New York Metro, March 2010

Mar 1, 2010 12:00 PM, By David Weiss


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Control Room A features an API Legacy Plus.

Control Room A features an API Legacy Plus.

Along the way, Neal kept an eye on costs by following Manzella's recommendations on a case-by-case basis. “Rightfully, Fran's job was not to save us a buck here and there,” Crafton says. “His job was to say, ‘If you follow this recipe, it will work. If not, it might fall apart down the line.’ So you're not only thinking about the way it will look the day it's done, but how it will look in five years.”

“We didn't cut corners, but for a lot of things that Fran put in the specs, we found an equivalent that was less expensive,” adds Neal. “Most of the time he was recommending the Rolls Royce. We tended to get the Mercedes.”

Step 3: A Timeline Sans Down Time

Even though Studio A was the top priority, the Craftons made their flagship room the second step. Studio B was first to be addressed, starting with an 8-inch drop for the ceiling, a reorientation of the furniture and the addition of two 10-space API Lunch Boxes, an API 2500 compressor and an API 8200 mixer, along with a Lynx I/O for the 16 API 550 EQs.

“The thinking was to keep the studio up and running so we could continue to meet our clients' needs,” Neal explains. “We pulled everything up a notch and turned this into another API room.”

With Studio B seriously upgraded, Crafton knew they would be able to accept mix jobs that previously could only have happened in Studio A. “We figured, ‘This is costing a lot — if there's any chance we could be making money while we're losing a lot of money, why not?’”

Step 4: Apply the API

The centerpiece of the renovation commenced, with Studio A being reconfigured to comfortably accommodate a spectacular addition to the East Coast recording scene: a 48-channel API Legacy Plus console. Obtained from the Goo Goo Dolls' studio, Inner Machine in Buffalo, N.Y., it's the type of board worth building a room around.

Kaleidoscope's in-house tech/engineer Sal Mormando, a longtime API enthusiast, used his vast experience to wire and commission the console, while engineer Karli Maloney took care of wiring the new patchbays and gear racks. They had the room completely wired in just 11 days. “This is no small feat,” notes Neal.

First, however, they had to get it up the stairs and inside the door — time to round up the whole Kaleidoscope crew. “You'd be surprised,” says Neal, “how much help you can get from 12 guys on a cold night with pizza and beer.”

Step 5: Thrive

The Kaleidoscope team has created a newly elite studio for the New York City area. “Producers and engineers do projects in rooms that make a lot of sense, equipped with great consoles,” Randy Crafton says. “Now we're one of those rooms.”

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