The Brooklyn Studio Sounds: An Altiverb Impulse Response Project, Part II – BC Sound, Trout Recording, The Motherbrain

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Recorded July 5th 2012 via:

Apple MacBook Pro
 Tools 10 + Altiverb 7
I/O – Apogee Duet 2
Monitors – Dynaudio BM15A
Microphones – AKG 414 B-ULS (graciously provided by Justin Colletti)

1) Dry Electric Guitar – Altiverb Electric Guitar

2) Dry Trumpet – Altiverb Trumpet

3) Dry Congas – Altiverb Congas

4) Dry Drums – Altiverb – Altiverb Compressed

5) Dry Drums to Room Blend

[wpaudio url=”″ text=”Well Well Well by Johnny Society – Recorded at Trout.” dl=”0″]


The Motherbrain – Sunset Park, Brooklyn

Brian Bender and I came up through the assistant engineer ranks at The Hit Factory in the last years prior to the close of the studio. I’d heard rumors and seen pictures of the incredible facility Brian had put together in Sunset Park over the last few years but hadn’t managed to get down to see it in person. When I began working on the Altiverb project, he was my first call.

The Motherbrain

The Motherbrain is a sight to be seen. The main studio space clocks in at 28’ x 36’ and houses not only the main recording room but a kitchen, living room area and a vast and ever-expanding collection of new and vintage instruments.

The studio is an ideal environment for songwriters and musicians who want the technical abilities of a major recording studio coupled with the homey feel of working in your living room. When you record at The Motherbrain, that’s exactly what you’re doing.

The Motherbrain room as it exists today was first built around 2002 by Irish society folk musician Fionn O’Lachlainn. Bender notes: “There are thirty plus 2″ reels of his (Fionn’s) here and Andy Wallace is listed as the producer.”

The space was later taken over by Aaron Johnson, drummer for the Brazilian Girls for about 18 months before changing hands to Bender.

Some of the studio’s most recent clients include Pino Pallidino (producing Jose James), Shawn Pelton, Madeleine Peyroux, Me’shell N’dgeocello, Ben Kane, Brazilian Girls, Forro In The Dark, Red Hot Organization, (engineer) James Brown, Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds, and Heather Christian and the Arbornauts among many others.

Recording The Motherbrain’s Music Man

The sounds we captured in Altiverb are a fantastic representation of The Motherbrain. The sound is wide open with a sharp top end, perfect for percussion and well suited for drums, bass and electric guitar.  Along with the room, we sampled the studio’s Valvetrain Spring Thing spring reverb unit and a vintage Music Man guitar amp’s spring reverb.

Recorded June 7th 2012 via:

Apple MacBook Pro
 Tools 10 + Altiverb 7
I/O – Apogee Duet 2
Monitors – KRK 7000B
Microphones – Telefunken AR-51

1) Music Man Amp Spring Reverb

2) Dry Electric Guitar

3) Electric Guitar Spring Thing Spring Reverb

4) Dry Congas and Altiverb Congas

5) Dry Bass – Room Bass – Altiverb Bass

[wpaudio url=”″ text=”Too Much by Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds – Recorded at The Motherbrain.” dl=”0″]


The Brooklyn IR series – including BC Sound, Trout Recording and The Motherbrain – are all available now for Altiverb 7. Click for more details.

Brooklyn IRs in Altiverb 7 browser

Zach McNees is a Brooklyn-based producer/engineer/mixer and live recordist who’s worked with Björk, Rob Thomas, Julia Nunes, The Gregory Brothers, Pixies, Liars and Alice Cooper. Get in touch with Zach via

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