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Proliferation of Compact Indie Studios Continues Apace

Katonah,NEW YORK: In an era marked by large studio closings and sizeable dips in traditional record company revenue, signs of a resilient independent studio community bear witness to the health of niche-oriented studio owner/operators. Witness Sweatshop Studios a 1060 sq. ft. acoustic and aesthetic gem recently completed in Katonah, NY by Walters-Storyk Design Group.

“As the owner of a small business I learned the value of performing due diligence early on,” says Sweatshop owner Shaul Dover. “When my son Edan and I considered the ramifications of building a recording studio our two priorities were (A) an architect / acoustician who could develop a studio that would meet the requirements of a sophisticated client base, and (B) a business plan that would lead us towards a return on our investment. Our initial sessions have convinced us that the studio has excellent prospects for fulfilling its mission.”

As the owner of a large residence in semi-rural Katonah, NY, Dover had more than adequate space to accommodate the facility. An extensive search for a design firm led him to WSDG. “The key for me was to create an environment where artists could focus on their creativity. The vibe is as important as our collection of analog and digital gear. We spoke with a number of architects, and were impressed with John Storyk. His work on the Jazz At Lincoln Center Complex was particularly meaningful, as we plan to focus on a jazz-oriented client base.”

“This is a full room-within-room design with concrete slabs, IAC doors and lot’s of glass. We took great care in tuning the rooms to insure the accuracy of the reverb and frequency response,” Storyk reports. “We recommended high quality wall and ceiling treatments and mid frequency diffusers. Sweatshop is already working with some interesting new artists and the material we’ve already heard out of this room has been impressive. “Sweatshop is the ‘real deal. They built a pro room and they’re using it well.”

Sweatshop’s spacious two-story high 400 sq. ft. live room is outfitted with a Steinway Boston Grand piano, Hammond B-3 and two 50 sq. ft. Iso booths. The 450 sq. ft. control room was designed to make long sessions as comfortable and productive as possible.

The studio is outfitted with Dynaudio BM15A 5.1 surround 5.1 speakers with BM12S Sub; Dangerous Monitor Control with ST and SR Expender; a Studer A800 (2″ 24 track) tape machine controlled and synchronized with Euphonix 5MC Nuendo; Pro Tools HD 7.3 and LE 7.3; Logic Pro 8 and a Lynx Aurora console.

Sweatshop Studios are represented by sales and marketing exec. Osi Mizrahi. The studio recently launched an innovative Facebook Idol search for new talent. Unsigned artists are invited to submit an original song or YouTube video in any genre to between now and March 31. On April 15 fifteen finalists will be posted on Facebook. These will be winnowed down to five candidates via an online vote to be tabulated by April 30. The GRAND PRIZE winner will receive a production deal including a professional recording session (at Sweatshop Studios); digital distribution, promotion and marketing to record labels and a performance at a live venue TBA.

“We are as committed to developing worthwhile talent as we are to providing established artists with first class recording capabilities,” Shaul Dover concludes. “Sweatshop represents an affordable alternative to New York City facilities. We’ve built a comfortable and totally professional studio, and we’re ready to start making music.”

Sweatshop Studios may be reached at:

Photo Caps

#1 WSDG-designed Sweatshop Studios Control Room. Seated forward co-founder Edan Dover, (center) company principal Shaul Dover, and (right) sales/marketing exec Osi Mizrahi

#2 Sweatshop Studios live room designed by WSDG.

Please credit all photos by Philip Jenson-Carter


The 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, Interlochen Public Radio, CBS, WNET, and corporate clients such as Hoffman La Roche. Recent credits include private studios for the Goo Goo Dolls, Jay-Z, Timbaland’s Tim Mosley, Tracy Chapman, film composer Carter Burwell, Aerosmith; Green Day, Alicia Keys and Bruce Springsteen. 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 six-time winner of the prestigious TEC Award for outstanding achievement in Acoustics/Facility Design. The firm maintains offices in NY, SF, Argentina, Brazil, Beijing, Mexico City and Switzerland.