Returning to his hometown last July following a ten-year residence in Chicago as a busy recording/mixing engineer and successful event coordinator, Josh Haddad learned that Timothy ‘Timbaland’ Mosley’s fabled Thomas Crown Studio complex was up for sale. The studios’ track record with artists like Kanye West, Missy Elliott, Beyonce, and Justin Timberlake, coupled with its WSDG Walters-Storyk Design Group pedigree, convinced him that high caliber artists would continue wanting to record in those great sounding rooms. A call to WSDG founding partner John Storyk provided Haddad with insights into design innovations that greatly informed his due diligence. “John’s enthusiastic commitment to a studio he created over a decade ago confirmed my faith in its hit-making potential,” Haddad said. Confident that he could maintain the session flow, he purchased the facility, and rechristened it Virginia Beach Recording Arts.
An ultra-modern studio with warm wood, subdued lighting and plenty of elbow room for artists and engineers, Virginia Beach Recording arts boasts finely tuned acoustics and an inviting creative atmosphere. Haddad brought longtime Neptunes/ Pharrell Williams, engineer, and multi-Grammy winner, Andrew Coleman on board as mentor/gear guru, and was soon booking initial dates with Pusha and his GOOD Music label artist, Cartel, top producer/multi-instrumentalist, Chad Hugo, local hip-hop artists, Rich KRK, Backpack Johnny and Rozwell Fitzroy, and country artist Chase Payne. Word of mouth is definitely positive.
Virginia Beach Recording Arts is a spacious 6,756 square ft. two-story ‘destination studio’ comprised of the Cavalier Studio Live Room and Control Room outfitted with a Neve VR 72 console; the Tangier Studio Block for mixing, mastering and overdubs and a writing/editing suite. A substantial collection of musical instruments, mics, outboard gear, a guest bedroom, kitchen and lounge complete the profile. Dating back to 1607 when English colonists settled in Jamestown, Virginia Beach itself is an appealing resort city on the Atlantic Ocean with miles of beaches and many historic sites. A prime destination studio location.
- Consoles: Neve VR-72 and Yamaha DM2000
- Recorders: Digidesign Pro Tools Mix Plus/24 systems, HD System; Studer A 827; Studer 820 2tk
- Monitors: Augspurger custom monitors; KRK V8 near-field monitors
- Amps: Hafler, JBL
- Microphones: AKG, Telefunken; Sennheiser; Neumann; Shure; Coles; Royer; DPA; AEA; Electro-Voice; Sony
- Outboard Gear: Teletronics; Urei; EAR; Alan Smart; Neve; Empirical Labs; dBx; Avalon; Daking; EMT; API; Universal Audio; D.W. Fear; Focusrite; Crane Song; Lexicon; AMS; Eventide: Drawmer; WEM; Sony; Lexicon 960 Reverb w/LARC
Photography by Eli “Scooter” Haddad & Sandra Pennecka from Inside Business