What:Singer, Songwriter, Producer, Entrepreneur, Studio Owner
Where:Manhattan (West Chelsea), New York
API Gear:512s, 550bs, 560s
"You can't run a top recording studio and not offer API gear — it's what all our clients expect to see when they arrive. The 512s are a crucial part of Studio A because that room is first and foremost a tracking room. Running electric guitars, bass and drums through the 512s immediately infuses a punchy 'excitement' that is so important in capturing the sound of both rock and pop music.
"The 550s are either the first or second EQs I ever reach for, for any music I'm involved in. There's not one album I've worked on where the tone and sound of that music hasn't come, in part, from a 550. I love that they "click" to each volume and equalization setting — it makes recalls a breeze.
"I use the 560s on kick drums and thick keyboard pads where I need to carve out mud and add attack. They're also brilliant when I need to do extreme EQing to get crazier sounds — I use them all the time on kick and snares to create sounds that would otherwise be impossible to get even with creative drum and mic choices.
"API has a tone that just sounds like nothing else. It lets the music be itself and yet it also flavors it in the most subtle, beautiful way. It walks that fine line between invisibility and coloring that's so important. API is built to last, too. We have lunchboxes® that get moved around from room-to-room at Stratosphere — they get dropped and banged up, but they never stop working perfectly."
Having always been fascinated with audio production, singer-songwriter Andy Chase decided to open a recording studio/rehearsal space when he moved to New York City in the late '80s. The Place, as it was called, was a do-it-yourself, joint endeavor with brothers Craig Richey and Evan Richey, which served as a great environment for Chase to experiment with recording equipment and techniques. After forming the band Ivy in 1994 with his wife, Dominique Durand, and Adam Schlesinger (Fountains of Wayne), Chase and his partners moved The Place to a larger location in New York's meatpacking district. Later, Chase and the Richey brothers parted ways, but Chase decided to keep the studio running with the help of two new partners, Schlesinger and James Iha (Smashing Pumpkins, A Perfect Circle). The trio rechristened the studio as Stratosphere Sound and moved to a new space in 2001 in West Chelsea, where the studio remains today.
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