TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - A once upon-a-time sound some musicians believe is dead comes back to life. It's a sound created by a tube-amplifier. But, there are two Wabash Valley men who are bringing that sound back to the main stage. You might not see them on the big stage, but you'll definitely hear them.
The strings sing, as the chords ring from Michael Bates's Stratocaster.
"(I started playing) about 18 years ago, so yeah I’ve been playing guitar for a long time,” Bates said.
But, this story isn't about Michael and his guitar. Rather it's the amplifier that purveys the powerful notes that we have interest in. It’s a vacuum tube style amp, one that he and his friend Jeremy Jones started working on several years ago.
"Jeremy is an electrician so he always has built his own stuff,” Bates explained. “He built a drum set from scratch. So we began (to talk about it) and that’s' when he decided he was gonna try his hands at building a vacuum tube amplifier."
A rats nest of chords, conductors, and of course, the coveted vacuum tubes transfers electric chaos to a harmonious homemade sound wave that Michael and Jeremy took on the road.
Over time they found the sound they loved, musicians loved right back.
"Our amps been used on Reba McIntyre’s show for the music behind that,” Bates said.
Since then, Michael and Jeremy's garage factory has grown. Moving into new quarters with more agents of amplification involved and more musicians enjoying the sweet sound developed on the banks of the Wabash; which makes the company name Immix Eleven a little more special.
"Immix is an old English word meaning blends well together,” Bates explained.
It’s a sound that's blending Terre Haute with the world.
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