As you may know, Jam Sonic recently relocated to Pittsburgh’s Strip District. The studio sits on the site of the original HJ Heinz Company Factory (the ketchup people). However, moving was just the beginning. We also undertook the task of upgrading our studio to give us some enhanced recording and composition abilities. We’ve been waiting to upgrade our equipment for some time. Since the primary focus of our Pittsburgh studio is composition/design, we’ve designed it with that goal in mind. Mixing/mastering and any instrument recording is still done at Truephonic studios in Charleston, SC. Here are a few of the updates.
Argosy Desk: The new desk provides us with plenty of working space for our laptops, drum machines, midi controllers, and any other gear that we setup. No more having to squeeze and try and work around everything. Our other favorite thing about this desk is the pullout keyboard tray that sits an 88-key piano. This frees up so much desk space without feeling cluttered. I always hated having to press the record button on the DAW, turn around to record, and then turn back around when I finished. The keyboard tray makes it so easy to pull out the keyboard when recording or to put it away when editing.
Dual Monitors: We’re in the middle of installing these right now, but I’m not sure how we’ve lived this long without them. I was sitting in on a friend’s studio session who had a dual monitor setup, and from watching over his shoulder and seeing how smooth the production process went, I knew I had to make the upgrade. One of my pet peeves is having to dive back and forth between windows on the computer screen to complete my tasks. The dual monitors boost productivity tremendously by allowing me to have multiple screens open simultaneously.
Tiered Keyboard Stands: We’ll be honest, tiered keyboards in a studio just look sexy to us. For that reason alone, we wanted one. However, for more pragmatic reasons, they allow us to access our weighted 88 keyboard and our synthesizers in one fell swoop. Also, we aren’t working out of a huge room, so having our studio be properly outfitted but organized and clean is a priority to us. The tiered keyboard helps us free up valuable real estate.
Mood Light: We now have some back lighting that can be set to a variety of colors. Setting the right mood in the studio helps us create an inspiring environment and one that we can work in all day and night without wanting to leave. Just a touch of colored lighting transforms the space from workspace to studio. It’s a subtle touch that makes a big difference to us.
Vocal Booth: We now have 25% percent of the room dedicated to vocal and foley recording. The space is small enough where it allows us to feel comfortable in the other part of the room, but it is big enough to record a foley pit. This is a huge convenience for us and allows us to recored footstep sounds and other foley sounds for video games.
What’s Next: Upgrading the studio is an ongoing process where we are always tweaking something throughout the year, but our next big update will be to build a new custom computer optimized for audio. We are planning to do a walkthrough of the process for those wanting to follow along in one of our upcoming posts.