Specializing in HiFi recording.
All genres welcome.
Designed by renowned acoustician Vincent Van Haaff, the music recording studio features wall-to-wall birch and walnut acoustic diffusers, hung acoustic ceilings, and fully customizable lighting by Philips Hue. It’s as visually stunning as it is acoustically refined. The acoustics are perfect for all styles of music – effective for anything from strings, winds, and brass to drums, synths, and electric guitars. Paired with an extensive collection of high-quality equipment, Douglass Recording provides for an exceptional hifi recording.
The studio is intuitively wired and laid out to be one of the most flexible music studios in New York City / Brooklyn, providing an easy workflow for both solo artists and large ensembles. For larger groups that need to utilize our isolation booths, there’s a clear line of sight from both iso booths to the live room. There are also extra patching options for the hallways and back rooms if extra space is needed. You can easily record your amps (or players) in any room in the studio. Also, to maximize the functionality of each space, the piano can be rolled between the live room and the adjacent isolation booth.
Brooklyn Based, Global Talent
As an NYC recording studio, Douglass Recording has been home to many grassroots, Brooklyn and New York-based artists. But it’s hosted many internationally acclaimed acts as well. Check our client list for a small example of who has called our audio studio home and visit our gallery for photos of the space. Please email us for bookings, or if you’d like to see why Douglass Recording is one of the finest music recording studios in NYC, schedule a tour!
The Recording Studio Process
At Douglass Recording, the recording process is tailored to the needs and goals of the band, the style of music, and the players. We can record an entire group together, or we can record everything individually and layer the multi-tracks together. Keep in mind that the more overdubbing dependent the session, the more expensive the session will be, as overdubbing takes more time. On the other hand, tracking numerous members of a group together is not only a great way to keep musicians feeling the music together, it’s also the most cost effective way to record music.
Typically, a recording session is a combination of the two methods described above. We may record the “basics” of a track first at once. Drums, Bass, and Guitar or Piano, all together. Maybe even elements of lead guitar or another soloist along with them. We will then often overdub elements individually that we want to have more control over like a vocal, or elements that require a large amount of space or logistical planning, such as a brass band, string ensemble, or an instrument that needs experimentation or practice. These elements are then all blended together at mixing, and sent off for mastering to produce the final sound of the track!
Recording Studio Vocabulary
We understand that recording studio terminologies can be a little confusing, especially for those who are recording music for the first time. With that in mind, we have compiled a list of recording studio vocabulary that you may find useful. By no means is this a complete list, but it may help you adjust to your first recording session.
Usually the largest, and most important recording room in the studio. This is where most of the magic happens, and the sound of this room can have quite an impact on what you’re recording.
Our live room is designed to have a controlled sound, but it isn’t totally dead. We want our drums, strings, guitars, or whatever it is we put in this room, to sound like they’re, well, in a room! If everything on a recording was totally dead, it would create less depth in the recording, and we would have to work harder to create the space artificially with reverbs or other effects. A nice tall ceiling like ours really creates something special in a
This is the brain of the studio. The audio engineer will be working from the control room. Our computer, tape machine, outboard gear, and speakers, are all located in this room.
Usually smaller than the primary recording rooms, iso booths are rooms used to keep an instrument acoustically isolated from sounds that are simultaneously occurring in the main room(s).
This is how you communicate with the audio engineer in the control room while you’re recording in other rooms. Since each room is designed to be acoustically isolated from every other room, we need to rely on microphones built into our monitoring system to communicate with you.
Audio slang for headphones
Bleed refers to unwanted sound from one instrument that is heard in, or “bleeds” into, a microphone intended for another instrument. This can be massively detrimental to a recording if not anticipated or dealt with. For example, if a microphone intended for the vocalist captures a lot of sound from the cymbals and snare of a drum set played simultaneously, then when the vocal microphone is layered into the recording, the sound of the drum set might be negatively affected by the sound that has bled into the vocal microphone. It’s important to let your engineer work out any bleed issues at sound check.
When the recording engineer refers to a “punch” or “punch-in,” they’re talking about replacing a piece of already recorded material. Typically, you’ll hear a bit of previously recorded material played back to you first. Once you find your spot and begin to play along, the engineer will “punch you in” to the recording and begin to replace the original material on the track/channel. This term comes from the days of tape machines, and while it used to be a destructive and feared process, it’s now much more forgiving and effective.
An overdub is a process that layers newly recorded audio over previously recorded tracks. For example, after a band has recorded several instruments together, they may then choose to “overdub” a vocal, solo instrument, or ensemble, playing along with the previously recorded music. These elements are meant to be layered together, not to replace one another.
Compression is an important effect that controls the dynamic range (volume) of recorded audio. It “compresses” the dynamic peaks and valleys of audio signal by limiting the volume of sound once the overall volume passes a certain “threshold.” There are often settings to control how quickly the compressor kicks in or “attacks” the signal that’s reached its threshold. There are also settings to control how the compressor “releases” a signal after the signals volume falls below the compressors set threshold. This is a nuanced and complicated effect that is best left to your engineer if you’re not familiar with it. But knowing generally what to expect from compression may help you understand how an instrument can fit into a track, or how it should sound when you’re hearing playback during a recording studio performance.
Playlist / Play-listing
In the modern era of recording, when you hear the engineer refer to “play-lists” or “play-listing” they are often referring to digitally saving and muting/
hiding a take. This would be saved in a “playlist” that can be easily recalled at a later time to be used or referenced. So if you’re watching the engineer work, and you notice your audio completely disappear from the computer, don’t fret! It has likely just been “play-listed” and saved for a later time, making way for a new take.
EQ / Equalization
Another very important effect, equalization controls the frequency response of audio. If recorded audio sounds too bass heavy, or too bright/brittle, EQ can tame the unwanted frequencies. It can also enhance pleasing frequencies, like the airy top end of a vocal, or the chunky mid-range of an electric guitar. EQ’s often allow the user to select either a small range of frequencies to pinpoint offending resonances, or a wider band for a broad, smooth effect. It can also be incredibly effective at removing some types of unwanted noise, particularly low-end noises like rumbling (did someone hear the subway R train pass by just now?? Maybe it was just the AC.)
Dry vs Wet Sound
“Dry” and “wet” refer to how affected a sound is. A pure 100% “wet” sound is the sound of only the effect. So if you hear only the reverb or modulation
effect applied to a track, it would be entirely wet. No direct signal from that lead guitar, just the epic space delay it’s been sent to. A 100% “dry” sound refers to a completely unaffected signal. This would mean nothing but that snare top microphone – no massive shotgun reverb to take it into the 80’s stratosphere. Typically, much of what you hear on a recording is a blend of both dry and wet signals of an instrument.
“Comping” comes from the words “compiling” and “composite.” It has become the industry standard term to describe compiling a players multiple takes together into one composite take. This can improve the sound of a players performance on the recording. Let’s say a player has nailed the verse and bridge of a song, but they were rushing the chorus on a take. The band otherwise loves the sound of the take, so they just “comp” the take, swapping the rejected part with that of another take.
In this case, they replace the rushed chorus with the the chorus from the following take. This is a technique that has been since the early days of recording. Even the Beatles and Stevie Wonder benefited from compiling their favorite takes. While it used to require cutting and splicing tape, the modern era has made it much easier to sew different takes together.