People we meet: Brian James of Mission Synths
Painters have palettes and musicians have synthesizers, says Brian James, who opened Mission Synths, the synthesizer store at 3026 24th St. in late 2020, with his partner Betsy de la Garza.
“Musicians want a palette: they want a wide selection of sounds that they can call them out,” James said.
When musicians don’t have the sound they want, well, this is where both can help.
At the store, James determines and sources what is required to produce electronic music; helps people create their synth setups; and introduces non-professionals to the world of synths.
“I like to get people to use new synths,” he said. “A lot of people come here thinking, ‘I have a problem. I want that kind of sound. And we’re like ‘Yeah, hey, we can help you do that.’ “
The partners had an online store for four months before opening. The pandemic allowed them to devote time and resources to the possibility of opening a store, James said.
“Everyone is stuck at home; one outlet is to build a studio, ”he said.
Demand has been high and the business viable, said James, who has a three-year lease.
James said it’s different from most businesses because people often don’t know what they’re selling. So teaching people about synths was a big part of the job.
They allow people to try out equipment, whether it’s hooking up a drum machine to the system or taking a keyboard synthesizer and plugging it into a noise machine to play songs. he declares.
“People can come here and play whatever they want. It is the place of experimentation, ”he said.