AVN was pleased t be selected to install and connect Electric Lady's restored Neve 8078. AMS also provided Avid HD equipment and Antelope clocking and some new millwork items from Sterling Modular.
GREENWICH VILLAGE: Most people know it as the house that Jimi built: Electric Lady Studios, that storied rock-and-roll recording haunt on 8th Street. But what most people do not know is that the studio – made famous by classic 70s sessions with the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Stevie Wonder, John Lennon, AC/DC and Patti Smith – is today in the midst of a new golden age to the tune of Kanye West, Beastie Boys, Coldplay and John Mayer.
And now, on the heels of a strong five-year-run under manager Lee Foster, new ownership is investing in the business, enabling Foster to makeover and build-out the facility in ways he’s been plotting for years.
“It’s almost like we’re starting over again,” says Foster, who is now a minority equity partner in the studio. “We’d reached top tier and needed a capital investment to meet the level of service required to insure return business. It was time to show our clients that we are willing to return their investment in us, and the new owner allowed it.”
“We’ve taken everything we know about the business, and basically developed a new company. We took the staff and boiled it down to a core group – then quickly added new people to round things out.”
The physical renovations began several months ago. While the studio has been steadily booked, Foster and crew have been busy bees executing a plan that included significant technical, acoustic and cosmetic upgrades to Studio A and common areas as well as a brand-new new mix suite on the second floor – building out the hive.
For Foster, these latest developments have been a long time coming. When he took over management six years ago, he began a series of upgrades: first, to restore the studio from a state of disrepair, then to update and refine, and now – with the new owner’s input and backing – to sweeten and blow-out.
Accordingly, Studio A is now home to a Neve 8078 console acquired from Clinton Recording, completely restored and recapped by Vintage King, and equipped with Martin Sound Flying Faders II. As Foster puts it, the idea was “to make Studio A more classic,” noting: “The new owner and I sat down and decided, we’ll do this to the standards of 1974 – no short cuts; character over convenience.”
Replacing the larger footprint-SSL 9080 J console, the Neve brings a new look and feel to the room, which has been accordingly revamped with vintage-style cosmetic treatments. And technically, Studio A has been completely rewired and outfitted with a new Pro Tools HD rig and Antelope Audio Trinity Atomic clock.
Meanwhile, the Studio A live room underwent renovations last year – both to address the river running underneath the basement studio (with French drains and modern plumbing) and to beef up and even out the flooring and acoustics throughout the room.
“We took up the floor and walls and rebuilt it with suggestions from [the original studio architect] John Storyk,” says Foster. “The floors had been redone a few times over the years and somewhere along the way, someone got it wrong. The room acoustics were a bit spotty in the corners as a result – so we put in all new floors, which gave the room a much hardier backbone, a really solid foundation. Now the room has this really even sound throughout – which clients immediately commented on.”
The entrance and reception got a makeover too though of course all in keeping with the classic look and feel of Electric Lady – incorporating deluxe hi-fi system, mid-century modern furniture and flashes of psychedelia for the perfect retro futuristic underground rock-and-roll bunker vibe.
“There’s nothing like walking into the reception area and hearing that sweet sound of a vinyl record playing on the record player going through a great tube Macintosh system,” says master mixer and long-term Electric Lady resident Michael Brauer. “It’s the way I like to start my day as I head down the hallway to Studio B that’s been my home for the past couple years.
“I love it here, thanks to Lee Foster, one of the greatest studio managers I’ve ever known and to our new owner whose love for music is evident the moment you step through the doorway of the lady.”
July 11th, 2011 by Janice Brown
- See more at: http://www.sonicscoop.com/2011/07/11/a-classic-now-more-classic-electric-lady-studios-expands-adds-neve-api-consoles/#sthash.wwl8H0HG.DJS1FNDD.dpuf