GREATER NYC AREA: This month’s buzz finds a typically colorful spread of artists recording, mixing and mastering new works around town. The Beach Boys and Animal Collective, Empire of the Sun and Tiësto, Kurt Elling, Beirut, 50 Cent and Amanda Palmer – just to mention a few – have all been working on new releases in NYC-area studios. Which producers and engineers have been tracking, mixing and mastering these projects? And where? Read on…
First up, Grammy-winning jazz singer and songwriter Kurt Elling tracked his latest album for Concord Music Group at Sear Sound on the custom Avalon/Sear 60-input console in Studio C. Producer and Concord senior director A&R Chris Dunn produced with engineer Chris Allen at the controls. Elling’s band on the album includes Kendrick Scott on drums, Lawrence Hobgood on piano, John McLean on guitar and Clark Sommers on bass.
Chris Dunn also recently produced a “Concord Jazz All-Stars” album at Sear featuring Christian Scott on trumpet, Ben Williams on bass, Jamire Williams on drums, Matt Stevens on guitar, Gerald Clayton and Kris Bowers on piano, Logan Richardson and Walter Smith III on saxes – with Ted Tuthill engineering.
Also at Sear…electronic music duo Empire of the Sun tracked for their upcoming album in Studios A and C with Nicholas Littlemore producing and Tuthill engineering – Sear’s original Bob Moog / Walter Sear Moog modular synthesizer (Moog #2) was programmed and recorded for the album… Composer Bill Ryan recorded new music with a large percussion section and a string/woodwind ensemble, and Silas Brown engineering…and soulful singer/songwriter Amos Lee tracked vocals for the Zac Brown Band, with Allen at the controls.
Italian rap group Club Dogo (Universal Music Group) have been mixing and mastering their upcoming album at Engine Room Audio in lower Manhattan. The group’s DJ/beatmaker Don Joe and engineer Andrea “db” Debernardi flew in to work with head engineer Mark B. Christensen. Their latest single ‘Cattivi Esempi’ has reached #2 on the Italian music charts. The single, along with the rest of the album was mixed and mastered at Engine Room.
Also at Engine Room…Christensen mastered 50 Cent’s latest “Gangsta Grillz” mixtape – assisted by Benoit Holliger and Gabe MG, and Trey Songz’s new single “Heart Attack” – produced by Benny Blanco and Rico Love. The track is the first single off his upcoming album Chapter V, and the first track that has been ‘Mastered for iTunes.’ Christensen also mastered the new dance track by Jersey Shore’s Pauly D for G-Note Records.
Brooklyn rock band VietNam has been finishing up a new record with Matt Boynton at his Vacation Island Recording in Williamsburg. Boynton is mixing the album for the Brooklyn vinyl label Mexican Summer. Beirut has also been back at Vacation Island – where they mixed their ’11 album The Rip Tide – to mix their new EP with Boynton.
The Beach Boys stopped into Avatar Studios during their 50th Anniversary Tour for a vocal recording session in Studio C with producer Joe Thomas (Brian Wilson’s Imagination), and engineer Mike Czaszwicz, assisted by Tim Marchiafava.
Also at Avatar…Composer Teddy Shapiro’s film score for Great Hope Springs – directed by David Frankel and starring Meryl Streep and Steve Carell – was recorded in Studio A. Shapiro produced, and Chris Fogel engineered the tracking sessions. And source music for the film Killing Them Softly was performed and produced by Wynton Marsalis, and recorded by Jeff “Jedi Master” Jones. Bonnie Raitt recorded a live performance for World Cafe… The Young Presidents tracked new material with producer/engineer Rob Fraboni, assisted by Bob Mallory… Jimmy Fallon and the Roots recorded a comedy album, Blow Your Pants Off, with Lawrence Manchester engineering…Jon Hamm recorded a voiceover for the NFL Network…And Kurt Elling recorded a big band production of the Sinatra classic “The Best Is Yet To Come” for the Breeders Cup, with Steve McCabe and Neil Jason producing, and Roy Hendrickson engineering.
Next, the new Animal Collective album is finished – Joe Lambert just mastered it at his studio in DUMBO. Due out on Domino Records, Centipede Hz was recorded at Sonic Ranch in Tornillo, TX, and co-produced by Ben H. Allen, who co-produced, engineered and mixed Merriweather Post Pavilion. Allen mixed the record at Maze Studios in Atlanta, GA.
Meanwhile, The Lodge‘s Emily Lazar, Joe LaPorta, Sarah Register and Heba Kadry have been busy mastering a host of new records, including Alanis Morissette‘s brand new album Havoc and Bright Lights – produced by Guy Sigsworth and Joe Chiccarelli and mixed by Chiccarelli – Neon Trees’ Picture Show, Santana’s new album Shape Shifter, Jimmy Cliff’s new album Re.Birth, produced by Rancid’s Tim Armstrong, Shiny Toy Guns’ new album, mixed by Tony Maserati, and The Mars Volta’s album, Noctourniquet – produced by Mars Volta guitarist Omar Rodriguez-Lopez and mixed by Lars Stalfors
Other projects recently mastered at The Lodge include…Oneida drummer Kid Millions’ new album as Man Forever; Australian pop star Guy Sebastian‘s new single “Gold”, mixed by Manny Marroquin; Mexican rock band Fobia‘s new album on Sony Music Mexico, mixed by Jason Carmer; Tiësto’s remix of Kanye West’s “Lost In This World” off My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy; and the new album by Lotus Plaza – the solo project of Deerhunter’s Lockett Pundt – which was mixed by Chris Koltay.
Also at Germano… Paul Falcone has been engineering sessions on some new material by M.I.A., with Missy Elliott and Danja producing…Mike Fraser mixed a Nickelback live album with songwriter/producer Gordini producing…Ryan West mixed Slaughterhouse… Kid Cudi recorded guitars and vocals with Dot da Genius producing, and Bill Sullivan engineering…Alicia Keys was in working with Mark Ronson, with Ann Mincieli engineering… Steve Perry was in to record vocals and keyboards with engineer Dave Rowland… TV boy band Big Time Rush were in writing and recording with producers Claude Kelly and Sandy Vee…and Isa “Machine” Summers (of Florence and the Machine) was working on a remix, with Pete Hanson engineering.
Brit rockers Bloc Party recorded their new album, Four, at Stratosphere Sound with Brooklyn-based producer/engineer Alex Newport, assisted by Atsuo Matsumoto. Check out the album trailer (featuring session footage) below. Also at Stratosphere…spoken word artist and singer/songwriter The Floacist and Raheem DeVaughn recorded with producer Nolan Weekes and engineer Arjun Agerwala…and Louis CK returned to track music for the new season of his F/X show Louie, with engineer Adam Tilzer.
Dance-pop duo Chromeo have been tracking vocals for their new album via the AKG C12 at Flux Studios in the East Village. Lawson White has been engineering the sessions in Flux’s Dangerous Room, with Dan Cherouny assisting.
Also at Flux…Mack Avenue jazz band The Hot Club of Detroit spent several days tracking live in the Dangerous Room and then moved operations into the Fabulous Room to mix their upcoming record – with engineers Todd Whitelock and Damon Whittemore…Whitelock and Whittemore also engineered new recordings by Tia Fuller, with Dianne Reeves…Fab Dupont mixed the new album by Nigerian-American rapper ElDee, and has been producing the upcoming record by French jazz singer Cyrille Aimee. Aimee and band have been at Flux for rehearsal and pre-production, and will track the full band recording in Dangerous, and then mix with Fab in the Fabulous Room.
You’ve probably heard about Amanda Palmer‘s amazing million-dollar-Kickstarter campaign? Well, the artist brought her fan-funded “Amanda Palmer and the Grand Theft Orchestra” two-LP set to Masterdisk to be cut on vinyl. Scott Hull cut the reference discs (pictured).
Also at Masterdisk…Hull mastered the 35mm Cast Recording – produced by Dean Sharenow and Ryan Scott Oliver for Sh-K-Boom Records; Tony Dawsey mastered the new Corey Jon album, Galactic Soul, which was recorded and mixed by Steve Dickey at Daddy’s House Recording; Vlado Meller mastered Kerrie Roberts’ new album Time For The Show (also mastered for iTunes); Andy VanDette mastered Mother Mother’s latest – produced by Ryan Guldemond and Ben Kaplan for Last Gang Records; Randy Merrill mastered the new Allison Weiss album Say What You Mean, which was produced by Chris Kuffner and mixed by Ross Petersen; and Matthew Agoglia remastered Craig Wedren’s album Baby plus some demo tracks.
Singer/songwriter Sean Wood has been working on an LP with producer/engineer Mario McNulty. The session has had them working at Studio G and Magic Shop in Brooklyn and Incognito Studios in lower Manhattan where McNulty is mixing the record.
Bell Biv Devoe were in NYC working on new material at Area 51 with producer Bink Dawg and engineer Alberto Vaccarino. Also at Area 51…Ice T & CoCo were in with DJ Dehasse working on a project for Reach Global Music in sessions engineered by Michelle Figueroa…RCA Records teen sensation Jacob Latimore has been working on his upcoming LP with producers Joe Boom and CJ. And Universal Records artist Paypa has been finishing work on his upcoming album release with Figueroa.
Also notable: Area 51 recently upgraded its North Room to Pro Tools 10HD, and added a mastering room – run by engineers Roey Shamir and Rob Murray.
Also at Grand Street…Christian Gibbs’ (of Lucinda Black Bear) new band Motherwell Johnston recorded basics for their debut album with Ken Rich engineering and Jake Lummus assisting…Trumpet player Shareef Clayton (Stevie Wonder, The Roots, Wynton Marsalis) recorded basics for his upcoming album with Rich engineering and Bobby Mosier assisting…Rich is mixing the full-length debut by Sara Syms, which was recorded at Dreamland and features Andy Stack on electric guitar, Nick Africano on acoustic guitar, Brett Bass on bass, Spencer Cohen on drums, and Misty Boyce on keys…Williamsburg rockers, Velta completed a video for the song “Cheat On Me” which was recorded and mixed by Tomek Miernowski.
Also at Excello, Jamie Block recorded with producer/drummer Dean Sharenow and engineer Hugh Pool; Brooklyn garage-rock duo Twin Guns tracked an album with producer Lase Salgado, and Pool recording to 2” tape; jazz guitarist Joel Harrison has been recording with engineer/mixer Oliver Palomares, rock band Pale Moon Gang was in to track on 2” tape with guitarist Richard Dev Green producing and Pool engineering; and singer/songwriter Lorraine Leckie has been working on an album based on the prose of art-critic Anthony Haden-Guest, with George Jackson producing, and DeChants engineering.
Also at Rough Magic, Kyp Malone’s new Rain Machine LP is still under way…Rough Magic chief engineer Alby Cohen has been tracking the LP; Kieran Hebden aka Four Tet has been mixing up a storm between Neneh Cherry’s ”Dream Baby Dream” and “Nova”, his new collaboration with London dubstep artist Burial; and Jest.com shot and recorded their “50 Shades of Grey read by Gilbert Gottfried” spot.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Occupying The End’s Studio B, Rough Magic now has access to the brand-new facility’s multiple tracking spaces, including its 100-capacity live venue.
Rough Magic manager Joe “Moose” Demby – who previously managed Chung King Studios – says the move allows Rough Magic to expand and at the same time separate the long-term and hourly rehearsal spaces from the commercial recording studio, which caters to clients such as Talib Kweli and Kyp Malone of TV On The Radio.
“I really wanted to separate the rehearsal rooms and recording spaces – it doesn’t always go so well to have them right next to each other,” says Demby. “So we’ve turned the original studio space into another long-term rehearsal space (for Kid Savant) and we’ll continue to maintain a number of other long-term and short-term rehearsal rooms and writing studios over in the original location.
Meanwhile, The End’s B room is a step up for Rough Magic’s studio clients. “It’s a really good fit for us,” says Demby. “It’s a gorgeous space…and definitely a bit more polished, so I can bring some of my clients from Chung King that I wasn’t able to bring to the other space.”
To get setup at The End, Demby hired Billy Cameron to wire the second live room (which doubles as an art gallery) and live music venue for additional tracking into Studio B, which already had a window and ties into the facility’s main Studio A tracking room. They also cut a window into the interior wall so the control room now has a line of sight into both of the main tracking rooms.
“It’ll be great to have that venue space wired up so we can reamp in there, or get super big drum sounds, or offer stage rehearsals with recording capabilities,” adds Demby. “There are a lot of bands that need more than what our other hourly rehearsal rooms can hold. Like the Balkan Beat Box are doing a show later this week, and needed a full stage to rehearse their live set, and it made more sense to put them over here in the End’s venue where there’s a full stage, a real PA and one of the owners, Brian Crowe, is a live sound engineer.”
In the meantime, Rough Magic has relocated its mic collection, select instruments and amps, and studio gear – including ORAM Octasonic, Vintech and BAEs, Neve 33609 and Universal Audio 610s – into the new studio, which is equipped with Pro Tools HD and C24 controller.
The move is a win-win for both The End and Rough Magic who are essentially joining forces in the process – pooling gear, instruments, space, expertise and, ultimately, clients.
GREATER NYC AREA: One month into 2012, and so many artists are back in the studio, hunkered down to work on some of this year’s most anticipated releases. Tracking this activity on the regular, we can confidently note that an even wider range of artists than usual – from Madonna to John Zorn, Machine Gun Kelly to Burt and Ernie, Cee-Lo Green to T. Bone Burnett – seem to be recording, mixing and mastering in NYC-area studios of late.
Jon Bon Jovi also hit Germano for writing and recording sessions with co-producer John Shanks and Dan Chase engineering. And singer/songwriter Marc Cohn – with producer/songwriter and Dobro master Jerry Douglas – recorded here in sessions produced by Russ Titelman and engineered by Kevin Porter.
Also at Germano…K’naan recorded with Nas and Chuck Harmony producing – Dave Rowland and Ryan West engineered the sessions; The-Dream recorded new material with Brian “B-Luv” Thomas engineering; Keri Hilson was working with The Phat Boiz and Ne-Yo producing, Kenta Yonesaka engineering; and songwriter/producer Sandy Vee was mixing for various projects.
Nearby at The Lodge, mastering engineers Emily Lazar, Joe LaPorta, Sarah Register and Heba Kadry have gotten off to a busy start in 2012. In recent sessions, The Lodge mastered…Garbage’s upcoming full-length Not Your Kind Of People – mixed by Butch Vig and Billy Bush; The Raveonettes’ new EP; Narada Michael Walden‘s new album “Thunder” – engineered and mixed by David Frazer and Jim Reitzel; two new singles by the Cold War Kids – mixed by Richard Swift – and Bear in Heaven’s anticipated new album I Love You, It’s Cool – produced and mixed by David Wrench.
The Lodge also handled remastering Indochine‘s “Paradize” album (Sony Music France) for a 10th Anniversary re-release, and mastering St. Lucia’s debut EP for Neon Gold; Light Asylum’s new album for Mexican Summer, and Nymph’s new record mixed by David Tolomei for The Social Registry.
Down in the Lower East Side at EastSide Sound, recent sessions engineered by Marc Urselli include: vocals and drum tracking for Martha Wainwright’s new Yuka Honda-produced album; two new John Zorn albums, one a trio featuring Bill Frisell; Sean Lennon recording an album with Kemp & Eden; David Krakauer recording and mixing his new album for Tzadik Records, as well as a recording for a movie soundtrack; and Japanese french horn player Yuko Yamamura with Taiko player Ryota Kataoka for a duo record of Japanese traditional music.
The new Jets Overhead record was mixed over at Flux Studios in the East Village. Producer/mixer Emery Dobyns mixed the album out of Flux’s freshly-appointed Revolution Room. Also at Flux, producer/mixer Fab Dupont recently finished mixing a new album from jazz saxophonist Bob Reynolds – produced by Mat Pierson, and featuring John Mayer.
Singer/songwriter Cris Cab and producers 88 Keys, Wyclef and Sedeck Jean have been working up at StadiumRed in Harlem, making Cab’s debut album for Mercury Records, and the just-released Echo Boom mixtape, presented by Billionaire Boys Club. StadiumRed engineer Joseph Pedulla worked alongside Cab and co. on these two projects – writing and recording in StadiumRed’s A, B and C4 rooms, with assistant engineers Keith Parry, Mike Kuzoian and Phil Consorti. In-house mastering engineer Ricardo Gutierrez also mastered the first single off Echo Boom, “Put In Work”.
Click to watch some studio footage from these sessions…
StadiumRed also hosted Cee Lo Green while he was in town preparing for his Super Bowl performance. The session included vocal tracking and mixing for his upcoming single. Graham Marsh engineered these sessions, with assistance from Keith Parry.
Meanwhile in Midtown, Sesame Street was invading Sear Sound! As part of a video shoot for Pool Worldwide from The Netherlands, produced by Tim Carter, Bert & Ernie got acquainted with Studio C and its custom Avalon/Sear console as well as Sear’s chief engineer Chris Allen. Jazz saxophonist Ravi Coltrane also paid a visit to Studio C, tracking and mixing his new album with Allen engineering, and Joe Lovano producing, and contributing tenor sax and his specially designed double sax.
Lovano also tracked and mixed his own album in Studio A for Blue Note Records, with James Farber engineering, and Ted Tuthill and Owen Mullholland assisting. In other recent Sear Sessions: Imani Wind Ensemble recorded with Silas Brown engineering, and bassoonist Monica Ellis producing; NYC-based producer Andrew Wyatt (of Swedish indie-pop band Miike Snow) has been working on Xander Duell’s new album; and Philip Glass tracked the score for a new documentary, BESA, with Christian Rutledge producing, Dan Bora engineering, and Trevor Gureckis conducting.
Sesame Street also took over KMA Music in the Brill Building, recording “Elmo’s Elf-a bet Challenge” in Studio A, with engineer by Serge Nudel. R&B singer Chrisette Michelle recorded “Get thru the Night” and “Kiss Kiss” at KMA with Serge Nudel engineering. Nudel also engineered tracking sessions with Amanda Cole for the track “More Than I Can Handle”.
In other recent KMA sessions… Yasiin Bey(Mos Def) has been tracking with Colin Norman engineering; Producer/engineer Emily Wright mixed an upcoming Owl City release; Roc Nation’s J. Cole tracked a new album with Mez Davis engineering; Mike Posner also did some tracking with engineer Mez Davis; Carole King cut vocals for her memoirs with Colin Norman engineering; and hit songwriter Claude Kelly and producer Chuck Harmony have working on new material with Ben Chang engineering.
In the midst of planning a large-scale renovation, Daddy’s House Recording Studios in Midtown has been busy tracking and mixing on records for Machine Gun Kelly – “Wild Boy”, mixed by Steve “Rockstar” Dickey; French Montana – “Shot Caller”, mixed by Matt Testa; and Red Café – “Let it Go” among other tracks, recorded and mixed by Steve “Rockstar” Dickey.
In addition Daddy’s House has reportedly hosted quite a bit of independent label work, and choir recording sessions. Once renovated, Daddy’s House will be re-launched as a commercial studio, but in the meantime this facility – with its SSL G-equipped and Neve VR 60-equipped studios, and writing room, is officially already open to the public.
Big film and television projects were underway at Avatar Studios – including songs recorded for the soundtrack of The Hunger Games for Lionsgate. Produced by T. Bone Burnett, and engineered by David Sinko – assisted by Bob Mallory – music for the film was tracked to tape in Studio A. Burnett has also been recording music for a new Coen Brothers film Inside Llewyn Davis at Avatar – co-produced by Burnett and the Coen’s, and engineered by Jason Wormer, with Mallory assisting.
And music for NBC’s new show Smash was recorded with producer Mark Shaiman and engineer Todd Whitelock, assisted by Charlie Kramsky.
And, in time for Super Bowl XLVI (as we reported yesterday), NYC-based composer Joel Beckerman brought his new theme for NBC’s NFL Show in to record with an orchestra in Avatar’s Studio A, with engineer Dennis Wall.
In pure music sessions at Avatar…Herbie Hancock recorded a piano duet with Lang Lang in with producer David Lai and engineer Kirk Yano, assisted by Tim Marchiafava. Esperanza Spalding also recorded with Hancock for the same project. Placido Domingo recorded duets with Bobby McFerrin and producer / engineer Rafa Sardina, as well as with Harry Connick, Jr. And Broadway cast albums for Bonnie & Clyde (producer David Lai, engineer Isaiah Abolin) and Once (producer Steven Epstein, engineer Richard King) were also recently recorded at Avatar.
Some of those singles mixed at Daddy’s House were mastered nearby at Masterdisk. Tony Dawsey (assisted by Tim Boyce) mastered Red Café’s “Let It Go” f. P Diddy, French Montana, Machine Gun Kelly’s “Wild Boy”, and French Montana “Shot Caller” f. P Diddy, Rick Ross – all for Bad Boy – as well as the Steve Sola-mixed single by DJ Absolut “Untouchable” f. Ace Hood, French Montana, Pusha T, Nathaniel, on Addicted For Life.
Meanwhile, Vlado Meller was mastering songs for the pilot episode of NBC’s Smash produced by Marc Shaiman and Scott Riesett, and mixed by Lawrence Manchester at Avatar. Meller will reportedly continue mastering songs for upcoming episodes, which will get released on iTunes. Meller also recently mastered Say Anything’s upcoming album, Anarchy, My Dear, produced by Brooklyn-based Tim O’Heir.
And Scott Hull mastered So Brown’s Bryce Goggin-produced album (from tape). Masterdisk also recently installed several Antelope Audio Isochrone Trinity Master Clock and 10M Rubidium Atomic Clock units in its mastering suites – reportedly “to maintain stereo imaging and the overall sonic integrity of projects passing through its studios. Additionally, Masterdisk is installing multiple Antelope Audio Zodiac D/A converters at listening stations throughout the facility for quality control purposes.
BROOKLYN, QUEENS & BEYOND
Let’s get started out at a quintessentially awesome Brooklyn spot – The Motherbrain, in Gowanus, where owner/producer/engineer Brian Bender’s tracked and/or mixed a few noteworthy records in the last couple months. First up in our report is… Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds’ latest, Pound Of Dirt. Bender produced, recorded and mixed this album for NYC’s Modern Vintage Recordings, with assistance from Jon Anderson. Bender also recently finished mixing Langhorne Slim’s upcoming album The Way We Move, which was recorded up at Old Soul Studios in the Catskills by Kenny Siegal.
And particularly notable is the latest by José James – No Beginning, No End. Produced by José James, Brian Bender and legendary bassist Pino Palladino, the album began with tracks recorded at The Magic Shop with Russ Elevado, and in London by songwriter/producer Fink, and continued with tracking at The Motherbrain, where Bender will also mix the record.
“We ended up doing the majority of the basics for the record here and Jose called in an amazing band: Grant Windsor, Richard Spaven, Pino Palladino, Emily King, Solomon Dorsey, Nate Smith, Kris Bowers and Nir Felder,” Bender described. “Pino was in town for D’Angelo rehearsals so he was splitting his days between this session and rehearsals uptown.
“The sessions were effortless. We were nearly two full days ahead of schedule the whole time. Also very exciting, this is the first record that I have been able to use the WSW to track with! Overheads and the suitcase Rhodes went through it. (Best rhodes sound ever!)”
Nearby at Bryce Goggin’s Trout Recording, David Sylvian and Joan As Policewoman’s Joan Wasser began work on a new record. Fred Cash and Parker Kindred were laying down the rhythms, with Bryce Goggin producing and Adam Sachs engineering. And Ches Smith & These Arches (Tim Berne, Tony Malaby, Andrea Parkins and Mary Halvorson) also began cutting a new album at Trout, with Shahzad Ismaily producing and Goggin engineering.
Another cool NYC percussion-based ensemble Loop 2.4.3. – founded by Clogs’ percussionist Thomas Kozumplik (The National, The Books) – has been tracking a new project at GödelString in Park Slope with engineer Joel Hamburger.
According to Hamburger, the Loop 2.4.3. album, called American Dreamland, came together via somewhat experimental sessions in the studio. “It was a bit of an unusual hybrid process for this type of avant-classical music. It allowed me to work with a mixture of in-the-box and outboard gear to sculpt the sound.”
Hamburger, who recorded and mixed the album, also noted: “What was extra exciting was the extremely wide variety of musicians/styles who came together to make an organic whole. This album expanded on territory the duo was exploring through their previous album, which I also mixed.”
The album will feature vocals by Shara Worden of My Brightest Diamond, and Scott Bearden, Jon Catler, of La Monte Young and Forever Bad Blues Band on electric guitar, and Todd Reynolds, of Bang on a Can All Stars and Ethel, on violin.
Over in DUMBO, Joe Lambert mastered the new Ben Allen-produced Reptar album, Body Faucet for Vagrant Records, due out this Spring. Lambert also mastered Reptar’s EP “Oblangle Fizz Y’all” last year. Frenchkiss artist Young Man also mastered his upcoming album, Volume One, at Joe Lambert Mastering.
Other recent sessions at the Rare Book Room include…Matthew Dear’s new EP Headcage and forthcoming LP for Ghostly International which Verhes is mixing; Bowerbirds’ next LP for Dead Oceans The Clearing, mixed by Vernhes (first single out via Pitchfork); Exitmusic’s upcoming LP, This Is Not A Dream for Secretly Canadian on which Vernhes mixed and lent additional production; and Daniel Rossen of Grizzly Bear’s solo EP Silent Hour/Golden Mile for Warp (first single “Saint Nothing” via Stereogum).
In Williamsburg…indie-pop songstress Ingrid Michaelson recorded a cover of Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used To Know” at Grand Street Recording, with bandmate Chris Kuffner producing and mixing, and Bobby Mosier engineering the recording session. Kuffner also produced sessions at Grand Street with singer/songwriter Allison Weiss – recording for her new album with drummer Zach Jones.
In other Grand Street sessions news…Pop singer Charlene Kaye was finishing up her upcoming record, Animal Love, with producer Tomek Miernowski – including tracking a string quartet featuring Dave Eggar on cello, Whitney LaGrange on viola, and Coco Taguchi and Jonathan Dinklage on violin, with arrangements by Andrew Sherman. And indie-folk band The Hollows recorded basics for their upcoming EP, with Miernowski engineering and Grahm Galatro producing.
Blocks away, Raekwon was at The Brewery putting final touches on some tracks for his mixtape Unexpected Victory, with engineer Andrew Krivonos. The Brewery hosted tracking and mixing sessions for this release in 2011 – Raekwon even named a song after the studio.
And hip-hop artist Rilgood made his debut JFK at The Brewery, with producers Woodro Skillson and RC Bankwell, with Krivonos engineering. The 11-track album, which Krivonos notes “is one of the most exciting hip-hop projects I’ve worked on in a while merging dance and pop elements,” is due out later in February.
At the newly opened Greenpoint music complex, The End, Brooklyn-based trio Monogold has been recording a new album with Chris Boosahda. In other recent sessions at The End, Television Personalities tracked a new song, with James Richardson of MGMT, and Ron Johnson from the Warren Haynes Band was also at The End working on new projects.
Cohen has also been working with Talib Kweli, and recently started using a new mic on the Blacksmith recording artist, for his soon to be released LP, Prisoner of Conscience, on EMI. Two new songs have also been tracked with Yasiin Bey (Mos Def) on the new Blackstar collaboration. Yasiin reportedly brings his own Shure Super 55.
And Joe Moose Demby recorded the new Creative Arson project with Angie Pontani at Rough Magic. The Valentine’s Day released podcast will feature filmaker Suki Hawley, fashion designer Garo Sparo and comedian Murray Hill
Singer/songwriter DM Stith has been working on a new album at The Buddy Project in Astoria, with the new music ensemble Ymusic accompanying, and Kieran Kelly producing/engineering. Kelly has also been working with singer/songwriter Shawn Walsh on an upcoming release.
Houston-born alt-rock band American Fangs migrated out east to Long Island where they’re recording a full-length album with producers Mike Watts and Steve Haigler at Vudu Studios. Located out in Port Jefferson, Vudu has two seriously equipped studios and a nice big live room, and is home base to Watts (As Tall As Lions, The Dear Hunter, Saliva) and Haigler (The Pixies’ Doolittle, Trompe Le Monde, etc., Brand New).
And not as far out east, there’s Cove City Sound Studios, where Dream Theater recorded their Grammy-nominated album A Dramatic Turn of Events. The album was produced by John Petrucci and engineered by Paul Northfield (assisted by Joe Maniscalero) for Roadrunner Records. Writing, recording, and rough mixing went down at Cove City.
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 email@example.com.
GREATER NYC AREA: Tons of sessions happening around the city this Fall. Among the many, we find Black Star back at it out in Greenpoint, Department of Eagles recording in Astoria, Jukebox The Ghost in Park Slope, Oberhofer and Steve Lillywhite in Williamsburg, Spacehog in Gowanus, and OneRepublic making a new record in Manhattan. Read on and get up with what’s happening in studios all around town.
Starting smack in the middle of Times Square, producer Salaam Remi has been working with Jennifer Hudson on music for a new commercial out of Quad Studios. Meanwhile, Sean Paul has been working on new songs at Quad for an upcoming album, as has Atlanta MC Future, who recently signed with Epic Records. Producer Rico Beats has been working out of Quad as well, with various writers. Quad’s Q1 and the Q Lounge has been a listening session hotspot, hosting recent events for Young Jeezy and Mac Miller, and serving as the location for MTV’s Sucker Free Countdown with DJ Envy.
In Chelsea, BMI and composer Rick Baitz held a string arranging workshop with the string quartet Ethel and several string arrangers at Shelter Island Sound. Nona Hendryx and band were tracking at Shelter Island, with Richard Barone producing for a new album for Tracy Stark – featuring drummer Trevor Gale and guitarist Ronnie Drayton. Steve Addabbo tracked and mixed. James Farber mixed jazz singer Alma Micic’s new album, and Ian McDonald of King Crimson fame was in tracking with Steve Holley on drums.
Addabbo also recently finished a 5.1 mix for the Robby Romero long-form music video “Who’s Gonna Save You” (a song co-written by Addabbo), which premiered at the American Indian Film Festival. The film will be featured and officially released November 28 at The UNEP Conference in Durban, South Africa.
Downtown, OneRepublic has been recording their new album in Germano Studios, with singer/songwriter Ryan Tedder producing and Kevin Porter engineering. In other recent sessions at Germano: Fabian Marasciullo has been mixing T-Pain‘s new album; Isabella Summers aka Isa Machine (from Florence & the Machine) has been producing NYC-based artist/songwriter L.P., and working on her own solo project, with Kenta Yonesaka engineering; Asher Roth recorded vocals, with Oren Yoel producing, and Porter engineering; CJ Holland has been writing/recording with Swizz Beatz, and Kenny Lloyd engineering; Alicia Keys has been recording with Ann Mincieli engineering; and Sandy Vee returned for more writing sessions, and recording and mixing sessions with Jesse McCartney.
Just up the block, The Lodge’s Emily Lazar, Joe LaPorta, Sarah Register and Heba Kadry have been super busy this last month, mastering Garbage’s cover of U2′s “Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses” for Q Magazine’s AHK-toong BAY-bi Covered, the new Shiny Toy Guns album mixed by Tony Maserati, Arcade Fire’s “Sprawl II” Remix by Damian Taylor, Delta Spirit’s new album produced by Chris Coady and mixed by Tchad Blake, Daniel Bedingfield’s latest, Maya Postepski’s (of Austra) side project TRST – mixed by Damian Taylor – and an album by Tender Mercies, a 20-year-project by David Bryson and Dan Vickery of The Counting Crows.
The Lodge has also mastered recent releases by Brand New (Your Favorite Weapon reissue), Dion DiMucci, Harts, Future Islands, Frankie Rose and Porcelain Raft.
Further downtown, at Engine Room Audio in the Financial District, Soulja Boy and Waka Flocka recorded in the Penthouse Studio (equipped with an SSL 4064G+) with Ben Lindell engineering, and Chris Albers assisting.
And Mark Christensen mastered two new mixtapes for Trey Songz (Atlantic Records) – LemmeHoldDatBeat 2 and Anticipation 2 – and his Inevitable EP – as well as albums for Brooklyn band The Color Bars and UK indie rockers Tiger Shadow, Lloyd Banks‘ Cold Corner – also mixed by Albers at Engine Room – and War Music by Dr. Dre protégé Slim The Mobster.
Over in Queens, Department of Eagles’ Fred Nicolaus and Christopher Bear (Grizzly Bear) recently recorded drums and piano for an upcoming release with Kieran Kelly at The Buddy Project. Pianos for singer/songwriter Kyle Patrick’s new EP were also recently recorded at The Buddy Project, with producers Ben Romans and Jarrad Scharff, and Kelly engineering.
And in Gowanus, Brooklyn – Lady Lamb the Beekeeper has been recording at Let Em In Music with Nadim Issa. Aly Paltro aka Lady Lamb recorded this cover of Bob Dylan’s “All I Really Want to Do” for Brooklyn Based. According to Issa, Paltro liked Cher’s cover of the song, recorded in the 60s with Sonny Bono producing and “as such, we went for a really roomy sound with the whole band playing live in a room. A huge part of the mix is actually my two room mics, which were set up in MS.” Next up, Issa will work on the Lady Lamb full-length.
Nearby at Bryce Goggins’ Trout Recording, sessions for the new Martha Wainright were underway. Goggin, assisted by Adam Sachs, recorded drums for three songs as well as some vocals and electric guitar, with Wainwright, Yuka Honda and drummer Yuko Akari. Goggin also recently mixed a song for Marco Benevento. And Adam Sachs recently engineered a recording session with Space Hog at Trout. The band recorded three basic tracks live while being filmed for an upcoming video release. There were no overdubs, and Sachs also mixed one of the songs in the following week.
Out in Park Slope, Dan Romer has been recording, producing and mixing Jukebox The Ghost’s next record at his studios. And fellow-Rocket Music producer Mark Saunders has been writing/producing and mixing Amalie Bruuns’ next EP at BEAT360 Studios in Manhattan.
In Williamsburg, Brooklyn-based duo Little Silver recently tracked songs for a new EP at Fluxivity Recording, using the studio’s Neumann tube mics (U67, U47, M49) in the recording sessions, engineered by Gary Maurer. Also at Fluxivity, composer Gordon Minette and engineer Matt Shane mixed an album of Christmas songs – Under The Holiday Star – for Stella Artois via Human Worldwide. And music educator, songwriter and professional bassist Mariana Iranzi visited New York from Boston to record a 12-song children’s record, Hola Hello. A four-piece band recorded the songs live at Fluxivity, with producer Billy Herron and engineer Jeremy Loucas, assisted by Ed Mcentee.
Meanwhile, Brooklyn band Oberhofer has been recording their new full-length album for Glassnote out of Mission Sound in Williamsburg, with Steve Lillywhite producing. Also at Mission, NYC-based blues guitarist Dave Fields is in with producer David Z cutting tracks for his upcoming release, and the Cassette Kids are back to cut tracks with engineer Oliver Straus.
Nearby at 3 Egg Studios in Williamsburg, engineer Brian Penny has been working with I’ve started working with drummer Charlie Zeleny on some upcoming projects. To kick things, Penny reports, Zeleny decided “to play a drum solo in one take up all 6 stories of the 3 Egg building, involving more then 80 drums, 100 cymbals, 90 microphones, and four Pro Tools rigs. Video to come!
Meanwhile, Suckers have been recording their latest album at Vacation Island in Williamsburg, with Matt Boynton producing. And going back over the past month or so, Vacation Island has been destination to a number of cool sessions, including Marnie Stern and Justin Pizzoferrato tracking some new music, Christina Files mixing Talk Normal, Free Blood finishing up tracking and beginning to mix their upcoming release with Boynton, as well as mixing sessions with Lucy Michelle.
Also out of Brooklyn, Joe Lambert Mastering in DUMBO has been the final location of production on a couple anticipated new records. First, Lambert recently mastered Sharon Van Etten‘s new album – for CD and vinyl – produced by Aaron Dessner of The National for Jagjaguwar Records. According to Pitchfork, the album was recorded in Dessner’s own studio and features performances by Beirut’s Zach Condon, Julianna Barwick, Wye Oak’s Jenn Wasner, the Walkmen’s Matt Barrick, and Thomas Bartlett of Doveman.
And Lambert has also mastered the new School of Seven Bells full-length, Ghostory, produced by Ben Curtis for Vagrant Records. Other albums mastered out of JLM include Peter Salett‘s new EP and the Don Byron New Gospel Quintet‘s Love, Peace, and Soul, produced by Hanz Wendl for Nottuskegeelike Music
And recently out of Rough Magic Studios in Greenpoint…Blacksmith artist Idle Warship (Talib Kweli and Res) released Habits of the Heart – largely recorded by Rough Magic chief engineer Alby Cohen. Kweli came back to Rough Magic recently to record two new tracks with Yasiin Bey (Mos Def), for their Black Star project. The first new, Madlib-produced single “Look Sharp” debuted on The Colbert Report. Cohen engineered those sessions, assisted by Chris Pummill and Aaron Mason.
Up in Yonkers…at Oktaven Audio, engineer Ryan Streber has been recording, editing and mixing new works by flutist Claire Chase, and composer Reiko Fueting – both for New Focus Recordings – the debut album by new music ensemble, counter)induction, for New Dynamic Records, and pianist Max Barros‘ recording of the complete piano music of composer M.Camargo Guarnieri for Concert Artists Guild.
Oktaven and Streber also hosted recording sessions for new works by composers Vivian Fung, Ryan Francis, and Jakub Ciupinski, pianist/composer Michael Brown, and a film score by composer Gil Talmi and Konsonant Music for a documentary feature. Streber also engineered tracking sessions on location at the Academy of Arts and Letters on 155th Street, with the Talea Ensemble for an upcoming CD of music by composer Anthony Cheung.
Down from there to Avatar Studios…the legendary Studio A has been hosting some big sessions, including the cast album for Follies – featuring the largest orchestra on Broadway with Bernadette Peters and Elaine Page – recorded with producer Tommy Krasker, and engineer Bart Migal assisted by Bob Mallory and Tim Marchiafava. The Morehouse College Glee Club was also recorded in Studio A – for Spike Lee’s upcoming film Red Hook Summer – by Jonathan Duckett, assisted by Charlie Kramsky. And America’s Got Talent star Jackie Evancho recorded with an orchestra for her holiday release Heavenly Christmas, with producer Rob Mounsey and engineer Lawrence Manchester.
The orchestral film score for So Undercover was also tracked in Studio A with composer / producer Stephen Trask and engineer Greg Hayes. Additional recordings were done in Studio B and the 5.1 mix was done in Studio G with engineer Tim O’Hare.
And on the album recording front, Ingrid Michaelson recorded in Studio A with producer David Kahne and engineer Robert Smith; Billy Ocean recorded with producer Barry Eastmond and engineer Anthony Ruotolo; Joe Jackson mixed an upcoming release with engineer Elliot Scheiner, assisted by Aki Nishimura; and Adam Lambert recorded with producer Nile Rodgers, and engineer Rich Hilton.
Also in Midtown, Area 51 NYC Studios has been abuzz of late, with Talib Kweli also logging time on numerous projects, with engineer Michelle Figueroa and John Lurie. Jive/RCA artist Jacob Latimore has been tracking at Area 51 with producer Chris Jackson and engineer Alberto Vaccarino. And R&B artist Deborah Cox was also recently in to work with producer Devo Springfield, and Figeuroa engineering. Interscope artists Far East Movement were also in working with engineer Jay Stevenson.
In the Brill Building at KMA Music, EMI writer/producers Twice as Nice have been holed up in sessions with Pete Wentz and Bebe Rexha of Black Cards, August Rigo, Neon Hitch, Andrea Martin, Elle King and James Bourne in Studio B, with Serge Nudel engineering. KMA also hosted CNN interviews with both Peter Gabriel, and R.E.M.
In other KMA sessions…Neyo recorded vocals for the upcoming T-Pain album, with Ben Chang engineering, Unique has been recording and mixing his new album, with production by Chuck Harmony and Claude Kelly, and Chang engineering. That same team — Chuck, Claude and Ben — also worked with Jade Alston on an upcoming release, and with Sony artist, Karmen, and Universal artist, CJ Holland. A$AP Rocky finished up his album at KMA, with Pat Viala, and Roc Nation’s J. Cole recorded and mixed his most recent album at KMA, with Juro “Mez” Davis engineering.
Across the Hudson in Hoboken, Caligula – a hard rock band featuring Erik Paparozzi of Cat Power and Bambi Kino – have been working on a record out of Nuthouse Recording, with Tom Beaujour mixing. Beaujour has also been finishing up a new track with Doug Gillard of Guided by Voices.
And new to “Session Buzz” is a private facility we recently came across called Newkirk Studios – home base to producer/engineer Ben Rice, in one of those awesome landmark houses in Ditmas Park, Brooklyn. There, Rice has recently held sessions with the band Blackbells, who tracked and mixed a song for Surfrider, and The Wicked Tomorrow whose EP Rice is mixing. He also tracked and mixed a full-length “pop rock” album for Nocera (“Summertime, Summertime”) out of Newkirk, with bassist/producer Antar Goodwin, Reni Lane and Gian Stone.
Finally, and as previously reported…the members of Vampire Weekend were at Excello Recording in Williamsburg writing and recording material for their next release, tracking to tape with Ethan Donaldson and Nathan Rosborough. Engineer/producer Chris Shaw was also Excello working with the group Nick Casey – which is Nicholas Webber and Casey Spindler with the rhythm section of Dan Rieser and Tim Luntzel. This crew tracked between 20-30 songs over just two days. Also at Excello, engineer/producer Scott Solter recorded cellist Erik Friedlander‘s latest solo project, and mixer/engineer Hector Castillo recorded with singer Sophie Auster and singer/songwriter Clarence Bucaro, and recorded the soundtrack for the film, La Camioneta, with composer Todd Griffin.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rough Magic Studios, a music rehearsal and recording studio in Greenpoint, hosted sessions on a number of recent releases, including DeVotchKa’s Spring release, 100 Lovers for Anti- Records. All percussion tracks for the album were recorded at Rough Magic by engineer/producer Alby Cohen.
Rough Magic friends the Fyre Dept. produced the track “The Grand Illusion (Circa 1973)” on Pharoahe Monch’s recently released album, W.A.R. (We Are Renegades), just out via Duck Down Records. The track was recorded at Rough Magic – Cohen sang background vocals. Mike Gibney mixed the song.
Cohen also recently produced an EP for The Kobolds, EP II, and tracked and mixed an album for Mel Flannery.
In other news, Rough Magic currently has two rooms available for rent to producers and engineers who are looking for a pre-production room that is also wired into our control room. Please contact the studio if you would like to take a look at the room.
And the studio welcomes a group of new staff members to its team — Joe Demby, former Chung King manager, is now managing Rough Magic, and Chris Pummill and Aaron Mason have come on board as assistant engineers.
Visit the studio at www.roughmagicstudios.com.
CHELSEA, MANHATTAN: Last week, in-demand NYC freelance engineer Ari Raskin (Whitney Houston, Wyclef Jean, Meshell N’Degeocello, Black Eyed Peas, Kanye West, J.Dilla and Illa J – Yancey Boys, and Justin Timberlake) let us in on five of his top studios in the city. Now, he clues us in to four more local options for capturing supreme sound.
Rough Magic Studios; Greenpoint, BKLYN
Every once in a while someone convinces me to step outside my usual 1-mile radius and travel into Brooklyn to do a session here. It’s a couple of nice rehearsal spaces/live rooms combined with a couple of real chill control rooms. It’s run by the musicians who rent the space, and it has a much different vibe than a typical studio.
They don’t seem to be interested in making big profits; it’s more just a spot to get some vocals tracked, or jam and record your band for not a ton of money and without having to leave Brooklyn. Fun vibe there.
Avatar Studios A, B, C; Hell’s Kitchen
I would assume most readers already know about this place (and most of these places I’ve mentioned). It’s one of only a few studios actually still capable of everything that would have been normal 10 or 20 years ago. If you want to use 2″, it won’t be a disaster (it will be almost everywhere else in the city). Big board mixes with lots of gear – not an issue. Huge tracking sessions with 15 tube mics and 10 private cues – happens regularly.
The assistants are probably better engineers technically than 95% of the music engineers working in NYC. They own almost every classic piece of gear, multiples of most, AND working properly. They have a large VR in Studio C, not easy to come by lately — no one cares anymore but me! I like Neve VR’s, they have balls. Back in the 90′s, when albums sounded good, a lot of stuff was mixed on VR’s. Their vintage Neve in Studio A works quite well for its age. And the main plus — the live rooms in A, B, and C are all incredible-sounding.
My recent sessions there include Erin Barra, Rich Hil. I recommend it for rock bands, jazz bands, scoring and orchestral sessions, overdubs of instruments or vocals — anything you’d want tube mics, Neve pres, and a serious live room for. In other words, for when making an enjoyable-sounding record is the goal.
MSR Studios, Studio A; Times Square
This is another real well-known room. MSR is the only studio I can think of left in NYC that’s actually capable of EVERYTHING. Remember when it was a standard for every major studio to have 2 Blackface 1176′s, 2 LA-2A’s, a DMX, an RMX, a plate, a 165, a pair of 160vu’s, a 480L, an SPX 90…? This is the only place I know of that still has these tools as well also having top notch monitoring and comfortable control rooms.
Some studios have gear but don’t have comfort, or good room tuning. Other studios have comfort but the gear is minimal. MSR actually has everything, and a good staff to set it up properly. The mic collection is huge too. They have A827′s. Studio A’s live room is huge with lots of isos and nice high ceilings, and the piano is no joke either. The control room sounds great too. Studio C’s control room mains are BANGIN’, and the lounge in Studio C is probably the nicest lounge in NYC — not the first consideration, but it reminds me of the level of service you’d get at Hit Factory or Sony back before they closed.
My recent sessions there include Claude Kelly, Wyclef Jean, Dayme. Recommended for pretty much anyone and everyone, from rock or jazz bands to songwriters to mixers, to film crews. Though for those who don’t want to, or can’t, spend the money to make a record “the right way” or just don’t need anything so extravagant – MSR might not be the first choice.
Robin Thicke‘s temporary home studio; SoHo
Last fall Robin’s manager called me saying Robin was going to be in New York for a few weeks and wanted me to track instruments and vocals at a loft apartment he was renting at the time. Between Robin, his producer ProJay and myself, we put together a list of stuff we needed and gave it to Jim Flynn (they also were wise enough to throw in some forgotten necessities).
Robin wanted to write and get ideas, but of course a bunch of what we’d record would end up being final, and Robin likes to do things right (as long as it’s quick). He understands the importance of good gear, so we rented four 1073′s, a CL 1B, an ELAM, an HD-3 rig, a Big Knob, another headphone amp, a few pairs of 7506′s, a Motif xs8, some DI’s, and me and ProJay brought in some of our own mics and other gear.
The apartment was one of those huge SoHo lofts with high ceilings, so it was quite ambient, which Robin was cool with and wanted all over the recording. This idea of putting a temporary but pro studio together worked out well, saved money in comparison to booking an equivalent studio, and it allowed the artist to literally roll out of bed, tell me to hit record, and kick me out 16 hours later when he was ready to go to sleep.
The vibe of the sessions was good too; we recorded all types of songs, all types of instruments, and never touched AutoTune. It was a great idea looking back on it, and I figured I should bring it up for this article as it’s just another example of being a traveling freelance engineer.
Rough Magic Studios — a recording studio, rehearsal space and production facility located in the Pencil Factory building in Greenpoint — recently hosted recording sessions with Talib Kweli, The Sunday Flies and LA-based psych-folk band, Pepper Rabbit.
Kweli returned to Rough Magic to do some tracking for his own project, as well as for the upcoming Fyre Dept mix tape. Fyre Dept (50 Cent, Talib Kweli w/ Justin Timberlake) is the production team of longtime Rough Magic clients Adam Deitch (Wyclef Jean, John Scofield Band) and Eric Krasno (Soulive). Among other projects, Fyre Dept recorded with Verve artist Ledisi for her Grammy-nominated ’09 record, Turn Me Loose, at Rough Magic.
LA-based psych-folk band, Pepper Rabbit recorded the new single “Older Brother” at Rough Magic. The track was recently released in advance of their upcoming Kanine album Beauregard. Listen HERE.
The Sunday Flies recorded their fourth release and first full-length album, Lantern on the Sun, at Rough Magic Studios with producer/bassist Jon Stern, mixing with Mike Gibney and mastering engineer Paul Gold. Gold’s Salt Mastering is located in the same building.
Other recent sessions include The Melvin Sparks Band, who recorded three new tracks, and Dave Lott recording and mixing his recently-released solo EP, “The Gates of Brooklyn,” with producer/engineer Alby Cohen.
For more on Rough Magic Studios, visit them online at www.roughmagicstudios.com.