Gotham Gazette

The Oberlin Conservatory of Music has introduced its new recording facility, the Joseph R. Clonick Studio, which also serves as a performance venue.

Planning for the construction of the Clonick Studio began in 1999 and its completion in 2011 is an especially noteworthy achievement, given the tumultuous changes in the music and recording industry over the past decade. “I think that what Oberlin is doing to support the arts is really extraordinary,” comments acoustic consultant Dana Kirkegaard, of Kirkegaard Acoustic Design, LLC, of Downers Grove, IL. “Studios have been closing all over the place for 5 to 10 years, and here we are building a studio. That’s a huge credit to the conservatory and their leadership. A place like Oberlin is in a unique position to build a studio at the highest level and support these artists.”

The centerpiece of the control room is the Rupert Neve Designs (RND) 5088 analog mixing console. “The RND 5088 is distinguished by its neutrality and high headroom, both of which are critical in our jazz and classical applications,” says Kirkegaard. “We selected the RND after carefully auditioning desks in Los Angeles; the great sound and solid feel of the console was critical in our decision.”

The Gotham Audio companies are pleased to have played a small but vital part in the success of this installation. Critical cable runs were executed with Double Reussen Shielded Gotham Cable to achieve maximum protection against EMI and RFI, without any coloration or compromise in sonic quality. The facility is the first in the US to make extensive use of Gotham’s 17000 series of low capacitance/quad configuration analog multipair cables. Kirkegaard has been especially pleased with the protection it afforded to cable runs located nearby to lighting conduits.

PRO SOUND NEWS reported that pianist and composer Hiromi Uehara recently mixed her newest CD with Cleveland-based producer Michael Bishop in the studio’s control room. Bishop is one of the studio’s first end-users; his Five Four Productions, an audio team formerly associated with Telarc Records consisting of Bishop, Robert Friedrich, and Thomas Moore, has 15 technical Grammy Awards to its credit. Bishop says that he and his colleagues typically travel to recording studios in Los Angeles and New York City in order to meet their clients’ needs. With the arrival of the Clonick Recording Studio, he is now able to supplement his technical requirements closer to home. In August 2011, Michael Bishop was back in the room for a new project and Telarc Records also recorded there.

The facility has also attracted the attention of other luminary musicians. Cellist Zuill Bailey, pianist Orli Shaham, Richard King, principal hornist of the Cleveland Orchestra, and Tod Bowermaster, third hornist of the St. Louis Symphony, are among the classical musicians that have come to Oberlin to record. Amidst dedication events for the Kohl Building, which houses the Clonick Studio, music legend Stevie Wonder spent 40 minutes playing the new Hamburg Steinway. During a concert appearance in Oberlin in March 2011, Esperanza Spalding, the acclaimed jazz double bassist and vocalist and winner of the 2011 Grammy Award for Best New Artist (the first jazz musician to ever win the award), visited the studio and expressed a desire to record there as well.

25th Street Recording in Oakland CA has purchased an extensive inventory of highly coveted Gotham GAC-3-5.8mm New Old Stock microphone cable assemblies. These are the vintage brown “Wonder Cables” that have been acclaimed as some of the finest microphone cables ever produced. Owner Dave Lichtenstein purchased one of the last remaining caches of these cables after learning of their availability from Stephen Jarvis and Klaus Heyne. Located in downtown Oakland, 25th Street Recording is a new (summer 2011) tracking room centered around a 64-channel API Vision console. Owner Lichtenstein is a musician (former John Cale drummer, original Cowboy Mouth frontman) engineer (former Skyline Studios staff) and producer.

The Walters-Storyk Design Group specified substantial quantities of Gotham Audio multipair cable for a fall 2007 installation at Inner Machine Studios in Buffalo. Redco Audio’s Dave Berliner was on site to assist with the project. The studio, owned by members of the Goo Goo Dolls, was featured on the cover of the June 2008 issue of MIX.

Gotham personnel began a relationship with renowned engineer James Guthrie when Lewis Frisch, then US Press Officer for AMEK consoles, interviewed him after James installed an AMEK G2520 console in his California recording facility. Guthrie is an English recording engineer and record producer best known for his work with the progressive rock band Pink Floyd, serving as a producer and engineer for the band since 1978.

In recent years, James has specified Gotham audio cable for several projects, most recently for Roger Waters’ personal recording facility on Long Island, NY. The facility makes extensive use of Gotham GAC-12pairAES digital multipair and several thousand feet of GAC-2AES for single runs. Gotham digital audio cable, with its Double Reussen shielding and low capacitance, has been favored by demanding recording and mastering engineers in both analog and digital applications where it delivers traditional Gotham midrange detail combined with an open and extended top end.

The Wanamaker Organ in the 7-story Grand Court at Macy’s Center City Philadelphia is a National Historic Landmark attracting thousands of visitors for live concerts. The largest operational pipe organ in the world features over 28,000 pipes and has been the scene of both daily performances and historic concerts since 1911. Many performances there have been recorded for both broadcast and record and CD release.

We have been honored to supply Jim Stemke (DSP Recordings) with Gotham microphone and multipair cable for ongoing upgrades to the recording facilities associated with this magnificent instrument.

The facility hosted an especially major event on September 27, 2008 when the Wanamaker Organ was joined by the Philadelphia Orchestra for a landmark concert featuring organist Peter Richarde Conte. The concert highlighted classics by Jongen, Bach/Stokowski and Dupre, along with a new piece by Howard Shore, commissioned by Macy’s for their 150th Anniversary. It marked the first in-store collaboration between the orchestra and the Wanamaker Organ in 80 years, reviving a fabled Store tradition.

The Wanamaker technical team used large amounts of Gotham GAC-4pairMiniAES and GAC-8pairMini AES low capacitance multipair cable for their long microphone runs. They have also been long-time users of our classic GAC-3 microphone cable and have recently added our GAC-3-5.8mm NOS to their inventory.

Critical recording engineers continue to choose modestly priced Gotham Audio Cable as an upgrade path for facilities dedicated to the highest levels of the recording and mastering craft.

Bernie Becker Recording and Mastering in Burbank, CA is the home base for Bernie Becker, best known for his years of work as a recording and touring engineer for Neil Diamond. A few years ago he upgraded his Mastering Room with some 4,000 feet of Gotham GAC-2AES, a low capacitance, double-shielded digital audio cable.

Bernie employed his usual approach of spending months testing a broad range of high end components on-site before making his final decisions. As his motto states: “When Your Sound Matters.” Here’s how his website describes the room: “He has simply left no stone unturned when it came to system design and implementation of custom and specially modified equipment. High headroom, impeccable wiring, balanced power and ultra-high resolution monitoring are the basis that sets Bernie apart from the competition and places him into an elite group of truly world-class mastering facilities.”

Bernie auditioned dozens of different cables over several months. His quest for sonic purity ended with the order for Gotham GAC-2AES. This cable has enjoyed equal success in both digital and analog installations. Its rugged construction, double reussen shielding and outstanding flexibility also make it an ideal choice in both mic cable and installation/interface applications. The cable was first marketed in 1990 and boasts the distinction of being the first audio cable specifically made for the 110 ohm balanced AES/EBU format.

Musician/Producer Casey Di Iorio describes his Valve Studios in Dallas, Texas as follows: “Valve Studios could be defined as musician-centric…if that was a word. The studio was built as a place where bands/musicians would be inspired and relaxed in the recording process while having access to a gear list that features some of the best vintage and modern compressors, mics and mic pres. Valve Studios has been described in the press as “Vintage Heavy.” We believe we have a unique blend of some of the best sounding vintage gear along with all the modern digital necessities. Valve is centered around a modified Neve Console with a great history along with an Apogee fronted ProTools HD3 rig tied to a Studer 2” tape machine with CLASP.”

Casey had this to say about his re-wiring projects in 2012/2013:
“Gotham mic cables have been working great here at the studio. Have noticed a nice difference in the overall sound of the tracks. Definitely more full and stronger sounding with the GAC-3 coming from the microphones. Mic going straight to the Neve console has never sounded better. As for my plate reverb, using the GAC-4/1 for the sends made it sound huge…detail is better and fits in the mix great. And we finally gave the GAC-4/1 a try going from the console to the Barefoot monitors…we were pretty blown away…replacing the original Neve cable with this stuff just gave extended and tight low end…and the top was smooth. Seems like every time Nick and I have done blind tests with all the usual suspect cable brands….Gotham has won….whether for mic, speaker or bnc.”

High-End audio manufacturers and consultants historically have been Gotham users and enthusiasts. We are pleased to supply our cable to Pass Laboratories, Tenor Inc, Marutani Consulting, ITI Audio, Rupert Neve Designs, Lavry Engineering, Pioneer/TAD, Sony Automotive, Planar Audio ( for Densen amplifiers) and DW Fearn.