Ready for a challenger to the kick drum microphone throne?
The M82 will carry an MSRP of $399 upon availability later this month. Although it was created with kick drum foremost in mind, this mic is surprisingly versatile, with applications ranging from broadcast to vocals, guitar, brass and more.
Here are TELEFUNKEN’s words of wisdom about their upcoming release:
“Following the same design approach as TELEFUNKEN’s other popular Dynamic Series microphones, the new M82 was created to provide a superior alternative to familiar kick drum large diaphragm dynamic microphones.
Hand-assembled and tested in the company facility in Connecticut, the M82 is a robust dynamic microphone that features a large 35mm diaphragm with superb low frequency capabilities. The M82 is an end-address microphone, meaning that the top portion of the headgrille is pointed at the sound source, and features two separate EQ switches: KICK EQ and HIGH BOOST. These two switches function independently of each other, providing four unique settings. The M82 makes it simple to tailor the microphone’s response to the source.
The M82′s KICK EQ switch engages a passive filter that reduces some of the lower mid-range frequencies (centered around 350Hz) commonly cut when processing a kick drum. This helps to keep the kick drum from sounding “boxy” and allows the low end to remain strong. This particular setting is tailored specifically for kick drum use.
The HIGH BOOST switch tilts the upper mid-range and high frequencies (starting around 2kHz with a 6dB boost by 10kHz). For kick drum use, this allows for more beater attack when placed inside a kick drum. This gives the option of either a vintage-style kick drum sound, or a more modern sound. For a source such as vocals or guitar amps, the high boost provides further articulation and airiness in the upper register.
Though it was designed with the kick drum as a primary application, the two EQ switches make the M82 equally suited for a multitude of sources such as vocals, percussion, broadcast voice, guitar and bass amplifiers, organ, and brass instruments.
On kick drum, the M82 is both fat and punchy. When placed just inside the hole of the resonant head, the M82′s tailored frequency response captures both the beater attack and shell resonance without the need for multiple microphones.
Constructionwise, the M82 borrows heavily from the U47 body style by employing a headgrille of similar architecture. Finished in a durable smooth black finish on the headgrille and body, the M82 was rigorously tested to ensure it could handle the rugged role of a kick drum microphone for both studio and live environments.
The TELEFUNKEN Elektroakustik M82 is delivered with a stand mount adapter and protective zipper case. An optional elastic suspension mount is available.”
It must be the cooler air, but a big burst of activity continues unabated from the laboratory of TELEFUNKEN Elektroakustik.
Their latest creative act is a dazzling new line of Solid Color finishes for their M80 Dynamic microphone line. TELEFUNKEN received their inspiration from the Mars Volta (who took it upon themselves to paint their M80 in solid white), and is now making the M80 available in a variety of solid colors from their custom shop.
Here’s how TELEFUNKEN describes the sonic side of this visual new voyage:
“TELEFUNKEN Elektroakustik has created the M80 to give the user a superior alternative to the midrange-laden character of the common dynamic stage microphones. Featuring a wider frequency response and higher SPL capabilities, the M80 delivers condenser-like performance in a rugged dynamic design, producing a microphone equally suitable for voice, instruments or drums on stage, as well as in the studio.
Due to its low mass capsule and very thin, yet surprisingly rugged capsule membrane, the M80 produces a wider range of emotion from a live vocal with an intimacy that has been traditionally reserved for studio quality condenser microphones. The M80 is sonically open, requiring little or no EQ to fit into a live or recorded mix. Minimal proximity effect gives the microphone a smooth, balanced presence that is neither boomy nor overpowering.
The M80 exhibits superior feedback rejection in a live environment. On vocals, the response is clear and controlled, capturing the nuances of a performance with great detail while keeping sibilance and handling noise to a minimum. On drums, the M80 is tight, punchy and open, with emphasis on the initial attack. Guitars respond with richness and clarity, horns position effortlessly in the mix, and percussion is projected with straightforward presence.”
Ready to double your pleasure? TELEFUNKEN Electroakustik is happy to help.
In that spirit, the company is set to introduce three new stereo sets of microphones from its affordable R-F-T series of large diaphragm vintage tube microphones, at AES 2012 in San Francisco.
Prices have not yet been announced, but we can probably expect them to be doubly wonderful as well. Meanwhile, here’s more from TELEFUNKEN:
“The AR-51, AK-47mkII, and CU-29 microphone systems, now being offered in matched stereo sets, feature a custom dual power supply capable of powering both microphones at one time, as well as a locking flight case that contains both microphones, cables, shock mounts, and wooden mic boxes. All the electronic components in each system are matched sonically and electronically, including matched capsules, transformers, and vacuum tubes.
AR-51 Stereo Set
The R-F-T AR-51 was designed to incorporate the amplifier circuit of the C12 and ELA M 251E into a more affordable package than its Diamond Series counterparts. This circuitry has been a favorite for hi-fidelity stereo pair recordings for decades. TELEFUNKEN Elektroakustik has taken this classic sound and developed the AR-51 Stereo Set.
The result is a vintage sounding microphone with a smooth mid-range, open top end, and a solid, well-balanced low frequency translation. The AR-51′s distinct character is great on anything from vocals to drums to acoustic guitar to saxophone. With a matched pair of AR-51′s, several stereo recording techniques can be executed for any source from drum overheads, acoustic guitars, piano and percussion to larger sources such as orchestras, choirs, and large chamber groups.
AK-47 MkII Stereo Set
The R-F-T AK-47 MkII began as a unique design to incorporate key elements of classic circuits such as the U47 and M49. These design decisions created a microphone with a rich and warm low-mid frequency response ideal for vocals, bass (acoustic and electric), brass instruments, and drums. With these applications in mind, TELEFUNKEN Elektroakustik has developed the AK-47 MkII Stereo Set. The AK-47 MkII in a uniquely voiced microphone with superior high frequency detail and rich low-end qualities. The Stereo Set lends itself to a wide array of stereo recording applications.
CU-29 Copperhead Stereo Set
Since its introduction, the R-F-T CU-29 Copperhead has proven itself equally useful on vocals, acoustic instruments, guitar amps, and drums. The amplifier in the CU-29 Copperhead features a new old stock TELEFUNKEN 6AK5W vacuum tube, Lundahl LL1935 output transformer, and a single-membrane version of the large diaphragm capsule used in the AR-51 and AK-47 MkII.
Sonically, the CU-29 Copperhead is a hi-fidelity microphone with a present but not harsh character. The microphone provides a warm, clear low end complemented by a smooth high end, with a delicate and intimate air to it.”
We all want a mic we can really warm up to – this has got to qualify.
The M81 package, including the microphone, mic clip and leather carrying bag, will sell for $349 upon its availability in late October. Here’s more about TELEFUNKEN’s island-inspired mic:
“In comparison to the M80, the TELEFUNKEN M81 retains the same minimal proximity effect, superior feedback rejection, and articulate mid-range, however, the top end is pulled back a bit, yielding a flatter overall frequency response, making it ideal for lighter sounding voices, as well as electric guitar, percussion and rack toms.
Over the past few years the performance of TELEFUNKEN’s M80 has been likened to that of a condenser microphone and has become a staple for vocal and snare drum applications, especially in the world of touring and live performance. As an alternative to the extended top end capabilities of the TELEFUNKEN M80, the M81 is a tool that is a bit less specialized, giving the microphone more universal application ability.
Designed for stage and studio use, the M81 offers exceptional performance in a rugged package capable of withstanding the rigors of the road.”
TELEFUNKEN Elektroakustik is certainly feeling the Olympic spirit.
Three mixing events will be held, and are already under way following a July 27th start. For each event, winners will be awarded Gold, Silver, and Bronze M80 dynamic microphones.
Here’s how it works:
Participants will be able to download audio files from three multi-track sessions provided by TELEFUNKEN in 44.1k/24-bit format, on the TELEFUNKEN Website.
Each of these complete song session files will be used as the three main events for the Mix Olympics. Songs to be mixed are:
* Human Radio – “You & Me & The Radio”
* Sunshine Garcia Band – “For I Am The Moon”
* O.A.K. Team – “Girls with Glasses”
All three songs have been recorded using only TELEFUNKEN Elektroakustik microphones, and many of the sources will have been recorded with more than one microphone.
Mixing participants can listen and choose which of the microphones supplies the most pleasing aesthetic for their competitive mix efforts. As mixes are submitted, they will be shared on TELEFUNKEN’s Soundcloud page, and each song mixing event will have its own set of Soundcloud postings for the participants and general public to reference.
The TELEFUNKEN Multi-Track Session Files can also be used as teaching tools, for microphone auditioning/comparative analysis, and – as Telefunken points out — to have some competitive fun while gaining valuable experience.
The competition will conclude on August 19, shortly after the closing ceremony of the London games. Winners will be announced the week of August 20th.
For each song, three M80 mics will be awarded. Gold will be judged and awarded by the artist; winner will receive a Gold M80. Silver will be judged by a panel of professionals assembled by TELEFUNKEN Elektroakustik; winner will receive a Silver M80. Bronze will be judged by the guys in the shop that actually make the microphones; winner receives a Bronze M80.
For complete TELEFUNKEN Mix Olympics information, visit here.
SOHO, MANHATTAN/WILLIAMSBURG, BROOKLYN: Inside the floated rooms of New York City’s recording studios, research is always taking place. After the clients have left for the night, gearheads often turn their attention to mic checks of a different kind.
This intersection of art, aesthetics, and science was in full effect last week at Downtown Studios. There, Studio A was the site of a four-way modern tribute microphone comparison arranged by Audio Power Tools, which was marking the debut of their demo-focused Williamsburg retail operation with a night of high-level critical listening.
But don’t call it a shooutout! The eye-popping array of elite large diaphragm condenser mics — a Telefunken ELA M 251E, Bock 241, Telefunken U47, and Wunder CM7 – were assembled in peace. The first two mics honor the legendary ELA M 250/501 mics produced in 1959 by AKG for Telefunken GMBH, while the latter pair put their spin on the famed Neumann U47 – both of which enjoy epic reputations in the vocal mic realm.
“A ‘demonstration’ is probably the most non-combative word,” says APT co-owner Dan Physics. “The idea was not to beat up on any of the brands, but to compare the merits of each brand that was present, and showcase the character of each microphone in contrast to others considered in the same strata.”
For the demonstration, Downtown Studios Chief Engineer Zach Hancock invited Atlantic
Records artist Ryan Star to record one song, using combinations of the two mics simultaneously on Star and vocalist Dallin Applebaum. Meanwhile, a Royer 122 active ribbon mic was placed on acoustic guitarist Daniel Tirer’s instrument for good measure.
In Studio A’s spacious live room, and in the vocal booth, Star and Applebaum each faced different combinations of the two mics, mounted one directly over the other on boom stands. Capsules were almost touching grill-top to grill-top, and sharing the same pop filter. In this way, each microphone’s diaphragm was at an equal proximity to the source material being recorded.
From there, each mic was patched to tie lines via 25′ mic cables, with patch cables of equal length used on the patch bay side. Hancock and Downtown assistant Chris Sciafani took care to make sure the cardioid polar pattern was selected on each mic, and that roll off filtering was not engaged on the mics that offered it.
While a pristine signal path was desirable, APT co-owner Blue Wilding emphasizes that a nod to real-world, practical usage was employed in the decisions throughout the night. As a result, the mic preamps in Downtown’s classic Neve 8014 console were chosen as the next stage.
“The Neve preamps are not as clinical as the GML’s in the A-room,” Zach Hancock says, “which for critical listening is a relevant concern, but there’s a comfort in the familiarity and musicality of the Neves. There are a few ways to get signal routed from the console’s mic pre to the rig: In this case it made the most sense to bypass the large fader and go to disk via the insert-send. The mic pre on the two 47′s was set to the same setting, and the two 251′s got the same setting as well. So each mic got patched in to a 1084, and then patched directly to Pro Tools recording at 24-bit 192k, via an Avid HD I/O converter.”
Star and his bandmates did three takes of the song, a powerful and achingly beautiful duet so new that it’s as-yet unnamed. Rather than declare a “winner”, or color preconceived notions with any value judgments, APT is inviting anyone interested in the outcome to email them directly, arrange to hear the files for themselves, and come to their own conclusions.
“We prefer not to plant seeds in the listener’s mind, in comparisons like this,” Wilding explains. “Detail, clarity and character of each mic are what the listener should be looking for.”
For Audio Power Tools, the demonstration was a microcosm of their hands-on approach. Originally founded by Wilding in 2010 as a rep service for select high-end audio brands, APT transitioned last month into a retail operation handling gear from Burl, BAE, Chandler, Dangerous, Telefunken, Wunder, Bock, Tonelux, Unity Audio, Apogee, Bricasti, Manley, Retro Instruments, and more. Visitors to their Williamsburg demo room (dubbed “The APT”) can call ahead to have custom chains assembled, or have demo gear delivered directly to their studio for onsite auditioning.
“Our credo is ‘demo-based shopping for working professionals,’” says Wilding. “Every person using this gear to make a living needs to hear it before they buy it. It’s the only way. Every purchase is a delicate balance of necessary function and personal taste. Like jeans…you gotta try ‘em on and see how they hug you.
“Unfortunately, a lot of this gear is not available to try in NYC, and when it is, it’s often not demo’d in ideal conditions. So with our demo room, we’ve created an atmosphere that we feel is in tune with the NYC user base.”
Even for seasoned hands like Zach Hancock, the enhanced critical listening experience had an extra measure of sonic satisfaction. “I’ve never had the opportunity to hear the two preeminent U47 and 251 replicas go head-to-head,” he said. “The reward came in the ability to directly compare apples to apples.”
– David Weiss
Winter NAMM is coming up quick; we’re already catching word of new products set to debut there. First up, Telefunken will be showing its new ELA M 260 Tube Microphone Stereo Set (Price TBA), which comes complete with 3 capsules for each microphone, plus one dual power supply and flight case.
According to Telefunken’s announcement…
The Stereo Set was first introduced in 1958 by Gotham Audio as a package for the Neumann U-47 and U-48 microphones that were distributed in the U.S. The designers at TELEFUNKEN Elektroakustik have emulated the concept in this new version 53 years later.
Each microphone in the Stereo Set features 3 capsules (260 cardioid, 261 omni-directional, and 262 hyper-cardioid). The new M 960S provides power to both microphones from a single power supply. Also included are two 25’ Accusound tube microphone cables with right angle XLR connectors, two wooden microphone jewel boxes, two shock-mounts, and a flight case for safe transit. The microphones also feature NOS TELFUNKEN EF732 vacuum tubes, custom audio transformers, and come in the same “flint gray” finish as the R-F-T AR-51 microphone.
Also now available is the ELA M 260 Stereo Field Recording Set with interchangeable capsules, Novuscell 20-hour rechargeable battery pack, charger, and accessories.
For more information, visit http://www.t-funk.com
TELEFUNKEN Elektroakustik (South Windsor, CT) has announced the new ELA M 260 TRI-MONO System, comprised of three matched ELA M 260 small diaphragm tube microphones, a custom M 963 TRI-MONO three-channel power supply, and adaptor spheres to emulate the omni effect of the original “Decca Tree” configuration introduced in the 1950s.
The system will be on display throughout AES 2011 in NYC.
According to TELEFUNKEN, the TRI-MONO configuration was created to emulate the original design of Decca Trees, which employed three matched Neumann omnidirectional M50s, and accommodated small, medium, and large recording spaces.
The TRI-MONO set of ELA M 260 small diaphragm tube microphones features three interchangeable capsules for each mic (cardioid, hyper-cardioid and omni). The addition of both 30mm and 50mm adapter spheres allows the ELA M 260 omni capsule to be adapted to a spherical omni design emulating the prized effect achieved by the capsules found in original Decca Tree Neumann M50 microphones.
A custom M 963 TRI-MONO 2U rack space power supply has been designed to power all three microphones at one time. The TRI-MONO system also includes three 25′ right angle tube mic cables, elastic shock mounts and wooden microphone boxes.
TELEFUNKEN’s TRI-MONO system is intended to present an affordable modern equivalent of the method of recording with a strictly spaced mic array, commonly used for orchestral recording.
TELEFUNKEN notes that the technique was developed in the early 1950s and first commercially used in 1954 by the recording team at Decca Records to provide a strong stereo image. The left and right mics are placed about 6 feet apart, and the third is placed 3 feet out and centered in front. To mix, the side mics are panned hard left and right, and the output of the middle mic is then sent to both left and right channels.
Before finalizing the design of the ELA M 260 TRI-MONO microphone system, TELEFUNKEN conducted extensive Beta tests at some of the nation’s top recording facilities, including Skywalker Ranch, Meyer Sound Laboratories, and at Bob Weir’s TRI Studios in Northern California.
GREENPOINT, BROOKLYN: There’s no substitute for experience, a fact that Anthony “Rocky” Gallo is taking firmly into account as he expands the buzzing Brooklyn studio scene by another degree. His addition to the Broken Land’s soundscape: Virtue and Vice, a just-right room that he’s growing in Greenpoint.
Gallo has set up shop as he exits his position of Chief Engineer at Manhattan’s Cutting Room Studios, his professional home since 2003 (he was also briefly partnered in Williamsburg’s 1.6 studios, before it changed ownership and became Three Egg). In the process of working with major names like John Legend, Carrie Underwood, Jon Bon Jovi, Yeasayer, The XX, and KRS1, along with scores of indie artists, Gallo became convinced that there was a need for a New York City tracking/mixing room that wasn’t too big, and wasn’t too small.
Instead of investing in a massive gear list, Gallo has stocked Virtue and Vice with a tight but superior inventory of the components he knows best, and wired them into a naturally light space that facilitates comfort and creative flow. Filling out 800 sq. ft. in a Greenpoint commercial loft building close to the L train, Rocky G believes V&V can excel and succeed in NYC.
What kind of space were you looking for to go into business?
The big thing to me was creating an accurate, great-sounding listening environment. I was looking for windows with good light, a very clean design and affordability. This building had all of those things — and I spent two or three years looking for a room before I settled on one.
My theory is that the old way of making records is completely dead: control rooms, live rooms, machine rooms…the way they did it for 40 years isn’t working any more. I wasn’t trying to create this super-isolated environment with a control room and a live room – instead there’s a large vocal booth with a large control/main space. I was talking to a colleague who said he thought that around $500 a day with engineer is the magic number, and that was my main goal.
In Brooklyn, that approach can work out well for my clients and for me – you can break even without having to be booked every day of the month. I also have two or three other guys that come in, and they can charge a little less if I’m working in Nashville. It’s a flexible thing.
What niche did you design Virtue and Vice to fill?
The reality is that artists spend a day or two doing drums — that’s what it’s been for most of the records I’ve done. So why spend money for a buildout and treatments for a room you’ll use one or two days a month? For the gear, it’s the same thing: I’m buying pres and compressors that will never go down in value. If you’re going to buy something, you should never have to say later on, “That was stupid.”
So really the idea is to get as clean of a signal as you can get for overdubs and guitar tracking. This is a place where you can set the amp up, run the speaker cable and actually hear what you’re doing — all the things you should be capable of that a lot of people ignore, as far as the indie market goes.
Good feng shui was obviously on the top of your mind when laying this studio out.
A mentor of mine told me once that a great couch can mean more than a $15,000 microphone. As sad as that is for me as a gear head, I’ll realize that that’s true, and I’ll stop myself from buying a new compressor all the time.
As soon as you can make a client feel that they’re not in a recording studio, and feel like they’re in a living room instead and completely relax, they can focus on doing work. The studio environment freaks people out. Back in the day, that was the office for studio musicians, but now it’s a rarity. Making records might happen more often, but a lot less time is spent in the process.
So I was going for a more comfortable environment, rather than saying I had three Telefunken microphones — it’s the reality that it doesn’t matter as much as the feel of the place. Not to say the equipment can’t be good, but I realized that where to put your energy was in a really clean, comfortable environment. Because 90% of the time the project will require one microphone – three tops – for overdubs.
You expect to be doing a lot of mixing here as well, right?
Mixing is most of the work that I do, as far as my clients go, but production, mixing, and overdubs are all my main personal workload. When it comes to mixing, for me the Dangerous 2-BUS has definitely added a huge dimension to the stereo image. I come out of Pro Tools HD3 into the Neve 1081 channels or compressors – which I use like a strip of the console — then back into the Dangerous again. The amount of clarity and overall fatness the combination creates was a huge, noticeable difference.
You’ve been steadily building up an impressive portfolio in NYC and beyond. What would you say is driving your evolution as an engineer/mixer?
The whole Manhattan music production scene has changed more in the last in the last year or two than in the previous twenty years. The way people are releasing and recording records is transforming: Now you can work in Pro Tools on your laptop without an interface. Five years ago that was never even thought of – you were carrying around an Mbox at least.
As far as my approach, I figured out how you can make a record for very little overhead, and still make it sound really great. You should be able to make a major release for $10-15K. Those live KEXP sessions at the Cutting Room really opened my eyes. Great bands like Yeasayer were coming in and saying, “This sounds better than the record,” and I was thinking, “I just spent 25 minutes on this, and you must have spent at least two months making your record. What’s wrong here?”
So you don’t need everything in the world — just experience and doing it time and time again. The theory is just you knowing what you want to hear in the end. I would love to work on a big console today, but I just started to realize you don’t need it. It’s really not important. And time after time I found myself using the desk less and less, based on the short amount of time I had with the client.
On that note, what type of clients are you appealing to with Virtue and Vice?
Pretty much any stage of their project. If someone’s looking to do a record and they hit us up, we’ll find a place to do the drums for the day. We take a strategic approach to production, rather than saying, “Show up for your first day, we’ll set mics up, and see what happens.”
As a staff engineer, for example, I was constantly seeing that people were coming in with problematic drums – they didn’t have their time signature noted, their tempos weren’t set, etc…. I’d rather go over that with my clients in advance, because it will make things challenging for me if I’m the one mixing it down the road. I think the best thing to do is spend some time before you come in, so you make the right decisions before you go in to work.
Overall, the target audience is someone working on a budget, but who still needs to make something really great. I know I’m not the cheapest, but I definitely have the experience and probably work faster than most people, being the product of a Manhattan studio. When your client is getting charged up to $175 an hour you have to be fast and not think twice about what you’re doing. And that’s how I was trained.
You had your choice of boroughs and neighborhoods to set out a shingle. What’s going on in Greenpoint that made you select it as the home for Virtue and Vice?
A lot of my colleagues are in Manhattan and they’re saying to me, “You’re going to have trouble getting people out here (in Greenpoint).” Some of them say it’s like going to New Jersey, but I tell them that all my clients live out there.
The only people still living in Manhattan are label heads, and how much longer will they be working at that label? The clientele has really moved out here, and the people that have been making music here for the last ten years are growing up, and getting much more developed in what they’re creating. The people doing this for a living are not afraid to spend money to get the right person to do the job. Young guys see how it’s going, and how records as are being made.
Brooklyn’s Greenpoint and Bushwick areas are becoming a mecca for making music: The artists are there, and the studios are there because it’s less expensive to operate. The whole Manhattan recording scenario to me seems bizarre: high rent and a small room to work in. The people who are doing volume recoding are out in Brooklyn. There’s a lot of great places coming up, with guys coming from Manhattan studios who are super-experienced and putting together really tight rooms, like Kevin Blackler who came from Sony (and established Blackler Mastering in Brooklyn). I think the mastering guys like him have it the best, because they can be anywhere.
There are a lot of options already for artists and producers working at that level you just mentioned, as we’re sure you aware. What made you decide to look past that and open another NYC audio facility?
My next door neighbor across the hall is doing the same thing in his off-time, and when I moved into this building, he basically said the same thing, “Another studio?” I said, “I know…” But this is not a hobby for me. This is the way I live. It’s the way I purchased my equipment: I didn’t give up my old job and make a bunch of miscellaneous purchases with my severance package. I learned how to make records from guys doing it for 20 years, and then I made records in order to buy this gear.
Yes, it seems like the market is flooded with studio choices. and I know a lot of great guys are getting out of doing it, because its flooded with more kids coming out of recording school than there are bands to record, and the young kids are the ones doing it for a six-pack and a pizza. It’s a funny thing, how many people are opening up studios: They think it’s affordable – that they can charge $300 a day in exchange for making an investment of $15,000 and make it right back.
But it’s not an easy job, and it’s not for somebody who’s in it for the short term. I think I’m finally getting a real grasp of what to do and how to do it, and I’m talking to people who have been doing it for 25 years who are getting their minds blown with the recent developments, and changing what they’re doing.
There’s always been people who are good talkers and will get the gig, but this is a long, slow, steady course. The more you put in, the more you’ll get out of it, and the better records you’ll make. That’s the best way to approach it.
– David Weiss
Facility Name: EastSide Sound
Location: Lower East Side of New York, since 1972!
Neighborhood Advantages: The LES is the heart of live music; there are musicians everywhere, rehearsal spaces, venues etc so musicians are very familiar with the area and feel right at home… no uptown traffic hell and office scene…plus EastSide Sound is in on the ground floor and right in front of a park so you can avoid elevator gear load ins and you can go take a break surrounded by greenery, shoot some hoops, throw a football or kick a soccer ball in the nearby courts.
Date of Birth: We’ve been in business since 1972 when Lou Holtzman opened the original EastSide Sound on Allen St. In 2001 Lou Holtzman partnered up with Fran Cathcart and we moved to Forsyth St, just a few blocks away.
Facility Focus: We are primarily a tracking and mixing facility although we occasionally do mastering sessions and we do have a production suite often used as a writing room. We are also set up for audio post and to sync audio to video for film/TV work.
Mission Statement: EastSide Sound believes that your music and your vision come first and we are committed to working hard until you are satisfied with the results. Many Gold, Platinum and Grammy award winning records have come out of EastSide Sound which shows how many artists have made EastSide Sound their home.
Clients/Credits: Gold and Platinum records, 5 Grammy Awards; clients include Les Paul, Lou Reed, John Zorn, Santana, Sting, Joss Stone, Eric Clapton, Pat Metheny, Jeff Beck, Laurie Anderson, Luther Vandross, Sevendust, Mariah Carey, Cindy Lauper, John Leguizamo, ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons, Buddy Guy, Keith Richards, Joe Perry, Goo Goo Dolls, Edgar Winter, Chico Freeman, Peter Frampton, Beyonce, Herbie Hancock, Toni Braxton, Hanson, MeShell Ndegeocello, Joe Claussel, Steve Torre, Robin Eubanks, Isaac Mizrahi, Randy Brecker, Frank London, Violent Femmes, Twisted Sister, Gravity Kills, System of a Down, Leela James, Lila Downs, Estelle, MTV, VH1, HBO, BBC, Comedy Central, Target, Grupo Latin Vibe and many, many more.
Key Personnel: Lou Holtzman (owner/engineer/the oracle), Grammy-winning Fran Cathcart (owner/producer/engineer), Grammy-winning Marc Urselli (producer/chief engineer/studio manager), Eric Elterman (producer/engineer/multi-instrumentalist)
System Highlights: EastSide Sound is the perfect hybrid between analog and digital. We believe in and offer the best of both worlds. We have a fantastic Harrison Series Ten B board, a warm and punchy sounding 96 channel true analog board with total digital recall and full automation (no converters, the sound stays analog but you can automate anything and everything: faders, EQs, sends, inserts etc). The Harrison is complemented by a 64 output Pro Tools HD system and by a vast amount of analog outboard gear (LA2, LA3, LA4, 1176, Altec’s etc) and pre-amps (API, Neve, Trident, Ampex, Universal Audio, TF Pro, Summit, Altec’s etc).
Is this a trick question? Of course I will risk my life throwing water, milk, coffee and juices at the fire to save everything! …but if in the fire I were to spot a wild dragon running at me I guess I’ll grab the hard drives with all the sessions and get the hell out!
Rave Reviews: When people keep coming back, record after record, it must mean something, right? John Zorn has made hundreds of records and the last 30 or so were done at EastSide Sound. He also said that his records have never sounded so good, and others have said the same thing.
Everyone that comes by EastSide Sound always comments on what a cozy and relaxed vibe there is and everyone that records at EastSide comes back for more. They love the ability to choose between recording in the same space or being isolated in different booths so that they can later edit all the tracks without leakage. They love the ability to have total recall to instantly continue working on something unfinished a month later, with no downtime. They also love our professional, award-winning, cool and down to earth staff. And last but not least they LOVE the sound we get!
Most Memorable Session Ever: Too many… but one I recall is when Les Paul was over for some tracking and we were about to order in some pizza and he said something like “1947, Corona NY, First Pizza: I was there!”
Session You’d Like to Forget: The no-shows, the guys that think they own the world and arrive 4 hours late, the singers who can’t sing for the life of them but think that Autotune and capable audio engineers are an excuse for them to attempt a career in music anyway!
Dream Session (if you could host ANY session with any client, living or dead, what would it be?): Some of my personal favorite sessions are the ones with John Zorn, an incredible composer, genius and fantastic personality. Every session is always populated with incredible musicians.
Living or Dead? Would love to have worked with Hendrix, The Beatles and a… how about a Led Zeppelin reunion? But I guess we can’t complain considering many of the other giants have worked here (Les Paul, Eric Clapton, Sting, Lou Reed and many others). – Marc Urselli
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