STUDIO NAME: Treelady Studios
LOCATION: Pittsburgh, PA
KEY CREW: Mark Dignam, Josh Gates, Garrett Haines, Dave Hidek, Andrew Morse
CONSOLE: Sony MPX-3036
COMPUTERS: (Tracking) Mac dual G4 running Pro Tools|HD3, Mac Pro running Pro Tools LE or MOTU Digital Performer 5 with UAD-1 PCIe cards; (mastering) Dell P4 running Sequoia; (restoration) SADiE PCM-8
ANALOG RECORDERS: Ampex ATR-104 with 1", 1/4", and 1/2" head stacks, Sony MCI-JH24 2" 24-track
MONITORS: (Tracking) JBL LSR4328P, Realistic Cubes, Samson Rubicon Ribbon 6e; (mastering) Dunlavy SC-IVs and subs
AMPS: (Mastering) Hafler 9505; Mark Levinson Model 336
PRES: API 212s (x8); Avalon 737 Mercenary Edition; John Hardy M1 (x2); Millennia Media TD-1; Peavey VMP2; PreSonus MP20; Sony MXP (x24)
MICS: ADK A-51 (x2); AKG 414-ULS, C1000 (x2); Astatic Salt Shaker; Audio-Technica AT-2020; Beyerdynamic M130; Blue Bottle (with B4, B6, B7 capsules), Kiwi, Dragonfly (x2); Crown PZM; Electro-Voice EV RE-20; Karma K35; Korby KAT (C12); Microtech Gefell M930 (x2); Morse Labs Copper Pipe; Neumann U47 FET, U87 (1968); Røde NT-5 (x2); Royer 121; Sennheiser MD421; Shure B52, B56, Model 300, SM57 (x6); Yamaha SKRM100 Sub Kick
OUTBOARD: Alesis ML9600; Ampeg Tube Direct; API 2500; ART Pro VLA; BBE 822; Crane Song Avocet, HEDD192, IBIS; Digital Domain DD-2; Drawmer DL241; Empirical Labs Distressor; Ensoniq DP/4; Fairchild Spring Reverb; Furman HDS6; Joe Meek SC2.2; Manley Massive Passive, Vari-Mu (modified); Native Instruments Kore; Northern Electric Limiter; Peavey VC/L; SansAmp RBI; Summit Audio Neve EQ-200; TC Electronic System 6000 Mastering and Reverb Libraries; Universal Audio 1176; WAVES L2
NOTES: When Treelady Studios decided to move from a mastering-only facility to offer more comprehensive services, founding fathers Garrett Haines and Jay Marshall opted for a 6,000 square foot facility located nine miles from downtown Pittsburgh, PA. This new home was expanded to include two tracking rooms, a restoration suite, an in-house repair shop, lounge and gallery, and guest apartment including all necessary amenities — all that was needed to forge onward in their quest to provide multiple sonic options for an increasingly diverse clientèle.
The main tracking area, Studio A (informally referred to as The Jungle), is a unique room, built to satisfy the collective staff ideal. Featuring a 20-foot L-shaped storage unit covered by inch-thick green granite, and a mic locker custom-built by Gerald Marshall, Studio A is nearly 1,500 square feet of open space, as Treelady’s tracking engineers ubiquitously prefer to operate in the room “live” with the musicians they service.
Of course, the issue of isolation was addressed before the first artist walked through the door — if smart baffling isn’t sufficient, the three very different iso-rooms built from varying materials (pine, ash, and palm) will surely suffice. As Haines further explains concerning the philosophy behind Treelady’s Studio A: “Bands usually put their guitar cabs in the booths, keep the heads near them, and get to play with the drummer. A few of us used to work in studios with control rooms. Of course, there are big advantages when it comes to getting sounds, but at the same time, it’s too easy to get lazy and start trying to EQ your way to a good sound — the right way is get off your behind and go move the mic. Plus, being in the room also allows the engineer to catch problems, fix a falling cymbal stand, or untangle a cable. We’ve probably saved clients money because we’re on the scene if something happens.”
But Treelady’s tracking and mixing facilities aren’t really the half of it: From the famed mastering suite and the 5.1 outfitted Studio B (complete with an adjacent mahogany-floored live room for those who require a more traditional arrangement) to the mastering prep rooms to video suites, Treelady truly is a sight to behold. So give them a ring to arrange a visit — if nothing else, it’s a phenomenon worth experiencing for the on-staff Primanti Brothers sandwiches.