Trutone’s new “in house” mastering
studio. Photo: Philip Jensen-Carter
Orangeburg, NY (May 29, 2009)–Carl Rowatti, veteran mastering engineer and owner of Trutone Mastering Labs Inc., has opened a new studio in his suburban 4,400 square-foot home. Created by Walters-Storyk Design Group architect/acoustician John Storyk, the facility features the same technology that earned Carl, his wife and partner Adrianna, and Trutone Mastering Labs’ midtown Manhattan studios recognition as one of New York’s prestigious mastering complexes.
“Last year when Sony BMG Music went looking for a new location for their mastering studios, they offered to buy out our lease,” Carl Rowatti says. “After serious contemplation we decided that their offer was simply too attractive to dismiss.”
“The opportunity to transfer our NYC studio lease to Sony BMG, enabling them to move in and begin mastering with minimal downtime, was testament to the merits of our original WSDG-designed studios,” says Adrianna Rowatti. “The Sony group truly appreciated our facility, it saved them months of construction time and expense.”
In 2003, when the Rowattis acquired the former Record Plant space at 321 West 44 St., they consulted with Storyk, who embraced the challenge of reconfiguring the dated control room and live studio into two spacious state-of-the-art mastering suites with accommodations for Neumann VMS-70 lathes for disc cutting.
As soon as the Sony deal was finalized, Carl again consulted with Storyk. “Our engineers and clients were so pleased with the look, sound and functionality of our Midtown studios, that we wanted John to recreate the same ambience for our new home studio. During his first visit to our home in the summer of 2008, John was in full agreement with our assessment of the 1,100 square-foot site we suggested for the new mastering suite. He also allayed our concerns about maintaining good relations with our suburban neighbors in terms of noise,” Rowatti says. “We also liked his idea of developing a ‘home theater’ look for the new studio to keep it aesthetically appropriate to our home.”
“Trutone is a casebook example of the mushrooming trend of established engineers moving their pro studios ‘in-house,’” Storyk says. “This is the second residential studio we’ve completed this year. The logic behind these investments is irrefutable. Recording studios represent the ideal ‘neighborhood business.’ Low traffic, low noise, zero pollution… When properly designed, these facilities are totally transparent to the surrounding residents. By employing decoupled floors, fully floating room design, IAC doors, diffusers, absorption and the latest sound insulation treatments, we guaranteed Carl the freedom to work at whatever dB level his clients require without compromising sound transmission to the rest of the residence.”
Once plans were approved and finalized, in late 2008, the Rowattis contracted New Jersey-based studio construction pros Kevin Carroll and Mark Jakubek of Sonic Construction to construct the studio and lounge areas.
“Now, we’ve eliminated our own daily commute and our clients are fine with the reverse trip,” Adrianna Rowatti adds. “They can get to our new studio within 40 minutes from midtown Manhattan. They rely on Carl’s mastering skills and are completely at ease here. We’re confident that the convenience, comfort and economics of moving the studio into our home will greatly extend the longevity of our career.”
Analog disc cutting is accomplished via a meticulously maintained Neumann VMS-70 lathe retrofitted with a Zuma disc computer and Technics quartz-controlled turntable motor. The lathe is equipped with a Neumann SX-74 cutter head driven by a Neumann SAL-74B amplification system. A Neumann SP-77 console has been extensively modified to exceed the demands of today’s high-level electronic music. Studio monitors are KEF Reference 4s powered by Bryston and Ramsa amps.
“Thanks to its warmth and sonic vibrancy, demand for vinyl continues to thrive with rock ‘n roll, classic reissues and a growing iPod generation fan base,” Carl Rowatti concludes. “DJs have long understood the mystery behind vinyl’s ability to bring a unique emotional experience to today’s club goers. It draws them out of their ear bud cocoons and fully engages them in the hot, exciting communal experience of dance. The sound of vinyl is unmistakable and fortunately for us, irreplaceable.”
Trutone Mastering Labs
Walters-Storyk Design Group