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Behind the Scenes: API Console Restoration at Lakehouse Recording

Located in the eclectic Asbury Park, NJ, Lakehouse Recording doesn't typically go with the flow. Much like Asbury Park itself, Lakehouse pulls from the best elements of the past and present to create a top-of-the-line experience for those who work there.

In keeping with this philosophy, owner Jon Liedersdorff decided the best way to serve his loyal clientele was to source and commission a 32-channel API console. The studio already had a large collection of 3124+ units in their workflow, so Liedersdorff understood that they "had to go big, and we knew an API would be the best option."

Here's our full interview with Liedersdorff about Lakehouse and all the work that's gone into their 1976 API 2488:

API: Can you describe Lakehouse Recording Studios for us?

Jon Liedersdorff: The studio is a classically designed tracking and mixing facility that boasts two WSDG rooms, a large collection of equipment and a staff dedicated to a traditional ethic of record making. We're located downtown in art-centric Asbury Park, which not only gives us access to a large pool of talented studio musicians, but offers a fun and inspiring destination for our clients. We built this space from the ground up, specifically to suit this traditional ideal, a little over two years ago.

API: Tell us about your API console.

JL: We have a 1976 32-Channel API 2488 recording console, built in Melville, Long Island. We installed it in our Control Room South after purchasing it from the original owner, Tom Lavin, of Blue Wave Studios in Vancouver. It's fully loaded with 550A EQs, and its also got two 550b EQs, two 553 EQs and two 525 compressor modules.

API: How much restoration was necessary? Did you recruit any help from API?

JL: We met some of the API staff at AES last October and they were super helpful. API was very supportive of our efforts and offered a helping hand throughout the process, which took about 3 months to complete. The console was in amazing shape for a 40 year old desk. Blue Wave's on-staff tech was meticulous about keeping the console up to spec.

API: What was the overall goal with the console?

JL: We really wanted to bring the console back to new operating condition, as well as implementing more modern day routing and functionality with the help of our techs Bob Shuster and Dave Smith.

The console went through both cosmetic and electrical restoration. A local wood working shop not only re-laminated any worn areas around the frame of the desk, but also built us a custom, all-maple cap that surrounds the existing frame. We also had the bolster reupholstered in black leather and replaced all colored aluminum knob inserts. The replacements were supplied by API.

API: Sounds mostly cosmetic?

JL: We stuck with the original long frame military 1/4" patch bays but did some rewiring to help interface the console with our existing infrastructure. Our techs went through and inspected all solder joints, pots, switches, bulbs, etc. and repaired what was necessary.

API: Why were you specifically looking for an API desk?

JL: We had a vintage British console in Studio North; when it was time to find a console for the Studio South, we knew it had to be a quintessential American recording console. We realized that we had to go big and knew an API would be the best option. API was always a dream console for us and every day we spend on the desk, we are reminded that we made the right decision! The focused, fat and punchy sound that API consoles are known to deliver adds another dimension to the mixes done in our studio. We are very proud to be able to offer this to our clients!

API: Did any particular part of the restoration process stand out in your mind?

JL: I think individually we each had a magical experience, but we all agree that listening through the first mix done on the API was a tremendous collective moment. We were all laughing at how noticeably great it sounded! It's hard to explain or truly understand how these consoles can make anything sound so much better.

API: Any other thoughts you'd like to share with our readers?

JL: We just want to say how proud we are to have a large format API console. We see how well received this addition to the studio has been and we hope your readers come visit us to experience this amazing console fully restored beyond its original glory.

API: Thank you so much for your time.

JL: Thank you for taking an interest in our API restoration and Lakehouse Recording Studios.