Want in on a Union Square secret?
Named in the 1800’s for the convergence of Broadway and the former Bowery Road (now 4th Avenue) – that’s the “Union” – the area has grown to be a dynamic center of art, cuisine, and political protest. It’s the undisputed heart of NYC’s downtown, and private music production spaces abound, but curiously you have to search hard to find a commercial studio.
If you know where to look, however, you’ll discover a gem like Sound Generation, which has been in action since 2005 on 14th Street between 5th and 6th Avenues. The location of founder Andrew Mittelman’s recording and mixing facility is massively convenient for clients from every direction, but that’s not the sole source of his success.
In fact, Mittelman has applied some intense technical proficiency to this creative space, which has serviced everyone from Sara Bareilles and Leslie Odom Jr. to Sony Music and “This American Life.” Over the years, he’s built a fully networked “no limits” environment for artists, producers and composers to play in.
For mixing and tracking, his gathering of Rupert Neve Modules makes for a different kind of 32-channel console. And backing up the workflow is a powerful but precise double-sub system that takes critical listening to an elite level – see why his .1 gives 110%.
Want a serious critical listening situation? Listen without fear here. And what can you do with dual subwoofers? Mittelman has it worked out: See why his .1 gives 110% to the low end.
Facility Name: Sound Generation
Date of Birth: April 2005
Location: Manhattan, Union Square/West Village
Neighborhood Advantages: 14th street is the hub of downtown Manhattan, easily accessible from all boroughs by public transportation, from New Jersey by Path train or by car via the west side highway or FDR drive. Union Square park is down the street from the studio and there are plenty of places to eat or have coffee – everything from Popeye’s or Murray’s Bagels to the Blue Water Grill. Even the occasional protest march!
Facility Focus: Tracking, Mixing, Audio Post
Mission Statement: Sound Generation is well suited for recording vocals – singers or spoken word including voiceover and narration. We welcome and have worked with musical groups or solo artists in a variety of styles including pop/rock, hip hop, jazz, classical.
The studio has a very comfortable vibe and is available 24 hours, allowing for night sessions. The facility is available for hire with an engineer as well as for incoming engineers or producers who need a place to work with their clients to provide a top quality recording, mixing and monitoring environment. Attention to detail is emphasized in the design of the studio and the equipment as well as in the finished product.
Clients/Credits: Sara Bareilles, Leslie Odom Jr., Maya Beiser, Eve Beglarian, Fred Shehadi, Yaron Gershovsky, Kobie Powell, Keith Patchel, Tom Heasley, Batillus, Car Bomb, Shiner Massive Soundsystem, Sony Music, Slash Records, Vendetta Records, KCRW: Morning Becomes Eclectic, This American Life, ASPECT: The Chronicle of New Media Art, Snorri Bros
Seriously – This American Life, Sara Bareilles, and Leslie Odom, Jr.
Maya Beiser – Almost Human
Batillus – 12” EP
Batillus – Concrete Sustain
Key Personnel: Andrew Mittelman (engineer)
Pro Tools HD 12 w/ HDX 3
D-Command 24 console
DAD AX32 (2) w/ madi + AES option cards
Waves DiGiGrid DLI, IOC, MGO (2), SGS Server
Mytek 8×192 (6)
Trinnov MC Processor
Colin Broad TMC-1
Rupert Neve Designs 5032 (16), 5012 (4), 5033 (8), 5043 (4), 5042, 5014, 5059 (2), Master Buss Processor
The (2) DAD AX32 serve as the digital routers and master clock for the entire studio: 128 I/O via HD connectors to Pro Tools, 128 I/O via MADI to the DiGiGrid network (MGO units), 48 AD/DA via MADI to the Mytek 8×192 (soon to be replaced with the new Mytek 16 channel AD/DA units which will be released in 2017), and 48 digital I/O via AES/EBU connections to all reverbs/effects as well as computer audio (Mutec MC-1.2 <> Mutec MC-6) and ISDN.
The connection via the Mutec USB/AES and sample rate converter ensures that stereo audio can always be monitored through the computer’s coreaudio driver regardless of the sample rate of the DAW. Need to check something in iTunes, playback a file from the drive or the internet, watch a video on YouTube? It is always available on a dedicated input.
The (2) AX32 and (1) DiGiGrid DLI are connected to HDX cards 1-3. When using Pro Tools the DLI is primarily for StudioRack plug-in processing on the server, allowing all Waves plugins to be used in DSP, low latency mode regardless of Pro Tools session settings.
The DLI also provides an additional 64 I/O from native audio DAW or Virtual Instruments running on a studio computer or any computer in the studio network. This offers a lot of possibilities. A session that comes into the studio on another DAW can stream as many as 128 channels directly into Pro Tools (when combined with the MGO to AX32 connections) either running on a studio computer or a guest machine.
There is no need to import and export files to/from Pro Tools, the two transports can lock and run in sync. Especially useful for Logic, Cubase, Digital Performer, Ableton Live. This allows composers and producers to make additional adjustments to the project while working in their familiar software environment, or a performer can have the VI instruments or other software in the studio on a laptop while recording.
The DiGiGrid IOC audio interface is used for talk and listen mic inputs, dual headphone outputs in the control room, a 7.1 surround input from the blu-ray player for reference material or surround decoded streaming content, output to a bookshelf stereo system in the control room for additional monitor reference and also 16 channels of digital I/O with SRC. The “legacy” effects units such as Lexicon PCM 81/91, Kurzweil ksp8, Princeton Digital 2016 which operate at 48kHz or less are still connected digitally to the DAW regardless of the session sample rate. Unlike most digital SRC which is only on the input, the IOC has SRC in both directions so the equipment stays at 48kHz no matter what.
In addition, when using the DiGiGrid network with SoundGrid as the coreaudio driver of a native DAW the entire analog and digital I/O of the studio is available, as well as the low-latency mixing, monitoring and plugins. This means an outside engineer or producer can work the way they like with any software and be insured full access to all of the equipment in the studio. No more limitations from using the HDX cards as coreaudio.
The use of the Rupert Neve Designs system provides the sound of a modern analog console while maintaining the flexibility, recall and control that a digital system and the D-Command console provide. 24 channels of mic preamplification with 3 and 5 band equalization, 8 channels of compression and 32 channels of analog summing with the option to add Neve’s unique “silk” texture to individual channels as well as to the mix buss permit many creative possibilities both for recording and mixing.