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Tattoo You: Permeating the Parlor With Sound

Exploring the music setup at Old Towne Tattoo Parlor.

Art appreciation and freedom of expression are the tenets of every tattoo shop. Beyond the buzz and hum of artists at work — and the occasional audible intake of breath from a patron — there’s another tie that binds. It’s the music that permeates the parlor, and it plays a role in defining the culture.

Sometimes the soundtrack is a community experience, such as a Spotify playlist everyone can rally around. Other times it’s incredibly personal and inspiring — a collection of songs specially matching a mood or a moment. Whether it’s background music or the anthem of the day, a tattoo parlor without music is like an ocean without waves. It just isn’t right.

Small Business, Small Challenges

Your neighborhood tattoo shop is rarely a feat of new construction. It takes years of planning and apprenticing, plus searching for the right location — one which can expand over time and as the business grows.

Viewed from outside, the front windows of the Old Towne Tattoo Parlor with two Harley Davidson motorcycles parked on the sidewalk directly in front.

Located just a few blocks east of the historic circle in Old Towne Orange, California, Old Towne Tattoo Parlor is home to about ten artists. You won’t find a Boingo hotspot sticker on the door, but that creates space to connect in different ways once you step inside.

Closeup of computer screen on counter overlooking the work area inside the tattoo parlor. On the screen is the Spotify app with a playlist of Motown Soul Number Ones playlist.

The foyer is flanked by two working areas, where the artists divide and conquer. Music from the foyer fills in the corners, powered by a PC, Spotify and a computer speaker system.

Just as the artists each have their own style and client list, they also have their own tastes in music. An in-ceiling speaker system isn’t part of the equation here. In fact, even if that was in the cards, such an application wouldn’t feel right. Leave that for the nail studios and hair salons. A tattoo parlor requires something more tangible, more personal and, perhaps most importantly, more customizable.

By Design

While the existing computer setup currently centralizes the music, it’s nearly impossible to expand and share evenly with the other rooms without wires.

That’s where a multi-room audio solution such as Yamaha MusicCast comes in. MusicCast allows you to start with a single speaker and connect more of them in different rooms as you grow. It’s been a favorite in homes for years, and it’s certainly aligned with how music can be shared and enjoyed in small business spaces as well.

Olde Towne Tattoo Parlor recently added two MusicCast 20 speakers — one in each working area. After setup via the MusicCast Controller app, the options and combinations for the music in the space really start to take shape. Each speaker can play independently of each other or be linked together to play the same music in both rooms.

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The artists at the shop are rarely far from their iPhones® and iPads®, which allow them to easily stream directly to the speakers or link them together via AirPlay® 2 functionality. If their hands are full, no problem. They can summon Siri® for an assist to skip a song or get a new playlist going.

The speakers can also be controlled with an Alexa device or Google Assistant, or via the MusicCast Controller app for iOS and Android™ devices. And if the Wi-Fi gets spotty, individual playback is available via Bluetooth®. So, whether it’s a Motown playlist for all or a Pink Floyd album for a select few, the music can be shared or siloed accordingly.

MusicCast technology may have been designed for the home, but as the artists at Old Towne are discovering, it can also be enjoyed at work!

All photographs courtesy of the author.


For tips on setting up MusicCast in your space with the tech you have on hand, check out these blog articles:

Perfect Together: MusicCast and Spotify Connect

How to Use Yamaha MusicCast with AirPlay 2

What is MusicCast?


Click here for more information about Yamaha MusicCast.

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