Elite Collaborative Team Produces Manhattan’s Newest Flagship Studio; 4500 Sq. Ft. Facility Features Twin SSL Control Rooms, Exceptional Luxury
NEW YORK: A new facility has joined New York City’s circle of premier studios: Roc the Mic. The latest in a series of successful collaborations between leading integration specialists Professional Audio Design (PAD) and TEC award-winning architectural design and acoustic consulting firm Walters-Storyk Design Group (WSDG), Roc the Mic marks an exciting new era of music production in NYC’s revitalized music production scene.
A 4500 sq. foot, full-floor studio complex, Roc the Mic was designed for artists of the stature of Jay-Z and Beyonce and is highlighted by fully networked, spacious twin control rooms featuring SSL 9000 J and 4000 G+ consoles, plus a high-end Pro Tools production suite. All three rooms aim to set powerful new benchmarks in power and accuracy with custom Augspurger monitoring systems. Throughout, Roc the Mic is a study in 21st Century luxury and comfort, centered around a massive communal lounge and flanked by private client areas, all ensconced in dark wood for a warm, rich environment.
“Roc the Mic will be one of the hottest hip hop/R&B production studios in New York City, and maybe America,” says Dave Malekpour, President of Professional Audio Design. “Both Professional Audio Design and WSDG were committed to providing a great-sounding, extremely comfortable space totally conducive to a smooth workflow and preeminent music production. We believe that everyone who experiences Roc the Mic will put it on their short list of go-to studios for years to come.”
“There’s a genuine synchronicity between WSDG and PAD” says WSDG principal architect/acoustician John Storyk. “We’ve collaborated with Dave Malekpour on a number of exceptionally high-profile studios, from Aerosmith in Boston to Alicia Keys’ Oven Studio on Long Island and the Talking House complex in San Francisco, every project has been special. Roc the Mic owner Juan Perez’s successful 40/40 Sports Club set the standard for the level of excellence here. It was clear from the first day of programming that this studio complex had to pay equal attention to aesthetic and acoustic issues.”
Commissioned with the mandate of looking great, sounding flawless, and insuring absolute privacy between the two main studios, PAD and WSDG worked closely with Juan Perez to develop a design program focused on spacious, creature-comfort-heavy, twin 500 sq. ft. control rooms. Custom ‘split-island’ producer desks and generous ‘hang space’ meet the rooms social requirements, while the oversized iso booths can accommodate drum, horn or guitar as well as vocal tracking sessions.
Supported by an extraordinary holistic technology package, wire management and install driven by PAD’s “Dream Design Deliver” process, the studio represents the ultimate creative environment for contemporary music production. “One of the benefits that our system integration approach brings is that we see the project through from beginning to end,” Malekpour says. “Whether it’s a world-class facility like Roc the Mic or a one-room production suite, there are a great deal of installation, wiring, grounding and sync issues that arise on the way to being up and running for sessions. PAD’s deep expertise allows us to plan each stage, and we stay on the job to get the desired results.
“PAD’s team, overseen by our talented Field Service Manager Joe Sheppard, exemplified the PAD dedication to detail by overseeing absolutely everything: setup and installation of all Pro Tools systems to final commissioning of both SSL consoles, pulling all cables, installing the custom-designed mic panels, and much more. We also remained onsite to attend to any potential issues during the studio’s first weeks of sessions.”
To create Roc the Mic’s accurate but earth-shaking audio package, PAD started by completely refurbishing both SSL consoles at its purpose-built shop in Rockland, MA.
“We procured the SSL 9080 J from Studio One of the Hit Factory – it’s recorded hundreds of hit hip hop, R&B, rock and pop records,” notes Malekpour. “The console was thoroughly cleaned, refurbished and tested channel by channel to perform at original spec. It’s a fitting centerpiece for the main studio, fittingly named the ‘J Room’.”
As one of the only companies experienced in building and specifying systems from George Augspurger’s designs, PAD worked closely with Augspurger himself, Roc the Mic and WSDG to deliver extreme monitoring environments custom-fitted to each room. “The main monitoring systems consist of dual 15″ drivers with horns per side, as well as dual 18″ subs, all driven by thousands of watts of Bryston power and controlled by XTA digital speaker management,” Malekpour says. “PAD custom-builds the cabinets, horns, wiring, and the paint job, here a beautiful black metallic sparkle that we had done by our favorite auto hot rod shop. At Roc the Mic’s J and G rooms, the result is a speaker and subs combination that is accurate from 18 Hz – 20 kHz with SPL at 127 dB.
“This is power and accuracy that must be experienced to be believed. Thanks to the meticulous tuning by WSDG’s Dirk Noy, these rooms deliver incredible impact and concussion: They are extremely loud, but balanced with deep bottom end and extreme accuracy throughout the frequency spectrum. The end result is rooms that deliver an amazing experience to producers, engineers and artists, but at the same time translate to the outside world. That final touch is just one more example of what makes the combination of WSDG and PAD so effective.”
Storyk and his team tapped their own deep experience to realize every aspect of Roc the Mic’s ambitious goals. “Site challenges such as low ceilings coupled with an extensive wish list for multiple lounges, fun spaces, absolute privacy, and an effortless flow between the G and J SSL rooms and the Pro Tools suites, all contributed to the extended design and construction process,” Storyk adds. “4500 sq. feet sounds like a considerable chunk of NYC real estate, but we didn’t waste a square inch.
“Working together, the goal of Professional Audio Design and Walters-Storyk Design Group was to provide every one of the studio requirements along with world-class acoustics and technology. Roc the Mic is the perfect name for this studio – it really does rock.”
Read WSDG Project Page