Studio Revelations: Less is More

Some kids want to own a candy store. I dreamed of owning a music store. In the early ’90s, I bought into NYC’s EastSide Sound studio. In 2000, my partner Bob Brockman and I opened NuMedia Studios in NoHo, and
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Some kids want to own a candy store. I dreamed of owning a music store. In the early ’90s, I bought into NYC’s EastSide Sound studio. In 2000, my partner Bob Brockman and I opened NuMedia Studios in NoHo, and I found myself working with Grammy-winning artists such as Herbie Hancock, Ben Harper, Bryan McKnight, Smashing Pumpkins, Tim McGraw, and Moby.

By 2007, we began to see large rooms like ours devolve into an endangered species. We were working 20 days a month just to meet our overhead. Our landlord wanted to renew our lease, but I’d started a family, and I felt it was time to reassess. The industry was changing at warp speed. Technology was getting smaller, cheaper, and more powerful, and fans were rejecting the age-old concept of paying for music. We decided not to renew our NuMedia contract.

Professional Audio Design owner Dave Malekpour confirmed my belief that I could turn my garage into a top-flight, work-at-home facility within a reasonable budget. I already owned a considerable amount of analog gear, and Dave developed a package that fit perfectly with the hybrid “in-the-box/out-of-the-box” working style I envisioned. Dave also recommended architect/acoustician John Storyk’s Walters-Storyk Design Group to design my home studio.

Thanks to evolving equipment, advanced acoustic prediction, and simulation-design techniques, I maintained the quality of my mixes as effectively in my 400-square-foot garage studio as I had in my 4,000-square-foot NuMedia complex. Thanks to Storyk’s expertise and a floating, roomwithin- a-room structure with a poured concrete floor, I’d be free to work at noise levels in excess of 110dB without disturbing neighbors or resident wildlife.

With a Digidesign D-Control console, Focal Twin 5.1 system, KRK Expose E8s, Neve 1081s, outboard gear, and a loaded API 500-series rack, my country studio represents the ultimate home-mixing environment. It’s artistically inspiring, and I can make extremely expensivesounding but cost-effective records.

The city still has wonderful large rooms, and if I need to book a live session, my friend Troy Germano— who built Germano Studios on NuMedia’s footprint—will welcome me in my old studio. I can be a client instead of an owner, and then bring the files upstate where I don’t need to watch the clock. And I’m saving hours of commuting time each day, and dramatically increasing my quality time with my kids.