From what I’ve heard you’ve established a very unique recording style at your studio over the years. Can you tell us something about it?
Ha, sure. It all started in 2006 while I was producing a record with an artist in Cuba. She was a captivating vocalist when singing on stage in Havana, but I had never heard her in a recording situation. Through cultural exchange, I brought her to the studio in Canada that I was running at the time, but when she sang in the vocal booth, she actually wasn’t able to perform close to how she could sing live, which is actually a fairly common phenomenon. I found myself in a situation where I needed to finish a record with someone who couldn’t really sing in the studio, yet on the other hand, was unbelievably good on stage. Luckily, underneath my studio there happened to be an empty venue space and so I decided to drill a hole in the floor to pull all my needed recording cables through. I then isolated all instruments, such as putting the drum set in an enlarged plexiglass booth and routed everything to the recording room parallel with a PA monitor system facing away from the stage to reduce leakage. The result was a recording that sounded 95% like a studio session while having 150 people in the audience listening and watching her perform. She performed a mind-blowing concert, which resulted in a mind-blowing studio record, and the rest was history.
The next year, when I opened my studio in New York, I came to realize that no one else in the States had developed this exact recording technique, of which I’ve left out some crucial details for you to figure out (laughs). Much to my surprise, I’d inadvertently pioneered this specific isolated audio/live performance concept with the Cuban artist I mentioned, simply as a means to an end. This hyper-productive studio technique inspired me to build the “HighBreedMusic Recording Lounge” in Brooklyn, which has since become a great success and infamous within the local New York music culture. We curate live concert events that, in reality, are recording sessions, also supported by our own unique filming style video team led by Grammy-winning videographer Nikki Birch. This way we’re able to produce a true studio-sound record, and music video, with the live performance energy of a concert. It really works as its own methodology because artists simply come to play a show in front of an audience, yet the technique adds an unprecedented opportunity for the recorded material to exist as so much more than a live recording typically could. It’s not a complicated concept if you understand routing and the various pros and cons of different recording options, but nobody else was doing it, so we branded the technique as the Recording Lounge style of making records. Since then, so many great artists have participated in our exclusive recording events.