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

February 20, 2013 by  

GREATER NYC AREA: New works by David Bowie, Vampire Weekend, She & Him, Azealia Banks, John Scofield, Common and more have been in production all over the city – in the studios highlighted below. Where’s everyone recording? And who’s working with who? Here is our neighborhood-by-neighborhood guide to recent NYC studio sessions…

First up, Sound City director Dave Grohl brought his Sound City: Reel to Real soundtrack to The Lodge to be mastered by Emily Lazar and Joe LaPorta.

Butch Vig, Joe LaPorta, Dave Grohl and Emily Lazar during Real to Reel mastering sessions. (Photo credit: Jim Sullos)

Mixed by Brooklyn-based engineer James Brown, the album was recorded on the legendary Sound City Neve 8028 at Grohl’s studio and features the various performances captured for the film, including Stevie Nicks, Trent Reznor, Josh Homme and Paul McCartney. The album comes out on Roswell Records on March 12 – pre-order it on iTunes and download the first single, “Cut Me Some Slack” (featuring McCartney).

Also at The Lodge, Vampire Weekend mastered their anticipated new album Modern Vampires of the City – produced by Rostam Batmanglij and Ariel Rechtshaid – with Lazar and LaPorta. The record is due out May 7 on XL Recordings. Superstar DJ Armin van Buuren returned to The Lodge to master his new album for Armada Records. The album was produced by Armin van Buuren and Benno de Goeij and mastered by Lazar and LaPorta. And finally, LaPorta recently mastered the new Cold War Kids album, Dear Miss Lonelyhearts – produced by Lars Stalfors and Dann Galluci and due out April 2 on Downtown Records.

Nearby at SweetSounds, indie folk ensemble Miko and the Musket tracked a new EP in the Crosby Room – Brad Fisher produced and engineered, assisted by Josh Giunta and James Gill. The band tracked through the Neve 5088 console over a five-day session that SweetSounds owner Dinesh Boaz calls “epic and awesome.”

“To create a very big sounding record, six different room mics were employed at different times as well as an SPL Transient Designer to customize the sense of space on the drums,” says Boaz. “Acoustic, electric guitars, bass, and vocals on six songs were also recorded, comped, and prepared for mix.  The last day ran for 16 hours straight, where vocals, guitar, re-amps, and bass were recorded for 3 of the songs without break.”

Tony Visconti, David Bowie and Brian Thorne at The Magic Shop. Photo by Kabir Hermon.

Another epic session wrapped recently at The Magic Shop (as we previously reported) – David Bowie’s new album, The Next Day, had been in production there for two years, with Tony Visconti producing, Mario McNulty engineering and Brian Thorne assisting. The album, Bowie’s first in a decade, comes out in March.

In other Magic Shop sessions… She & Him tracked and mixed their new album, Vol. 3, with producer/engineer Tom Shick, assisted by Kabir Hermon…studio owner Steve Rosenthal and staff engineer Ted Young worked with Sony Legacy’s Rob Santos on the upcoming Elvis record Aloha from Hawaii via Satellite: Legacy Edition, mixing the dress rehearsal from the original multitrack tapes… Kurt Vile‘s upcoming release Wakin On Pretty Daze was produced and mixed by John Agnello with Ted Young… Engineer/producer Alex Newport tracked Grandfather‘s upcoming release In Human Form… Lloyd Cole recorded for his new album with engineer Geoff Sanoff… and Lily and the Parlour Tricks recorded for an upcoming EP with producer Wilson Brown, and Young engineering.

With the departure of mastering engineer Warren Russell-Smith for Los Angeles, mastering engineer Jessica Thompson is now working out of the Blue Room while Sean Gavigan, Doug Bleek and Matt Zedolik continue restoration work out of the Red Room. Thompson recently mastered Balkan Arts Series - a collection of 1960-1970s field recordings of traditional folk dances, restored from vinyl - The Lake Reflections, an album of genre-defying piano improvisations by Boyd Lee Dunlop, produced/engineered by Allen Farmelo; and a new record of Irish tunes for Chris Byrne‘s (Black 47) new band The Lost Tribe of Donegal.

Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite

Next, up to Avatar Studios, where singer/songwriter Jonatha Brooke has been recording an upcoming project in multiple rooms with co-producer Patrick Rains and Roy Hendrickson engineering, and where Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite have been recording new material with producer Dave Einstein, and engineer Anthony Ruotolo.

Also at Avatar… Cirque du Soleil mixed their Zarkana cast album in Studio A with producer Nick Littlemore, and engineer Roy Hendrickson assisted by Mike Bauer…MTV shot live performances for their Artists to Watch series with Gold Fields and Hunter Hayes – produced by Dan Weissman and Allyssa Agro with engineer Ryan Jones assisted by Bob Mallory…the Wayne Shorter Quartet and the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra recorded together in Studio A with producer Rob Griffin and engineer Todd Whitelock… up-and-coming band Basic Vacation recorded with producer David Kahne, and Hendrickson at the controls…And fresh off his performance at the Grammy Awards, Kenny Garrett recorded with co-producer Al Pryor and engineer Joe Ferla.

Also worth noting, 10 Grammy Award winning records (and 21 nominees) were recorded at Avatar (Paul McCartney, Anita Baker, Chick Corea, etc.). Check out the full list here.

A few blocks away at Sear Sound…Phil Ramone produced tracks for a new Broadway Show, I Will, I Can – based on Sammy Davis, Jr.’s autobiography – with Frank Filipetti engineering on the Avalon/Sear custom board; and actor and singer/songwriter Jesse Lenat recorded new material with engineer Chris Allen and producer Loren Toolajian for Sandblast Productions.

As usual, Sear hosted a number of jazz sessions, including pianist Gerald Clayton tracking a new album on the Neve 8038 with Ted Tuthill engineering and Ben Wendel producing… Sophie Millman recording with producer Matt Pierson and engineer Chris Allen…John Scofield recording his latest with engineer James Farber…and Kris Bowers tracking a new album with producer Chris Dunn and Allen engineering. Finally, Ten Dragon Films was at Sear tracking a score for their documentary, In The Magic of the Green Mountains – Allen engineered with Micah Burgess producing – and the “Flamenco Queen”, Buika, returned to Sear to mix her new album with Tuthill engineering and Eli Wolf producing for Warner Bros. Spain.

Azealia Banks

Back downtown at Germano Studios, Joan Jett & The Blackhearts were back to record more material for an upcoming album with Kenny Laguna and Jett producing, and Thom Panunzio and Kenta Yonesaka engineering.

And in other recent sessions at Germano…Harlem-bred rap ingénue Azealia Banks recorded vocals for a new record with Ric McRae producing and engineering…John Legend recorded and mixed for his upcoming record with Dave Tozer producing and Jason Agel engineering…French hip-hop band IAM recorded and mixed their new album with Prince Charles Alexander mixing (and Dave Rowland recording)… Passion Pit recorded and shot video with Dillon Francis producing…Isa “Machine” Summers recorded piano for the artist LP with Yonesaka engineering …and Japanese artist AK recorded and mixed with Yonesaka again at the controls.

Back up in Times Square at Premier Studios NY, Justin Bieber was working on some new music with his longtime guitarist Dan Kanter – Ari Raskin engineered the sessions with Oscar Lindquist assisting.

Meanwhile, Roc Nation artist/producer J. Cole has been working out of Premier Studio B, with Mez on the controls; G-Unit rapper Kidd Kidd was in tracking with Premier engineer Kevin Geigel; the whole Pro Era crew (Joey Bada$$, etc.) has been locked into Studio F working on upcoming albums and mixtapes with Big K.R.I.T., Smoke DZA, A$AP Rocky, Sha Money XL and many more; Shontelle was in Studio E working on new material with songwriter Corey “Chorus” Gibson, producer Reo and Angelo Payne engineering; and Trey Songz was back in the studio working on new material with Premier engineer Anthony Daniel.

Masterdisk finished some pretty major albums of late, including the 2-disc vinyl set of the aforementioned Bowie album, The Next Day, for Columbia Records. Alex DeTurk was the cutting engineer. CoCoRosie brought their new Valgeir Sigurðsson-produced album, Tales of the Grass Widow to be mastered by Scott Hull for City Slang Records. French Montana’s new single, “Freaks” (feat. Nicki Minaj) was mastered by Tony Dawsey, and assisted by Tim Boyce. The track was produced by Rico Love.

Vlado Meller mastered Harry Connick, Jr.’s new album Smokey Mary, produced/mixed by Tracey Freeman for Columbia Records. Meller was assisted by Mark Santangelo. And Randy Merrill mastered the new Jangeun “JB” Bae record, mixed by Aaron Nevezie at The Bunker in Brooklyn for Inner Circle Music / Gimbab Records.


Some heavy hip-hop production sessions have gone down at The Brewery in Williamsburg recently: For one, producer Dot Da Genius linked up with the producer 88 Keys and Common to work on new material. Dot has also been in the studio working with Def Jam artist Logic.

Dot Da Genius, Common and 88 Keys at The Brewery

Meanwhile, Dot’s partner in The Brewery, engineer/mixer Andrew Krivonos has been working with Las Vegas-based hip-hop artist Sean Rose – splitting time between Brooklyn and L.A. and “rocking the Brewery’s completely upgraded Pro Tools rig.”

Krivonos has also been engineering sessions at The Brewery with Universal’s recent hip-hop signing, Mr. MFN eXquire, with Bryan Lampe mixing; and has been tracking drums/bass/guitar and vocals for the hip-hop band Downbeat Keys’ upcoming EP, Memory Chrome – taking advantage of the re-worked acoustics in The Brewery’s new live room. And songwriter Corey Chorus and the Philly Phatboi’s were at the Brewery working with Krivonos on some records for the Columbia artist, RaVaughn.

Mastering engineer Drew Lavyne, who blogged about the loss of his Breezy Point studio in Hurricane Sandy, has been cranking on projects out of his new studio in Bay Ridge. The first two albums he mastered, in fact, were back-to-back #1 records: Kim Walker-Smith‘s album Still Believe made #1 on the iTunes Christian and Gospel Chart (and hit #4 on the iTunes Top Albums) and Jesus Culture’s album Live From New York with Martin Smith hit #1 on the iTunes Christian and Gospel Chart.

Other recent projects since Lavyne re-located his A.L.L. Digital include mastering for Exile Parade, Cari Fletcher, Arianna feat. Pitbull, Walk The Moon, Two Door Cinema Club, and Antigone Rising.

Over at GalumniumFoil in Williamsburg, producer/engineer and guitarist Jeff Berner was working on a bunch of records, including producing/engineering Naam’s second full-length LP for TeePee Records; engineering and playing on Psychic TV‘s new limited edition vinyl-only release, Silver Sundown Machine/Alien Lightning Meat Machine for Vanity Case Records; producing/mixing and playing on Heliotropes‘ debut full-length for Manimal Vinyl/Frenchkiss Records, due out in the spring; tracking basics for Dead Stars‘ new EP, live to tape; and engineering and mixing The Glorious Veins‘ new LP, Savage Beat.

Brooklyn psych-rock band Naam

Berner also recently produced and engineered Man The Change‘s upcoming “Faded” and “Defeated EP’s for Hooked On Records and new songs for Tatiana Kochkareva’s forthcoming album.

All records were tracked to GaluminumFoil’s 32-channel Neotek Elan console, using their Sony/MCI JH-24 2″ tape machine – with a good majority of them mastered by Alex DeTurk at Masterdisk. (Why?, says Berner, because he’s awesome.)

Nearby at The Fort in Bushwick, producer/engineer James Bentley has been working on a few albums – most recently he’s been tracking and mixed an LP for surf-punk band, Trash Tide; wrappingup overdubs/mixing on an EP he’s producing for local “sci-fi rock band” Lord Classic, finishing mixes on an LP for pop/rock band Aquadora, and filming a session for a new video series called “Behind the Glass“.

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

December 13, 2012 by  

GREATER NYC AREA: It’s been a minute since our last Session Buzz, but things have been busy all over town. Sandy, of course, had her effect on business, leaving many in lower Manhattan and Brooklyn scrambling for weeks after the power came back on, but by and large…folks are back in action. Some, better than ever.

That is, Strange Weather Recording in Williamsburg opened their brand-new facility this week. The epic build-out – chronicled in Marc Alan Goodman’s Building Strange Weather blog – finished just in time for inaugural sessions this week with garage rockers Total Slacker tracking and mixing a new full-length over seven days with producer/engineer Daniel James Schlett. Goodman also noted that Ben Greenberg (Zs, Hubble) will be in next week to mix his band the Men.

Frank Ocean got together with Alicia Keys at Germano Studios

Meanwhile at Germano Studios in Manhattan…Lauryn Hill recorded basic tracks with Graham Marsh engineering, Yoko Ono Plastic Ono Band recorded vocals with Sean Lennon and Yoko Ono producing, and Kenta Yonesaka engineering, Common recorded vocals with J.Period and No I.D. producing and Jason Agel engineering…John Legend recorded and mixed new material with Dave Tozer and Kanye West producing, Jason Agel and Noah Goldstein engineering…Alicia Keys was in for writing and recording sessions with Frank Ocean, with Malay producing and Ann Mincieli engineering…and James Brown mixed the new We Are Scientists record, produced by Chris Coady.

Also writing, recording and mixing new material at Germano were…Pharrell Williams with Andrew Coleman engineering…J.Cole with Curtis “Sauce” Wilson engineering…Meek Mill with Wayne Harelwood engineering … Justin Bieber with Josh Gudwin producing and engineering, AK-69 with Rimaji Kato engineering, and Pitbull with Danny Mercer producing and Dave Rowland engineering…

Over at Flux Studios in the East Village…Fab Dupont has been busy making a record with South African pop duo The Arrows - producing, recording and mixing the album. Dupont is also mixing the new DJ Collette album.

Meanwhile, OK Go lead singer/guitarist Damian Kulash spent some time in Flux’s Revolution room, writing for the upcoming OK Go album. And Big Boi stopped by for a vocal session with producer Frans Mernick for this Decoded feature on Jay-Z’s Life and Times blog. Also at Flux…Teddy Geiger tracked drums for his upcoming album, Bebel Gilberto recorded vocals for the new UN Women anthem and Jukebox The Ghost tracked piano with producer Dan Romer for an upcoming film.

Also, coming up early next year, Flux’s Dangerous Room will be home to a vintage 1970s Neve console! Stay tuned for more on that!

In Midtown, MSR Studios hosted Edie Brickell tracking new music with producer Steve Gadd and engineer Andy Smith (assisted by Fred Sladkey). The team recorded rhythm section and vocals for an upcoming film soundtrack. And Robert Randolph has been recording, editing and mixing in all three rooms at MSR, working on various projects including the New York Knicks theme song for Madison Square Garden. Randolph produces on these sessions, working with engineer Alex Venguer.

Russ Elevado mixed Eric Krasno’s (of Soulive and Lettuce) new EP in MSR Studio C, assisted by Mike Layos. And producer/engineer Don Hunerberg worked with music director Milton DeLugg out of A to record and mix full orchestra and ensemble/lead vocals for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Click to win Rage Against The Machine vinyl via Masterdisk

Across town at Masterdisk…recent albums mastered include: Frank Ocean’s Channel Orange (up for “Album of the Year” Grammy) – mastered by Vlado Meller, produced by Frank Ocean, Malay, Om’mas Keith and Pharrell Williams for Def Jam; The Weeknd’s Trilogy (a three-CD set + vinyl) – mastered by Mark Santangelo, produced by The Weeknd, Doc McKinney and Illangelo, mixed by Illangelo for XO/Republic; and a Rage Against The Machine 20th Anniversary set (vinyl, CD and DVD) – mastered by Vlado Meller and executive produced by Rick Rubin for Sony Music, with lacquers cut by Mark Santangelo.

Also mastered at Masterdisk…Jay-Z Live In Brooklyn EP, mastered by Tony Dawsey and mixed by Young Guru; Rod Stewart’s Merry Christmas Baby – mastered by Meller, produced by David Foster, and mixed by Jochem van der Saag for Verve; Tom Wopat‘s new album and a Debby Boone EP – both mastered by Randy Merrill and mixed by Roy Hendrickson; and the four-LP set, Dave Matthews Band Live Trax Vol 1 – mastered by Scott Hull.

Over in the Film Center Building, at John Kilgore Sound & Recording, composer Claire Van Kampen was recording her score for an as-yet-untitled feature film directed by Christian Camargo; Drew Gasparini was tracking a new album – produced by Charlie Rosen and engineered by John Kilgore; Halle Petro recorded vocals for a new album, produced by Michael Gomez, and recorded/mixed by Kilgore; and tracking and mixing sessions were held for Annie Kozuch’s new album, with producer Frank Ponzio.

Kilgore also mixed Brian Landrus‘ new self-produced album, tracked at Sear Sound by Chris Allen, and mastered by Alan Silverman of ARF Digital; and worked on float music for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, produced by Bill Schermerhorn and Wesley Whatley.

Speaking of Sear Sound…Andrew Wyatt (of Miike Snow) mixed his new album at Sear, with Ted Tuthill engineering, and Yoko Ono continued sessions there for her upcoming record with Chris Allen engineering, Sean Lennon, Yuka Honda and Yoko Ono producing. Spanish chanteuse Buika also tracked new music for Warner Bros/Spain with Eli Wolf producing and Tuthill engineering.

And jazz artists James Maddock, Dave Holland and Etienne Charles all worked on new music at Sear recently. Maddock recorded in Studio A with Matt Pierson producing and James Farber engineering; Charles tracked with Chris Allen engineering; and Holland mixed his new album with Farber at the controls.

Click to hear the first track off Beach Fossils’ upcoming album

Across the river at Joe Lambert Mastering in DUMBO… Lambert recently mastered the new solo album by the aforementioned Andrew Wyatt (Miike Snow) – called  Descender (recently covered in Rolling Stone), as well as Youth Lagoon’s upcoming album on Fat Possum – produced by Ben Allen; Eleanor Friedberger’s latest for Merge – produced/engineered by Eric Broucek; and Beach Fossils new album for Captured Tracks – engineered by Ben Greenberg.

Additonally at JLM, Roman Vail mastered the new album by singer/songwriter and composer LiLi Roquelin, Beautiful Sun. It features Askold Buk on guitars and bass, strings by the Wandering Cellist and Christopher Marion, and was mixed by Marc Urselli.

Down the block to SaltlandsEngineer Jim Smith recently finished tracking a new EP with Warp artists My Best Fiend, recording live in the studio to tape and using Saltlands Ampeg B-15 on bass with their own vintage Music Man amps on guitars for ample vintage-rock sonics. Click for more details. And coming up this weekend, Smith will be tracking Sharon Van Etten vocals, with Jonathan Meiburg producing.

In other recent Saltland sessions…musician/comedian Reggie Watts was in Studio A recording with singer-songwriter and engineer Dawn Landes; PT Walkley and Eli Janney were in working on a new project; Producer Doveman was with the perennials, and Hannah Cohen before that; And engineer/producer Ted Young tracked with rock band Morningside Lane.

At Grand Street Recording in Williamsburg…Zach Jones recorded a Ron Sexsmith cover song for a Hurricane Sandy benefit (download/donate here); Chris Kuffner (Regina Spektor), Elliot Jacobson (Ingrid Michaelson) and Lelia Broussard (The Voice) tracked for an upcoming project with Broussard and Kuffner – engineered by Ken Rich; and Amy Lennard completed her latest album with Andy Stack on guitars, Tony Tino (Gavin DeGraw) on bass, Dan Vonneget on drums, Keith Cotton (Joan Osborne) on keys, Jerry Marotta (Peter Gabriel) on drums and percussion, and John Graboff (Willie Nelson) on pedal steel. Rich recorded and mixed Lennard’s album, which was mastered at Sterling Sound by Greg Calbi and is due out in early Spring.

Michelle Citrin and band recording at Grand Street Recording

Also at Grand Street…Adam Levy worked on his new record with producer Aaron Lee Tasjen and Tomek Miernowski engineering; and Michelle Citrin recorded and filmed a music video for a Hanukkah song. (pictured) Players include Dan Rieser on drums, Chris Morissey on bass, Itaal Shur on keys, Debra Kreisberg on sax, Tomek Miernowski on guitar, and Jared Saltiel on vibraphone. The song was tracked, filmed, mixed and mastered all in one day by Ken Rich.

At Blackler Mastering in Bushwick…Kevin Blacker mastered a couple notable jazz records for High Note, including a duet album with bassist Harvie S. and pianist Kenny Barron, and an upcoming album for Miles Davis’ protege Wallace Roney. Blackler also mastered an Afro-Cuban / electronic album for artist Chico Mann (aka Marcos Garcis of Antibalas) for SoundWay Records out of London; and an album by Kendra Morris for Wax Poetics, which hit #2 on the iTunes R&B charts. He also mastered a Kendra Morris B-side featuring a Pink Floyd cover which is to-be the title track of an upcoming film, starring Collin Farrell.

Out at The Barber Shop Studios in Lake Hopatcong, NJ….Dream Theater’s Mike Mangini recorded for Hudson Music’s Drum Guru App – with Zak Rizvi engineering; Oh No Fiasco! worked on their upcoming record with producer Kato Khanwala and engineer John D’Uva. And Khanwala and D’Uva also worked with The Pretty Reckless whose new single, “Kill Me” was also mixed at the Barber Shop – check it out here. Prroducer/engineer Kevin Kumetz has been in the studio with up-and-coming artist Lacey Caroline – their collaboration recently produced her first single, “Can You Feel It”.

And we’ll leave you with Paul McCartney recording a Christmas classic at Avatar Studios

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

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

Summer Session Buzz: Who’s Recording In & Around NYC

July 25, 2012 by  

GREATER NYC AREA: The summer slump may have hit some studios, but then again some others are cranking. We found artists such as Esperanza Spalding, Crystal Stilts, Tegan and Sara, Rick Ross, Cee-Lo Green, Bruno Mars, Robert Randolph and more have been recording in the city this month.

Cyrille Aimée

Let’s start at Flux Studios in the East Village, where French jazz singer Cyrille Aimée has just made her new album. Aimée and band spent a week in the Dangerous room tracking the album, which is being produced by Fab Dupont and engineered by Dupont and Daniel Sanint. Dupont has also been recording/producing NYC pop singer/songwriter Jay Stolar’s new album.

In other Flux sessions: Talib Kweli has been tracking in the Revolution room with several guests, including Rah Digga, and resident engineer Eddie Krakaur; indie-pop duo Tegan and Sara were in writing sessions in the Revolution and Fabulous Rooms; Actor Paolo Costanzo stopped by to oversee the recording of a song by Teddy Geiger for the show Royal Pains – tracked by Sanint and mixed by Mark Saunders (The Cure, David Byrne).

And on the technical tip, Flux reports they’re “ecstatic” about their new Focal SM9 and Elektra 1038Be speakers; finding a lot of excellent uses for the new Lauten Atlantis microphone (developed in collaboration with Fab Dupont), i.e. vocals (Cyrille Aimée), acoustic guitars and upright bass; and have upgraded all their rooms to Pro Tools 10. The Revolution room currently hosts an Avid HD I/O interface with an HDX card. Also, the recent event they hosted with PreSonus left Flux with the new Studio One software ready to go in every room.

A few avenues over, Germano Studios was busy with a wide spread of sessions including rapper Rick Ross who was in recording vocals with John Rivers engineering, Cee Lo Green mixing with Graham Marsh producing and engineering, K’naan recording vocals with Michael Franti of Spearhead, Japanese hip-hop artist AK-69 recording with Kaoru Hoshizeki engineering, and Brooklyn indie-rock band Snowmine recording basic tracks with Jake Aron producing and engineering.


Also at Germano, Michael Bolton recorded vocals with Dave Tozer producing and Jason Agel engineering…Tozer/Agel also recorded with John Legend (vocals, piano, keyboards and guitars) in both Germano Studios…Anita Baker recorded keyboards and vocals with Barry Eastmond producing and Kenta Yonesaka engineering…singer/songwriter Jodee Seiders recorded with Chris Johnson producing, Gihan Wright and Dave Rowland engineering, and Cobra Starship was in for writing and recording sessions with Sandy Vee producing and engineering.

Meanwhile, jazz artists flocked to Sear Sound this past month: Esperanza Spalding recorded at Sear a for Universal Classics release – playing bass and tracking vocals in Studio C (“on her favorite Telefunken Elam 251″) with Jeremy Loucas engineering and French composer/DJ P.C. Solal producing…jazz pianist David Virelles mixed an upcoming release with Sear’s chief engineer Chris Allen… singer Tyler Houston tracked covers and standards with a band and horn octet, Allen engineering and Dave Suchanek producing… and ensemble The Clayton Brothers (John, Jeff and Gerald Clayton) tracked a new album for Concord Music, again with Allen engineering.

In other Sear sessions: HBO’s Boardwalk Empire returned to track some new songs – engineered by Stewart Lerman, and produced by Randy Poster… The Public Theater / Shakespeare Festival tracked the music for “As You Like It” with Gary Maurer engineering and co-producing with the composer Greg Pliska…composer Loren Toolajian produced tracks for Sesame Street with Allen engineering…and Chris Shaw tracked for “The Voice” for Universal Music Australia.

Psych-pop band Crystal Stilts recorded a new song at Saltlands in DUMBO, in full band tracking sessions with producer/engineer Jarvis Taveniere of Woods. Another Brooklyn psych-rock/pop band, Desert Stars, also tracked at Saltlands in July with producer/engineer Nick Stumpf (Caveman, French Kicks).

Comedian/director Louis CK returned to Stratosphere Sound in Chelsea to record music for Louie, Season 3. Also at Stratosphere…Brooklyn bluegrass ensemble Six Deadly Venoms mixed their new album to tape with engineer Adam Tilzer…NYC-based songwriting/production team Robopop (Maroon 5, Lana Del Ray) recorded with assistant Mike Nesci…and the Food Network and NBC’s Smash were in for sessions.

John Zorn was back at EastSide Sound in the Lower East Side, recording solo violin with chief engineer Marc Urselli for an upcoming release…Urselli – who just got back from touring with Lou Reed – also mixed the five movements of NYC composer/violinist David Fulmer’s first commissioned composition for saxophone and ten-piece chamber ensemble, to be released on Zorn’s Tzadik Records… mixed trumpeter Matt Holman’s new record, recorded drums, cello and vocals for cellist Leah Coloff’s new album, and recorded drums for percussionist Ravis Momin’s upcoming album.

Apoplectic with engineer/mixer Serge “Sergical” Tsai (second from left)

At Jerry Wonda and Wyclef Jean’s Platinum Sound in Midtown…Suriname alt rock band Apoplectic mixed their upcoming album with Serge “Sergical” Tsai in Studio K. And the song “Blame” by Island Def Jam artist K’La (ft. Nas) was produced by Wonda for Wonda Music, and recorded and mixed by Tsai.

Several blocks downtown, producer/engineer Matt Gill runs his studio, The Key Room, out of the Shelter Island Sound complex – also home to the songwriting team, 1984, and Bob Power’s studio. Gill recently served as producer/musical director/engineer and mixer on a new mobile app for Whynoceros, recording guitarist/bassist Robbie Seahag Mangano (Grandmothers of Invention, Tom Morello), saxophonist Stuart Bogie (Antibalas, Superhuman Happiness, TV on the Radio) and violinist Kari Bethke (Bad Buka, Rana Santacruz).

Gill also recently recorded and mixed an acoustic performance by Metric in the Hotel Rivington penthouse as part of a campaign for the Sony Xperia Ion smart phones – with video produced by Brooklyn’s Mixtape Club. And – at Mavericks Recording in China Town – he recorded an album for Irish-music ensemble Streams of Whiskey live off the floor, assisted by Kevin Schinstock.

Further downtown at Engine Room Audio – Mark Christensen recently mastered 50 Cent’s new album, Murder by Numbers, assisted by Dan Millice and Benoit Holliger.

Boyfrndz at Engine Room (l-r): Aaron Perez, Joseph Raines, mastering engineer Dan Millice, and Scott Martin

Indie rock group Cloudeater – profiled here last year – recently teamed up with rapper Wale on the experimental hip-hop track, “Faces“, and turned to Millice to master the track which was released mid-June as a single. The track is the artists’ first track to have been Mastered for iTunes (iTunes Plus).

Indie experimental rock band Boyfrndz brought their self-titled debut to Millice for mastering as well. They originally released the album last year, but Millice re-mastered it for vinyl at Engine Room. The album, which was recorded to tape, was produced by keyboardist/producer Isaiah ‘Ikey’ Owens (The Mars Volta, Jack White) – you can stream the original release at Bandcamp.

Legendary engineer/producer Eddie Kramer recently tracked Robert Randolph up at Manhattan Sound Recording (MSR Studios), in Studio A, using the Endless Analog CLASP system, Studer A827 machine and Pro Tools HD. The sessions were for a side project that Robert is producing. Brett Mayer was the assistant.

Also at MSR…Def Jam artist 2 Chainz was in working on his album with Q-Tip producing and Blair Wells engineering, Make Layos assisted…NBC’s Smash has started recording again with Marc Shaiman producing and MSR’s Ian Kagey engineering in Studios A and B…Producer Nick Littlemore (of Empire of the Sun) and engineer Angie Teo spent a week in MSR Studio C working on a new project for Universal/Republic pop artist Mika50 Cent worked on a new single with engineer Ky Miller and assistant engineer Gloria Kaba…and Gospel singer Donnie McClurkin has been working with engineer Chris Soper on a new project.

MSR also started cosmetic renovations on Studio B last month and look forward to having them finished before the end of the summer.

Bruno Mars. Photo by Sebastian Kim.

Meanwhile, pop star Bruno Mars has been working on the follow-up to his chart-topping Doo-Wops & Hooligans at Avatar Studios with producer Mark Ronson and engineer Alan O’Connell, assisted by Bob Mallory and Tyler Hartman. Mars has been recording out of Avatar Studios A, B and W.

In other Avatar sessions… Tony Bennett sang duets with Thalia and Marc Anthony in Studio C with producer/engineer Dae Bennett, assisted by Aki Nishimura and Charlie Kramsky… The Leap of Faith cast album was recorded in Studio A with producer Alan Menken, engineer Peter Karam assisted by Bob Mallory…Harry Connick, Jr. recorded with producer Tracey Freeman, engineer Vince Caro assisted by Tim Marchiafava… Gospel artist Hezekiah Walker recorded in Studio A with a 60+ piece choir with engineer Larry Sturn..and New York Voices recorded in Studio G with producer/engineer Elliot Scheiner assisted by Bob Mallory.

NYC rock singer/songwriter Patty Smyth (Patty Smyth & Scandal) recorded vocals for an upcoming Christmas album at Threshold Recording Studios, with producer Keith Mack and engineer Jeremy Sklarsky (Freelance Whales, We Are The Woods). Sklarsky also engineered sessions at Threshold for jazz musicians Ron Carter, Gene Bertoncini & John Abercrombie, with producer David Becker; rocker Madame Mayhem, with producer Mark Hudson; and multi-instrumentalist/producer Mark Rivera (Billy Joel, Ringo Starr Allstars) with Rodney Howard, Tony Tino and Greg Mayo.

Back in Brooklyn, Broadway star Chester Gregory (Dream Girls, Hairspray, Sister Act) has been working on his solo R&B project at Brewery Recording in Williamsburg. Working with producers Woodro Skillson and Taylor Gordon, and with engineer Andrew Krivonos at the controls, Gregory’s been laying down vocals and mixing three tracks for his project which should be out by the end of the year.

In other Brewery sessions…rapper Jojo Pellegrino has been back to wrap up his latest project, Machine Gun Pelle. Krivonos is mixing the 16-song album, produced in part by Lofey and UVex…electro-pop band Ch!nch!lla has been mixing their new LP with engineer Nick D’Allesandro…and Staten Island’s Thomas Jr. recorded and mixed his hip-hop + spoken word mixtape with Bryan Lampe.

Ch!nch!lla at The Brewery with Nick D’Allesandro

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

June 6, 2012 by  

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.

Club Dogo with Mark Christensen at the Engine Room

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.

Animal Collective’s Deakin and Geologist with Joe Lambert (center)

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.

Joe Lambert Mastering also recently mastered the new album by Ian Hunter, of Mott The Hoople, called When I’m President, which was produced by Peter Moshay of A-Pawling Studio in Pawling, NY.

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.

Tiësto has been working on new material just a couple blocks away from The Lodge at Germano Studios, writing and recording with Tommy Trash – and Kenta Yonesaka engineering.

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.

Amanda Palmer’s fan-funded album will be released on 180-gram vinyl

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.

McNulty has also been producing an EP for rock band Romans tracking at The Bunker in Williamsburg, and mixing at Incognito.

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.

Christian Gibbs, of Lucinda Black Bear, C.Gibbs, The Droves and now…Motherwell Johnston

Ingrid Michaelson recorded the next in her “Army of 3” music video series at Grand Street Recording, covering Rhianna’s “We Found Love” with producer Chris Kuffner and Ken Rich engineering.

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.

Nearby, winger/songwriter Kevin Garrett was recording his upcoming album with Charles DeChants at Excello Recording in Williamsburg.

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.

Mr. Muthafuckin’ eXquire has been recording his new album, Huzzah, for his Universal Republic imprint, Peel Off Entertainment at Rough Magic Studios in Greenpoint.

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 shot and recorded their “50 Shades of Grey read by Gilbert Gottfried” spot.

New York MC Mr. Muthafuckin’ eXquire

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

February 2, 2012 by  

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.


Due out March 26, 2012

Let’s first zoom in on Greenwich Village, where mixing sessions for Madonna’s upcoming album MDNA have been running out of Germano Studios with engineer/mixer Demo Castellon.

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”.

Mos Def tracked his remake of the Jay-Z/Kanye track at KMA Music.

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.

Music for NBC’s “Smash” has been recorded at Avatar and mastered at Masterdisk.

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.


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.

José James

And particularly notable is the latest by José JamesNo 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.

Bowerbirds’ “The Clearing” will be out on Dead Oceans March 6, 2012

Producer/engineer Nicolas Vernhes (Animal Collective, Deerhunter) will begin production on Young Man’s next LP this month out of his Rare Book Room Studio in Greenpoint.

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.

Kyp Malone with engineer Alby Cohen at Rough Magic Studios

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.

Kyp Malone, of TV on the Radio, has been tracking a new solo project at Rough Magic Studios in Greenpoint, with engineer Alby Cohen, assisted by Chris Pummill.

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.

At Zeitgeist Sound in Long Island City, James Cruz mastered Mary Mary‘s song “Go Get It” to be released by Sony Music. The track was produced by Warryn Campbell and mixed by Bruce Buechner.

American Fangs are recording out at VuDu Studios in Port Jefferson.

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

Session Buzz: The Year in NYC Recording

December 22, 2011 by  

GREATER NYC AREA: There have certainly been some down years in recent recording biz history, but 2011 was not one of them.

By all accounts, this was a big year for recording in NYC: There were the major mainstream Made-in-NY albums, i.e. Lady Gaga’s Born This Way (Germano Studios), John Mayer’s upcoming release (Electric Lady), Beyonce 4 (MSR, Jungle City), Sting’s latest (Sear Sound) and Tony Bennett’s Duets II (Avatar). There were the critically-anticipated indie releases, i.e. Bjork (Sear Sound, Avatar, Atlantic Sound) and Beirut (Vacation Island) and of course a ton of indie activity emanating out of Brooklyn, as well as big moves in the way of new and newly renovated high-end facilities for record production.

Drink it all in with this “Best of 2011” session highlights and studio hits:

We’ll start uptown at StadiumRed in Harlem – home to a team of engineers and producers that includes David Frost, Just Blaze, Sid “Omen” Brown, Ariel Burojow, Tom Lazarus, Joe Pedulla, Andrew Wright and mastering engineer Ricardo Gutierrez.

StadiumRed hosted Chris Brown (Jive Records) for a stretch as he worked on his Grammy-nominated record, F.A.M.E. and a future album. The single “She Ain’t You” produced by Free School was recorded in Studio A at StadiumRed, and two additional songs off his upcoming album were produced by Just Blaze. Rick Ross also worked quite a bit with Just Blaze and StadiumRed this year – his albums Self Made Volume 1 and I Love My Bitches were both produced, mixed and mastered at Stadium Red with Just Blaze producing, Andrew Wright mixing, assisted by Keith Parry, and Ricardo Gutierrez mastering.

Drake’s “Lord Knows” – produced by Just Blaze, Andrew Wright and Ricardo Gutierrez at StadiumRed

The track “Lord Knows” off Drake’s acclaimed new album, Take Care, was produced by this same StadiumRed team – Just Blaze, Wright and Gutierrez. The choir in this song was recorded in Studio A.

Other highlights include Ariel Borujow mixing three tracks for Chiddy Bang’s (EMI) debut album Breakfast, Joe Pedulla and Andrew Everding producing and engineering the new album by rock band La Dispute (click to read our feature about this album produced with no artificial reverb) and the Grammy-nominated Mackey: Lonely Motel – Music From Slide (David Frost, producer and Tom Lazarus, engineer); Far Away: Late Nights & Early Mornings by Marsha Ambrosius (Just Blaze, producer and Andrew R Wright, engineer); and J. Cole (Keith Parry, assistant engineer).

Rufus Wainwright (Universal Music Group) tracked portions of his new album “Out of the Game” in Studio ‘A’ (Neve 8038) at Sear Sound in Midtown, with Alan O’Connell engineering and Mark Ronson producing. Sear’s own Ted Tuthill assisted on these sessions.

“During his sessions at Sear, Rufus’ new opera Prima Donna premiered at the New York City Opera,” says Sear Sound manager Roberta Findlay. “They recorded using our Studer A827 2″ 24 track with BASF 911 2″, as well as Pro Tools. Tracking and overdubs varied from piano and vocal, whole band takes (piano, bass, drums, vocals), to piano overdubs, bass overdubs, keyboard overdubs, electric guitar overdubs, choir overdubs, drum machine overdubs, and many more. Mark Ronson brought in a wide variety of his personal vintage synths.”

Sear also hosted recording sessions for Bjork’s latest Biophilia, with Damian Taylor co-producing/engineering, and Sting tracking for his latest with engineer Donal Hodgson and co-producer/arranger Rob Mathes. And Iron & Wine tracked and mixed their song “Flightless Bird, American Mouth” which can be heard in Twilight: Breaking Dawn. Tom Schick engineered with Brian Deck producing. Rob Berger wrote the arrangements. [Click for a video of this session.]

Regina Spektor is working with producer Mike Elizondo (Fiona Apple, Mastodon) on her upcoming album.

In other highlights, Joss Stone tracked new material at Sear with an all-star band (Ernie Isley on guitar, James Alexander on bass, Latimore on piano and Raymond Angry on B3 and keyboards), and Steve Greenwell engineering and co-producing with S-Curve’s Steve Greenberg. “At Joss’ s request, we built a western version of a resplendent ashram for her, to stimulate her creative juices,” says Findlay. “I believe it worked!!”

Meanwhile, mixing sessions for Regina Spektor’s anticipated new album What We Saw From The Cheap Seats went down in Studio A at The Cutting Room – with producer Mike Elizondo, and engineer Adam Hawkins, assisted by Matt Craig. The album is due out in May 2012 on Warner Bros Records.

At nearby Germano Studios – where Joan Jett & The Blackhearts have been recording this month – it’s been a huge year of pop, rock, rap and R&B. In addition to Jett, who’s been in with longtime producer Kenny Laguna, and engineer Thom Panunzio, Germano’s hosted writing and recording sessions with Ne-Yo, OneRepublic and Alexander Dexter-Jones recording with engineer Kenta Yonesaka for his The Last Unicorn album, and mixing sessions with Sony Italy artist Fiorella Mannoia with Dave O’Donnell engineering.

Highlights from the year include the recording for Lady Gaga’s Grammy-nominated Born This Way, Adele’s Grammy-nominated 21, “Moves Like Jagger” by  Maroon 5 ft. Christina Aguilera, Beyonce’s 4, and the new album…The studio also added new Exigy subs, and launched a joint-venture into Tampico Mexico, creating RG Germano Studios Tampico.

2011 has also been an epic year of releases out of The Lodge. Mastering Engineers Emily Lazar & Joe LaPorta mastered Foo Fighters’ Wasting Light, which received six Grammy nominations including nominations for Lazar and LaPorta in “Album Of The Year” category. And the team mastered countless records released to critical acclaim, including Tuneyard’s Whokill, mastered by LaPorta, Liturgy’s Aesthethica, mastered by Heba Kadry, the Cults debut, mastered by Lazar and LaPorta, EMA’s Past Life Martyred Saints, mastered by Sarah Register, and albums by Dum Dum Girls, Cold Cave and Hooray for Earth – all mastered by LaPorta.

As covered here on SonicScoop, LaPorta also mastered the huge Neutral Milk Hotel release, the band’s first (an all-vinyl complete box-set) since ’98′s classic In The Aeroplane Over The Sea. Lazar and LaPorta also mastered Boy & Bear’s award-winning Moonfire, produced by Joe Chiccarelli.

For EastSide Sound and chief engineer Marc Urselli, it’s been a year of recording some of NYC’s finest avant-garde, jazz, fusion and acoustic music greats like John Zorn, Bill Laswell, Chihiro Yamanaka with Bernard Purdie, and more recently John Zorn, John Medeski and Mike Patton. Citizen Cope and Swiss crossover jazz band The Lucien Dubuis Trio have also been recording albums with Urselli at East Side Sound.

In the Fall, Broadway veteran singer Wren Marie Harrington teamed up with arranger/producer jazz wunderkind Art Bailey to record a collection of jazz and Latin infused American and world standards at EastSide with Lou Holtzman engineering and Eric Elterman assisting. Bailey, Dave Acker, Marty Confurius and Diego Lopez formed the band for this record.

Plenty of jazz, avant and orchestral sessions recorded at Avatar Studios this year, including Stanley Jordan, James Carter, Steve Reich / So Percussion, Joe Jackson with Elliot Scheiner, Esperanza Spalding with Q-Tip and Joe Ferla, Chick Corea, Zak Smith Band. One of the big, ongoing sessions of the year at Avatar was Tony Bennett’s Duets II album, produced by Phil Ramone and engineered by Dae Bennett. In March, Bennett and Sheryl Crow recorded “The Girl I Love” in Studio A.  In July, Bennett sang and recorded “How Do You Keep the Music Playing” with Aretha Franklin in Studio C, and at the end of July, he recorded “The Lady is a Tramp” with Lady Gaga in Studio A.

Other pop/rock artists recording at Avatar this year include Paul McCartney recording a Buddy Holly tribute, Ingrid Michaelson recording her upcoming album, Human Again – both with producer David Kahne and engineer Roy Hendrickson – Elvis Costello,  James McCartney, and VHS or Beta.

Members of Delta Spirit with Producer/Engineer Chris Coady and Asst Engineer Adam Tilzer.

And Avatar’s Studio A and C were used on many a Broadway cast album, and TV and film score/soundtrack recording sessions, including: Boardwalk Empire featuring Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks with producer / engineer Stewart Lerman, and Mildred Pierce, also ft. Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks, with producer Randy Poster; Louie, produced by Louie C.K. with engineer Robert Smith assisted by Bob Mallory; Glee, with producer Tommy Faragher and engineers Bryan Smith and Robert Smith; and the films  Moonrise Kingdom (the new Wes Anderson),  A Late Quartet, Friends with Kids, and So Undercover.

Across town, some of the biggest pop artists were working out of Stratosphere Sound in Chelsea, where songwriter Amanda Ghost and producer Dave McCracken were stationed much of the year working on new material with Florence and The Machine, Santigold, John Legend, the Scissor Sisters, The xx and Daniel Merriweather.

Ever the awesome rock recording studio, Stratosphere hosted several album projects this year including Canadian band Jets Overhead with producer/engineer Emery Dobyns, Japanese band The Telephones with Alex Newport, The Static Jacks with Chris Shaw, and Delta Spirit with Chris Coady. And, switching gears, both Sarah Brightman and Aaron Neville recorded at Stratosphere – both tracking vocals with Geoff Sanoff.

Finally, The Sheepdogs, a rock band from Saskatchewan, were paired with Stratosphere owner/producer Adam Schlesinger for Rolling Stone’s “Choose the Cover” contest. They worked on several songs with Adam…and they won!


In 2011, Manhattan saw the opening of Ann Mincieli’s impressive, golden-age-reviving Jungle City Studios, and major renovations and new rooms at the legendary Electric Lady Studios, but Brooklyn has been the real hotbed of new studio activity. Converse opened its Rubber Tracks Studio this year, and The End in Greenpoint recently opened the doors to its recording and live performance complex. And much building has been underway elsewhere…

2012 will see three new serious recording facilities open in Williamsburg – all three bigger/better versions of existing local indie favorites.

The Bunker co-owners Aaron Nevezie and John Davis back in early October during construction of the new studios.

The Bunker, for one, has already held inaugural sessions at its impressive new two-room facility which features an exciting new Studio A with large live room with 25-ft ceilings and three isolated sections which can be closed off by sliding glass doors.

In one of the room’s first sessions, Bunker co-owner John Davis tracking the new record for funk band Lettuce (featuring Soulive members Eric Krasno and Neal Evans).  “I tracked all the basics live to 2″ ATR on my Studer A80, and we had drums, bass, 2 guitars, keys (B3 and clav) and one sax going down live,” Davis describes. “Additional horns were later overdubbed. It was a great, super funky party in there the whole time, with a bunch of friends hanging and generally great positive creative vibes going on.  We went for (and captured) a live, raw, authentic funk vibe.”

Meanwhile, across town on the Williamsburg/Greenpoint border, Joel Hamilton and Tony Maimone are preparing to open the new Studio G – this is one of the original recording studios in the ‘Burg now expanded into 5,000+ square feet. Studio G will house one of the city’s only commercially available Bosendorfer grand pianos (to our knowledge), and three full featured studios – a 48-input SSL 8048 “A” room, and an equally spacious Neve 5316-equipped “B” room – with ample tracking space and isolation…built by musicians for musicians. (Look out for our upcoming feature on Studio G!)

According to Hamilton, they’re booking the A room for January and beyond, but “things are already booked in super tight, so call now!”

Besides building an insane new studio, Hamilton’s been making records all year too. He worked with the electronic artist Pretty Lights tracking the band in a live-to-two-track analog scenario – all analog and vintage signal chains with no isolation. The band played live in the room together and the masters went straight to vinyl – only to ultimately be sampled by Pretty Lights (Derek Smith) for his album, I Know The Truth. It’s a production style the artist calls “analog electronica.”

Another engineer/producer with an ambitious new studio in the works for 2012 is Marc Alan Goodman who you may recognize from his “Building Strange Weather” blog here on SonicScoop. While work has been heavily underway at his studio’s new location on Graham Ave in Williamsburg, sessions have continued across the ‘hood at the existing Strange Weather Recording. Among the year’s highlights were Here We Go Magic recording overdubs for their upcoming album with producer/engineer Nigel Godrich who was over doing television sound for Radiohead.

The band Friends also recorded two singles and an upcoming full-length album at Strange Weather with co-producer/engineer Daniel Schlett. And the band Lakookala made an EP at the studio (“start-to-finish in 3 days”) with Goodman co-producing and engineering.

Over at Fluxivity, 2011 was the year that the studio’s recently-completed tracking room got a workout, with everything from full tracking with drums to guitar, vocals and all manner of overdubs. The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion has been working at Fluxivity, with Spencer and engineer Brian Thorn mixing the new album. Ed Mcentee assisted.

Says Fluxivity owner Nat Priest: “This was primarily a tape-based project, mixed to the studio’s Ampex ATR 102 tape machine in the ½” stereo format. Jon Spencer and Brian Thorn used quite a few pieces of the studio’s vintage analog equalizers, compressors and delays including the 1/4″ slap machine and EMT plate reverb.”

Black Dice also made a new record in Williamsburg with Matt Boynton recording, mixing and producing at Vacation Island Recording. Free Blood (members of !!!) and Suckers also made new albums at Vacation Island with Boynton this year. And, Zach Cale is currently in the studio completing mixes for his latest EP, Hangman Letters.

“The Internet” is a new project from Odd Future DJ Syd The Kyd and producer Matt Martian

A couple 2011 Vacation Island highlights were Beirut mixing their latest release The Rip Tide with engineer/producer Griffin Rodriguez, and the “Recorded for Japan” compilation which saw Ariel Pink, Kurt Vile, Chairlift and R. Stevie Moore through the studio. Boynton recorded and mixed a lot of this record, and the rest was mixed by Jorge Elbrecht. Vacation Island engineer Rob Laakso mastered the album.

Over at The Brewery Recording, also in Williamsburg, members of breakthrough rap group Odd Future tracked vocals for three songs and started mixing for their new side project The Internet, due out in early 2012. Matt Martians and Syd tha Kyd produced and Andrew Krivonos engineered on these sessions.

The Brewery reports they had 700 sessions through their one-room facility in 2011, running round the clock. Another highlight is happening currently with WZRD, the rock duo formed by Kid Cudi and producer Dot Da Genius. Noah Goldstein has been engineering these sessions.

Brooklyn producer/engineer Allen Farmelo – who you may remember designed this awesome custom console with Greenpoint designer Francois Chambard for his own studio The Farm – just finished mixing a record with noise duo Talk Normal, a project by artist/engineers Sarah Register and Andrya Ambro, with producer Christina Files.

Farmelo also produced/engineered an album for Brooklyn-based children’s musician Elska, out of Mavericks Studio in China Town and back at The Farm, and mixed/mastered two new film scores by Cinematic Orchestra, produced by band-leader Jason Swinscoe for Ninja Tune Records. “These two scores were for films from the 1920s: the Dada-ist masterpiece Entr’acte and the early city portrait called Manhatta. Both were performed live to a packed house at London’s Barbican Center this year, a beautiful night of music and film.”

And, as covered this month in the New York Times, Farmelo produced and mixed a new album by 85-year-old jazz pianist Boyd Lee Dunlop which was tracked at Soundscape in Buffalo by Jimi Calabrese, mixed at The Farm and mastered at The Magic Shop by Jessica Thompson

“An old friend and photographer met Boyd in a state-funded nursing home in Buffalo and began recording him on his cellphone and sending me MP3s and asked if this was any good,” says Farmelo.

“I was blown away by what I heard and arranged to record Boyd with bassist Sabu Adeyola and drummer Virgil Day. Buffalo has few studios, but thankfully I found a room tucked away on Buffalo’s West Side with a Steinway and amazing vintage mics and pres (RCA 77s, Neumann U47s, Neves, etc). I put  up and tracked the session in one day and mixed on the API/Studer combo here at The Farm. I aimed for a vintage sound (late 50s Atlantic Studios in particular), and feel I got it (mono is a big part of that). Jessica Thompson just nailed the mastering perfectly.”

Ville Riippa and Marko Nyberg from Husky Rescue recording vintage Moog 15 tracks at Carousel in Greenpoint

Next, to Greenpoint where Joe McGinty’s unique Carousel Recording – with its heavenly collection of vintage synths – recently hosted Finland electronic act Husky Rescue. Led by Marko Nyberg, the group booked a week at Carousel to lay the groundwork of their next record, utilizing many of the vintage synthesizers in the studio. “They were ace analog synth programmers,” says McGinty, of Psychedelic Furs, Losers Lounge fame. “It was great to see them in action, and I learned a few things as well!

Carousel has also opened a second room to accommodate that ever-expanding keyboard collection, which we featured earlier this year. Recent additions to the collection include a Moog 15 Modular, Freeman String Symphonizer, Yamaha YC-30 organ, and Yamaha CP-70 Electric Grand Piano.

In DUMBO, Joe Lambert Mastering had a record year. First off, Chief Engineer/Owner Joe Lambert was nominated for a Grammy in the “Best Engineered Album, Classical” category for the aforementioned Lonely Motel: Music From Slide by Steven Mackey and Rinde Eckert.

And other highlights include: mastering the major label debut by Fanfarlo (Atlantic Records/Canvasback), produced by Ben H. Allen, and recorded by David Wrench, the popular Washed Out (SubPop) album Within and Without, also produced by Allen, the Atlas Sound (4AD) record Parallax, produced by Bradford Cox and Nicolas Vernhes, and the Panda Bear (Paw Tracks) album, Tomboy, produced by Noah Lennox and Pete “Sonic Boom” Kember.

Over at The Fort, engineer/producer James Bentley has been working a bit with Brooklyn-based Goodnight Records, including tracking for the new KNTRLR LP, and recording/filming an in-studio performance with the venerable Brooklyn band The Big Sleep. “There were about 40 people and a keg, it was an amazing party,” says Bentley.

The Big Sleep performance/recording/party at The Fort


Emerging Brooklyn band Thieving Irons trekked up to The Isokon in Woodstock to make a record with engineer/producer D. James Goodwin, Nate Martinez and Josh Kaufman co-producing. “Incredible songs, deconstructed, then put back together in a left brain way,” says Goodwin of the project. “Very few cymbals, tons of space. Lots of Kaoss Pad!” Stream a track “So Long” from the album.

The Dennis Haklar Project at Big Blue Meenie. Photo by Paul Sky.

Goodwin also made an album up at the Isokon with art-folk group Bobby – tracked and mixed the full LP for Partisan Records.

In Jersey City, Big Blue Meenie is still going strong, and hopping with sessions all year. Highlights include Rainey Qualley mixing her EP with Tim “Rumblefish” Gilles and Matt “Dasher” Messenger (the single “Peach In My Pocket” is featured in the 2011 Sundance-winning film To.Get.Her), and Alright Jr tracking their new EP Scratching At The Ceiling with Chris “Noz” Marinaccio, Colin “Gron” Mattos, Matthew “Debris” Menafro, and Jeff “9/11″Canas, and mixing with  Gilles and Messenger.

Also six-piece NJ prog-rock band The Tea Club mixed their “Live at Progday 2011″ show with Messenger, Marinaccio and Gilles, and – most recently – the jazz-fusion oriented Dennis Haklar Project tracked new material (9 songs in 2 days) with Marinaccio engineering, assisted by Colin “Gron” Mattos.

What a year, and those are just some of the highlights! We can only imagine what 2012 will bring to NYC in the way of new recordings — and we can’t wait to hear them.


The SCL in NYC Presents “The Insider’s Guide To Live Recording” With Gary Maurer, 11/2

October 28, 2011 by  

The Society of Composers & Lyricists in New York is producing an event next week – Wednesday, November 2 – at Sear Sound on live recording, designed for working composers and producers.

The Insider’s Guide To Live Recording” will feature producer/engineer and musician Gary Maurer – the chief engineer and co-founder of Saltlands Studio in DUMBO and founding member of HEM – and Sear Sound’s chief engineer Chris Allen in discussion with SCL member Greg Pliska.

The event will look at how to best plan for tracking sessions to optimize your mix, offering practical insights into the recording process, techniques for how to record live instruments, advice on mic selection and placement, and other studio gear suggestions.

Maurer’s production credits include film and TV scores, documentaries, commercials and recordings for artists including Fountains of Wayne, Luna and James Iha and music for the Tony-winning play, War Horse. Allen has engineered recordings for artists such as Dr. John, Sigur Ros, Marianne Faithfull, Kurt Elling and Yoko Ono.

The event will take place from 7-9PM (Check-in at 6:30), and is free for SCL members, and $25 for non-members and guests of members. (Seminar fee will be waived if qualifying for and joining the SCL online by credit card before 12 noon ET on seminar day.)

RSVP is required via email only and seating is limited, so RSVP now, to: Please include RSVP SCL NY NOV2 in the subject line and message box., along with the first and last name of each person attending and if they are an SCL member.

Full Coordinates:
The SCL in NY Presents…”The Insider’s Guide To Live Recording”
Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2011; 7-9PM
Sear Sound
353 W. 48th Street, 6th Floor
New York, NY 10036

Landmarks: Main Monitors, Sear Sound, Studio C

August 14, 2011 by  

HELL’S KITCHEN: In 1999, Walter Sear added something big to the New York City studioscape: Sear Sound’s famed Studio C.

Two Steve Durr-designed monitors flank Sear Sound’s exquisite Studio C.

Sear and his crew put together a room that was lavished with sunlight, and as rich in atmosphere as it was in technical excellence. The tracking and mixing facility is the home of the remarkable Sear-Avalon custom console in the control room, while the spacious live room remains one of the most inspiring places to work in the city.

That same year, Sear — Studio C’s architect and designer — turned to Nashvile acoustician Steven Durr to design and build the main monitors. Here, Durr revisits the active custom 3-way monitors that help complete one of NYC’s most creative spaces — sharing a wealth of acoustics and speaker design know-how in the process.

I have been blessed all my life with great mentors, none more influential than Walter Sear.  When Walter asked me to design a set of large monitor speakers for his new Studio C control room, I was honored and at the same time very nervous.

Walter was a purist and known as the ultimate “golden ears” when it came to true, natural sounding recordings. Everything in his studio had to pass the “Walter test” which could be very difficult. Walter was never short on voicing his opinion and most of the time one heard, “They can’t be serious! This sounds awful!” “Without discipline there is no art form.”; some of his favorite sayings. He demanded unparalleled quality for everything in life, even his martini.

If you ever had the opportunity to discuss anything, especially the recording process, with Walter, it became immediately apparent his standards were unique, especially in today’s world of “brief case” engineers. I, like many others, would spend hours listening and learning about things that would change my life forever. I will be forever grateful for his generosity.

To design a set of monitors for Walter, I approached the task the same way I approach everything in acoustics: It is the laws of physics, not the suggestions. Almost all published research about acoustics centers around large room acoustics, concert halls, music venues. Very little accurate research is published about small room acoustics such as audio control rooms, so there is no substitute for experience.

Sear’s Studio C monitors have multiple influences.

A Little History

In the early era of recording the most popular speaker systems used for monitoring were manufactured by Altec Lansing. Most studios chose the famous Voice of the Theater — model number A7 — or the infamous Altec 604 dual concentric speakers. These speakers dominated the recording industry.

The A7-500 was used by such greats as Willie Mitchell who mixed all of Al Green’s wonderful records sitting in front of two A7-500’s on the floor and a 50 watt tube McIntosh amplifier. This tube amplifier was never turned off in 40 years! Owen Bradley mixed all of Patsy Cline’s records at Bradley Barn in Nashville on two A7s as well; this is only two of hundreds of examples but these recordings still sound spectacular today.

The secret behind the success of the A7 speakers is the high frequency horn which has a relatively high Q of around 15 and likewise so does the horn-loaded low frequency woofer enclosure. This matching of the two horn bells made for an accurate and natural sounding speaker system. Traditionally, it is common to find a high Q horn such as a radial horn used in most speaker designs with a Q of 12 to 15 and the woofer simply flush mounted in the front board of the enclosure.

This is a complete mismatch as the low frequency in this configuration has a Q of 1 with little or no directionality match to the high frequency horn, which has very high directionality. Hence the lack of definition in the lower frequencies and smooth transition from the horn to the woofer.

Studio C Control Room

Sear Sound’s control room C is a relatively large control room with limited acoustical treatments. This limited use of sound absorbing materials means the room has a significant reverberant field including high levels of reverberant energy from multiple sources. This approach is not at all detrimental to the performance of the room; in fact it feels very natural talking and working in a room with a significant reverberant field as long as it is evenly distributed, which is the case in Studio C.

But the large reverberant field found in most control rooms is one of the main reasons engineers resorted to near field monitors because close monitoring effectively removes the room’s natural acoustics from the listening equation. But at the same time, near fields also remove the excitement and energy from the playback of the recording. This is similar to seeing a great film in a theater where it is easy to achieve the suspension of disbelief since the film experience is bigger than life, but that suspension is negated watching the same film on television.  Same product, two completely different experiences. Seeing ‘Avatar’ in 3-D at IMAX and watching it on television is the extreme.

In large room acoustics the designer has two choices, raise the Q or directionality of the sound source or lower the reverberant field. Laws of physics!  We could have chosen to add additional absorption to the control room but we all agreed we loved the way the room felt as it was, so the only option then was to raise the directionality or Q of the speaker system.

Horns similar to these vintage Emilar EH500-2 copies were employed in Durr’s design..

Studio C Monitors

For the high frequencies we chose an Emilar EH-500 horn which is a very dense metal horn. In my opinion, this is one of the best sounding small format horns ever made which will accept a 2” compression driver. A TAD 4001 2” high frequency horn driver was matched to the Emilar horn bell. Considerable care was taken to build an enclosure for the horn assembly and properly isolate the TAD driver from the horn bell and align the opening perfectly at the horn/driver intersect. These enclosures are mounted directly on top of the mid/low enclosure.

The high frequency enclosures are crossed over at 800 hertz at 18db per octave and each one is powered by a single channel of a McIntosh 2100. One of the beauties of this design is that when this type of speaker was conceived in the 1950’s a 50 watt power amplifier was the norm. This built-in efficiency allows spectacular results with relatively small amplifier power.

The mid/ low enclosures are a modified Altec 416a cabinet which is a smaller, down-sized version of the horn loaded low frequency section of a A-7 500 Voice of the Theater. We added considerable bracing and chose a JBL 2235 for the driver. The mid/low section is powered by a McIntosh 2200. This enclosure is mounted directly on top of the sub-woofer enclosure.

The sub-woofer cabinets break the mold as I could not justify a horn loaded sub-woofer enclosure due to the extreme size required for pattern control below 100 hertz. But as Paul Klipsch would say, “There is no such thing as a miniature 30 hertz wave”, so two 15” TAD 1601 b woofers on each side combine to provide a smooth low frequency response to 16 hertz. The subs are powered by a Crown Micro-reference ll power amplifier.

The entire system is mounted on five Mason Industries NA Green isolators to uncouple the speaker system from the wooden floor of building.

Processing is very simple; a modified White Instruments 4320 passive 1/3 octave equalizer and a White Instruments 4016 800 Hertz plug in crossover provide equalization and crossover from high to mid/low.  Crossover between the mid/lows and the sub woofers are provided by a DBX active crossover set to 120 hertz. This is wired as a stand-alone unit, in other words nothing is running through the high pass side of the crossover, we are using it essentially as a low pass on the sub-woofers.

On active duty since 1999.

Very little equalization is required, mostly to match the timbre of the left and right speakers and balance the low frequency response to the room.

The system was signal aligned on site by physically aligning the flight time of the drivers at the mix positions using Smaart. Arrival times and phase response were examined and used to align drivers.

As a designer, I consider myself in the emotion business and sound systems are the transfer medium. It is paramount for the artist to feel the emotion of their music in recording or in a live performance but a monitoring system must also be extremely accurate.

Listening to this system it is impossible to tell you are listening to loudspeakers. All of the emotions are in place, depth of field is stunning and mixes translate perfectly to the outside world.

Walter would say, “You will know when something is correct in the first 17 seconds of listening,” and It makes me smile instantly every time I listen to a recording in this room – I remember the smile on his face when we first listened to these speakers.

Steven Durr, the principal designer of Steven Durr Designs, LLC, is known and respected throughout the world for his talent and common sense expertise in acoustic design and consulting.

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

August 4, 2011 by  

GREATER NYC AREA: It’s midsummer…the middle of a traditionally “slow season” for recording with so many bands out on the road. But this is the city that never sleeps, and slow is a relative term. The following is but a sampling of recent sessions, and works in progress…a snapshot of what’s going on around town:

Justin Nozuka (here with band) has been recording at Germano with producer Steve Jordan, and Dave O’Donnell engineering.

Starting at Germano Studios downtown…50 Cent has been writing and recording new material with Araab Muzik producing and Ky Miller engineering, Ne-Yo was in writing and recording with Swizz Beatz producing and Moses Gallart engineering, and Justin Nozuka recorded basic tracks with Steve Jordan producing and Dave O’Donnell engineering – all in Studio 1.

In Studio 2, continues to record new material which he’s self-producing and engineering, and Oriane recently recorded vocals with Walter Afanasieff producing and Jason Agel engineering.

Nearby at The Lodge, Mastering Engineers Emily Lazar, Joe LaPorta and Heba Kadry have been busy working on Björk‘s epic multimedia release, Biophilia, due out this Fall. The music for Biophilia – featuring a 10-song album and 10 musical iPad apps themed after each song’s scientific subject matter – was mastered at the Lodge in March by Lazar and LaPorta alongside Björk and her longtime engineer/producer Damian Taylor.

Bjork’s new album, “Biophilia,” was mastered at The Lodge by Emily Lazar and Joe LaPorta alongside Björk and engineer/producer Damian Taylor.

Other recent releases mastered at The Lodge include Chris Taylor’s CANT LP, Morgan Page’s new album, In The Air, Ronnie Vannuci’s (of the Killers) solo debut Big Talk – produced by Joe Chiccarelli and mixed by Alan Moulder – the new Boy & Bear album – also produced by Chiccarelli – and Large Professor’s latest for Fat Beats Records.

The Lodge also mastered Ronnie Spector’s tribute cover of Amy Winehouse’s Back to Black – produced by Richard Gottehrer – Surfer Blood’s cover of Nirvana’s “Territorial Pissings” for SPIN’s Nevermind compilation, new releases by Zechs Marquise (band formed by Marcel Rodriguez Lopez from the Mars Volta), and Junior Mance, and the new Wooden Ships album – produced by Phil Manley of Trans Am.

Over in the East Village at Flux Studios, Todd Whitelock mixed an upcoming album by jazz saxophonist and flautist Kenny Garrett in the Revolution Room. Garrett – who was a member of the Duke Ellington Orchestra, and Miles Davis’ band – will release his upcoming album via Mack Avenue Records.

And down in SoHo, The Magic Shop has been going steady…Shooter Jennings tracked for his upcoming album with engineer Brandon Mason, assisted by Brian Thorn, Burning Spear tracked and mixed for their upcoming album with Thorn engineering, assisted by Kabir Hermon, and Tom Schick was in mixing for She and Him’s upcoming Merge album.

Other recent sessions in the Magic Shop’s unique Studio A include: The American Secrets tracking and mixing songs for upcoming commercials with producer Neil McClellan (The Lodge Music creative director) and engineers Ted Young and Colin Thibadeau; The Gaslight Anthem tracking an iTunes exclusive live session with producer Jason Marcucci, and engineers Ted Young and Mike Judeh; and tracking sessions for new albums by Elliot Sharp (producer Joe Mardin/ engineer Ted Young), Lee Feldman (engineer Ted Young), Ben Carroll (producer Adam Levy / engineer Brian Thorn), The Virgins (engineer Emery Dobyns) and The Universal Thump (engineer Kabir Hermon).

The Virgins tracked new material for their upcoming Atlantic release with producer/engineer Emery Dobyns at The Magic Shop.

Meanwhile in the Magic Shop’s Blue Room, Warren Russell-Smith has been doing restoration work for the second season of Boardwalk Empire. Recent mastering sessions at the Magic Shop include albums for Rockstar Games, Anna Volgelzang, Warpaint, Nightplane (mastered by Russel-Smith) and Nâ Hawa Doumbia, Vic Varney and Pretty Good Dance Moves (mastered by Jessica Thompson).

At another studio down in SoHo – Serious Business Music – producer/engineer Travis Harrison has had a steady stream of bands in to appear on his BreakThru Radio show. In the last month, “Serious Business on BTR” has featured performances and interviews (by Harrison) with A Million Years, Fort Lean, Les Sans Culottes, El Jezel and Quiet Loudly.

Harrison has also been working on a number of album projects, including an album with a new band called The Cosmos – formed by Dougy Payne and Andy Dunlop from Travis, and Cinjun Tate from Remy Zero – a solo 7” with Doug Gillard from Guided By Voices, and a record with Rocketship Park for Serious Business Records.

In Park Slope at Seaside Lounge Recording, engineer/producer/musician Josh Clark mixed a record by Nashville native Luke Roberts, The Iron Gates at Throop and Newport, to be released by Thrill Jockey Records in 2012. Initial tracking sessions for the record went down at The Beach House in Nashville and Atlantic Sound in Brooklyn (with “Seaside Lounge” rounding out the coastal recording theme.)

On the West Side at Stratosphere, Japanese electro-rock band The Telephones tracked their new album in Studio A with producer/engineer Alex Newport, recording everything to tape on the studio’s Studer 2″.

The Telephones in Stratosphere Studio A. Photo by Yuki Shingai.

Also at Stratosphere…Ice T booked an afternoon of vocals and filming for upcoming documentary Something From Nothing: The Art of Rap. Stratosphere’s own Adam Tilzer engineered. Aaron Neville returned to record vocals with producer Matthew Ferraro and engineer Geoff Sanoff.

Daniel Merriweather was back for sessions with Dave McCracken, Amanda Ghost and engineer Chris Shaw, Florence + the Machine was in with engineer Andros Rodriguez, and Nathan Larson (A Camp, Shudder To Think) tracked and mixed music for an upcoming film, Tiger Eyes, with Geoff Sanoff engineering.

Up at Carriage House Recording in Stamford, cellist Dave Eggar (Evanescense, Coldplay) and his band Deoro finished mixes for their upcoming record in Studio A with engineer/mixer Brendan Muldowney, and art-pop songstress Rachael Sage tracked basics for her upcoming release with engineer John Shyloski.

Back in town, 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. In this process, Zappa’s original songs were rescored for classical orchestral instruments and tracked on Sear Sound’s custom Avalon/Sear console in sessions produced by Susan Del Giorno with GRAMMY-winning engineer Silas Brown.

Producer/engineer Gary Maurer also checked into Sear to track 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.

Red Hot Chili Peppers’ tenth studio album “I’m With You” comes out August 30. Produced by Rick Rubin, Engineered by Greg Fidelman and Andrew Scheps out in LA; Mastered by Vlado Meller at Masterdisk

Further west at Masterdisk, Scott Hull mastered Sting’s three-CD box set, Sting 25 Years, featuring remixes and a previously unreleased live concert DVD with 10 tracks recorded live in NYC, produced by Rob Mathes. Also at Masterdisk, Vlado Meller mastered a Julio Iglesias two-disc “Greatest Hits” set, with songs re-recorded and re-mixed by Alberto Sanchez, the new Red Hot Chili Peppers album, I’m With You, and the Jane’s Addiction single “Irresistible Force,” and upcoming album, The Great Escape Artist.

Andy VanDette recently mastered the Spiderman Turn Off The Dark cast album and albums by Blessthefall, The Static Jacks and Barefoot Truth, and Ellen Fitton remastered Debbie Harry’s Koo Koo, and Jellybean’s Wotupski.

Premier Studios in Times Square hosted Demi Lovato working on a project for Disney Pictures – a song produced by Sandy Vee, with piano overdubs played by Mikkel Eriksen from Stargate. The session was engineered by Sam Giannelli. of the Black Eyed Peas produced tracks for Lil Wayne, working with engineer Mike Cadahia with Kevin Geigel assisting. DefJam artist Ace Hood, produced by DJ Khaled, was at Premier recording vocals and mixing an upcoming release with engineer Ben Diehl.

Atlantic artist Wiz Khalifa recorded vocals, with engineer Josiah Hendler, EMI Artist MoZella was in with producer Scyience, mixing with engineer Anthony Daniel, and Scyience was also in with Epic artist Alice Smith, mixing an upcoming release with an engineer by the name of Push Buttons.

Over at Avatar Studios, strings were recorded in Studio A for the upcoming Lou Reed/Metallica album with producer Hal Willner and engineer Greg Fidelman, assisted by Bob Mallory. NYC/Ireland rockers Suddyn recorded their single in Studio G on the SSL 4000G+ with producer David Kahne, engineer Roy Hendrickson and assistant Tyler Hartman. The Brooklyn Youth Chorus was in Studio A recording with producer Bryce Dessner, of The National and Clogs, and engineer Lawson White, assisted by Aki Nishimura.

Music for the upcoming film, A Late Quartet, was also recorded in Studio A with producer Alan Bise and engineer Bruce Egre. The cast albums for People in the Picture (producers Mike Stoller and Steven Epstein, engineer Todd Whitelock) and A Minister’s Wife (producer Tommy Krasker, engineer Bart Migal) were also recorded at Avatar.

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

Next Page »