56 W. 45th Street
New York, NY 10036
In an era of diversity and multitasking, the notion of picking aspecialty, honing it to its ultimate art, and sticking with it seemsromantically distant. Well, that approach is precisely what has broughtAbsolute Audio success as an audio mastering facility.
“We focused on a few things early on, and we’ve stayed focusedon them.” says Jim Brick, who with his brother Tom founded the companyin June 1991. “What’s enabled us to become a premier audiomastering studio is that kind of intensity directed toward a specificgoal. It’s allowed us to keep a certain mindset. It’s onethat polishes the craft of audio mastering, while remembering the truemeaning of customer service.”
The Bricks started their facility from scratch. They had a NeveDigital Transfer Console and a Neumann cutting lathe, and that’sabout it. Even as the owners expanded the technical side of thecompany, adding new digital audio platforms such as a Sonic Solutionssystem, as well as an array of state-of-the-art processing gear at anewer West Side location, they also saw that the music industry wasevolving. Independent record labels and self-produced artists werebecoming the new paradigm, and Absolute shared a common sense oforigin, time and place with these artists and companies. Absolute Audiohad been marketed successfully to the next wave and became themastering resource for emerging genres that today dominate the musicindustry globally: hip-hop, dance and alt-rock.
Along with owners Tom and Jim Brick, today Absolute Audio has amastering staff that includes Fred Kevorkian, Dave Kutch, LarryLachmann and Robert Amar.
Having begun his engineering career in his native France, Kevorkianmoved to New York, where he began a nine-year stay at Sear Sound.Drawing upon his experience in a variety of musical styles, he made aswitch to mastering and began his tenure at Absolute Audio.
With The Hit Factory Mastering as a starting point, Kutch made amove to a then brand-new facility, Powers House of Sound. Four yearslater, after making a mark there, Kutch joined Absolute Audio.
Larry Lachmann began his musical career at Sterling Sound in 1984.After years as Studio Manager, he, like Kutch, made a switch to helpthen-startup Powers House of Sound. There he split his time as StudioManager while making a move over to mastering. He finally madeengineering his full-time career when he and Kutch made the move toAbsolute.
Amar, since starting out as a general assistant three years ago, hasproven himself as an up-and-coming engineer, as well being invaluablefor numerous day-to-day operations of the studio.
From a technical point of view, the engineers regard Absolute Audioas a hybrid facility, one that combines the warmth of vintage analogequipment with the cutting edge of digital technology. But the key isnot the gear, rather in the way you approach it. That, and theunderstanding that this is all about the music. That, for Absolute, isthe real bottom line.
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