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Mix Regional: Canada

Spotlight on Toronto's Noble Street Studios and Revolution Recording

Noble Street Studios, Toronto

Downtown Facility Draws Local and International Talent

Longtime studio manager Donny DaSilva joined Noble Street Studios just before the facility went online seven years ago. Designed by Terry Medwedyk of Group One Acoustics (Mississauga, Ontario), in collaboration with architect Athos Zaghi (AZA and Theatre Consultants Collaborative, Toronto) and interior designer Robert Kastelic (AKB, Toronto), Noble Street was built from the ground up in a central location to serve a gradually growing Toronto arts community.

“I absolutely loved that the studio was built in downtown Toronto,” says DaSilva, recalling the factors that influenced his move from Phase One Recording to Noble Street. “At the time, the neighborhood was just starting to turn into a great musicians’ hub. Queen Street West [the large thoroughfare parallel to Noble Street] was one of the slowest streets in Toronto to get gentrified, but now, seven years later, it’s everything we could have hoped for. There are some fantastic restaurants and shops, and a ton of musicians walk into this studio because they live in the area.

“The great thing is that we are just a few steps away from one of Toronto’s main streets, but because we are on Noble, it’s quiet,” DaSilva continues. “Right now I’m actually watching a bird in our living wall. It’s wonderful to be able to experience this even though we are downtown. We also have our rooftop patio with a grill, and we host an annual BBQ for staff and engineers.”

Noble Street Studios Opens in Toronto, Sept. 12, 2011

Inside the building, Studio A is designed for recording, with a 1,200-square-foot live room featuring a 19-foot ceiling with a skylight, and two adjacent iso booths. Control Room A houses an SSL 4056 E/G console with Total Recall, new PMC PB6 monitoring, and a vast collection of mics and instruments.

Studio B, a mix room, offers an SSL 6048 and Quested Q210 mains with Quested QSB1118 subs, as well as four floating rack bays filled with analog and digital outboard gear. This studio also includes a 100-square-foot iso booth to accommodate overdubs and ADR sessions.

DaSilva says that owner Henry Gooderham is considering expanding with a third studio. Meanwhile, engineer George Seara has made Noble Street something of a home base; his recent projects in the studio include Shawn Mendes’ eponymous latest album, The Chainsmokers’ Memories … Do Not Open, and mixes for James Bay. Other recent visitors include the Barenaked Ladies working on their latest album, Fake Nudes, with producer Gavin Brown and engineer Lenny DeRose; and The Distillery with producer (and McGill University associate professor of sound recording) George Massenburg.

Revolution Recording, Toronto

Revolution Recording features three studios: the flagship 2,200-square-foot A room with its custom 80 Series Neve console; Studio B, featuring warm, reclaimed wood panels and an SSL 4056 G board; and the more intimate Studio C, offering a Neve Genesys G96.

Apple CEO Tim Cook recently joined artist Daniel Caesar in Studio B while Caesar worked on a new track; they are pictured above. In other session news, musical collective Broken Social Scene were tracking in Studio B with producer/engineer Joe Chiccarelli. Spotify booked all three rooms at one point for its Secret Genius writing camp featuring producer Boi-1da. Indie rock band Wintersleep worked on a new record in Studio A with Scottish producer Tony Doogan. And the cast of the Broadway production Come From Away recorded their original cast album in Studio A with producer Ian Eisen.

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