Studio A control room at Joonie Land MERIDEN, NEW HAMPSHIRE—Meriden, New Hampshire is home to Joonie Land, a new Walters Storyk Design Group (WSDG)-designed facility set amongst 325 acres of sprawling, wild landscape. Owner Cliff Brodsky, principal of Brodsky Entertainment, found the idyllic setting amongst the White Mountains to be a beautiful and inspiring work environment. The facility, which is housed in an 11,000-square-foot post-and-beam structure, is a multi-purpose creative environment that combines dedicated rooms for recording, performing and rehearsal. These spaces include a live room with 60-foot ceilings, capable of holding 500 people.
Brodsky, a musician whose passion lies in identifying and developing musical talent, intends to use the massive facility to work with and develop big name acts along the lines of Coldplay, Travis and Del Amitri. Joonie Land is rich with amenities that one might find in a world-class studio—these not only include technical spaces one would expect, but also a spa, a gym, a home theater, computer facilities and other areas.
Studio A, which also serves as the main control room, is 28×14 feet and is centered on a Toft Audio Designs ATR B32 32×8 console. “This is similar to the Trident 80-8 series B board on which many Led Zeppelin, Eagles and other rock classics were recorded,” Brodsky comments. Brodsky, who normally mixes in the digital domain using Digital Performer, appreciates the built-in preamplifiers on the console. “The Toft has 32 channels of analog goodness, and is likely the best board in the world for the money and for what it does,” he adds. For monitoring, he relies on a pair of Adam S3X-H loudspeakers, along with an Adam Sub 10MK2.
Studio B is a fully isolated, 14×14- foot room used primarily for video editing and features three pairs of Adam A7 monitors. “I have my Final Cut Pro rig set up in Studio B for all my video editing,” explains Brodsky. “We do a lot of feature films, documentary films and also do a lot of reality TV work.” Cat-5 panels located throughout the facility enable access multiple recording spaces.
Other notable gear at Joonie Land includes a Universal Audio 2-610 preamplifier and an Avalon VT-737SP. “The Avalon is my go-to box for everything,” Brodsky says. “It sounds great on vocals, acoustic guitar, bass and electric guitar.” For mics, he favors the Neumann TLM 47 on vocals and has a full complement of other mics on hand including Shure SM 57s, SM 58s, KMS 82s and a pair of vintage AKG 414s.
Musicians working at Joonie Land will find the studio well fortified with instruments. There is a new upright Yamaha recording piano (Brodsky is a former piano instructor), a Steve Gadd Yamaha Maple Absolute Custom drum kit, a Moog Minimoog Voyager and several guitars, including a 12-string Takamine, a Gibson J-200, a Gibson ES-335 and others. The studio also features plenty of keyboards, including a Korg SV1 vintage synthesizer and virtual software- based synths.
Brodsky was aware of John Storyk’s work well before he began working on Joonie Land. “I had been working at Bob Margouleff ’s Mi Casa Studio in Hollywood, which is a great John Storyk room,” he recalls. He chose to work with WSDG because of the experienced team the firm was able to put together. “It was a one-stop shop, and he was able to deliver a whole team of people who knew what they were doing,” says Brodsky.
One of the attractive elements of the project, according to Stor yk, was the avai lable space: “Joonie Land is an excellent example of maximizing space potential. We were fortunate to find an ideal location within this amazing structure. It’s the tallest, post-andbeam, custom-built ‘barn’ east of the Mississippi.” The challenge, says Storyk, was integrating the massive post-and-beam structure with state-of-the ar t recording studio gear and acoustics. “To accomplish this, we carved a 2,000-squarefoot live room/performing space; a 400-square-foot control room, which included a separate, fully isolated vocal booth; a double-height live room/practice space; and a writing/ creative space with room for a piano.”
Joonie Land held its inaugural event last month where Brodsky flew in 11 accomplished musicians and associates from around the country for a four-song recording project. Among those in attendance was Roger Brown, president of Berklee College of Music, as well as some of Berklee’s “A-List” student artists. Brodsky, also a Berklee alumnus and among the first students to graduate in the college’s music synthesis program, took the opportunity to announce that he would be making a donation to start an endowment at the college for socially conscious songwriters. “We’re clearly off to a rousing start, and we are extremely optimistic that Joonie Land will become a meaningful source for important new artists,” says Brodsky.
Walters Storyk Design Group
Jeff Touzeau is a regular contributor to Pro Sound News and author of The Green Musician’s Guide: Sound Ideas for a Sound Planet (Cengage, 2011).