I have a long history working in and around Midtown Manhattan’s professional recording studios. I’ve worked with major artists at world class facilities, which has taken me from large format mixing consoles with automation and total recall, running reel-to-reel multi-channel tape decks, all the way to full-on expanded DAW systems, running audio-video multimedia sessions in surround and immersive studio environments. Yes, I’ve pushed a lot of buttons!
After coming on as head of Made Music Studio’s production facility at 50 Broad Street in New York City, I took on the task of bringing the best music production equipment I could into the space, as well as all the modern functionality these modern systems would provide. It started with first, partnering with PMC to bring in their studio monitors, then working with Avid to get the then-new Avid S4 control surface and Pro Tools | MTRX interface, and then further integrating EUCON and Dante. All together, it created a studio space that is a hyper-beast, but still amazingly user friendly and enhances the workflow so that sessions and projects can—how else to say it—flow.
Darren Moore in the Studio A control room at Made Music Studio.
Made Music Studio is, at its core, a creative company. And our creativity doesn’t just come from our amazing producers—it also comes from the ability of our facilities to let creative minds run free and build their castles in the sky, musically.
Our work ranges from sonic logos for CPG brands, to complex orchestral TV network themes, to location-based entertainment—which is more environmental and textural in its production. All different clients, with all different needs and goals for their sound and music. With so many moving parts at all times, flexibility is key to our workflow—we want to provide seamless experiences for our producers, freelance composers, and musicians they work with. This has been particularly important over the last year as we’ve largely been producing remotely.
Our flagship facility in NYC has two primary world class studios with a total of four recording spaces. Our recently refreshed setup with the Avid S4 and the Pro Tools | MTRX interface is helping our creatives stretch their muscles and record anything from small orchestral elements, to rhythm sections, to full ensembles, which they can then plug-and-play in our soundproof writing rooms. The equipment is helping us produce the highest quality material for our clients, so that everyone—from AT&T to Frito-Lay—is getting a sound that is iconic and enduring across the board.
Studio B control room.
Made Music Studio’s in-house producers come from fantastically varied musical backgrounds, all with different modes of operating in-studio. And any given week, we might need to bring in full strings and brass for an in-person session, or get our New York producers synced-up on our new spatialized capabilities, or get our team on a video call with a co-producer based on the West Coast. (Or knock something out for a tight deadline.) We've even had sessions where we’ve put musicians in every available booth and looped them all into one room so that we maximize our resources, accomplishing what was close to a full orchestra setup. Again: flexibility is a must.
To best equip our team with customizable features, we recently pulled the trigger on an update to our control surfaces, switching to the Avid S4 from the Icon D Command. The new gear replaced our consoles that were running out of juice, gave us new tech abilities, and preserved our producers’ familiarity with the equipment. The Avid S6 was a great look, but somewhat too big for our space and possibly too overblown for our production workflow. So the Avid S4 is the perfect design and form factor for us. Its compact, powerful, and most importantly for us, it provided the seamless transition we needed.
Avid S3 and Control App in Studio C
Some of our client work can extend for weeks and months, with remote producers moving between workspaces regularly—sometimes working out of home studios on iPads, or in boutique studios. There are also cases that involve long-lasting partner relationships, in which we need to return to work for longtime global clients like American Express, expanding upon the work we created years before to scale for new media. Luckily, we have integrated tools literally at our fingertips within the EUCON ecosystem which work with both Pro Tools and Logic. When composers and programmers come in and have to work with their Logic session, they're amazed that it opens up on the desktop, all parameters intact.
The Avid S Series is as hands-on as it gets—providing wide tactile control of the DAW and all features. Our producers now have the ability to lay out their knobs and plugins how they like, and produce great sound the way they know best. It's so fluid for them that I can sleep at night.
Pro Tools | MTRX
We always say that Made Music Studio believes in using sound as a way to create emotional connections and improve our daily experiences. Believe it or not, the flexibility of our new equipment has helped us stay true to this, even outside of production.
At the same time as our control surface update, we also put in Pro Tools | MTRX interfaces with Dante and I/O routing to replace an HD192 and XMon monitor controller. We immediately loved the sound. Plus, the new equipment is allowing us to experiment with sound not just in recording sessions, but through other uses in our workspace, making an impact in our entire staff’s daily workflows. We're now designing systems where we can put surround-sound environments in various lounge areas of the studio, and we’re testing-out using the Dante of the main room for client deck presentations in a larger setting.
We’ve also used the addition of Dante to expand our headphone mixing capabilities and are planning to expand this element to the rest of our studio spaces. It’s allowed us to achieve the 32-channel stereo capabilities of those mixers. In addition, Dante also lets us look at any space with a network jack as a recording space in our facility by feeding mixes to any room with a sound system. Having an audio-over-IP system has opened up many new workflows for our producers. (To share some geeky insight into my personal workflow: I am that producer who uses Ableton with Dante Via into Pro Tools with Ableton Link so that I can have an ongoing session, plus a live Ableton session running. They're synced live digitally, and it’s literally one wire that I plug into the side of my laptop.)
Bottom line: our new setup with Avid is fluid and functional for our creatives who produce work that’s powerful and scalable for clients. My users at Made Music Studio can show up and fly on these devices. Controlling monitor sources and volume? Yeah, it does that. Design headphone feeds for talent? Check. And if I needed to, I can add another workstation, like my laptop running Logic, and have both systems present on the desk. Mind blown, mic dropped (not literally, we would never).
About Made Music Studio
Founded by composer and producer Joel Beckerman, Made Music Studio is a sonic branding and design company with more than 20 years of history in creating iconic, enduring music-driven experiences. A trusted partner for HBO, CBS, NBC, Hulu, Disney, AT&T, Citibank, iRobot, Nissan, Virgin Hyperloop, AMEX; Made Music brings a legacy of collaboration with everyone from John Williams to John Legend, Meow Wolf to IDEO. Bringing creative excellence, cultural connectivity, leadership in sonic innovation, and deep research and data on how sound affects emotions and behavior to every project, Made Music Studio is a Fast Co Most Innovative Company, EXPLOR Award, and repeat Promax Award winner.