For years, Barbershop Studios’ (www.thebarbershopstudios.com) CEO Scott Barber had envisioned owning a studio on a lake. President Mark Salamone always wanted a studio housed in an old church. Decades later, both partners’ dreams came to fruition when they discovered a 100-year-old stone church in New Jersey nestled on Lake Hopatcong, which now houses the tristate area’s newest facility for 5.1 and 7.1 recording, editing, mixing and mastering.
Scott Barber (left) and Mark Salamone behind
Barbershop’s SSL K
Fran Manzella of Francis Manzella Design Inc. supervised the studio’s design, which includes cathedral ceilings and hints of the original stone in the spacious live room, which is built, like the two control rooms, on a floating floor. Studio A offers a 72-channel SSL XL9000K, custom-designed Griffin loudspeakers and 5.1 monitors, Pro Tools|HD5 and ample mics and outboard gear, both new and vintage. The smaller Studio B features an additional HD rig, a Genelec 8050A surround system and an iso booth.
The facility offers choice amenities such as its own Italian restaurant (came with the space) and a full-service marina (owned by Salamone’s brother), but alas, no disco ball, an accessory that was undoubtedly in place when the building housed Lighthouse Disco, home to shows by The Ramones, Cheap Trick and Twisted Sister. Barbershop does, however, house its own production company, Wafflemakers, which offers production, publishing, artist development, marketing and distribution services.
With a target opening date of May 1, 2005, Salamone says that his phone has been ringing with booking inquiries for months. And despite recent blows to their area’s studio climate, Salamone feels that this is the “perfect time” for he and Barber to launch their business. “We see a spot for ourselves,” he says. “We both have faith that the music industry is coming back. Sound quality will grow and we’ll grow with it.”