Room with a VU(4)

Hidden one-half mile off the coast of Half Moon Bay lies the most hardcore surf destination in California: Mavericks. Given its name because of its unpredictable nature, Mavericks is a place where world-class surfers brave frigid shark-infested waters, jagged rocks, and fierce cross currents to pit their skills against man-eating waves that are bigger than most buildings. Fast Forward: New York City, 2005.
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Take the B or D train to Grand Street. Get off, go up the stairs and you’ll find yourself right smack in the middle of Chinatown. If you look up the street, you’ll see the Manhattan Bridge leading off to Brooklyn. Walking toward the bridge you’ll see a park where you notice some street ball underway: flashy moves, trash talkin’, and big ballin. You’re at Christie Street. You enter an old brick building with metal shops and printing presses and directly next door to a very cool art gallery, behind a nondescript door, hidden, understated: Mavericks.

Enter Bobby Lurie, a West Coast transplant, studio guy, and a musician for the twisted Billy Nayer Show. I asked Bobby to do one thing for me and to do it two different ways: “Describe Mavericks first the way you would describe it to a studio guy; secondly, the way you’d do it if you were going to describe it to the average guy on the street.”

“Mavericks was built with floated floors, pine treated walls in the style of Avatar’s B room, and minimal parallel surfaces. Bass traps are in each corner, and numerous diffussors are strategically placed throughout the room and are used to maintain a live and natural sound. While the studio has one main room, the mix area is lightly deader than the rest of the room, and has several panels and clouds strategically placed to maintain a relatively flat response. The studio has tie lines to a main iso booth, and a machine room, as well as two additional rooms. The most striking feature of the main room is the versatility that you can get with a pretty minimal setup. Drums, for example, can sound tight and punchy or roomy and huge, depending on miking technique. Both digital and analog formats are featured, as well as a very healthy selection of outboard gear. While built primarily as a tracking facility, Mavericks is now often used as a mix room as well. Now, if I were to explain it to someone who knew nothing about studios I would describe it like this:

‘Mavericks’ is like that dream clubhouse you built with your friends when you were a kid. You didn’t care if all the wood you had pulled off of some abandoned building matched, you just wanted a totally cool place to hang out and be creative and play pranks on each other. A place your folks could never find, that was all your own. It’s like a beach house meets a spaceship.’”

Oh yeah.