Aaron Orsak sits in a small studio apartment, the sort of place that is both homey and functional for his needs. Surrounding him are several guitars and enough sound equipment to create professional quality music recordings. While he uses his time to mix projects and teach students of all ages guitar, by this summer, he'll have opened a podcasting studio downtown for people who want their own online show.
While Shred Shed Studio is the name of Orsak's home studio, the local artist is expanding his reach to include the world of podcasting, where he is forming a new company called Veles Studio, scheduled to open this summer with a projected date of June or July. The studio will take up the top floor of Outside the Lines Studios on 114 S. Beaton St.
Orsak credits Frank Hull for presenting the idea to open a studio, which the musician ran with developing the concept. Orsak currently serves as a board member for the Hull Creative Arts Foundation alongside Hull.
“I've always kind of had a dream to get into a space somewhere, particularly in Downtown Corsicana,” Orsak said. “I think the community could really respond to it.”
“I'm really looking forward to it,” he said.
The home-based Shred Shed Studios will close to make way for this new space. Guitar lessons will continue to be available at the new location.
Currently, Orsak helps with the Corsicana oriented Cana Girl Speaks podcast, hosted by Barbara Kelley, which airs every Wednesday night. Past that, Orsak is already lining up new projects.
“They're fun to do,” he said. “People are way into them, and I can do the videography part if anyone wants to YouTube it. Filming would be no problem.”
For newcomers who want to start their own podcast, but are unfamiliar with the process of creating one, Orsak will provide tutorials on how to record and put a program together.
“Podcasting, I think it's a cool medium,” he said. “I think people really like having their voice heard and I think that it's cool because when you get going - once you get into the flow, you forget the mic's there. It's just a conversation.”
Born and raised in Corsicana, Orsak's interest in guitar began at age 12, influenced by bands such as Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd. As a kid, Orsak wanted to play “Stairway to Heaven” like Jimmy Page and “Comfortably Numb” like David Gilmour.
By age 16, Orsak got his first guitar, one loaned to him by his friend, Ryan Scott. The guitar had a busted pin requiring a pair of pliers to properly tune it. The musician recalled excitedly learning “Wish You Were Here” while riding with his parents to Wichita Falls to see his grandparents. It was that trip that he realized he had an ear for music.
Over the years, Orsak spent time emulating both musician's styles, eventually integrating his own techniques into those influences.
“After 30-plus years, you kind of figure something out,” he chuckled.
Orsak's students have responded well to that attention to detail.
As the only musician in his family, Orsak initially didn't know what to do with his developing talent. While he didn't think it would lead to a career, he knew his interest was more than a hobby, as it remained a constant throughout his life.
Having spent years working in the interactive entertainment industry, Orsak didn't think of pursuing music as a career until his late 30s, early 40s. He had considered teaching guitar while he had lived in Los Angeles, but after taking lessons from teachers who had been in the scene's music industry, Orsak learned more about what not to do with his music.
Eventually, Orsak moved back home to Corsicana. He spent time showing kids how to play guitar, where he fostered an ongoing teacher-student relationship focused on helping them improve their musical talents.
“These are my kids,” Orsak said. “They're great. They're fun to teach, and we get along well.”
When not teaching kids, the musician started composing his own music around 2015. He started working more as a producer, building a full selection of studio recording equipment, and improving the quality of his sound under the name of Shred Shed Studio.
Since then, Orsak produced his own album, a single, a double single, and an extended play record. His music has found a digital home on iTunes, Amazon, and Spotify, where artists can publish their own tracks without relying on a big label.
Orsak also helps other local artists with their projects, such as providing music to various Warehouse Living Arts Center productions, and helping musicians of every skill level produce their work. Orsak's personal preferences in music lean toward rock and heavy metal, his range has extended to genres such as rap, R&B, and video game music.
One genre Orsak hasn't explored yet, but wants to, is country music.
“I'd love to do some country,” he said. “But no one has approached me with that yet. It would be easy to capture that tone with the gear I've got.
The musician hopes that more opportunities will become available for residents as the result of his venture.
“I wish there were more opportunities for people who want to chase a dream in this town,” he said. “I know there's talent in this town. I know there is. I've worked with some of it, and there are some world-class artists here. I just want to hear more of them.”
While he considers the local floor open for others to share, Orsak was quick to reiterate his own position.
“But I do want to be the premiere studio in town,” he said.
Orsak is always looking to help provide music for community productions. He can be reached for appointment scheduling at firstname.lastname@example.org.
On the Net:
Aaron Orsak Amazon Music profile 1: https://music.amazon.com/artists/B07JK8L421?ref=dm_sh_bce1-4f14-68c1-a991-2e00a
Aaron Orsak Amazon Music profile 2: https://music.amazon.com/artists/B07SSHZ5PM?ref=dm_sh_4d47-b3d8-d5c4-a6d4-23d34