Location: Manhattan, New York
Owners: Todd Hemleb, Owner, Engineer
API Gear List: 1973 32-channel API console,  550A,  525
On the Desk: This summer, Pyramid Recording was busy with everything from new musicians to commercial recordings. John Colby (composer, producer, keys) was in the studio with Bette Midler's touring band, on a break from Madison Square Garden and the Barclay Center, to record music cues for ESPN. Colby wrote and produced ESPN's Sportscenter theme, and works as music director for several programs on the network. Emerging artist Raphaelle recorded her debut album over several months this year at Pyramid Recording.
On API: Pyramid's custom API desk was built in 1973 for actor and dancer Danny Kaye. It was later bought by The Wilson Sisters (Heart), who placed it in Bad Animals Studios in Seattle from 1991 to 1997. Pyramid acquired the console in 1999, when owner Todd Hemleb heard Bad Animals was selling their console. "I had always loved working on APIs, so I flew out and took a look and fell in love."
Says Hemleb, "When I finally got the console back to New York and powered on the Flying Faders computer, there were still automation files from REM and Soundgarden sessions!" The console has since become "the anchor of the Pyramid Recording sound." Hemleb adds that "although the studio boasts a list of vintage gear collected through its almost 40 year history, everything ends up going through the console."
All 32 channels have the original 550A EQs still installed. There are four 525 compressor/limiters in the master section, which were originally intended for quad mixing. Because the console is split, it has a completely separate 24-channel monitor mixer that can be used for a variety of applications including complex headphone mixes or sub-mixes in production.
API's "From the Desk of" is a semi-monthly feature showcasing activity in studios with API gear. If you'd like to have your studio covered please contact Jen Schiller: jschiller [at] apiaudio [dot] com.