Recording

Brotheryn Studios

PROJECTS ABOUND IN BUCOLIC SETTING 6/01/2009 8:00 AM Eastern

Brotheryn Studios partners (from left) Jesse Siebenberg, Todd Hannigan and Jason Mariani in Studio B
Photo: Dave Sanchez

Ventura, Calif., native Todd Hannigan was able to parlay his passions for surfing, recording and songwriting into a career composing and recording music for surf films — including work with Jack Johnson on Thicker Than Water (1999) and September Sessions (2000), and with surfer/filmmaker Chris Malloy on Shelter (2001). “I did a whole lot of surf movies after that,” Hannigan says. “It's a total niche market.”

Hannigan eventually teamed with an aspiring filmmaker whose father owns a cattle ranch in the hills adjacent to Lake Casitas in Ojai, Calif. The ranch owner supported the fledgling production company by converting an emu barn into a studio — and thus began Brotheryn Studios, which today has five tracking rooms and two control rooms. Brotheryn offers recording, scoring, mixing, mastering and post services in scenic, pastoral surroundings.

When Hannigan's original business partner moved on, he found two new partners: Jesse Siebenberg, a multi-instrumentalist and producer, and engineer Jason Mariani. Brotheryn also employs engineer Justina Powell. “They made it into more of a professional studio,” Hannigan says, adding that Brotheryn's clients are “an even mix of local musicians to some big international acts.”

Each of Brotheryn's control rooms houses a quad-core Mac Pro and a Pro Tools HD3 Accel system. Monitoring is via Auratones, an EMES Owl System, Genelec 1031As with subwoofer, Dynaudio BM5As, Tannoy System 15s, and Yamaha NS-10Ms and NS-500Ms. Its mic closet offers models from AKG, Audix, beyerdynamic, Blue Microphones, Neumann, RØDE, Sennheiser, Shure and more. Outboard gear includes units from Universal Audio, Manley Labs, Millennia, Summit Audio and more.

“We sum when we mix, using a Manley 16×2 and 16 channels of Mytek conversion in our A room,” Mariani says. “Our B room has an Amek Driver in a Box, with a resistor network added to make it a summing amplifier so we can sum in that room, as well. We're looking to upgrade our A room with an SSL AWS900+ SE. There are 26 tielines between our two mix rooms.”

“Luckily, there's no [outside] noise,” Hannigan adds. “There are thousands of acres around us, so we really didn't have to worry about making it quiet.”

Hannigan produced both of his solo albums, Volume 1 and Volume 2: Courtside for the Apocalypse, at Brotheryn and is working on Volume 3. Siebenberg recently co-produced Kenny Loggins' forthcoming release for Walt Disney Records, a children's album called All Join In.

“Todd has just produced records for Timmy Curran and Rey Fresco,” Siebenberg says. “Ventura is a hotbed of musical activity right now, and I think it's only going to get better. There's a great pool of talent here, a great management company — the Fitzgerald Hartley Company — and some great music venues. So the stage is set. I'm really happy to be a part of that.”