When we last checked in with producer/engineer Ben Rice, he was working out of a “glorified home studio” called Newkirk Recording, where he tracked indie rock bands like The Mooney Suzuki, as well as an assortment of aspiring singer-songwriters and small jazz groups.
Since then, business has been brisk enough that Rice has decided to take the plunge and build out a full-fledged commercial recording studio. His new space, Degraw Sound, occupies a modest 1,100 square feet on the Gowanus/Park Slope border, but feels larger thanks to a crafty design dreamed up with help from David Ellis – the man who helped create The Lodge Mastering, Engine Room Audio, LoHo Studios and Saltlands.
In addition to a control room large enough to house Stratosphere Sound’s old Trident 24 mixing console, the new studio layout includes a spacious 450-square-foot live room, dedicated isolation booth, lounge, and even a small B-room that is operated by longtime friend and former client Gian Stone.
“My overhead has gone up maybe fifteen-fold over the old space, but I think it’s still competitive,” Rice says about his new studio’s rate. It falls firmly in the affordable “mid-priced” category.
Aside from the new console, compressors and Pro Tools HD rig, much of the outboard gear and microphone collection has been transplanted from Rice’s old room. A small wall of amplifiers and guitars, an old Wurlitzer and a vintage Ludwig drum kit round out the equipment list, and nothing feels lacking.
What’s most strikingly new is the sheer space as well as the upgrade in amenities and décor..