Recording Studio Sweet Spot: Salant Sound – Canarsie, Brooklyn

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Ain’t nothin’ like the real thing, BABY.

At SonicScoop, we gravitate to the studios and engineers who are in it for the audio – and that’s exactly what you’ll find at Salant Sound. Nailing great tracking for their clients is what it’s all about at this Canarsie facility, which serves as a vital recording resource for South Brooklyn.

Indie artists have an ally in facility founder Josh Salant, a drummer who knows first-hand the power of a big drum recording for rock, funk and more. Surrounding the skins at Salant is a live room with space for the whole band, which is one reason why the studio has a growing reputation in this no-nonsense neighborhood.

The other big reason is the Salants themselves – founder Josh, his brother Sean, and their father Michael – a musical family that really cares about great sound. So if you’re seeking a secret weapon live space that’s right off the L Train, look no further.

Drums are second nature at Salant Sound.

Drums are second nature at Salant Sound.

Facility Name: Salant Sound LLC

Website: http://www.facebook.com/salantsound

Location: Canarsie, Brooklyn, NY

Neighborhood Advantages: South Brooklyn has a very vibrant music history, dating back to the days when the famous rock club L’amours reigned king in Brooklyn and NYC rock and roll.

National touring acts would come through to the Dyker Heights/Bensonhurst area and would bring flocks of teens and all music lovers alike, and also gave a shot to local bands to perform as opening acts. There are still tons of people who were fans of the club, and of course musicians, who are still playing regularly. The music scene is still a tight knit and strong community.

Today, South Brooklyn’s music scene is very expansive, whether it be the alternative rock scene in the Bay Ridge bar scene, rock, hip hop, soca, neosoul, and gospel in Canarsie, art rock, folk rock and the singer songwriters. This includes neighborhoods in South Brooklyn such as Marine Park, Bergen Beach, Sheepshead Bay, and Gravesend. The music scene is thriving!

There are not a lot of recording studios here, and a classic, Electric Plant Studios, which was ran by a good friend of mine, Vin Cin, has recently closed down. I am always busy recording all kinds of original music, anything from delicate violins to death metal, and everything in between. And I have recently been doing some goth opera and some noise rock, which are always fun and are styles that push the limits of the conventional recording studio.

Some of the advantages of South Brooklyn is that everything is in close proximity, especially by car, but definitely possible through buses and trains. Bands live near each other, and eat together; there are tons of kick ass pizza places such as Canarsie’s Armando’s pizza and Original Pizza or other South Brooklyn staples like Rollnroaster, Brennan and Carr, or Sonny’s Heroes, and it’s a real local thing.

Some of my clientele come to the studio by the L train, which is only two blocks away from me, and goes through some of the most creative spaces in Brooklyn, Williamsburg and Bushwick. I worked at Sam Ash Music right by Kings Plaza for eight years, and I was fortunate to meet some great local musicians and make some great connections. It’s a small world we live in, and the music scene in Brooklyn is no exception – it’s like a big family, most of the time!

Date of Birth: The studio has been slowly building for the last 14 years, but we went into business as of early 2013.

It started out as a practice space for me and my brother, and quickly became a spot for our band to record, (with two boom boxes!), and it slowly grew from there. We “upgraded” to a 16 Yamaha MG live mixing board going into a two-channel interface, micing up the drums with Shure SM58’s, and has since worked its way up to many upgrades.  Currently it’s a 24 channel fully functional recording studio.

Facility Focus: At Salant Sound, our main focus is tracking, whether it be a five-piece rock band or a single vocal overdub, tracking is our thing.

I have set up the studio to cater to tracking bands together, using 24-channel simultaneous recording, and a large enough live room for all musicians to comfortably track together. I love this way of recording, because bands are used to playing in the same room together. Its gets a tight performance with a killer vibe!

I have the amps isolated in iso booths to keep things clean for editing and mixdown, but everyone is in the same room, recording their takes together as one unit. I have also installed the Hear Technologies Hear Back personal monitor mixer systems, so everyone can nail their own cuemix with their own personal mixers to get exactly what they want to hear and get their best performance.

Having good monitoring while tracking helps immensely: With today’s digital technology, as many overdubs as needed is easily possible, and all the amenities necessary to make records are right at our fingertips.

Josh Salant in control.

Josh Salant in control.

Drums/Mics/Amps: As for drums, being a drummer myself, I wanted the most flexibility with drum sounds as well as to satisfy one of the pickiest drummers I know, MYSELF! My main kit is a late 1990’s Yamaha Stage Custom, which is a mixed wood, birch, mahogany, and falkata woods. I love that because you get the “cut” and low end from birch, with the mellow resonance and sustain of mahogany.

The configuration I have is 22 x 17″ kick, 10 x 8″ 12 x 9″ 13 x 10″ rack toms and 16 x 16″ floor tom. My metal guys love the big kit, and because of the various sizes, a fusion or funk player can choose the sizes they want to use. I also have my father’s old 1965 Kent Japanese jazz kit, with a 22 x 14″ kick, and 13 x 9″ 14 x 14″ toms and a matching 14 x 5″ snare. This kit has an awesome classic sound with super warm mahogany shells, that I outfitted with newer Yamaha tom mounts and some serious bass drum spurs. Now the kit has the sound of a classic with the dependable hardware of a modern kit, and it’s my main kit for the road.

Besides the Kent snare I have a 14 x 5″ Ludwig Supraphonic chrome snare with a blue and olive badge from the ‘70’s and a modern all birch Pearl Vision snare, both of which are a favorite for sessions.

I mic the drums up with 11 mics: an AKG D112 inside the kick, a Yamaha Subkick outside the kick, a Shure SM57 on the snare top, and on the snare bottom and on the top of all the toms, Sennheiser e604 mics. For overheads, I use the Rode NT5 pencil condensers, and a Cascade Fathead II ribbon mic as a mono room mic.

For guitars amps, I have a Ceriatone Marshall Plexi clone, which is a killer amp, as well as a Marshall JCM2000 and Peavey 5150MKII for high gain. I also have a 1979 Fender Twin Reverb Deluxe – it’s great for cleans or blues crunch, and it’s the go-to amp for the Rhodes Mark 1 in the studio. I even use my dad’s old Silvertone amp, which is a beast!

For bass I’m running a Hartke 2500 250 watt head into an old Acoustic model 402 215 cab, and a Peavey 115 Black Widow cab mic’d up in the bass booth.

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