Get ready to totally rethink what a rehearsal studio can do.
Replay Music Studios, in NYC’s West Village, has an idea that a rehearsal studio can be a lot of things. Founded by drummer/child therapist/social worker John Rubin, the vision behind it is to offer musicians of all ages in NYC a first-rate rehearsal experience. As you’ll see, there’s a great deal of fresh ideas that go into that.
Working together with his wife Mare, Rubin has launched Replay, creating a place where both professionals and kids are meant to feel equally at home. An active musician in the independent NYC music scene for the past 20 years, he chose the West Village for its proximity to some of NYC’s top music venues to offer the musical community what he terms “a better place to meet and play.”
Check out the inventory at Replay: three professionally equipped studios, as well as one drum room, all available for hourly rental. A high quality live audio/video system allows bands to record their songs, then download them to watch, learn from, and share via the web. The connections extend out from there, with Replay committed to supporting and promoting the artists who work there via social media.
The space that is designed to be – and remain — clean, comfortable and welcoming, including a lounge area with free Wi-Fi. Rubin and his co-founders also complement Replay’s rehearsal offerings with a Band Coaching programs for kids and teens.
We see the appeal becoming clear not only to artists and families, but to management and labels, as well as recording studios in need of an elite recommendation for pre-production. Don’t be surprised if the Replay concept starts to get replayed everywhere.
Facility Name: Replay Music Studios
Location/Phone Number: 421 Hudson St. (enter on Clarkson) West Village, NY, NY, (212) 235-7510
Neighborhood Advantages: I wanted to open a rehearsal studio where I would want to be. This obviously has a lot to do with the space, gear, technology, and vibe, but it also has plenty to do with, as they say, location, location, location. Being in a residential neighborhood was a priority because I knew that it would be more accessible to many different types of musicians.
Also, being so close to a lot of live music venues in downtown Manhattan and Brooklyn, makes it a lot easier to rehearse before playing or seeing gigs. It’s also just more pleasant to be able to get loud in one of NYC’s nicest neighborhoods.
Building out a rehearsal studio in the basement of a prime residential building was not without it’s challenges, but with the building’s support and the help of some very knowledgeable and talented people, we were able to make it happen.
The ceiling height was a key element with this location as well as the presence of a gym above the studio. The combination of acoustical engineer Al Fierstein, and renowned studio builder, Chris Harmaty provided me with the design and confidence I needed to trust that noise was not going to be a problem.
Of course, you never know how well it is going to work until you build it, but I would trust these guys with any soundproofing project you could think of.
Date of Birth: September 2012. We reopened in January of 2013 after rebuilding from Hurricane Sandy.
Facility Focus: We are a new music rehearsal space with top-notch gear and the only rehearsal studio in New York (and maybe the world) with a unique, one-click, audio and HD video live recording system.
In addition, we offer workshops and band coaching for kids and teens. We are committed to providing musicians with the best possible rehearsal experience.
Mission Statement: At Replay Studios, we provide innovative, professional spaces and creative opportunities for musicians of all ages.
We strive to foster a community built around the love of music, a willingness to take risks and work with others.
Key Personnel: I run the studio with the help of Manager/Band Coach/Singer-songwriter Chris Lind, and Marketing Associate/Band Coach/Multi-Instrumentalist Dan Kleederman.
Together, we help each band/artist get the in-room and achieve the live recording sound they want. We also play together and teach as the “house band” backing up other professional and amateur artists as well as run the Creating Rock band coaching programs for kids and teens.
Studio Highlight: When I was beginning this project, many people questioned my “nice” equipment choices, noting the expense and upkeep that comes along with the territory. But, in observing musicians using our studios, it became clear that these carefully designed rooms called for equipment that, in a way, respected the space as a whole.
Ultimately, no corners were cut in this process, and I think the end result and musical experience really does reflect that and sets us apart. I feel that we offer a premier space that is welcoming and allows musicians of all ages to be themselves.
I am a drummer so I wanted the drums in the studios to be something special. I am a very big fan of GMS Drums so I contacted Tony Gallino who I had met through a mutual friend and he helped me outfit the studios with beautiful five-piece Special Edition drum kits.
I also wanted to offer something different from other rehearsal spaces in NYC and thought that putting an Orange amp in each room would be something you don’t usually see. In addition to the Orange amps, there is something from Fender, Bogner, Mesa Boogie and RockNRollAmps.
Having high quality gear was important to me so I made efforts to keep the standards high. Aguilar bass amps/cabinets, JBL (STX815 and STX812) monitors, Presonus mixing boards, Yamaha stage pianos and a Nord Electro 3 round out the line up.
Add the reliable Shure SM58 microphone and you have a pretty sweet room to play in.
Distinguishing Characteristics: One of the most distinguishing characteristics about Replay is that each of our three studios is equipped with an easy to use HD video/audio recording system that captures any song performed in the studio with a click of a mouse on a computer in the room.
Every time you stop the recording process, an MP4 file is created with high quality audio. A pair of Audio Technica 4040’s are mounted on the ceiling to capture the live sound of the room and this is supplemented by recording the vocals, keys and bass (if needed) directly to the computer.
Each room has a Presonus Studiolive 16.4.2 mixing board, which gives us a lot of flexibility to get both a good live and recorded sound.
Already, people have used the videos to promote their bands, demo their material, and/or learn how to improve their performances. We have especially found that it is an excellent learning tool for the kids involved in our band coaching program.
We also wanted to build rooms that had a little life in them. Having wood flooring and 50% of the walls covered with acoustic panels gave us a nice balance and enhances the live sound of the room, which you can hear in the recordings.