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STUDIOS

TRACKING ENVIRONMENT

Our main tracking room is a 50X45X30ft concrete space with stage curtains on each wall. The reflective nature of stone, coupled with our room treatments such as the mysterious upside down pyramid mounted at the peak of the ceiling,  provide for a very unique sound that we feel adds a lot of character to recordings when utilized. The heavy curtain that surrounds the room reduces reflection to a minimum and is also able to be opened revealing stone walls as reflective surfaces for further exploration of ambience. The room has tie in points in two locations for microphones,instrument/speaker lines and headphones. 

Ceiling mounted is a pair of West Lake BBSM-15's as well as a Pair of vintage Altec 604-E's, both powered by Bryston Amplifiers processed by DBX crossovers and eq's.

 

CONTROL ROOM

The Centerpiece of IIWII's control room is a 56 Channel Focusrite Studio Console. This desk underwent a long rebuild process of combining two separate Focusrite Consoles of which only 10 were made. Loaded with the legendary Focusrite ISA 110 preamps, this desk is a formidable tracking tool with a punchy yet at the same time very transparent sound. 

OUTBOARD EQUIPMENT

::MIC PRES::                   
(8) API 512              
    Spectrasonics M502        
    Manley Dual Mono             
    Vintech 1272
::DYNAMICS::
    Neve 33609
    SSL Gcomp
(3) LA2A
(2) LA3A
    Manley Vari-Mu
    Trident CB-9146
    Tube-Tech LCA-2B
(2) Urie 1176
(6) DBX 160 (vintage)
    Distressor
   
::EQ::                 
(2) Lang PEQ-4                
    Pultec EQP1               
(2) Pultec HLF3C              
    GML 8200                  
(8) API 550

::EFFECTS PROCESSING::                 

    Echoplate II
    Lexicon PCM 41
    Lexicon PCM 42
    Lexicon 480L
    EMT 140-STEREO TUBE PLATE
    Space Echo                              
    Panscan

::RECORDERS::                  

    Protools 10 192HD 32 I/O      
    APOGEE AD/DA 16X 64 I/O       
    Studer A800 2" 24 trk         
    ATR 102 w/ 1/2" heads
    ATR 102 w/ 1/4" heads   

::MONITORS::

    Yamaha NS10
    Genelec 1032a
    Fulcrum RM24

 

lounge

Its unlikely that you will spend much time here when recording however if you have a large party, are rehearsing, have crew or are in simply a need of escape, adjacent to the main room is a lounge with coffee machine, hot water machine for tea, fridges, a microwave and some space to sit down.

 
 
 

In 1971 John Hanti first entered The Record Plant Studios in Manhattan.  Legendary Engineer and Producer Roy Cicala was upstairs recording with John Lennon and George Harrison.  This is perhaps where IIWII was born.  It wasn't until 1978 that Hanti would return to The Record Plant as a signed artist under RCA records. At that time Mr. Cicala was still working with John Lennon among others and had garnished much success as an engineer with many hit records. A strong bond developed between John Hanti and Roy Cicala and talks of building a studio were frequent.  By the early 1980's John Hanti had purchased and restored a large warehouse space on the Hudson bordering Weehawken and Hoboken New Jersey.  The potential for the space was first realized in sound stage rehearsals for touring artists.   The room's high ceilings and large venue like space began to attract artists like The Police, The Beasty Boys, and Black Sabbath. At this time The Record Plant NYC began to fall on hard times losing some of its larger rooms. Roy Cicala was in need of a live space to do basic tracking.  The Record Plant Remote truck was used as a mobile control room parked just outside.  By the early 90's John's room was attracting artists like Nirvana, Lenny Kravitz, The Black Crowes, and many others.  With its vacuous space and massive Capitol Theatre curtain, the soundstage was dynamic yet simple and gave the sense of being in a large venue.   In 1992 John Hanti began to seriously consider the idea of building a recording studio like the one that he and Roy had talked about for years.   By 1993 The Record Plant NYC closed its doors forever.  One of the most legendary studios in rock and roll history is lost...It only seemed natural that Roy Cicala and Hanti would make a go of opening a recording studio together.  The Remote Truck made its way back to Weehawken with Roy Cicala in tow. Following would be the acquisition of many of Record Plant's historic microphones, outboard equipment, API console, and Studer tape machines.  A new studio was born.  When the studio plans  for wiring and construction were underway the details became staggering.  In response to how it would all end up Hanti stated "It is what it is"  Meaning whatever it will be, it will be.  It was then that Roy remembered John Lennon saying that repeatedly during recording sessions.  "It is what it is."  As to whether or not the take was good or the arrangement was correct, "It is what it is."  It was decided that the studio would be named IIWII.  It was there that Roy Cicala and John Hanti set up shop throughout the 1990's.  Many engineers and producers would come through the studio to work on the API with Roy.   Patti Smith, The Edgar Winter Group, Lenny Kravitz, Local H, The Blues Brothers, and many others came to New Jersey to record with Roy Cicala.  By 2000 Roy Cicala decided to move to Brasil where he pursued Record Plant SP and still records there today.  It was at this time that John Hanti Built the control room in studio A and took the operation from the remote truck into a properly treated isolated control room.  No expense was spared.  The construction build out in the main control room was  top notch. The room was designed by Sam Berkow of SIA acoustics.  Many have commented that the room had an upfront presence at just about every listening position.   For the earlier part of the 2000's the recording studio would be named SST as part of the entertainment service company John Hanti owns.  By 2008 John bought Focusrite Studio Console #009 the big missing piece to the puzzle. Many sessions took place on the Focusrite Console and the studio grew.  By 2012 the studio was beginning to realize its full potential.  The Rolling Stones did some recording and filming at the studio in April of 2012.  The future appeared very bright but a major speed bump was in store.  In October of 2012 Storm Sandy battered the eastern sea board and took down the studio  The rare and wonderful Focusrite #009 was almost completely destroyed in the flood.  The control room John spent so long building in his mind and eventually molding into a reality was taken away in one evening.   The two options on the table were to quit and cut all losses, or to get into a restoration project.  The restoration became more involved than we could ever have imagined.  After some time of hopelessness, Focusrite Studio Console #002 almost magically appeared for sale.  The only problem was that it did not have any ISA 110 preamps in it.  They had been parted out a decade earlier.  Luckily for us, the ISA 110's from our console were the only surviving pieces due to their height in the frame.  This was the only chance to get the console back and restore a classic rather than letting it fall to extinction. The Focusrite Console would live again in the frame of Focusrite Studio Console #002. After 1 full year of construction, electronics restoration, and modifications to the Focusrite Console, a new studio began to show signs of life. The Focusrite grew channel by channel curving elegantly around the new control room. Structurally the room has been completely rebuilt to the specifications of the original Sam Berkow design, however, the construction ethic has been stronger and the current model is a tougher one indeed. It only makes sense to revive the IIWII name and continue in the spirit that started it all, the spirit of creating a place for musicians to find that moment in time that creates energy on a record.  It's our job to facilitate that and be ready to capture it when it happens.   It is what it is.


                                                                                                                 2014 IIWII  

News & Updates

 

 

JANUARY 2017

Lots of changes and updates to the studio recently. We've been excited to test run some new elements and build outs in the re-designed studio space. We've completed construction on our Isolation room located adjacent to our main room. The space was designed by Sam Berkow and SIA. We used the room for the first time on a Recording Session with Vince Giordano and his big band for the soundtrack to the TV Series "Z"

Earlier this winter, Recording artist Gary Go spent a week in this particular room finishing some of the writing and production for his upcoming album. We've also begun to use the space as Isolation for Front of House sound for live gigs.  Audio crews for Alicia Keys, Foreigner, Bruno Mars, Jeff Beck, and Bon Jovi were the first to try out this space for their respective productions during the first month after completion.