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Burst Pipe Forces Quad Studios Rebuild

After a water pipe burst at the end of 2020, New York City’s famed Quad Studios had to rebuild one of its rooms.

Quad Studios partners Alessio Casalini (seated) and Ricky Hosn.
Quad Studios partners Alessio Casalini (seated) and Ricky Hosn.

Burnley, UK (August 17, 2021)—After a water pipe burst at the end of 2020, New York City’s famed Quad Studios had to rebuild one of its rooms, installing a Neve G64 Genesys Black analog console in place of the former hybrid workflow.

Studio Q1 on the 10th floor of Quad’s Times Square premises was so badly affected by the flood that it had to be completely rebuilt. Until that point, it had been set up for a hybrid workflow with a digital control surface and 48 channels of analog summing and preamps.

“Considering the success of our original room, we didn’t want to reinvent the wheel,” co-owner Ricky Hosn says. “However, we did address the limitations imposed by the size of the room because the Neve console allowed us to reduce the amount of outboard gear in Studio Q1, thus reducing the size of the racks. We were also able to elevate the audio quality of customers’ projects by giving them access to Neve’s classic analogue sound.”

Nashville Hip-Hop’s D.I.Y. DNA

Located in the heart of Manhattan, Quad has been a vital part of New York’s music scene, particularly for the hip-hop and urban genres, since it was first established by Lou Gonzales in 1978. Quad’s ground-floor reception was also notoriously the location where rapper Tupac Shakur was robbed in 1994.

Ricky Hosn became Quad’s owner in 2005 when Gonzales decided to retire. Dave Malekpour, president of Pro Audio Design Inc and Augspurger, was asked to liquidate the equipment, but instead, he approached Hosn, who was planning to build a studio in Florida, and suggested he buy the facility. Alessio Casalini, who became a partner in 2012, now handles the studio and technical side of the facility, leaving Hosn free to concentrate on business and administration.

“Since we have three other rooms based on the original Q1 hybrid concept, we thought why not go all the way with an analog board?” Casalini says. “Most of our sessions require very fast recalls and workflow, so we wanted a desk that interacted as seamlessly as possible with the DAW and removed the need for manual recalls and complicated setups. We were looking for ease of use and quick changeovers and the Genesys Black was the perfect machine. Also, most of our outboard gear was severely damaged during the flood, so this was an opportunity to go in a different direction.”

He adds, “Personally, my favorite feature of the new console is its interaction with Pro Tools. I like the Genesys Control plug-in that you can insert into Pro Tools and control the EQ and compressors on the different channels. It’s very straightforward and easy to use — plus I’ve always liked the Neve sound.”

Quad currently has three studios on the 10th floor and one on the 12th, which was opened in 2018. The 12th floor also features the 2,500-square-foot Quad Club, which is used for album release parties, writing camps, streaming events and much more.