Session Buzz: Who’s Recording In & Around NYC – A Monthly Report

September 19, 2012 by  

GREATER NYC AREA: For recording studios, this past summer had its typical ups and downs. But heading into Fall, bands like The Killers, The Vaccines and OneRepublic as well as artists like Tony Bennett, Kurt Vile, Sean Lennon, Rufus Wainright and more had been in NYC-area studios cranking on new and upcoming releases.

Outasight (third from left) with NYC-based production team The Elev3n

Starting in Murray Hill, Electracraft Music Works @ The Fireplace Penthouse hosted sessions with Mark Foster, of Foster The People, recording vocals for “Polartropic” – a soundtrack song for Tim Burton’s new film, Frankenweenie. Warren Babson engineered the session.

Also at Electracraft…Jack Antonoff and Andrew Dost of the band FUN were in to work on some new material, with Matt Morales engineering…Melanie Fiona came through to record some live acoustic tracks for Cricket Mobile, with Sam Katz engineering…hip-hop artist Outasight recorded with producers The Elev3n and Morales engineering, and Liz Gillies (of Nickelodeon’s Victorious) recorded some new music with Babson engineering.

Downtown, The Killers recorded and mixed their new album Battle Born over the summer at Germano Studios – with Alan Moulder mixing (various producers). OneRepublic has also been recording their latest at Germano – tracking guitars, keyboards and mandolin with singer/producer Ryan Tedder producing and engineering

And in other Germano sessions… The Goo Goo Dolls were in writing and recording new materials with John Shanks producing and Dan Chase engineering… Chris Shaw mixed an Ozzy Osbourne live DVD release, with Bruce Dickinson producing…Robin Thicke recorded vocals with Paul Falcone engineering, as did Mary J. Blige (also with Falcone)… Singer Jessica Sanchez (American Idol) recorded vocals and programming with Harvey Mason, Jr. producing and Andrew Hey engineering…and tracking sessions for a new John Legend album (recording guitars, vocals, piano, harp, keyboards in Studio 1 & Studio 2) with Dave Tozer producing and Jason Agel engineering.

The Killers went from recording and mixing at Germano, to The Lodge Mastering where Emily Lazar and Joe LaPorta mastered Battle Born. The Lodge’s mastering engineers Lazar, LaPorta and mastering engineer Heba Kadry have also recently mastered records by Dum Dum Girls, Imagine DragonsNegramaro, Jeff Wayne’s The War Of The Worlds, James Iha, The Sea and Cake, …And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead and Sarah Blasko.

Meanwhile, rapper Wale has been recording an upcoming project in Studios A and C at Manhattan Sound Recording Studios (MSR) in Midtown – with engineer Kevin Spencer and MSR assistant Gloria Kaba.

Also at MSR…Jazz artist/bassist Christian McBride has been mixing two upcoming albums – with Joe Ferla on the Euphonix System 5 in MSR’s Studio B, assisted by Brett Mayer…the cast album for Broadway’s Bring It On was tracked in Studio A by engineer Derik Lee and composer Alex Lacamoire for Sh-K-Boom! Records, and then mixed by engineer Tim Latham…and Derik Lee also recorded some cues for the film Greetings from Tim Buckley.

The Ghost Of A Sabre Tooth Tiger: Sean Lennon and Charlotte Kemp Muhl

Sean Lennon brought his Ghost of the Sabre Tooth Tiger project to Sear Sound last month. Tom Schick mixed the album – for Lennon’s label, Chimera Records – on Sear’s Neve 8038 to ½” 2-track on the ATR-102 machine.

Also at Sear Sound…Rufus Wainwright tracked new material on Sear’s Steinway “C” grand piano for Verve Records, with Sear’s Chris Allen engineering…jazz bassist Dave Holland and his ensemble tracked a new album with James Farber engineering…Ron Saint Germain produced and engineered a new recording by classical pianist Tania Stavreva on the Steinway “D” concert grand…and vocalist Keiko Lee tracked via the custom Avalon/Sear console in Studio C with Jay Newland engineering and producing for Sony/Japan.

Tony Bennett was back at Avatar Studios – this time to work on his Latin duets project, in Studio A. Bennett recorded vocals with Juan Luis Guerra, Romeo Santos and Ana Carolina. His son Dae Bennett engineered and produced the sessions, assisted by Aki Nishimura and Charlie Kramsky.

In other recent Avatar sessions…The Young Presidents tracked with producer /engineer Rob Fraboni, assisted by Bob Mallory and Tyler Hartman…Jennifer Hudson recorded for NBC’s Smash with producers Marc Shaiman and Harvey Mason, Jr., and engineer Andrew Hey…Bobby McFerrin recorded with producers Linda and Gil Goldstein assisted by Charlie Kramsky…and Esperanza Spalding was videotaped for ASPiRE TV with producer Nicole Bentley assisted by Aki Nishimura.

And all the way downtown at Engine Room Audio, 50 Cent was in the studio working with mastering engineer Mark B. Christensen to master his latest single, “New Day.” The track – released on iTunes on July 31 – features Dr. Dre and Alicia Keys, and was mixed by Eminem.

Christensen also recently mastered NYC alt-rock band Weep‘s new album, Alate, and the new Trey Songz album, Chapter V, which came out in August and hit #1 on the Billboard 200 chart in its first week.

Meanwhile In Brooklyn…

Yuka Honda (Cibo Matto, Yoko Ono) booked time at Joe McGinty’s Greenpoint synth studio, Carousel Recording, to record keyboard overdubs for Martha Wainwright’s new album, Come Home To Mama, which she is producing. Keyboardist Jared Samuel recorded on Carousel’s Moog Modular, Rhodes, Yamaha Organ and Hammond during these sessions.

Composer/producer Bryan Senti on the Mellotron at Carousel

Chiara Angilicola’s Bird Call project also came to Carousel to record the Mellotron and other assorted keys for an upcoming full-length album – produced by Bryan Senti (Rufus Wainwright).

DJ/producer Kid Koala collaborated with composer/producer/engineer Joel Hamburger on music for a new animated series and puppet show – both developed by Jhonen Vasquez – at Hamburger’s Park Slope studio, GödelString. For the animated series, Kid Koala (aka Eric San) and Hamburger worked off of a theme composed by Vasquez, and for the puppet show score, improvised recording sessions with James McNew and Amy Posner of Dump on guitar and keyboard.

“For me, the thrill was in working as fast as possible to set up and capture the moment and then being able to enjoy the magic of having these sketches being transformed into fairly complete pieces and soundscapes,” said Hamburger. “I also got to break out some of the great vintage keyboards we have at the studio.”

At the new Degraw Studios in Gowanus, rock band The Skins recorded and mixed an upcoming release with producer/engineer Ben Rice. Rice also mixed a new EP for Elliot & The Ghost – produced by Jared Dodd, and recorded/mixed new material for indie-rock band Chainwave.

Also at Degraw…banjo master Tony Trischka recorded with a bluegrass ensemble including guitarist Michael Daves, banjoist Noam Pikelny and mandolinist Mike Compton – with Matt Werden engineering.

Out of his Glassfactory studio in DUMBO, mixer/engineer Alex Aldi co-produced and mixed a Passion Pit song for the upcoming Twilight movie, Breaking Dawn – Part 2. Aldi also worked on the radio mix of The Hundred In The Hands’ “Come With Me” off their new album on Warp Records.

RCA hip-hop artist K.Flay at The Bunker

And back in Williamsburg, hip-hop artist K.Flay spent two weeks at The Bunker, writing and recording tracks for her upcoming RCA record – with Justyn Pilbrow producing, and Chris Mullings engineering. Singer/songwriter and pianist Johanna Cranitch also brought her band project Johanna and the Dusty Floor to The Bunker to track and mix a full-length album – with Chris Berry on drums, Rob Gentry and synths/programming, and Aaron Nevezie producing and engineering.

And in other Bunker sessions… Nevezie engineered a “monster tracking session” for a 30-minute piece called “Drummer’s Corpse”, led by  drummer/bandleader Mike Pride and featuring seven drummers and multiple other musicians and vocalists…and 11-piece Afro-beat band Zongo Junction tracked their new full-length album live to the Bunker’s 24-track Studer machine over two days with Nevezie engineering.

Meanwhile, engineer/producer Matt Boynton has been busy at his Williamsburg studio, Vacation Island. Over the summer, Boynton mixed a track for Rainbow Arabia, a project that continues there this month, and finished the new Vietnam‘ record – coming out early next year on Mexican SummerFree Blood and Wild Yaks also mixed their latest with Boynton. Fred Nicolaus of Department of Eagles mixed his solo release with Boynton as well.

On the recording front, Boynton recently tracked and mixed two new songs for Hospitality and recorded (with Rob Laasko) a new song for Kurt Vile. Most recently, Boynton tracked a new song for UK artist Amy Studt, and The Vaccines came through while in Williamsburg between shows to track and mix a new song.

Sky Pony at Grand Street (l-r): Lauren Worsham, Megan Stern, Jesse Suzuki and Kyle Jarrow recording group vocals and claps around an AKG C24.

Also in Williamsburg, Grand Street Recording (<– new website) recently hosted the 8-piece indie-pop band, Sky Pony – led by Kyle Jarrow – to record and mix their new EP with engineer/producer Ken Rich.

Also at Grand Street, acoustic punk band The Narrowbacks recorded a full-length record with Tomek Miernowski…Noe Venable has been constructing an acoustic album “filled with unexpected sounds and compelling arrangements” – recorded by Ken Rich, and featuring Mathias Kunzli and Todd Sickafoose

I’m In You finished mixing and mastering their third full-length release with Rich…and TV On The Radio‘s Kyp Malone stopped by to record vocals with Emily Long & Velta on their latest record, with Miernowski engineering and mixing.

Grand Street also recently added a pair of Mohog MoFET76 limiting amplifiers and an AKG D30 to its ever-growing collection of vintage microphones. In drum-land, the studio added a 1959 Ludwig WFL Badge 6 ½” x 14″ Snare that still has the original Ludwig calf-skin resonant head – serviced by John Fell over at Main Drag Music.

The new Mohog MoFET76s (in red) at Grand Street

And we know there’s so much more going on out there! If you’d like to be featured in “Session Buzz,” please submit your studio news to

Session Buzz: Who’s Recording In & Around NYC — A Monthly Report

March 7, 2012 by  

GREATER NYC AREA: This month in NYC recording found Skrillex producing Wale, Nicki Minaj working with Big Sean, The Kin recording with The Rondo Brothers, and a ton of bands recording in Brooklyn. There’s no way to report on everything, but here we run down some of the highlights from February to now…

Starting in Brooklyn This Time!

At Headgear Recording, Jersey rock band The Everymen mixed their upcoming album with producer/engineer John Agnello. And NYC-based Japanese rock band The Ricecookers tracked and mixed two EPs with engineer Ted Young.

Vacation Island’s newly appointed “Dead Room” with views into larger tracking room.

Brooklyn bliss-pop band Cave Days has been recording a new LP at The Fort Brooklyn. James “General Crapshoot” Bentley is recording, mixing and producing with the band. In other news, The Fort has just re-capped the master section of their Neotek Elan console and – according to Bentley – “it sounds unreal!”

At Vacation Island Recording in Williamsburg, producer/engineer Matt Boynton recently finished mixing the new Suckers album, Candy Salad for Frenchkiss Records. Boynton also mixed more songs from Free Blood and finished Zachary Cale‘s new “Hangman Letters” EP. Brooklyn rock band Linfinity, Manican Party and El Dorado all recently mixed records with Boynton. And (pictured) Vacation Island’s tracking room (the “dead” room) got a facelift!

Meanwhile, heavy psych-rock trio NAAM were recording and mixing their new “Ballad of the Starchild” EP with producer/guitarist Jeff Berner at Galuminum Foil in Williamsburg.

Berner also recently recorded, mixed, and played guitar on Psychic TV‘s limited vinyl-only 12″s – “Thank You Pts 1& 2″ and “Mother Sky/Alien Sky” (for Vanity Case Records) with additional engineering from Chris Cubeta – produced/engineered/played on Tatiana Kochkareva‘s “Infinity”, recorded and mixed Dead Stars‘ “I Get By” EP, and The Courtesy Tier‘s “Holy Hot Fire.” Also out of Galuminum Foil, Berner is currently recording and mixing records for Monuments, Man The Change, Jumpers, The Glorious Veins and Chris Abad.

Nearby at Excello Recording in Williamsburg, Grammy-winning Irish folksinger Susan McKeown tracked acoustic music for an upcoming release with engineer Hugh Pool. And Brooklyn-based rock band Alberta Cross tracked new material at Excello with producer/engineer Claudius Mittendorfer (Interpol, Muse), and assistant Oliver Palomares.

Trombonist/guitarist/composer Curtis Hasselbring brought in a large acoustic tracking session to Excello – which Pool also engineered. And The Veda Rays tracked drums for their upcoming release with producer Jason Marcucci, and Pool engineering, assisted by Charles Dechants. Tokyo/Brooklyn rock duo Ken South Rock also recorded for their upcoming release at Excello with Pool, and Charlie Gramidia producing.

Z. Cole Smith’s DIVE is making a record with Daniel Schlett

DIVE, a new four-piece led by Beach Fossils’ Z. Cole Smith and recently signed to Captured Tracks, have been recording and mixing a 7” single and full-length LP at Strange Weather Brooklyn with engineer/producer Daniel Schlett.

Also out of Strange Weather, Schlett has recorded and mixed Royal Baths’ new LP for Kanine Records, recorded and mixed for Zulus’ new release with producer Ben Greenberg, and recorded and mixed tracks for Woodsman’s full-length, due out on Mexican Summer later this year.

Katherine Whalen and Her Fascinators (Squirrel Nut Zippers) were up from North Carolina to track a few songs with producer/engineer Colby Devereux at his studio Copperfish Sound in Brooklyn. Devereux also recently tracked a few songs with The Library is on Fire. Check out these and other recording sessions at “Live from Copperfish Sound” on Vimeo.

We also dropped by Mason Jar Music out in Borough Park this week, where Afro-Beat ensemble EMEFE was recording a new album with Mason Jar founders Dan Knobler and Jon Seale. Both producer/engineer/musicians, Knobler and Seale also just finished mixing a new album by indie-folk band Town Hall. Look out for our upcoming feature on this exciting collective of musicians, producers and filmmakers…

Meanwhile in Manhattan…

Pat Metheny took over Avatar Studio A for four days of tracking with his full “Orchestrion“.  The session was produced by Methany and Steve Rodby, with James Farber engineering, assisted by Bob Mallory. Lyle Lovett tracked in Studio C with his band while in town with producer/engineer Nathaniel Kunkel assisted by Tim Marchiafava. And Lenny Kravitz recorded in Studio B with engineer Tom “T-Bone” Edmunds assisted by Charlie Kramsky.

Chris Lord-Alge mixing in Studio G while a class of NYU students listens in the live room.

Australia four-piece band The Rubens recorded with producer David Kahne, and engineer Roy Hendrickson. And the film score to Yaron Zilberman’s A Late Quartet (Catherine Keener, Philip Seymour Hoffman) – composed by Brooklyn native Angelo Badalamenti – was recorded in Studio A, produced by Badalamenti and Jim Bruening and engineered by Todd Whitelock.  And Chris Lord-Alge held a mixing event for the students of NYU Steinhardt School sponsored by SSL. Chris demonstrated his mixing techniques in Studio G on the same console he mixes on at his Mix LA Studio, the SSL 4000 G series.

Downtown at Germano Studios, Chris Shaw has been mixing a Paul Simon Graceland live concert from San Sebastian, Spain with producer Steve Berkowitz, The Kin recorded basic tracks with The Rondo Brothers (Foster the People) producing and engineering, John Legend recorded with Dave Tozer producing and Jason Agel engineering, and Chris Rene (X-Factor) was in for mixing sessions with Claude Kelly producing and Ben Chang engineering.

Joan Jett & The Blackhearts continued recording in Germano Studio 1 with Thom Panunzio engineering and Kenny Laguna producing, Brazilian singer Michel Teló worked on a new release with Kenta Yonesaka engineering and John Doelp (A&R at Sony/Columbia Records) producing, hit songwriter Sandy Vee was in recording with Butch Walker and Dreamlab, and “The Last Unicorn” recorded with DJ/producer Alexander Dexter-Jones and Sean Parker producing, and Kenta Yonesaka engineering.

At Premier Studios in Times Square, Nicki Minaj and Big Sean were working on a project together, with engineer Chad Jolley, assisted by Kevin Geigel; Young Jeezy came in to work with artist/producer Ryan Leslie on a new track in sessions engineered by Stickabus; Rapper Wale worked in Studio F with Grammy-winning artist/producer Skrillex, and engineer Derek Pacuk, assisted by Kelby Craig; and Yo Gotti recorded some new original material for his upcoming album, with engineer Angelo Payne and assistant Colin Rivers.

Wale worked on a track in Premier Studio F with Grammy-winning electronic artist/DJ/producer Skillrex

Also at Premier, the casts of Broadway’s Anything Goes and Mamma Mia! recorded respective projects in Studio A with Matt Polk producing, and Kevin Geigel (Anything Goes) and Sam Giannelli (Mamma Mia!) engineering.

Right in the same building at Quad Studios, indie-to-Epic pop band Oh Land worked on music for a new album with Brandon Boyd and Andros Rodriguez, MBK artist Gabi Wilson worked on songs for a new project, Interscope artist J. Randall tracked songs for a debut album, and Remo the Hitmaker was camped out in Studio Q1 producing and writing with various artists.

And we know there’s so much more going on out there! If you’d like to be featured in “Session Buzz,” please submit your studio news to

Sear Sound Sessions: Donald Fagen, Classical Frank Zappa, Lulu Gainsbourg

July 26, 2011 by  

Sear Sound has been a beehive for several highly intriguing projects this summer. Highlight sessions include:

Frank Zappa lives in classic style at Sear Sound.

NYC denizen Donald Fagen tracked in Studio A on the 8038 Neve with Michael Leonhart producing and Charlie Martinez engineering for Warner Bros. Records.

eONE Music was in Studio C, reportedly “classisizing” Frank Zappa songs for a new release.  His original songs were rescored for classical orchestral instruments and tracked on Sear Sound’s famed custom Avalon/Sear console.  The sessions were produced by Susan Del Giorno from eONE with GRAMMY-winning engineer Silas Brown working the board.

As he works on his upcoming new self-produced album, Lucien (Lulu) Gainsbourg continues to track in both Studio A and Studio C, depending on the orchestration. Jeremy Loucas is his engineer for his new upcoming album.  Lucien is the son of the internationally acclaimed French singer Serge Gainsbourg.

Engineer/producer Stewart Lerman tracked in Studio C for the HBO series “Boardwalk Empire”.

eONE MUSIC was at Sear Sound again tracking and mixing a new album with international artist Sophie Milman. The project was tracked in Studio C on the Avalon/Sear console and mixed in Studio A on the Neve  8038. In these intensive sessions, Milman began the recording sessions with an ensemble of 20 musicians and the vocalist all playing together, at the same time. Chris Allen was the tracking engineer and James Farber served as mix engineer. The project was produced by Matt Pierson.

Producer/engineer Gary Maurer tracked an ensemble of 22 musicians for his upcoming HEM album in Studio C. He will reportedly return to Sear Sound shortly to mix a 24 song double album.

And finally, Universal Classics of Japan tracked in Studio C for their international artist/pianist Makoto Ozone. The album was tracked by engineer James Farber and produced by Makoto Shinohara of Universal.

Sear Sound Hosts Spring Sessions with Sting, Foreigner, Gipsy Kings

May 12, 2011 by  

Sear Sound has had a strong spring, with big sessions in their Neve 8038-equipped Studio A, and the sun-kissed, Sear-Avalon custom console-equipped Studio C.

Sting: seen at Sear Sound.

Sting was in Studio C composing and recording with Sear Sound’s 1973 Steinway “D” grand piano. Rob Mathes was arranging and co-producing with Sting. David Shoenwetter assisted.

Foreigner tracked in Studio A. Original producer/leader/founder Mick Jones co-produced with Jeff Pilson, Tom Gimble and Kelly Hansesn completing the band.  Wyn Davis of Total Access Recording Studios in Redondo Beach engineered, and Ted Tuthill was the assistant on the sessions.

The famed Gipsy Kings mixed with engineer James Farber, assisted by Chris Allen, in Studio A, working to RMGI 1/2″ 900 tape using Sear Sound’s ATR 102. Bernard Paganotti produced and supervised the mixes from France.

Also in Studio A, James Farber mixed more live Brad Mehldau tracks for Nonesuch Records. Farber engineered and produced the sessions, with David Shoenwetter assisting.

Kim Gordon, Thurston Moore and Yoko Ono Making A Record at Sear Sound

March 2, 2011 by  

A number of interesting artists have been recording at the legendary Sear Sound in Midtown Manhattan — Walter Sear’s legacy of audio excellence lives on!

Yoko Ono + 1/2 Sonic Youth recording at Sear Sound

First, Kim Gordon, Thurston Moore and Yoko Ono are making a record together. And they’ve been recording it at Sear Sound, with Chris Allen engineering.

Both Sonic Youth and Ono have a history with the studio — Sonic Youth having recorded multiple albums (Rather Ripped, Sister, Experimental Jet Set, Trash and No Star) in Studio A with its Neve 8038 with Flying Faders. Apparently Walter Sear even recorded one of their earliest records at his former studio in the Paramount Hotel. And Ono recorded and mixed her last record Between My Head and the Sky at Sear with Allen engineering in Studio C, on the Avalon/Sear custom console.

Meanwhile, Bjork has been working at Sear Sound as well, recording tracks for her new album, with Damian Taylor engineering on the Avalon/Sear with David Schoenwetter assisting.

In other recent sessions: the NYC-based blues band JD and The Straight Shot have also been recording for a new album with Dave Natale engineering and Mark Atkins producing. The band, led by James Dolan with Charlie Drayton on drums, reportedly have their own live performance setup in the studio, with speaker wedges and a submixing Yamaha board.

And singer/songwriter Harper Simon (son of Paul Simon) has been tracking a new album, with Ruddy Cullers engineering. John Scofield also tracked and mixed his new record at Sear on the Neve 8038, with Brian Blades on drums, Scott Colley on bass and Larry Goldings on the studio’s B3 Hammond and Steinway ‘C’ grand, and James Farber engineering. They mixed down to RMG 900 1/2″ on the ATR 102.

Producer Craig Street recorded singer Madeleine Peroux with Matt Cullen engineering and a band that included Drayton again on drums, and Mark Ribot on guitar. And Scarlet Johansson was in recording overdubs for an album with Lucien Gainsbourg, with Jeremy Loucas engineering. Prior to Johansson coming in, Gainsbourg has been recording his larger album project at Sear as well.

Singer Nicole Henry recorded with producer Matt Pierson and Allen engineering, with John Stoddardt on piano, and arrangements by Stoddardt and Gil Goldstein. And Japanese outfit New Friends, Inc. were in tracking the pianist / vocalist Akiko Yano for a film. She played the Steinway ‘D’ – 9′ concert grand, and Aya Merrill engineered the sessions.

This is just a sampling of the recent sessions, according to Sear Sound’s manager Roberta Findlay. Visit for more information on the studio, and its equipment and history.

Seth MacFarlane & Norah Jones, Suzanne Vega and All Time Low Recording at Avatar

January 26, 2011 by  

Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane is recording an album of 1940s and 50s-era Broadway standards for Universal Republic Records, working with producer and arranger Joel McNeely.

MacFarlane and McNeely recently recorded for the project in Avatar’s Studio B, joined by Norah Jones, with engineer Frank Fillipetti. Rick Kwan assisted on the recording sessions.

The album is reportedly being produced using recording techniques from the 40s-50s era — MacFarlane singing live backed by an orchestra and big band all in the same room. They’ve been recording at Capitol Records Studios in Hollywood, utilizing the same microphones, mic pre-amps and signal chains (to analog tape) used in recordings made there by Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole and Rosemary Clooney.

Naturally, when in NYC, they booked time at Avatar where the production could continue in that style with much (if not all) of the same gear.

Suzanne Vega's back in the studio, recording with producer/engineer Joe Blaney

In other recent sessions at Avatar Studios…

- Alicia Keys recorded in Studio A for an interactive Music Experience project by Sony Wonder Technology Lab with producer Chuck Fishbein, engineer Jeff “Jedi Master” Jones (also assisted by Kwan).

- Randy Travis and Kristin Chenoweth recorded in Studio G with producer/engineer Elliot Scheiner assisted by Bob Mallory.

- Suzanne Vega recorded in Studio A with engineer/producer Joe Blaney.

- All Time Low recorded in Studio C with producer David Kahne, engineer Roy Hendrickson, assisted by Aki Nishimura.

- More music for Glee was mixed in Studio G with producer Tommy Faragher, engineer Bryan Smith, assisted by Charlie Kramsky.

- Tracking sessions for the Mildred Pierce (HBO) score continued in Studio A with composer/producer Carter Burwell and engineer Todd Whitelock assisted by Rick Kwan and Fernando Lodeiro.

- Jazz pianist Cyrus Chestnut recorded in Studio B with producer Todd Barkan, engineer Katherine Miller assisted by Charlie Kramsky.

- Jazz guitarist Steve Khan mixed in Studio C with engineer James Farber assisted by Rick Kwan.

- And The Great Unknown recorded in Studio C with children for an ASCAP and America Scores (a nonprofit group that runs after-school programs) songwriting project produced by Sue Devine and engineered by Rick Kwan.

Fleet Foxes, Roger Waters, Roberta Flack & More at Sear Sound

November 11, 2010 by  

Just in from Sear Sound in Midtown Manhattan: Fleet Foxes have been mixing their latest Subpop album in Studio C with producer/engineer Phil Ek.

Fleet Foxes. Photo by David Belisle.

The band recorded on 2″ 24 track and Pro Tools and mixed down to Sear’s 1″ 2 track J37 Studer in Studio ‘C’. This machine originally came from Abbey Road as a 1/2″ 4 track machine and was rebuilt and converted to 1″ 2 track by Walter Sear. He had also rebuilt 1/4″ Studers from across the pond into C37 1/2″ 2 track machines.

Roger Waters also recorded at Sear Sound in Studio A recently, cutting vocals for his upcoming tour, with James Guthrie producing and engineering.

And the Spider-Man on Broadway production was back at Sear Sound, where Bono and The Edge tracked music for the show earlier this year. Teese Gohl produced and Carl Glanville engineered these additional tracking sessions.

Roberta Flack continues recording her latest album for Sony ATV in Sear’s Studio C, playing the Steinway concert grand. Barry Miles is producing, with Sear chief engineer Chris Allen engineering.

Thirteen / WNET did interviews with Yoko Ono and videotaped Studio A for an upcoming documentary, LENNONYC which is due to premiere November 22, 2010. Lennon had recorded at Sear Sound when it was Hit Factory in the late 1970′s – 80′s. Yoko Ono also recorded her last album at Sear Sound with Chris Allen engineering. Allen was also the supervising engineer for this current project.

Other recent sessions at Sear Sound included:

- The rock group All Time Low doing overdubs in Studio A with Mike Green engineering and producing for IGA Records;

- Jazz artists Ben Monder, Ben Street and veteran drummer Paul Motian recording their new album for Sun Music Productions with James Farber engineering and Sun Chang producing;

- Punch Brothers and Sarah Jarosz tracking with producer/engineer Gary Paczosa for Humilitron Prods. out of Nashville;

- A large ensemble, 20 musicians, playing the music of contemporary composer John Adams for Nonesuch Records.  John Kilgore was the engineer and Judith Sherman, the producer;

- German producer Stefan Winter, from his own company, Winter & Winter recording a few jazz groups, including Hank Roberts, Urie Caine, and Paul Motian in Studio C. Ron St. Germaine engineered going directly to 1/2″ 2 track on our ATR 102;

- Blue Note Records producing a new Joe Lovano album, with James Farber tracking and mixing down to the ATR 102 on RMGI 1/2″ tape;

- Karrin Allyson tracking for a new Concord album with engineer Josiah Gluck and producer Nick Phillips. Concord also did a new album with Ben Williams, bass player, at Sear Sound, with Chris Allen engineering and Chris Dunne producing.

For more on Sear Sound, NYC’s oldest independent recording studio, visit

Avatar Hosts Sessions For Every Media: Lenny Kravitz, The Dirty Pearls Records, Glee and Rubicon, Tyler Perry film and Vampire Weekend for iTunes

October 20, 2010 by  

As reflected in a recent string of sessions, there’s a whole lotta music being recorded at Avatar Studios of late, with a diverse clientele of producers, writers and composers creating music for multiple medias.

Avatar's legendary Studio A live room

First, the album projects — this last month saw Elaine Paige in Studio A with Phil Ramone and Frank Filipetti, Lenny Kravitz in Studio C with Tom Edmunds engineering, Ricky Martin in with producer Desmond Child and engineer Enrique Larreal and NYC rockers The Dirty Pearls recording with producer David Kahne and engineer Joe Barresi.

Additionally, Jim Hall recorded at Avatar with engineer James Farber, Keiko Matsui recorded with producer Richard Bona and engineer Anthony Ruotolo and the Harmonie Ensemble / New York recorded in Studio A with conductor/music director Steven Richman and engineer Adam Abeshouse.

A Celtic Woman project was recorded in Studio B while connected to a studio in Dublin through Source-Connect. David Downes produced the session with engineer Kevin Killen. Additionally, Avatar’s new writing room was booked out for a writing session for Justin Bieber with producer Priscilla Renae, working with engineer Fernando Lodeiro.

And then the film and television work…Music performed by Joshua Bell for Tyler Perry’s film For Colored Girls was recorded in Studio C with composer/producer Aaron Zigman and engineer Todd Whitelock. Music for Glee was recorded in Studio G with actor Darren Criss, producer Tommy Faragher and engineer Robert Smith. The score for AMC’s Rubicon was recorded in Studio C with producer Peter Nashel and engineer Roy Hendrickson; and an episode of CBS’ The Good Wife with Miranda Cosgrove was shot in Studio A.

Also in Avatar’s Studio A, Young People’s Chorus of New York City was in for a TV pre-record for the 9/11 Commemoration with producer Irwin Fisch and engineer Artie Friedman.

And webVampire Weekend recorded in Studio A for iTunes with producer Suzanne Varney and engineer Jason Marcucci. And, radio interviews via ISDN were held in Studio G with LCD Soundsystem assisted by Fernando Lodeiro.

Avatar’s also long been a home for Broadway musicians, and recently hosted recording sessions for promos for Elf The Musical, with producer Brandon Mikolaski and engineer Ed Rak, Jersey Boys, with engineer Peter Karam and Rock of Ages, with engineer Peter Hylenski.

And music for Loris Greaud’s project, “ The Snorks, A Concert for Creatures” was recently recorded in Studio A, performed by Antipop Consortium. Avatar’s Rick Kwan engineered the session.  The audio will be used for an installation at the Pace Art Gallery.

For more information on Avatar Studios, visit

Yoko Ono, Suzanne Vega, Dub Trio Recording At Avatar

June 24, 2010 by  

Yoko Ono recently produced a project with NYC’s Bang On A Can, recording in Avatar Studio‘s legendary Studio A with Scott Hollingsworth engineering. Another NYC legend, Suzanne Vega, recently spent time in Studio A as well, recording with producer/engineer Joe Blaney.

Dub Trio recorded new music at Avatar with producer/engineer Joel Hamilton for their follow-up to 2008's "Another Sound Is Dying."

In Studio C, Brooklyn’s Dub Trio recorded for their upcoming album with producer/engineer Joel Hamilton; singer/songwriter Danielle Evin recorded with producer Phil Ramone and engineer Jay Messina; and jazz-pop singer Jane Monheit recorded with engineer Jim Anderson.

In other recent jazz sessions at Avatar, Freddy Cole recorded new music at Avatar with producer Todd Barkan and engineer Katherine Miller, jazz-guitarist Jim Hall recorded with engineer James Farber and The Fred Hersch Trio also recorded with Barkan and Miller.

The orchestral music for AMC’s new thriller, Rubicon, was recorded in Avatar’s Studio A with producer Peter Nashel and engineer Gary Chester. And music for HBO’s upcoming Todd Haynes-directed mini-series, Mildred Pierce was recorded in Studio C with producers Steven Epstein and Carter Burwell, with Todd Whitelock engineering.