New Doors – Vintage Keys is the brainchild of producer/engineer Alexandre “Alê” Fonseca. Located in a house near the heart of Belo Horizonte where a studio was originally operated by popular Brazilian rock band Skank, before being purchased by Fonseca in 2015 as a project space for his vintage synthesizer collection. Fonseca’s vision for the project grew to incorporate a myriad of elements that would encompass his passion for experimental musical styles as well as vintage and modern recording equipment. After meeting with WSDG Partner and Director of Design Renato Cipriano – who had worked in the studio with its original owners for decades – Fonseca retained the services of WSDG for a full redesign that would embody his views.
WSDG’s redesign of the studio centered around expanding the space and its acoustic capabilities as well as creating a vibe that matched Fonseca’s passion for ‘utopian creativity’. The main recording spaces also needed to have variable acoustic systems in order to be able to accommodate both traditional rock and pop artists as well as traditional and orchestral performers.
The studio consists of six rooms, all designed for specific purposes and named after characters that helped shape the studio and Fonseca’s musical personality. The live room – dubbed Carlos Alberto Pinto Fonseca after Alê’s uncle who was a composer and conductor in the state symphony – is 1000 sq ft and boasts variable panels and automatic curtains on the walls for adjustable acoustic profiles. The floor is partially made of stone to accommodate traditional music styles. The “Connie Plank Room” is the studio’s 500 sq ft control room and is outfitted for full analog recording — with a 48 channel UTA console and 24 track Studer 2” tape machine — as well as a modern digital setup that can work independently or in parallel.
The “Wendy Carlos Room” houses Fonseca’s vintage synthesizer collection, all of which is completely wired into the recording equipment for immediate use and completely synced by MIDI clocks and CV triggers. The “Marco Antonio Guimarães Room” houses its namesakes’ priceless collection of experimental avant-garde instruments – originally used by his UAKTI group and now preserved by Fonseca – ready for new projects. The “Skank Room” – named for the studio’s original owners — houses the studio’s guitars and amplifier equipment. All of the rooms were built from reclaimed wood and clay bricks from the surrounding regions for both sonic and aesthetic qualities. As well as encouraging Fonseca’s vibe of relaxed creativity, the aged components possess sonic qualities designed to enhance the recording of traditional music in the studio.