Will Ackerman, producer

  • Will is the Founder of Windham Hill Records, and a Grammy Award Winner. As a Producer he is the Recipient of more than 20 Platinum and Gold Records in the United States and Internationally. Albums that he has produced have won multiple ZMR Music Awards and no producer has ever had more #1 albums on the NAR/ZONE charts.

In May, 2013 Will was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 9th Annual ZMR Music Awards convention. The award celebrated recent productions by the founder of Windham Hill Records as well as his influence on the music he touches. His album, The Gathering, a compilation of music and artists he recently produced, won Album of the Year and Best Contemporary Instrumental Album awards.

Read the Press Release about his Lifetime Achievement Award.

His list of production credits includes many award winning albums.

What Will’s clients have to say…

“For me, recording an album at Imaginary Road Studios was, in three words, a phenomenal experience: Will and Tom are not just producers. You get the added value of their respective musicianship and artistry. That combination is unparalleled, in my humble opinion.

“I’m already planning my return!”

David Lindsay

“Recording at Imaginary Road Studios is like coming home from a long absence. The good feelings and ambience there will always take the best from me to record. Will Ackerman and Tom Eaton, teamed up with me to create the beautiful flowing sound of FIRE IN THE RAINSTORM. I’ve been friends with Will for a while now, and I trust him 100% with my music. He has never disappointed me. When I met Tom, and saw the immense knowledge he had regarding sound, and the Windham Hill catalog, I knew my music was in GREAT hands. I will keep returning to record here.”

Kori Linae Carothers

“I came to Imaginary Road Studio because Will Ackerman’s work was already well known to me from the Windham Hill catalog and there simply are no more sparkling, life-like recordings to be found – a long time favorite of audiophiles everywhere. I then found much to my pleasure (and relief) that I could also completely trust Will’s instincts as a producer to bring his troupe of A-Team players into the project even in my absence and capture the character, mood and color that brought each piece out in it’s best light. Lastly, Will is not a push-over and will challenge you to excel and fix the flubs – these guys are serious about making great records.

“The pleasant bonus was Tom Eaton, and after an afternoon in the studio with him it’s not hard to believe he triumphed over a field of nearly fifty applicants for the role of bringing the Studio’s recordings to life. Besides being one of the most gifted engineers I have ever worked with, listen to some of his compositions and instrumental contributions to IRS’s projects and you’ll realize he is also an unassuming yet very capable A-Team member. If you’re smart you will then invite him to add to your project if he hears something, after which these wonderfully subtle embellishments may start materializing around the periphery of your music, in opportune places you didn’t even know were there.”

Jeffrey Seeman

“My work with Will and Tom has been some of the most gratifying of my life. I have created three of my albums there, and the music we have made is outstanding.

“The guidance from Will and Tom as producers is transformational, and working in the beautiful space that is Imaginary Road is second to none.
“I shall return!”

Jeff Oster

“Will has been my hero for quite some time now, and he played a big part in my decision to pursue the acoustic guitar. Both Will and Tom made my recording experience exceptional, and I’m quite proud of the work I accomplished at Imaginary Road.  Will is generous and considerate. He has an amazing ear for music, and I am so fortunate to have him as my mentor and friend.”

Matteo Palmer

“Tom Eaton’s brilliance in engineering is comforting to build upon. His background with singer/songwriters testifies to years of dedication and accomplishment. Now engineering from the woods of Vermont, Tom inspires and orchestrates a flow between the artist and the booth. The legacy of Imaginary Roads Studios continues on with grace and purpose aided by the helpful skills of Tom Eaton.”

Paul Jensen

“Recording at Imaginary Road Studios was a musical dream come true for me. I can honestly say that I learned more about the art of composition, performance and production during my time with Will and Tom than in all my years of music education. The studio atmosphere is welcoming, nurturing and encouraging. Will and Tom showed me how to connect with my own musical voice both emotionally and dynamically on a level I had never reached before. I know that I am a better composer, performer and musician because of the time I spent there. My experience at Imaginary Road has given me the opportunity to work with some of the world’s greatest musicians as well as make friends with some of the nicest human beings you’ll ever meet. You NEED to record here!”

Vin Downes

“It’s my belief that Will Ackerman’s musical productions are from a source of divine energy that flows through him to the benefit of all who have the chance to hear his unique inspirations. Collaborating with him as my Producer brought to life ways of interpretation I hadn’t previously dreamed of and I’m very happy with the result. I sincerely look forward to the next opportunity to create music with him again.”

Laura Sullivan

“Working with Tom Eaton in the studio was a joy…he helped take our music
to new heights and we couldn’t be more pleased.”

Matt and Rebecca Stuart (Minstrel Streams)

“Will along with Tom Eaton, are a really incredible team. They are exactly what you look for in music production and more. They help you go beyond all of your expectations. Recording at Imaginary Road Studios was one of the most amazing experiences of my life.”

Ryan Michael Richards

“I have experienced Imaginary Road to be an artist’s haven of warmth and inspiration, set in a vast and beautiful landscape that inspires in every season. As producers and musicians, Will and Tom connect with the artist throughout their musical journey. Every facet of the studio experience is stellar; the Steinway B piano, accompanying artists, and studio environment.”

Denise Young

“A few words about recording with Will and Tom: It’s simply an experience not to be missed! There’s good hard work and a lot of laughter and fun, and when you walk away from the studio at the end of a week of recording, you feel that you’ve been part of something indescribably joyful and inspiring. You may experience, as I often have while leaving, a mixture of elation and peacefulness, along with a hope that your musical journey will bring you back to that magical place many times in the months and years to come.”

Kathryn Kaye

“After working on songs for months at a time, I would travel to Imaginary Road Studios to record. With Will’s years of experience and contagious inspiration, along with the world class musicians who play there, and Tom Eaton, his brilliant engineer, the ideas flowed and great spontaneous moments happened. The music took flight.”

Brad Schumann

“Will Ackerman sets a gold standard of recording music. His years of experience, refined ears, sensibility and emphasis on the dynamic emotional content of the music created a foundation to help bring my musical ideas to their full potential. His network of musicians is of the highest quality and his warmth and personal approach made my time with him both fun and effective.”

Todd Boston

“I believe there is no integrity greater than the intention of a single note. Knowing which moments hold the magic is the difference between music produced at Imaginary Road and elsewhere – they understand this perfectly. This is a place where music and talent is fostered and nurtured and comes to life as it should, as you had always hoped, dreamed……..and imagined.

“Thanks Will and the Imaginary Road Team.”

Fiona Joy Hawkins (7 time ZMR Award Winner)

“Will simply brings you to heights you’d never reach alone, and guides you to performances you never knew you had inside.”

Jeff Oster NAR Album of the Year 2007

“Will Ackerman is a brilliant producer and incredible artist.”

Karen Marie Garrett NAR Best Instrumental Album – Piano 2007

“You will never find a more professional, talented producer anywhere on the planet.”

Frank Smith NAR Best Instrumental Album – Acoustic

“As producer of my last two projects, Will Ackerman’s influence elevated my composing and performance to new heights. I just “happened” to write the best music of my career while working with Will.”

Stanton Lanier

“….if it is at all possible…and he will have me…I will never do another CD without Will Ackerman as producer.”

Rocky Fretz

“Our time at Imaginary Road Studios was magical. Will was able to envision and bring things out in our music that I had never imagined on my own. The results were truly beyond what I had expected. He is a gifted and driven producer and a just a great guy to team with.”

Erin Aas

“Working with Will as my producer has made me a better artist and human being. He is a man who truly cares about helping create your dreams and visions. He listens with an open heart, understands the unheard rhythm, and dances with the ever-changing ebb and flow. All the while reaching into the true depth of what the music can be, bringing it to the surface. The beauty, the substance, the process, that is Will Ackerman and his work.”

Ronnda Cadle

“In the world of music production Will Ackerman is in a league of his own. His wealth of experience only adds to his innate ability to cut straight to the heart of the artists creativity. While listening closely to the composer, he shares is own vision for their music, guiding them often unknowingly to a place they perhaps never even knew existed. Suddenly they find themselves in their own new world of music. A truly brilliant producer.”

Heidi Breyer

“Working with Will Ackerman at Imaginary Road Studios was an honor and a pleasure! While affable (and with a great sense of humor), Will is sharply attuned to the highest quality and detail. Search elsewhere for the typical big-time producer ego. He’s an unusual blend of meticulous and laid back, a watchdog for musical excellence without a lot of barking. It was clear from day one that Will was in our court to help us make the very best record possible. The property the studio sits on is a combination of Better Homes & Gardens and a Nature preserve, a pastoral haven in the rolling hills outside Brattleboro, VT. I can’t think of better surroundings to create music in!”

Devin Rice

“There has been no single greater influence upon me as Will Ackerman… as a producer he has conjured from my writing and performance capabilities nuances and emotions that I was not even aware existed let alone believed I could capture. He does this (what appears) effortlessly and with a wry smile that tenderly suggests “I told you so”. Ackerman is a staggering example of a true musical voice and visionary unparalleled in his abilities. Working with him has been one of the most tremendous honors of my life.”

Patrick Gorman