NEW YORK:  Stretching limited resources to the max is a principle that unifies most of NYC’s independent creatives. In 2002, when Sound Designer/Re-Recording Mixer, Eric  Offin and Composer/Sound Designer Mark Garcia, began collaborating with NY’s indie feature film and commercial production community, their initial Ovasen Music www.ovasenmusic.com and Tandem Sound Studios, www.tandemsound.com was in the right (but tight) spot at the right time – –  West 14th Street, at the hub of one of  the city’s busiest thoroughfares.  Sensitive, imaginative sound design and creative, cost-effective mixing quickly built a thriving word-of-mouth-driven business for the new studio. Up-and-coming directors like Phil (Junebug) Morrison and Todd (Palindromes) Solondz were pleased with the results and happy to spread the word.

Late last year Offin and Garcia recognized the need to bring their studio up to speed technically and aesthetically.  Happy with their rough and tumble lower-Sixth Avenue neighborhood, and committed to expanding their facility, they negotiated a lease for a (somewhat) larger – 800 sq. ft. space in the same building.  They then called on the Walters-Storyk Design Group, www.wsdg.com  to develop a compact, but workable facility on their new 2nd floor digs.

Architect/acoustician John Storyk reports, «When we learned they wanted two identical 5.1 mixing rooms, a shared Foley/voiceover booth, a kitchen/lounge, and a screening area for a large flat panel monitor, we saw this as a very interesting challenge.» Storyk is quick to point out that WSDG has developed a number of ‘2000 sq. ft. studios in 1000 (or smaller) sq. ft. environments.’  «Extensive experience on NYC projects prepared us for this job, but this assignment was a particularly interesting adventure.

«New gear is much more compact today,» Storyk adds. «The Digidesign Icon D Control consoles Eric and Mark selected are incredibly powerful, and they take up a fraction of the space of an SSL desk.  Speakers, outboard equipment, even Sub Zero refrigerators are built to be much more efficient with space these days. We developed a 120 sq. ft. live VO room which has already accommodated a voice over session with David (Good Night And Good Luck) Strathairn, and, it doubles as a Foley room.  The trend towards small, multi- faceted rooms is solidly established at this point.  If you want to work in NYC you have deal with the realities of the real estate market.  

«It’s rare that both Eric and Mark would need to record VO tracks at the same time on the same day,» Storyk adds.  «Efficient scheduling enables them keep to keep both their studios humming and provides them with a live room without stepping on each others toes.  We’re also pleased about taking full advantage of rear yard daylight and a wonderful cityscape view through a pair of glass doors leading to a small balcony. We were able to stream natural daylight in and eliminate outside noise leakage.  Setting the studios as far back from the windows as possible gives Ovasen/Tandem Sound a virtually noise-free working environment.  We also made room for a cozy, yet high-tech kitchen/lounge area and, a surprisingly spacious ‘Hollywood-elegant’ marble bathroom.   Client amenities are absolutely first class at Ovasen/Tandem.»

Re-Recording Mixer/Sound Designer Eric Offin is about to start work on Cam Archer’s film «Wild Tigers That I have Known,» the film is co-produced by Gus Van Sant and Scott Rudin. He is also completing a film for Kelly Reichardt’s «Old Joy,» produced by Todd (Far From Heaven) Haynes, and recently completed mixing  LoudQuietLoud, a rock ‘n roll documentary on The Pixie’s international reunion tour. 

Composer/Sound Designer  Mark Garcia’s credits include arrangements for Erika Badu and Rasjad S,otj. scoring commercials for such clients as Diesel Jeans, music arrangements for Yo La Tengo, and sound design on Rosario Dawson’s (Rent, Clerks 2)film Descent.  He recently completed producing a project for the Merkin Dream.  «Great song writing, I loved the collaboration,» he says. 

«WSDG really lived up to their reputation,» Eric Offin concludes.  «We’ve known about John Storyk for years, but he was also recommended by Dale Pro Audio. They’re very pleased with the new showroom complex WSDG did for them last year. John’s contractor Chris Harmaty of Technical Structures brought a high-level of construction expertise to the project that really pulled it all together.»

Ovasen Music and Tandem Sound are located at 104 West 14th Street, NY, NY 10011 www.tandemsound.com; www.ovasenmusic.com.

Please read the WSDG project page for more information.