Room With A Vu: May 2009

STUDIO NAME: Rare Book Room StudioLOCATION: Brooklyn, NYCONTACT: KEY CREW: Nicolas VernhesCONSOLE: Refurbished 1979 MCI JH-536

TAPE MACHINES: 1973 3M M79 2" 24-track, 1981 Studer A80 VU 1/2" 2-track

MONITORS: Adam S3A with matching subwoofer, Genelec 1030, Yamaha NS-10

MICROPHONES: AKG C414 TLII and D112, Altec Saltshaker, Audio-Technica AT4047 FET and AT4051, Beyerdynamic M160, Beyerdynamic M500, Beyerdynamic M260, Coles 4038, Earthworks TC30k, Electro-Voice V-2 and RE-20, Lomo 19A19 (M7 capsule), Oktava MK219 and MC012, Royer R-121, Sennheiser MD441 and MD421, Shure SM7, Shure Beta 57, Shure VP-88, Soundelux E47 and U99

OUTBOARD GEAR: Avalon U5 DI, API 4312 preamps, API 5500 stereo EQ, API 2500 stereo bus compressor, Eventide H910, HH Tape Delay, Lexicon PCM80, Maestro Echoplex, Manley ELOP compressor, Peavey VMP-2 tube preamp, Roland Space Echo RE-101, Symetrix 606 delay, Telefunken V 72 preamps, TL Audio stereo tube EQ and preamp, Universal Audio 6176, Vintech X73i preamp

NOTES: Nicolas Vernhes was in a band called Baby Tooth. Baby Tooth put out a record called Rare Book Room.Baby Tooth broke up, Vernhes traded in his teeth for books, and slowly developed his own Rare Book Room Studio.

Vernhes—like most musicians turned engineers—started his studio as a place for his band and friends to record. The recording success of electroclash group Fischerspooner in 1998 opened the pages for Rare Book Room, and now Vernhes prides himself on being the Hollywood-style studio without the Hollywood price.

“Commercial studios buy big name gear all at once, and that’s hard to compete with because you don’t have the budget to buy all that gear,” says Vernhes. “I bought everything in here piece-by-piece, and now I have a studio that was built over 13 years.”

Though the gear is prized, the Brooklyn-based studio acclaims its sanctuary space for recording artists more than the equipment inside.

“The space is really crucial—especially the comfort level,” says Vernhes. “Most commercial studios feel standardized. My studio feels like your own.”

Animal Collective, Fiery Furnaces, and Black Dice are a few of the groups that have made Rare Book Room their own. Vernhes plans on creating a rapport with every band that nests in the studio, and says, “Building a really strong relationship with the people you are about to record is crucial. Opening your studios doors is not enough. Establishing relationships is very important. These are things that need to be folded in and created between the band members and the engineer.”