After a 28 year run, the legendary Magic Shop Recording Studio was forced to close after a seemingly epic year recording David Bowie’s Blackstar, Foo Fighters and Blondie among countless others. Due to an ever changing NYC studio market and soaring real estate values, owner Steve Rosenthal approached us to find a new home for the the original double BBC Neve console and amazing equipment collection. The studio was decommissioned in March and the collection will be moving in its entirety out to its new home 10 miles outside of Iowa City where we have been commissioned to design the control room, restore the console and integrate the studio. New owner Steve McIntosh has built a freestanding facility with his crew and the studio is nearing completion.
We had a great visit with Scott Hull at Masterdisk in NYC last week. We picked up some very cool gear and he treated us to a brief lesson at the Neumann Lathe. Scott knows so much about making vinyl records – check out the Masterdisk blog for his articles on the whole vinyl mastering process, and while you’re there, take a quick look at Scotts’ discography.
Here’s a gallery of some of our recent projects. It’s been a busy Spring starting with an SSL K install for Metallica on the west coast and a G+ refurb and install in CT. Currently we’re busy with ongoing custom mods on a Neve VR, an API, a special RND 5088 with Flying Faders, and another SSL restoration.
Big thanks to Ryan Billia, who sent us these photos of Rumble, his recently opened audio post room in Williamsburg Brooklyn. Ryan also answered some of our questions about the design of his facility and his plans for the studio which is outfitted with a Digidesign Icon D-Control ES 32 Recording Console and a custom tuned Meyer Acheron surround system.
Sonic Circus: What made you choose the Meyer Acheron system for Rumble?
Ryan Billia: When I began designing the studio almost a year ago, I considered an EXP system because they seemed like they were designed for a studio exactly like what I was building. Unfortunately with all the other equipment, it put me way over budget. I spoke with an Engineer out in LA, Marti D. Humphrey of The Dubstage, and he really helped me to hone my system specifically to what I was planning on doing. He uses Meyers and spoke extremely highly of them…which was all the endorsement I needed. By swapping out some items, it seemed like they might be possible. I began looking for a used Icon and saw a listing on Sonic Circus. Contacted David Lyons at Sonic who was able to work out a package deal with the Meyer System. It all came within budget.
SC: Can you discuss the room tuning process that Meyer provided.
RB: Meyer included the tuning with the purchase of the system (only travel expenses for the engineer were necessary). Brian Bolly of Meyer came up from Baltimore for almost 2 full days with a Meyer SIM3 system. He fully calibrated the speakers with pink noise and tones. He commented that the room was well constructed with only a few problem areas that we needed to deal with (generally in the low-frequencies, which is common in a room this size). We also listened to lots of reference material. He built me a series of templates I can pull up instantly in the Meyer Compass software depending on what I am mixing, i.e. 5.1 and 7.1 with and without x-curve, and a fun “film night” setting with added low-end and “bite.” He was great and it gave me a lot more confidence in the system moving ahead.
SC: You do mixing, recording, and sound design – how many different spaces do you have at Rumble?
RB: I am offering a “1-stop-shop” approach to the independent film market in NYC. Post-supervisors can come with their complete audio post budget and be able to get everything done here. I only need to outsource deliverables: encoding/layback, i.e DCP, Tapes, Film-Out, etc:
- Dialogue Editing
- Sound Edit and Sound Design
- Re-recording Mix
- Necessary encoding
- I’m in discussions with a Music Supervisor and Composer about bringing their services in as well
SC: We know lots of post engineers who prefer to work on the Icon. What’s the best thing about working this way.
RB: The Icon (D-Control) speeds up the work flow significantly. But another great advantage for me is that most mixers know the Icon. So anyone who walks into the room can immediately bring up a mix they are working on and feel comfortable. I wanted the room to be comfortable not just for me, but for any engineer that might walk in.
SC: What kind of clients are you looking to get into Rumble?
RB: I wanted to build a studio to support the creative media industry in NYC, namely film, TV, advertising, and new media. The primary mix room is geared towards film but someone mixing a web-series or TV spot will feel just as comfortable. The room is perfect for festival films and theatrical releases. It is also perfect as a pre-mix room for the larger stages in LA. Mixes will translate beautifully to the larger stages (mostly because many have Meyers as well). It is also ideal for freelance mixers who might be working in home studios and need a more calibrated room to finish in. I really want to support independent film and feel my business model allows me to do that.
SC: Sounds like your room is pretty specialized, how does it compare to other studios in the area.
RB: Brooklyn is definitely a (if not “the”) hub of creativity. As far as I can tell, there are no other studios like Rumble in Brooklyn. In fact it is one of only three Meyer EXP rooms in NYC and the only one in Brooklyn. The location is only about 15 minutes outside of Manhattan by train on one of the busiest subway lines in the city. The size is comparable to the medium to larger rooms in Manhattan, but without the Manhattan overhead.
Thanks Ryan, we’re looking forward to seeing and hearing lots of great projects from Rumble.
Rumble Audio Post
140 Waterbury St. Brooklyn, NY 11206
Get more information on the Meyer Acheron Systems here
Sonic Circus News
Lots of activity here at Sonic Circus. Here are some highlights:
In Brooklyn NY, Ryan Billia’s audio post studio, Rumble recently opened for business. Outfitted with a Digidesign Icon D-Control ES 32 Recording Console and a custom tuned Meyer Acheron surround system, Rumble looks forward to bringing mixing, recording, and sound design to Williamsburg Brooklyn’s audio landscape.
Not far away, Brooklyn’s Bushwick neighborhood is anticipating the upcoming opening of Radio Bushwick, a venture that combines a 2500 square-foot concert hall, an internet radio station and a bar in one unique venue. It takes a lot of gear to do all of that in one place so we supplied them with stage and radio microphones, a Midas/QSC concert audio system, DJ equipment, and audio snakes and cables to tie it all together. Radio Bushwick will be open before the end of the year.
Indie band The Kills features American singer Alison Mosshart and British guitarist Jamie Hince. Well known as fans of vintage gear and recording techniques, they have recorded on the vintage Sly Stone Flickinger desk with producer Bill Skibbe at Keyclub Recording Studio, and released a live, direct-to-acetate album recorded for Jack White’s Third Man Records – live mixed by Vance Powell and cut simultaneously by master cutter George Ingram using a 1953 Scully Lathe. The Kills now have vintage console of their own, a 1968 Neve console, fitted with1058 modules which have a reputation for a serious ‘rock and roll’ sound. Reportedly, The Who’s Quadrophenia was recorded on a console loaded with 1058s.
Boogie Tracks Studio, the Panama City, Florida studio owned by recording engineer JJ Crews is now the home of an SSL 4064E/G+ with Total Recall. Crews splits his time between Florida and Nashville, but engineer and session musician Chaz Butler keeps Boogie Tracks busy with sessions with local and national musicians, making music from gospel to metal.
Sonic Circus co-founder Brian Charles, producer and owner of Boston recording studio Zippah, has created The Tuesday Night Recording Club. Charles and songwriter Aaron Perrino of The Sheila Divine, assemble local musicians to create a new song based on recording techniques of a seminal moment in music history. It’s an ongoing project that has covered The Memphis Soul sound, Elvis Presley circa 1965, Neil Young’s Harvest, Nirvana’s In Utero and many more. Charles posts the results which include audio, video, and an in-depth article to the Zippah website at zippah.com/blog. They’ve been written up in the Boston Globe, and have just been nominated for best blog in the Boston Music Awards 2013.
We were sad to hear that ATR Services and Magnetic’s owner Mike Spitz passed on October 12th. He was respected worldwide as the premier expert on Analog tape and tape machines. When 3M, BASF/EMTEC, and Quantegy left the marketplace, Mike and ATR Magnetics picked up the torch for tape and tape machines. His knowledge and expertise with tape machine electronics and mechanics was invaluable and he will be missed. R.I.P. Mike Spitz.
Professional DJ Controller for iPad – http://www.numark.com/product/idjpro
USB/MIDI Keytar Controller with Accelerometer - http://alesis.com/vortex
Compact Ableton Controller - Ableton Live software included – http://www.akaipro.com/apc20
Alto Professional iPA
Portable Music System for iPad – http://altoproaudio.com/products/ipa
Sonivox Reggaeton – http://sonivoxmi.com/products/details/reggaeton-instrumento-virtual
the first virtual instrument designed and dedicated to Reggaeton Production
M-Audio Keystation 49SE MKII – http://www.m-audio.com/products/en_us/Keystation49es.html
49-Key MIDI Controller Full-size keys. Velocity-sensitive keyboard. Pitch bend and modulation wheels. USB powered.
Take a look at the new digs of The Rock Garden Studio in Appleton WI. Mark Golde and his crew have set up one of the finest studios in the Fox Valley of central WI. The highlight of the control room is the fully restored Deane Jensen API Aengus console. If you want to see more of the console, check out this video of the move from the old studio space to the new one.
And enjoy the photos of the new space.