Former lead guitarist for the rock band Blue October and Orb Recording Studios co-founder Charles Britton "C.B." Hudson III spent many hours discussing his dream with bandmate Matt Noveskey. They learned they shared one big dream: building a technologically advanced recording studio big enough - and sophisticated enough - to hold its own at a national level. The studio would accommodate major acts, but also nurture new artists. Growth and inspiration would be core values, no matter how small or large the artist's budget.
C.B. has crafted every detail of developing Orb into a place that will change this growing city's recording landcape.
Blue October's former lead guitarist C.B. Hudson likes to point out that he landed his career-making gig at Kismet Cafe in San Marcos, TX.
One might say kismet has been playing a role in his life ever since. It led to his friendship with Blue October bandmate Matt Noveskey, which led to countless hours spent plotting every detail of their ideal recording studio. Over time, their concept evolved from dream to plan and finally, to reality.
That’s basically the way Hudson operates in most areas of his life. Kismet might put him in the right place at the right time, but he knows what to do when he gets there.
In December 2000, played his first show with the band. Hudson went on to co-write three of the band’s most popular tunes: “Dirt Room,” “18th Floor Balcony” and “Somebody.” After 10 years in the band, he started building Orb Recording Studios, where he hopes to help other bands produce professional work that will move their careers to the next level — and beyond.
Born in Oklahoma City and raised in Dallas, C.B. Hudson gravitated to music at an early age. He got his first guitar for his 10th birthday, followed by years of lessons, a stint in his high school’s jazz band and a six-week summer program for promising talent at Berklee College of Music. He attended Southwest Texas State (now Texas State University) as a psychology major with a business minor, then began pursuing an MBA in finance.
And then kismet kicked in. He was studying for finals that day at Kismet Cafe; he’s still just a few credit-hours away from earning that MBA.
Maybe he’ll have time to finish it after fine-tuning operations at Orb (and adapting to first-time fatherhood). Hudson also plans to explore possibilities such as voice-over and commercial work; Orb’s two studios and configurable extra spaces were designed with versatility in mind. Orb also was designed to offer the comforts of more expensive studios—without the accompanying costs or attitudes. “We wanted to bring a really nice, more modern, clean, new, big facility to Austin,” Hudson explains. “We wanted to build a nationally competitive studio with the laid-back vibe of Austin’s hill country. Part of our mission is to provide super-friendly, easy-going, quality service to our clients.
“In this industry, sometimes you run into negativity and other things that really hinder the creative process,” he continues. “We want to alleviate that. We just want to make good music and be able to nurture artists.”
Hudson and Noveskey share a perspective honed from recording in myriad studio environments and releasing both major-label and independent work. According to Hudson, too many people harbor the misperception that they no longer need recording studios. “It’s extremely difficult to make a record at your house with the quality that major labels are looking for,” he notes. “A lot of artists don’t realize that if you go in and you make a real record, when you shop that to major labels, they see a turnkey deal.”
These days, labels are more likely to consider signing an artist who doesn’t require a major financial outlay to get something released. Hudson says artists who already have a professional-quality record in their hands gain a valuable advantage — and appear more established from the get-go.
At Orb Recording Studios, the idea is to pass those opportunities along to other music-makers — whether they’re first-timers, stars-in-the-making or bona-fide legends.