New Room: Shifted Recording – Greenpoint, Brooklyn

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Are you ready to catch a wave? Then you best get going to Greenpoint.

That’s where a bevy of young Turks are breaking out with an ambitious new studio called Shifted Recording, conceived to lead the next generation of New York City recording and mixing. Just in the nick of time, too, since East Coast audio pros have had plenty of reason lately to question regional direction.

The fresh initiative is led by founders Mike Irish and Patrick Sullivan, who initially launched Shifted in Williamsburg before quickly needing to expand into a larger space. Facilitated by studio manager Andrew Travis, the vision has been a ground-up evolving of the current recording studio concept.

Situated just down the street from the busy hub that is Silvercup Studios, Shifted is plugged right into one of NYC’s media production nerve centers. But that proximity is only a small part of the story – the team is focused on providing a 21st century feel and workflow for their clients, which they believe in turn will spark new creative opportunities.

They’ve emphasized nurturing the soul of the studio, but that doesn’t mean they skimped on the gear. The Studio A centerpiece is a custom-modified 32-channel Neve 8108, the outboard is extensive, the mics are nice, and there’s a large collection of classic instruments onsite, all with an ample live room to play in.

What may be most interesting about their breakthrough, however, is that wasn’t born in a vacuum. The SR squad sought the input of area studio pros to hone their concept, and got plenty of it. In a parallel universe these people would be their competitors, but in the Shifted strata they were willing collaborators.

Who wins when everyone rolls up their shirtsleeves and chips in like that? Well, let’s see… There’s artists, producers, mixers, engineers, the local audio production ecosystem, and of course all those music listeners out there. So let’s discover what makes this a “New Room” in more ways than one, as told by Travis.

32 channels of Neve center Studio A in Greenpoint's Shifted Recording.

32 channels of Neve center Studio A in Greenpoint’s Shifted Recording.

Facility Name: Shifted Recording

Website: Shiftedrecording.com

Location: Greenpoint, Brooklyn

Date of Birth: November, 2016

What We’re All About: Reinventing the recording studio for the modern artist

Key Personnel:

Mike Irish (Owner, Producer, Engineer)

Patrick Sullivan (Owner, Engineer)

Andrew Travis (Manager)

Gus Oberg (Producer, Engineer)

Jack Mason (Engineer)

Everett Romano (Producer)

Before We Started This Studio: We all met a couple years ago through mutual friends, and had just begun to pursue the idea of expanding Patrick and Mike’s existing space in Williamsburg, where they had been running a successful operation for three years. We oversaw the first half of the build with designers and contractors, and then took over the second half ourselves.

Big Stuff: Given that the music industry, and the recording industry in particular, is in the midst of significant change, there is a clear need for music creation facilities to adapt at a faster pace than ever before.

On the pulse -- Shifted Recording's founding fathers.

At Shifted Recording: (l-r) co-founders Mike Irish and Patrick Sullivan, engineer “Chedda,” and studio manager Andrew Travis.

Rapidly improving technology and changes to both revenue streams and audience reachability are rendering many old music creation practices impractical or obsolete. At the same time, they are also opening new outlets and possibilities for how to create music and how to get it out the world.

We believe that Shifted Recording represents a new paradigm for the logistics, aesthetic, and operation of the ideal modern recording studio.

Creative Space: This was one of, if not the most important, aspects for us in building this space.

In our extensive research and review of studios around the city and the world, what we found all too common was that incredible amounts of money and effort had been put into elaborate spaces that soared off the charts in a technical regard, but had lost sight of the spiritual and emotional aspects of a creative space.

While perfectly manufactured and manicured studios are impressive on an achievement level, anyone who works in music knows that not even the greatest equipment replaces the essence of the record. We think that same concept applies just as much to recording studios.

As a result, we decided to apply a plant life theme throughout the space to help bring it to life and give it a unique flavor that we hadn’t seen in a recording studio before. Our lounge features a 50 square-foot moss wall, and each room in Shifted has plant life integrated throughout each room.

In addition, we cut and stained every piece of wood in here, laid every floorboard, and custom built a large part of the furniture, so the aura of Shifted Recording already has all of our collective passion built in.

The 360 square-foot live room can be home to an inspiring range of instruments and amps.

The 360 square-foot live room can be home to an inspiring range of instruments and amps.

A Rising Tide Lifts All Boats: The entire process has been a humbling collaboration of amazing minds, ranging from architects to producers and engineers to simply friends with great taste.

Our chief designer was Mark Genfan (Reservoir Studios, Orb Recording Studios), with additional input/design from Phil Joly (Head Engineer, Electric Lady) and Frank Comentale (Hit Factory NY, Chung King, Stadiumred). We always joke that if we had been creating a tech company, only a small fraction of the benevolence we’ve been shown at Shifted would have been available to us.

The journey so far has been a great affirmation that the recording industry is filled with genuinely passionate and intelligent people committed to their craft. We look forward to being a part of the New York recording community and making sure that amazing music will always be made in this city.

What We’ve Done: Our collective resume ranges from indie (The Strokes, Toro Y Moi, Walking Shapes) to rap (Rome Fortune, Khary, Dave East) to electronic (Odesza, Lido, Break Science) to soul/funk (The Motet, Kidepo, Lawrence). We aim to continue in keeping a diverse portfolio here at Shifted.

Location Location Location: Within the migrating creative scene from Manhattan to Brooklyn, Greenpoint is a particularly active hub for musicians and creatives alike.

The neighborhood contains a variety of different recording studios and creative spaces, but also still holds a certain small-world feel. It’s a neighborhood that’s on the map enough to satisfy most of your social – especially culinary! — desires, but quiet enough to provide privacy when you want it. We’re really happy that our property search landed us here.

The Equipment List: Our facilities contain a wide range of technical and creative tools (both analog and digital) for a wide range of applications.

Our prized possession is our 32-channel Neve 8108 console, whose workflow has been custom modified for optimal modern and digital integration. Our outboard collection features a Tube Tech CL 1B, Chandler Germanium pres, UA 6176, Warm Audio EQP-WAs, and Hairball 1176s among others.

Get grounded in the iso booth.

Get grounded in the iso booth.

Our mic collection includes Neumann U87s, AKG 414s, Royer 121s, Coles 4038s, EV RE20s, and a variety of Shure, Sennheiser, and Audix mics.

For instruments, we are proud to house a diverse collection of creative tools: Steinway Baby Grand, Hammond C3, Rhodes Mark II, Korg Poly6, Moog Voyager. For guitars and basses, Gibson Les Paul, Gibson ‘59 335, Gretsch Electromatic, a custom serial-less Gibson made for Derek Trucks, 1950 Gibson J50 Jumbo, Gibson EB2 Bass, Fender J Bass among others. For amps, Fender ‘65 Twin Reverb, original Fender ‘67 Silverface Vibrolux Reverb, Supro 1600 Supreme, and more. For drums, Premier, Tama, and vintage Ludwig kits.

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