Owner Mike Grande at the School of Rock board.
Staten Island reportedly has the greatest number of families with children as compared to New York City's other four boroughs, and with the launch of School of Rock Recording Studios (www.sorstudios.com, http://sischoolofrock.com), those kids and others can now learn the ins and outs of recording, engineering and producing without leaving the neighborhood. In addition, artists from Staten Island and throughout the greater metropolitan area and New Jersey can take advantage of the school's recording and mastering services.
Owner Mike Grande expanded his operation, originally named the School of Rock, in May 2004, when his students — initially, kids taking guitar, bass and drum lessons — became interested in learning how to record their own music (after Grande began giving them CDs or MP3 files of their lessons). Rechristened SOR Recording Studios in May 2004, with courses added in production and engineering, the facility offers Pro Tools software, Cakewalk SONAR 4 Producer Edition, a Mackie 32×8 console and 24 tracks of Alesis ADAT as its core equipment, complemented by Alesis monitors; a selection of Shure, Sennheiser, Audio-Technica and AKG microphones; and an ample supply of instruments and guitar amps. Mastering services are handled by SONAR 4 and Alesis MasterLink by engineer Anthony Serso. A 20×19-foot live room and 8×8 iso booth accommodate everything from full band tracking sessions to a simple piano/vocal.
The live room
With classes in full swing and a stream of Staten Island bands knocking on the door, SOR operates daily, up to 18 hours a day. One of Grande's success stories, 20-year-old Adam Reich even helps manage the school, engineers sessions and teaches guitar. “I started giving him lessons when he was 10 years old,” says Grande. “When he first came to me, I was working out of a home studio. Now, he's able to do everything himself — and runs the show!”.