Show Off Your Studio: A look at Splice’s studio in New York
Reuben Raman takes us inside Splice’s sleek studio space in the Big Apple.
Manager Reuben Raman
- Ableton Push 2
- Dave Smith Prophet Rev
- Moog Mother 32
- Ableton Live
- API 500 Series Lunchbox
Tell us more about the studio.
The Splice Studio is located in the Splice New York office in the Flatiron district. A core part of Splice is our Sounds marketplace where we offer millions of high-quality royalty-free sounds at an affordable monthly subscription fee. Thus, when we moved into our new office space, we knew we wanted to build a studio where we could use it to host artists, producers and music creators, record our own music content, use it to conduct music workshops. We consulted with Brooklyn-based Crossley Acoustics to help with the design and build of the studio and the project took around three months to finish, early this year.
How adaptable is the space? How do you make sure artists/producers can be up and running as quickly as possible?
The studio was built to be able to cope with different artists and producers with different set ups. We understand that a lot of producers would like to use their own laptop to produce, so we have all our hardware (audio interface, displays etc) connected through a CalDigit TS3 Plus Dock. That way, any producer can just “dock” into our system by simply plugging in one Thunderbolt 3 cable and get to use their own machine with our studio.
Can you tell us about the acoustic design of the room?
Crossley Acoustics did a great job with the acoustic design of the room. We do not have a separate live-room, so we had to make sure that we designed the room in a way that it was good for mixing and decent enough for recording small instruments.
You can think of the studio being split up into 3 different sections. The first section is right where the main desk sits. That’s where the acoustics of the room is most dead. The second ceiling cloud is where the middle section of the room is. That section is where we position most of our instruments for recording. The ceiling cloud helps reduce the reflections and flutter but doesn’t sound as dead as the mixing spot.
The third section is where the couch is at and is the most “live” sounding section of the room. This section is where most people sit down and talk so we didn’t want it to feel too dead and claustrophobic, thus the only treatment is the diffusor to help with spreading out the frequencies as its getting bounced over the back studio wall.
What piece of gear to prize most highly and which are you proudest of?
We have a pretty decent selection of 500 series modules such as the Neve 1063lb, API 550b EQs and a choice of either Elysia’s Xpressor or APA Leviathan compressor.
But what’s actually even crazier is that we have the new Universal Apollo x8p with six HEXA core processors as well as a Universal Audio Satellite Octo for another 8 processors for a total of 14 cores for endless DSP power!
Can you tell us about your monitoring set up?
The Dangerous Music Monitor ST sits at the heart of our monitoring set up. We use it to toggle between our Genelecs 8050Bs and Avantone MixCubes. For cue system, we use the Hearback Octo System that’s connected via ADAT to our Universal Audio Apollo x8p interface.
How much time do you (or other producers) spend in the studio each week?
The Splice studio is pretty much open for employees and producers to work in daily. The bulk of the usage happens during the workday but a lot of employees book it for their own personal projects during weeknights and weekends.
How do you use the studio, then?
The studio is used mainly for the Splice Content team to work on creating original sample pack content, artists and producers to come in to record or mix, and for Splice employees to work on their own music.
Outside of those activities above, we use the Studio to create marketing content and video for our social media platforms such as Beats Per Minute, where we attempt to create a beat with a bunch of samples from a chosen sample pack under a minute.
What is next on your shopping list studio-wise and why?
The new Mac Pro coming out in the fall! We need an upgrade over the current Mac Mini setup we have.
Do you have any frustrations with your current set-up and why?
The Mac Mini is probably our weakest link in our setup. Although we have juiced it up with a lot of RAM and processing power, we still get some audio glitches when handling high bandwidth sessions.
Is there a product you’ve worked on here that you’re most proud of?
We recently used the studio to record a sample pack for Braxton Cook and thought that it turned out pretty well! Braxton spent about four to five hours in the studio and we managed to record saxophone, flute, percussion, and key samples.
What is your dream piece of gear for the studio and why?
Probably a vintage Neumann U47 Tube Microphone. Vocals are a large part of what we record here at the Studio and would love to have the U47 in our mic locker.
What is your top piece of production advice?
As an engineer, the studio is your instrument. Learn how to play it well so that you can facilitate sessions that facilitate creative flow.
What is the one piece of advice you would give someone starting out building a studio?
When faced with budget constraints, invest in acoustic treatment and isolation rather than equipment. You can always buy the latter but once the studio space is built, it is hard to go back on your room design choices.
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