts or even a hoodie from their merch shop.
George Miaoulis founded the business, and now his son Andrew has taken up the gauntlet. Just love a family business!
With assistance from recording engineer Chris Gatz, the studios are all set to continue their legacy. Read on for the full story …
GM Studios celebrates 40-year milestone.
Onslow Avenue, Campbellfied, circa 1983. George Miaoulis, a musician in his own right and whose passion for music is immeasurable, has created a space with a few small rehearsal rooms. The beginnings are humble, but George will soon use his drive to power his dream of a musical space into a success.
Fast forward forty years in the same location and these small rehearsal rooms have flourished into G.M. Sound Studios as it is today. A structure encasing rehearsal and performance space, music production, audio and visual recording and accompanying fully licensed venue. A place where anyone who enjoys playing music is welcome to come and use the studios, link with like minded people and gain some guidance from others with experience.
These days George has taken a step back and his son, Andrew, has taken the reins supported by George and Recording Engineer, Chris Gatz. When asked to describe his role in the business Andrew said, “I’m the Everything Guy” – indicative of the hands on role George and Andrew take daily. “I do a bit of everything” Andrew explained, “marketing, video, photography, bookings, social media, anything our musicians need”.
The musical landscape has changed over the decades. Music lover, George tells of the changes in genres he has witnessed, “Music has grown in every sense. It feels like there is a lot more music around but I think the truth is we have seen genres expand. We can now see sub genres in country music with flavours of rock and rap. Genres overlap now more than they ever did, musicians don’t necessarily have to keep to the one type of music, as the genres naturally overflow into one another. Musicians continue to express themselves, their stories, lives, hopes, dreams, and reflections, it all comes through with ever changing sounds and results. That’s the blessing of music as art, it will always be different things to different people. It will always continue to change”.
I notice that neither George nor Andrew uses the word client or customer. They speak warmly of those who use their studios and venue, and those who utilise the studios say it’s like visiting a friend.
I ask, “Why do you think you’re still here after forty years, given everything that’s happened, from recessions, to the recent pandemic and the daily grind of business?” Andrew tells me, “we haven’t been afraid to try new things and reinvest into the studios. Over the years we’ve constantly added new things and are always trying to think of new ways to improve the business for the benefit of those it’s created for”. He continues, “During Covid when we couldn’t open I sat for hours upon hours leaning new gadgets and tech and about all aspects of camera work, hundreds of hours of videos, and I practiced and practiced, there was all the time in the world to practice”.
Post Covid, when the studio could finally open their doors again, Andrew kickstarted AM Productions, a videography and photography business that further complemented GM offerings.
Both George and Andrew speak of their studio with an underlying respect for the music, and for the musician. The studio is their business, but the real reason for their longevity has been that they haven’t built themselves a customer base, but a community.
GM Sounds Studios recently celebrated forty years in the business with an open invite BBQ and, unsurprisingly, an array of live musicians. It’s a subtle celebration, no pomp and ceremony, no self-adulation, no spruking of their success, but after speaking with George and Andrew this is no surprise. Both very much give the impression that the studio is here for the musicians and those who enjoy the music. Given their longevity and success there should probably be more pomp, and more ceremony, but save to say, GM Studios has certainly achieved the goal a younger George Miaoulis had to nuture, guide, and provide musicians with every opportunity to follow their dreams, and they deserve to celebrate.
By Georgia Shuttleworth-Gardiner