He gets it. Is there a bigger compliment you can give to the person piloting the place where you’re making music?
That’s the irreplaceable characteristic of Dan Walker that keeps his clients coming back to The Submarine. We first found out about Walker and his workflow when we were covering NY Studio Factory a few weeks back – we set out to discover more, and found out there was a whole lot to know about this mighty mite of a facility.
A truly global citizen, Walker chose Brooklyn to make his musical home. He’s an Aussie who went from touring with a punk outfit and putting out club records, to settling down in the competitive confines of Bushwick. It turns out all that globe- and genre-hopping built him up quite a network, one that poised him perfectly to have a diverse clientele hiring him on a regular basis.
That’s probably because The Submarine is a studio where he and his colleagues never gets bored. They get to work on absolutely every aspect of production there, from composing to tracking vocals straight through to mastering for a client base that includes labels like Dim Mak, Rough Trade/XL, and DFA, as well as HBO, XBoX, Billabong and Redbull.
Along the way, he’s established a smart signal path, with different solutions for working ITB and OTB. What was his analog game changer? Hint: It’s a summing mixer that’s led the way to mixing that’s more efficient AND fun. Plus, he’s got his hands on recall app that will save you a ton of time. All this, and a Slate Raven in-house plus, a $50 “mystery unit” barnyard find that turned out to be killer — this is a mic pre you really may not find in any other studio in the world.
For strategic smarts right now, submerge yourself…
Facility Name: The Submarine
Date of Birth: May 2012
Location: Bushwick, Brooklyn
Neighborhood Advantages: Well, the initial appeal for me and the band I was playing with at the time to move out here was that it was a little more anonymous and much cheaper to live in comparison to, say, Williamsburg where I feel many artists were trying to move away due to it’s high rents.
In Bushwick it seemed you could still maintain as an artist in the abundance of reasonably priced warehouse and loft spaces that make up a large portion of this suburb’s industrial landscape. Though over the last eight years from when I first moved up here from Philly this neighborhood has seen such a dramatic change with a high influx of musicians, artists and just more people in general moving here both locally and from abroad.
I’ve watched this play out in both positive and negative ways as the community adjusts. But for a small boutique recording and production studio such as mine carving out a lane here it’s been beneficial in having a fairly steady stream of awesome new and already established artists and bands both local and international in the area that allow me to keep doing what I love doing.
For the clients it’s a great neighborhood in the sense that it’s become an attraction in and of itself with the high rotation of artwork in the streets which it’s now became known for. It’s fairly central transport-wise too with the M and L trains close by. And with all the new bars and restaurants around right now there’s no shortage of quality food and drink!
Facility Focus: After a good many years working in audio I’ve managed to effectively tailor this space to accommodate all aspects of the recording process.
We have the studio set up and prepared to track live bands. I find I’m recording vocals regularly for indie singer/songwriters and rappers, although I find myself working primarily with artists on production, assistance in composition and then a large portion of my time is spent mixing and mastering. Between all of the above it’s a generally balanced affair from month to month, depending on who I’m working with.
Mission Statement: At The Submarine I’ve made it my mission to cater to both established and upcoming artists and bands in this city and abroad looking to work on either singles, EP’s or full lengths within a comfortable, sincere and properly equipped studio space.
With my past background before officially opening the studio as The Submarine I was touring regularly with art punk band The Death Set and in the downtime was also putting out club records among my other aliases as I was still very much active in the Breakbeat and Electro House scene both here and in the UK.
Having this network from touring and putting out records, meeting labels and artists consistently for 10+ years prior I feel has set up a trend for the clientele that make their way to this studio. We cater to the indie rock, garage, punk bands, hip hop, RnB, pop, singer/songwriter, electronica, techno, and everything else in between. The demographic across the board leans more toward the leftfield and I’ve found myself working with some amazing and unique artists both signed and unsigned over the years.
As mentioned earlier I’ve found that my experience in being an active musician in the scene also has had a great impact on the people I work with too, when it comes to assisting in writing and production. I get what people are trying to do in respect to their project and they feel that, so I’ve found there’s always a positive connection there to promote creativity and a good working relationship.
I work like a beast to help people achieve the best they can be in the studio, and as a producer I’m aware to never overtake a person’s project and to remain focused on only bringing out the best of the artist’s ideas and vision with my experience. Also people who have worked with me here know how I charge fairly for my time in comparison. This is something that I strive to offer all my clients to keep my services accessible to everyone, which is helpful for both the established and upcoming independent artist especially here in New York City.
Clients/Credits: I’ve had the fortunate pleasure of being able to work with a very wide and eclectic range of artists and producers. Here’s a handful of projects new and old.
The Death Set – King Babies EP (co-writer/producer/mix engineer) [Dim Mak]
The Prettiots – Fun’s Cool LP (mastering engineer) [Rough Trade/XL]
Guerilla Toss – Erazer Stargazer LP (mix engineer) [DFA]
Wax Witches – Center Of Your Universe (mastering engineer) [Burger Records]
Tiger Tooth – Tiger Tooth LP (mix/mastering engineer) [Baby Tooth Productions]
SKUX – The Two Sides Of She EP (co-writer/producer/mix and mastering engineer) [DIY Release]
Guerilla Toss – Flood Dosed EP (tracking/mix engineer) [DFA]
Bleach Girls – Hi! EP (mastering engineer) [DIY Release]
Kevin Hussein – Cybersex LP (vocal tracking, mix/mastering engineer) [DIY Release]
Boulevards – Boulevards EP (mix/mastering engineer on 2 songs) [Don’t Funk With Me Records]
Rena – Rude Chick EP (producer/mix and mastering engineer) [DIY Release]
Also worked on music and syncs for Magnolia, HBO, XBoX, Billabong and Redbull
Guerilla Toss – Polly’s Crystal (Tracked, Mixed)
SKUX – On Her Way (Co-write, Tracked, Produced, Mixed, Mastered)
Sunshine Gun Club – So Alien (Written, Tracked, Produced, Mixed, Mastered)
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