Oakland, California - Sept. 2011:
Producer and engineer Dave Lichtenstein "has always known about API" and its "legendary" reputation. So, when he decided to open his own recording facility he turned to API and its Vision analog console.
"It was at AES in San Francisco that I first saw the API Vision," said Lichtenstein. There, he learned about the Vision's all-discrete analog circuitry – a characteristic that the modern console shares with its predecessors and something that greatly appealed to him.
"I evaluated a lot of consoles in my exhaustive search for my studio's centerpiece," said Lichtenstein. "I love the sound of vintage analog consoles and was considering going that route, but I was wary of the inevitable maintenance and downtime that would be involved. The fact that the Vision is entirely discrete and has great modern features, such as extensive surround capabilities, along with powerful automation and recall, made choosing the console an easy call."
Lichtenstein, former frontman for the early '80s band Cowboy Mouth and drummer for musician John Cale, decided that the San Francisco area needed another top-notch studio after writing and recording some tracks of his own at Fantasy Studios in 2000. When the time came for mixing, Fantasy had closed for restructuring, which left him with few options.
"I could only find one comparable facility in the area, which confirmed the fact that the bay area could use another top-notch studio," he said.
After searching for more than a year, Lichtenstein found a 4,500 square-foot, 80-year-old, solid, brick building with a high ceiling that was previously a foreign car repair shop. He turned to old friend and studio designer Francis Manzella and building contractor Dennis Stearns (who worked on Skywalker Sound's recording space) to turn the former shop into a full-fledged recording studio.
The group began construction on 25th Street Recording in 2009 and will finish by its official opening this fall though the facility is already functional. In fact, Lichtenstein has already recorded the band Let Fall the Sparrow in the studio's 1,400 square-foot tracking room with, of course, the API Vision.
According to Lichtenstein, "If you truly want analog, there's really no other choice."