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Frank Reber is a musician, recording engineer, culinary enthusiast, barista, and small business owner residing in Muncie, Indiana. Frank graduated with a bachelor’s degree in telecommunications, with a focus in audio production from Ball State University.
In 2009, Frank renovated his personal home recording studio to offer professional recording services. The studio was dubbed “Reber Recording” with the goal of providing high end recording services to the musicians of Muncie and surrounding areas. Frank considers music to be an integral part of any community and prides himself on being able to work with even the most meager of budgets as he believes that money should not be the only deciding factor as to what music should be documented. This philosophy inspired Frank and his wife, Lauren, to donate their time and talents to create the Musical Family Tree Sessions, in which bands and solo musicians were invited to the studio to perform five songs (preferably that had not been recorded before). The sessions were recorded and photographed (free of charge) to be uploaded to the Musical Family Tree website to be enjoyed by the masses (also free of charge). The project was sponsored by Rode Microphones and Sweetwater Sound. The whole project was received with great fanfare and resulted in 40,000+ downloads and streams.
During 2011, Frank served as an intern at Steve Albini’s Electrical Audio, in Chicago, where he learned the art and craft of working with analog recording mediums. It was here that Frank’s focus on the positive impact that imposed limitations can have on creative processes became a driving force for his own writing and recording methodology. During this time, Frank found himself spending a lot of time frequenting various coffee shops in Chicago and becoming smitten with the culture surrounding this dark and mysterious beverage.
After his internship had come to an end, Frank returned back to Muncie and accepted a graduate teaching assistantship at Ball Statue University in Digital Storytelling and Journalism department. He spent a year teaching Post Audio Production to undergrads enrolled in the Telecommunications program. While teaching, Frank and Lauren had discussed the possibility of moving the recording studio into a dedicated space in downtown Muncie, but understood the challenges of maintaining a profitable recording studio in a time when technology was making it easier and more cost-effective to record themselves. They knew that in order for a space to thrive, there would have to be a secondary business involved. They came up with the idea to find a two story building that could house a coffee shop on the first floor with the recording studio above it. Frank and Lauren were spending their nights and available weekends researching small town coffee shops to see if the idea would even be feasible. After spending about a year researching the ins and outs of the coffee industry, Frank and Lauren decided to attend the Midwest Barista School and get some hands-on training. By the time they had finished their training, they knew that they had a solid concept. Upon returning to Muncie, they hunted for an ideal building for both purposes, but were unable to find anything within their budget. So, instead of scrapping the entire idea, they decided to keep the studio at home and proceed with the coffee shop.
In 2014, Frank and Lauren opened up The Caffeinery; a gourmet coffee shop and tea house in downtown Muncie. No downtown is complete without a locally owned coffee shop to keep the community energized while also providing a space to meet coworkers, friends, and family. The shop has been received with much fanfare from the surrounding community. Six months after opening its doors, The Caffeinery was selected as one of six contestants for the America’s Best Coffeehouse Competition in Chicago, IL as part of Coffee Fest. Despite only being the youngest shop to compete, The Caffeinery took 4th place in the competition!
Today the shop continues to thrive as an integral part of the Muncie community with Frank and Lauren both working side by side to ensure that their high standards are maintained. Together, along with their two dogs and two cats, they are currently working towards creating a coffee roasting and education facility.
In 2016, Frank was a recipient of the 20 under 40 award, by Muncie Magazine. Those selected are chosen based on their business success as well as philanthropic efforts to make Muncie and the surrounding area a better place to live.
These days, Frank’s time is more limited due to his various business ventures, but he still strives to find time to write and record music whenever he can. In addition to recording, he is currently spending his time mastering the art and science of BBQ.