The Pleasure Machine

LOCATION: Brooklyn, NY CONTACT: KEY CREW: Christopher Walsh

CONSOLES: Digidesign 002; Soundcraft Spirit E6

COMPUTERS: Apple iBook G4, iMac G4, Intel Core 2 Duo

RECORDING HARDWARE: Alesis MasterLink; Digidesign Mbox

RECORDING SOFTWARE: Digidesign Pro Tools 7.3 LE

STORAGE: Glyph Companion; LaCie d2 Quadra; Maxtor One Touch

SOUND TREATMENT: Auralex Acoustics AudioTile Shockwave, Q’Fusor Diffusors

MONITORS: Hafler M5 Reference; Roland DS-7 Bi-Amp Monitors

AMPS: Hafler TA 1100

PRES: SSL XLogic Alpha Channel; Studio Projects VTB-1

MICS: AKG D2000S (2); Audio-Technica 3060, Sennheiser e835; Shure SM57 (4), SM58 (4); Studio Projects C1

OUTBOARD: Alesis NanoCompressor, NanoVerb; Aphex Aural Exciter; Furman RR-15Plus Rack Rider

INSTRUMENTS: Epiphone John Lennon Casino; Fender GDC-200, Jazz Bass, Rhodes, Stratocaster, Telecaster; Gibson SG, Songwriter Deluxe; Tama Starclassic Maple drums

AMPLIFICATION: Fender Acoustasonic 30; Hartke HA 3500; Reverend Hellhound 40/60; Vox AC15

NOTES: The transition from “home studio” to simply “studio” is one of the most liberating experiences a musician/recordist can have. In the Pleasure Machine, four musicians comprising numerous bands and projects have finally taken that plunge, claiming a room in the Northside Music Complex, in the musician-heavy Williamsburg section of Brooklyn — an area that’s home to the likes of the Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs, They Might be Giants, and many, many others.

It’s true: With such a live, vibrant and ever-changing music scene, Williamsburg was ripe and ready for a studio to record the sudden influx of talent now foregoing the trip across the East River and staying put in The Burg. When asked about the ethos he abided by when he and his partners-in-crime opened the part rehearsal space/part recording studio affectionately dubbed The Pleasure Machine, guitarist/producer Christopher Walsh said, “We are from Brooklyn, we play in Brooklyn, we’re damn sure going to record in Brooklyn.”

Given the need for the room to have multiple uses as not only a rehearsal space but a room to record tracks, the partnership searched for a sound treatment solution that would optimize the 234 square feet of rectangular space. In particular, mid and high frequencies endlessly bouncing off bare drywall were troublesome, producing an indecipherable, constant wall of noise — hardly what’s needed when you’re trying to write, let alone record.

Upon contacting Auralex Acoustics with the room’s dimensions and receiving an aptly dubbed “Personalized Room Analysis,” the guys armed their walls with broadband absorbers arranged in an array (check out the before and after photos above). These were positioned along the rear wall to break up the flat wall reflections and scatter mid-high frequency energy evenly throughout the room, giving a more open and natural sound.

After rolling in the gear (a limited, but effective, group of equipment), all was good to go. From demos to indie recordings — such as Kieran McGee’s “Narrow Mind” — the Pleasure Machine has become a one-stop shop for local artists who need a place to work out their songs, and achieve a respectable recording before moving on to the big time.

Pretty amazing how a few choice pieces of gear and a well-treated room can turn a space the size of a small studio apartment into a functional practice space/studio, eh?