DiMenna Center’s Mary Flagler Cary Hall
Photo: Francis Dzilcowski/Esto
AES 131st Convention Committee Chair Jim Anderson reports that Technical Tour Chair Lou Manno and Joel Spector of the AES New York Section have developed a series of tours. “There is so much going on in this town that the most difficult part of the job is making a final choice,” Anderson says. “Lou and Joel have clearly got their fingers on the pulse of the city. Their selections should be of great interest to our attendees.”
AES Technical Tours will visit the DiMenna Center for Classical Music, the home for the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, which was recently completed for $36 million. Constructed over the past year, the Center shares a West 37th building with the celebrated Baryshnikov Arts Center. The complex was created to serve music rehearsal, recording, broadcast, teleconferencing, and educational and streaming purposes. Featuring an innovative acoustic design developed by Akustiks, LLC and installed by Masque Sound, DiMenna is highlighted by the Mary Flagler Cary Hall, a 50×50 square-foot rehearsal/recording studio with a 30-foot high ceiling.
Brooklynphono is a facility based in Sunset Park that recycles old LPs with a large shredder, and then feeds the used vinyl into a press to create brand new albums. Opened by Thomas Bernich in 2003, the plant has grown from pressing 2000 LPs a month to over 10,000 today. Brooklynphono caters primarily to indie-rock labels.
Sear Sound has hosted artists ranging from Steely Dan and Bjork to Lou Reed, Bono, Wilco, and Norah Jones. Created by Walter Sear, an unswerving proponent of analog technology, Sear Sound is recognized as a one of the world’s best-maintained facilities. Sear’s collection of rare analog gear includes 224 classic microphones and tape machines from Abbey Road Studios that were once used by The Beatles.
Since opening in 1984, KAS has produced thousands of diverse recording sessions. Built in 1921 as New York City’s “Hollywood East Back Lot,” the Kaufman Astoria Film/TV production complex has hosted stars ranging from Charlie Chaplin to Bill Cosby and The Muppets. The facility’s 2,400-square-foot Studio A live room has two large iso chambers and a 550-square-foot LEDE control room able to comfortably house a 70-piece orchestra, a 120-person chorus, or solo performers. Its 450-square-foot Studio B is used for movies, TV ADR, pre-records, voice-overs, and smaller music projects.
The Marquis Theatre is a Broadway venue that opened in 1986. It was designed to provide maximum comfort for audiences and actors alike, while maintaining a feeling of intimacy. The theater features an expansive backstage area, high ceilings, state-of-the-art acoustics, wide aisles and 1,611 seats. The theater has hosted musicals such as Me and My Girl, Gypsy, Man of La Mancha, The Goodbye Girl, Damn Yankees, Victor/Victoria, Peter Pan, Annie Get Your Gun, and Thoroughly Modern Millie.
The Technical Tours will also visit NBC Broadcast Central at 30 Rock, which serves as NBC’s national nerve center. Studio 8-H is housed among 30 Rock’s many busy TV and radio studios; it is reportedly one of the world’s first “floating rooms,” which originally housed Arturo Toscanini and the NBC Orchestra. Since October 11, 1975, Studio 8-H has been home to NBC’s Saturday Night Live.
The New Jersey Performing Arts Center opened in 1997 in Newark. The sixth largest performing arts center in the U.S., NJPAC has welcomed such world renowned artists as Yo-Yo Ma, Bob Dylan, Lauryn Hill, Alvin Ailey, the Berlin State Opera Orchestra, the Royal Danish Ballet, the Vienna Boys Choir, Sting, and Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo.
Soundtrack Post in New York City is a 12,000-square-foot post-production complex featuring two large mixing stages, ADR, Foley, a large music library, and a full range of editorial services, including production office space for long and short-term clients. Specializing in servicing both major and independent filmmakers, recent Soundtrack clients include such Emmy Award–nominated programs as Boardwalk Empire, The Good Wife, The Big C, Mildred Pierce, Law & Order Special Victim’s Unit, If God is Willing and Da Creek Don’t Rise, and CSI: NY.
Find competitive AES hotel rates; the last day to request housing is Friday, September 23.