One Of Us: The Studio

Having decided on the musicians the next hurdle was to figure out where we were going to record the project. I had already decided that I was going to mix this project in SONAR by this time, but I didn’t have the studio setup or know anyone who had the gear to record an acoustic jazz project with our requirements. So we would have to rent a commercial studio at least for the tracking.

Most studios still track CD sessions at 16 or 24 bit and 44.1 KHz. One of the goals I had for this project was to future proof this recording and record in high definition audio format, so that we could consider releasing it in hi-def DTS format or even as a surround mix later. Another requirement was that we needed a place with an excellent piano as well as an engineer with experience recording acoustic jazz.

We also considered the logistics of rehearsals. All the other musicians lived in NYC – we’d have to have them come to Boston for the entire duration of the rehearsal and recording. Studios in Boston are relatively less expensive, but we concluded that it would be better overall for us to scedule the recording session in NY.

So I went about researching studios in NY. I had a few choices of my own and Johannes also gave me some leads. Most of the places I called either didn’t have a decent piano, charged close to $200/hr,  couldn’t/wouldn’t do 24/96, or had engineers who had no clue about recording, jazz. Hmmm… Boy studio rates in NYC sure are exorbitant for what you get! I was running out of options. Finally, I tracked down Paul Wickliffe who recorded several of Kenny Werner’s CD’s. He had a studio in NJ (Charlestown Road Studios) and had most of the requirements we wanted – 3 iso-booths and a Steinway. He also said he could do 24/96 – not before he tried to convince me that it was worthless though 🙂 Anyway I persisted and he agreed to “rewire” his ProTools HD setup to do 24/96. I would have loved to have tracked in SONAR to make my life easier later, but honestly as long as the audio was being recorded in hi-def with nice mics and through good converters I really didn’t care much.

We booked the final dates for April 27 & 28 2008. Phew, one more milestone done!

One Of Us: The Music →[next]

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