Bad Animals History

As it stands today, Bad Animals® bears little resemblance to Steve Lawson Productions, a small 8-track analog studio opened by local radio personality Steve Lawson in 1979. There are new owners at the helm, the company is in a new building, the recording rooms have been updated and the focus is now exclusively on audio post production for film, television, video game and corporate video. Yet, the team of audio post production professionals working at Bad Animals®, lead by co-owners Dave Howe, Tom McGurk and Mike McAuliffe with Charlie Nordstrom, have retained the corporate philosophy of providing creatives from all over the world with renowned inspiration and service.

The team has brought that philosophy to life on a wide variety of projects, including feature films, television programs, advertising spots, games and corporate videos. The evolution from Steve Lawson Productions to Bad Animals® started in 1990 when the facility was moved to its current 4th Avenue location. Shortly after the move the business was expanded to include Studio X, one of the most noteworthy recording studios in the nation.

Indeed, when Studio X was a part of the facility bands and artists like R.E.M., Soundgarden, Johnny Cash, Nirvana, Heart and Danny Elfman could be found roaming the halls. At the same time, a bevy of creatives were coming into the facility’s studios looking for post production services and Bad Animals® became the destination of choice when they were looking for that special touch.

Bad Animals® split from Studio X in 1997, although the two facilities continue to share gear and answers calls for help when necessary, to concentrate on audio post production work. During the conversion, each of the five rooms in Bad Animals was upgraded to the best and brightest audio post production gear available at the time. Of course, the facility continues to keep up with technology and bring in whatever will make their sessions more manageable.

In 1999, Steve Lawson put the facility up for sale and Howe, McGurk, McAuliffe and Charlie Nordstrom became the new owners of Bad Animals®. More than anything else, the quartet made the move to further cement their connection to the Pacific Northwest and to service their existing clients. Thanks to the continuing boom of work, the Bad Animals® staff has continued to grow and evolve. Indeed, the roster of talent now includes engineers Sam Gray and Jamie Hunsdale, as well as a host of networked pros who contribute to sessions that are being worked on in Seattle.

It’s been nearly 30 years now and the team at Bad Animals® has built a success story in the Pacific Northwest. A bevy of awards and accolades have been added to the shelves in the lobby, clients continue to bring dynamic projects into the studios and the phones continue to ring with local talent checking to see what’s happening here.

Yet, the team is always looking forward to see what they can do better, what envelopes they can push and how they can add to the vision of creatives from around the world.