Mark McKenna (seated) and chief technical engineer Ken McKim
Photo: Wade Grindle
Allaire Studios, the Shokan, N.Y., destination studio that was the home of two Neve-based rooms, appears to be closing. In March, all staffers were relieved of their positions and all remaining scheduled sessions were cancelled.
Mark McKenna, former studio manager of Allaire, commented on the abrupt end for the facility, which opened in 2001: “We had a slow winter, and we came up a little bit short of our busy season, although I canceled a tremendous amount of work the week that I left. The long-term problem is that Allaire is very specifically targeted to the music business, and increasingly the way albums are being made we kind of ran into the perfect storm of producer-and-artist home studios and failing retail. Those things combined to seal the studio's fate.”
The timing is particularly puzzling given that Allaire only recently invested considerable time and expense into installing one of the most famous consoles in the world, the “AIR Montserrat” desk designed with input from Beatles producer George Martin and engineer Geoff Emerick. “Maybe somewhat less arbitrary ownership would have given the new console more time to establish itself,” McKenna said, “but that's not the modus operandi of the ownership of the studio.
“When it was firing on all cylinders, Allaire was a joyous situation and the best of all worlds: You have a superior facility, a superior support staff and an unparalleled environment. Artists like the Black Crowes, Rush, My Morning Jacket and even David Bowie would attest to that. But the problem is that the business is not what it used to be, and there are not that many candidates for that type of business.”