Jose Blanco's Pilchner Schoustal — designed Master House Studios (www.masterhousestudios.com) appeared on our cover when it opened in 2000, and since then, the facility has become a significant force in Miami's hot Latin music scene. With a dedicated mastering studio and a recording/mix room, Master House has had a hand in 10 of the albums nominated for Latin Grammys this year.
Mixing engineer Cesar Sogbe (left) and mastering engineer/studio owner Jose Blanco in Master House Studio A with the Dunlay monitors behind them
“It works out great, because a lot of the projects we do, we mix here and master here,” Blanco says. “It's really cool to have that flexibility to be able to fix anything when you need to, make small changes in the mix, and the clients love that they don't need to go from one studio to another. They can do everything in-house, start to finish.”
Master House handles a lot of projects recorded in Florida, but many projects come to the studio from Latin American clients, such as Argentine producer Cachorro López, who is nominated for the Latin Grammy for Producer of the Year. “I love working with Cachorro because he is a very musical guy and an excellent person,” Blanco says. Blanco is especially proud of the Best Alternative Music Album nominee they worked on together, Limón y Sal by Julieta Venegas. Parts of the album were recorded in Master House Studio B, which is centered around Pro Tools HD3 and a Sony DMX-R100 console. The entire release was mixed in B by staff engineer Cesar Sogbe and mastered by Blanco in Studio A.
“The three of us [Lopez, Sogbe and Blanco] do so much work together, we know each other very well,” Blanco says. “We know what to expect and what the other person is expecting.” When Blanco opened his facility six years ago, he mainly used Sonic Solutions, but he has since changed to Cube-Tec AudioCube. “It sounds great,” Blanco says. “It's so flexible and so user-friendly, and if you're switching from project to project, that's so easy to do.” Blanco continues to monitor on Dunlavy SC-Vs: “The whole system was designed with those speakers in mind,” he says.
Blanco has carved a real niche for himself and his facility. He says about 85 percent of his music clients are Hispanic, and Master House is rare in the combination of services offered. “We have one of the few facilities in Florida, or probably in the Eastern U.S., where we have a recording, mixing and mastering room all under the same roof, aside from maybe Sony New York and those kinds of places. As a privately owned studio, I don't know of many other professional places where people can do projects from beginning to end [in one space].”