Omnitone Recording Studios owner hopes to make hits in Las Vegas

It’s not just what you know but who you know. If that’s true, Darren Sher has both sides covered.

He’s put together a solid team for his latest adventure, The Omnitone Recording Studios in the northwest valley.

"Anybody with the right amount of money can open a studio," Sher, a Summerlin resident, said. "What differentiates us from others out there is the team. … I spent the last 15, 16 years looking for the right team. I look up to every single one of them."

The team comprises him and three others — Jeff Juliano, Jennifer Marks and Steve Skinner.

Skinner is known as a producer/arranger extraordinaire with his own Grammy Awards. Marks toured with Cindi Lauper for many years and brings a feminine touch to the writing process. Juliano is a sound mixer who has worked with performers such as John Mayer, Jason Mraz, James Blunt, Train, Lifehouse and the Dave Matthews Band.

Their credentials are further spelled out at theomnitone.com.

Sher is the only team member on this side of the country. The studio uses video conferencing with its artists to craft songs.

John Menetti, spokesman for the company, said having the team spread out geographically is indicative of how the world operates today.

"He (Sher) can work on it (a project) and send it off to New York, and when they’re done, they send it back," Menetti said. "Darren, he’s like the quarterback of the whole thing."

Sher’s parents had an inkling he’d be involved with music when he began playing tunes by ear on the family piano. He was 3.

Considered a prodigy at 10 — he was trained both classically and in jazz — his first paying gig was at 15 when he worked on a record with Babyface’s artist Dre Allen. His first demo was produced by Jonathan Cain of Journey, an early mentor.

"He taught me how to give music a heartbeat, how to give it feeling, you know, not just hit the notes when you record … how imperfections sometimes make things perfect," Sher said.

His record gained some radio play on the East Coast, but by then he was involved in music production for TV shows. He has worked in music production ever since with artists who have charted singles and albums worldwide. He also has engineered, produced and/or written songs for nationally televised programs, film and TV soundtracks and for live production shows on the Strip.

About 13 years ago, Sher landed in Las Vegas, never intending to stay. Now 31, he considers it home.

What’s the thrill for him?

"I enjoy creating something out of nothing, mixing molecules that no one can see," he said.

The Omnitone Recording Studios allows locals to cut professional-quality studio recordings. Rising artist Rosalee, who goes by one name, has been recording at the studio daily.

"I practically live here," she said. "It’s a blessing to have everything accessible to me and wonderful writers, it’s like a music sanctuary."

"I’m blown away daily," Sher said of the talent he has found in Las Vegas.

His company also is starting a new arm, hangwiththeband.com, which will handle event promotions, bring people intimate encounters with the bands and provide new artists with the chance to open for big acts. They also will be donating a portion of proceeds to select children’s charities.

Contact Summerlin/Summerlin South View reporter Jan Hogan at jhogan@viewnews.com or 387-2949.

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