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Miami transplants Mario Quintero and Mike Pereira say they wanted to contribute more to San Diego's music scene than just another place to record. In November, they opened Black Box Studios. Accessible via an alley off of 25th Street in Golden Hill, the studio provides rehearsal space and hosts the occasional live performance.

"Since we're not a venue, the live performances are special occasions," Quintero says. "We don't consider them shows; since we record them, we consider it a 'live recording.' " Recent live recordings include Goblin Cock, the Advantage, and Ilya.

"We've had concerns about having too many people here, but that's been about it," says Quintero. "We don't have any noise issues because it's really soundproofed." Bands can be blaring inside without attracting any attention from outside the building. Quintero and Pereira spent months gutting and then building the sound rooms and recording booths, dropping every cent they had into two-by-sixes, sheetrock, and microphones.

"I just got sick of working in restaurants and thought it was time to just go for it," says Quintero. "I'm broke, but I'm really happy." Black Box charges $20 an hour for rehearsal space and $40 an hour for recording. For information call 619-238-8190.

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