WSDG Studio Designed As Lynchpin For Multi-Faceted Music Collective
ASBURY PARK, NJ: In a world where dreams come easy, but are tough to fulfill, producer/songwriter Jon Leidersdorff has caught a golden ring. Committed to building a cohesive infrastructure for the music scene in his hometown, Leidersdorff discovered an abandoned warehouse in downtown Asbury Park, and envisioned it as a multi-purpose center for a collective of music business locals. Investing his own savings and securing a Small Business Association (SBA) loan from the local Asbury Park Community Bank, Leidersdorff called the Walters-Storyk Design Group to create his Lakehouse Recording Studios as the lynchpin for the complex.
“I’d recorded in Storyk-designed studios, and knew if I ever had the opportunity to build my own, that John Storyk would be my first choice designer,” Leidersdorff says. “When John and WSDG Project Manager Matt Ballos came down for their initial site visit they clearly had their work cut out for them, but they came up with amazing ideas.
Built in the 1920’s, and converted to a warehouse in the 1960’s, the building required a gut renovation to maximize its potential. “We took advantage of an opportunity to dramatically increase its flexibility, by turning its 10,000 sq. ft. footprint into an 15,000+ sq. ft. structure,” Matt Ballos reports. “Instead of adding a new floor to the roof, we opted to grow down. The key was to eliminate the ground floor truck entrance, and drop the floor 7 ½ feet. By sinking steel girders to support a 6” thick concrete slab at the 16 ft. height, we created an entirely new 5000 sq, ft, 2nd floor, which Leidersdorff split with the Lakehouse Music Academy (LHMA.) This rock solid, acoustically isolated space was ideal for the recording studios, an apartment/lounge, and the school. We then developed what became the third floor into rehearsal rooms, and additional offices.”
Lakehouse Studios offers a 740 sq. ft. North Studio with a 400+ sq. ft. variable acoustics outfitted Live Room and a 440 sq. ft. Control Room capped by a rectangular, fabric covered ceiling cloud with triangular wings, custom designed by Ballos. North Control features a vintage Neve 8024 Console, Augspurger GA115V Monitors, Protools HD 3 Accel and an extensive arsenal of outboard gear. The South Studio features a 300 sq. ft. Control Room, SSL Matrix Console, Focal Twin6 BE and Yamaha NS 10 Monitors, Protools HD Native, a full complement of outboard gear and a 140 sq. ft. live room.
“We started doing warm up sessions in August, and suddenly found ourselves in an actual gig with staff producer Pete Steinkopf (The Bouncing Souls) and Canadian super group Organ Thieves. They recorded their entire album in just eight days, and were totally blown away by the sound, look and feel of the studio,” Leidersdorff reports. “Members of the Organ Thieves have worked with producers Rick Rubin and Jack Joseph Puig in some of the best studios in the world, and they’ve been sending great clients to Lakehouse ever since those sessions.
“Asbury Park has a rich and varied musical history that runs the gamut from John Phillip Sousa to Bruce Springsteen and Jon Bon Jovi,” Leidersdorff points out. “We were fortunate to find a number of like-minded, music-related locals to rent space in the building. Russo, one of the finest independent music stores in the country; Bands On A Budget, a leading music merchandise shop; Holtz Video and Photography; CoWerks, a shared office space for music industry professionals; LHMA, an innovative music performance school and, to keep all the juices flowing, Mumford’s Café. We all share a love of music and, a desire to turn this part of Asbury Park back into a thriving business district. We were approached by Monmouth University to do a weekly lab in our studio, and we’re booking sessions with local, national and international artists. We’re both realists and optimists, and with a WSDG designed studio, we’re prepared for anything.”
“It’s gratifying to find a talented artist/businessman like Jon Leidersdorff prepared to make dual commitments to his hometown and his art,” John Storyk concludes. The home studio we built recently for Bruce Springsteen isn’t too far from Lakehouse. This area is blossoming with energy and talent, we’re delighted to have played a role in its revival.”
1, Lakehouse Studios Lounge/Guitar Wall
2, Lakehouse Studios North Control (front)
3. Lakehouse Studios North Control (rear)
4. Lakehouse Studios South Control
5. Lakehouse Studios Live Room
6. Lakehouse Studios Live Room
Photos by Holtz Photography
Walters-Storyk Design Group has designed over 3000 media facilities worldwide. Credits include Jimi Hendrix’s 1969’s Electric Lady Studios; NYC’s Jazz At Lincoln Center and Le Poisson Rouge; broadcast facilities for The Food Network, ESPN, and WNET; major education complexes for NYU and Berklee College of Music Boston and Valencia, Spain; media rooms for Hoffman La Roche, and other corporate clients. Recent projects include NYC’s TEC award winner Jungle City Studios and private studios for Green Day, Jay-Z, Timbaland’s Tim Mosley, film composer Carter Burwell, Aerosmith, Bruce Springsteen and Alicia Keys. WSDG principals John Storyk (an adjunct professor at Berklee College,) Beth Walters, Sergio Molho and Dirk Noy lecture frequently at universities and industry events, and contribute regularly to industry publications.WSDG has collaborated with such noted architects as Frank Gehry, Rafael Vinoly, Norman Foster, Oscar Niemeyer, Phillipe Stark and Nicholas Grimshaw. WSDG is a seven-time winner of the prestigious NAMM TEC Award for outstanding achievement in Acoustics/Facility Design. The firm maintains offices in NY, SF, Miami, Buenos Aires,Belo Horizonte, Basel, Beijing, Barcelona, Mexico City and Mumbai.