Grammy Winner Cynthia Daniels Debuts New Recording /Mixing Complex
EAST HAMPTON, NY: Multi-Grammy winning engineer Cynthia Daniels, has added MonkMusic a sophisticated recording studio to her East Hampton home. Catering to a first-tier client base, which includes ‘local’ residents Paul McCartney and Alec Baldwin required superb acoustics and elegant aesthetics. To meet these goals, Daniels reached out to Walters-Storyk Design Group .
“I was on a fast track to get up and running as quickly as possible,” Daniels says. “I’ve worked in a number of WSDG studios, and was very familiar with their credentials. On his first site visit, in October 2010, WSDG principal John Storyk assured me that ‘we would never be waiting for drawings, design elements or architectural issues.’ And,” she adds, “WSDG was on the mark throughout the process. We couldn’t be more pleased with the results.
“Our client base ranges from high energy rock sessions where we spend hours in the high volume stratosphere to jazz, orchestral, pop, ADR for film and TV, and of course, narration recording.” Daniels explains. “Because my home is set in a suburban/rural area, we needed to be sensitive to sound leakage both into and out of the studio. We needed sand-filled cinderblock wall construction, along with lots of soundproof windows and sliding glass doors for complete isolation and to take advantage of the East End’s beautiful natural light.”
MonkMusic is a 650 sq. ft, state-of-the art recording/mixing studio housed in a new, ground-up wing attached to Daniels’ home. Although hardly the norm in residential construction in the Hamptons, the addition was built with a decoupled concrete floor system, created for optimal isolation. The complex includes: live, isolation booth and mixing rooms; 5.1 Genelec DSP monitors; a hybrid AVID console; fully digital and analog signal processing. And, a full complement of microphones, preamps, instruments, amplifiers and outboard gear.
WSDG project manager Matt Ballos reports the studio design is based on a combination of optimal room proportion, membrane absorbers used for critical low frequency room respons, and specifically placed diffusers (in some instances transparent), for high frequency reflection control. Allowing the studio suite to relate to the home and to the beautiful Hamptons surroundings was very important to Cynthia and to the final design. Cynthia collaborated with WSDG associate Judy Elliot-Brown of Rocket Science and Mike Donahower on the critical wiring program and systems integration/installation.
“I’ve known Judy for years, she is an absolute wizard at her job,” Daniels says. “Collaborating with her and Mike was one of the best parts of this project. WSDG was also highly recommended by Alan Silverman, my first-call mastering engineer, and former mentor from my A&R Recording days,” Daniels adds. “There was never a doubt about my decision.”
Since opening MonkMusic Studios Cynthia Daniels has worked with such artists as: Barbara Cook, Randy Brecker, veteran rocker Joe Delia, Sarah Jessica Parker, Julie Andrews and Bob Balaban
1. MonkMusic Studios, East Hampton, NY
2. Cynthia Daniels (left) with WSDG co-principal Beth Walters
3. MonkMusic Studios, East Hampton, NY Exterior
Walters-Storyk Design Group has designed over 3000 media production facilities in the U.S., Europe, the Far East and Latin America. WSDG credits range from the original Jimi Hendrix Electric Lady Studio in Greenwich Village to NYC’s Jazz At Lincoln Center performance complex, broadcast facilities for The Food Network, CBS and WNET, over twenty teaching studios for The Art Institutes around the US, and corporate clients such as Hoffman La Roche. Recent credits include Jungle City, NY’s major new destination studio, private studios for Goo Goo Dolls, Jay-Z, Timbaland’s Tim Mosley, film composer Carter Burwell, Aerosmith; Green Day, Bruce Springsteen and Alicia Keys. WSDG principals John Storyk, Beth Walters, and Dirk Noy lecture frequently at universities and industry events, and contribute regularly to industry publications. WSDG is a seven-time winner of the prestigious TEC Award for outstanding achievement in Acoustics/Facility Design. The firm maintains offices in NY, SF, Argentina, Brazil, Beijing, Germany, Mexico City, Spain and Switzerland.