Though founded just three years ago, S.T.R.Z. Enterprises is certainly not lacking in talent, experience, clientele or equipment. In fact, among the three producers/songwriters/engineers at S.T.R.Z. – Nick Gross, Mike Riley and Anthony Vasquez – previous credits include work with Common, Ke$ha, Marilyn Manson and Gavin Rossdale. When S.T.R.Z. Enterprises decided to open its own studio space, the three business partners knew that an API 1608 was exactly what the facility needed.
“It’s an all-around beautiful desk,” said Gross, who is also the drummer for rock band Open Air Stereo. “It’s easily maintained, a breeze to use, sounds killer, and looks great – not to mention how reasonably priced it is,” he said. “We have a few Neves and Chandlers for variation, but the 1608 is the heart of the room and we couldn’t be happier with how it’s working for us.”
Gross and Vasquez first met in 2009 doing session work and touring for Capitol Records artist Lolene with Gross on drums and Vasquez on keyboards. The two musicians formed S.T.R.Z. Enterprises shortly after the tour ended and subsequently recruited Riley, whom Gross had met previously while assisting on a session for Gavin Brown. With Riley’s studio, engineering and songwriting knowledge, the team was able to take its company to the next level and open its own recording space complete with a new console purchased through API dealer Alto Music.
“The first time I worked on an API desk was while assisting at Sage and Sound Studios,” said Riley. “They have a beautiful vintage API 3288 there. Drums sounded huge through it, and that’s where I fell in love with the 525s. Later, I went on to do work for Andrew Klippel and he had a newly installed API 1608. When it came time to pick a desk for S.T.R.Z., it was our first choice.”
Since acquiring the console, S.T.R.Z. Enterprises has recorded The Veronicas, Orianthi, Jacob Luttrell, Asher Monroe and many others. In addition to providing recording services, S.T.R.Z. Enterprises offers music production, sound design, post-production, and artist development.
“The 1608 has been used on every session we’ve had come through S.T.R.Z.,” said Gross. “It has definitely been a worthy investment.”