Zero Art Studio is a creative, one room recording studio built to suit the needs of Zero Art Radio, myself and friends. Odds are that you will never step foot in the Zero Art Studio because at this point, the studio remains a private entity and is not open to the public. Although, I have spent a lot of time creating a workspace that means a lot to me and would like to share some information. I use the studio very much as a tool in the writing process of my music, so I believe it ties right into my music. The studio also hosts live sessions and interviews for Zero Art Radio, an independent, internet-based radio station I started thirteen years ago. If you are touring through Nashville and think your music fits into the Zero Art Radio aesthetic, contact me about coming by to do a session.
After spending many years as a recording engineer in different studios in different areas of the country, I came to the conclusion that the only thing I hated about recording studios was the fact that it wasn’t my own space. The remedy to this, of course, is to build your own and that’s what I did. You have to be a bit mental to want to build your own studio, but I figured I already had that part covered. The studio construction was started in August of 2005 in the Tennessee summer heat. I had recently moved from Chicago to Nashville and bought a house with a 2 1/2 car garage attached. It was this space that I built out into a comfortable workspace for me to work on my music. The construction took me about 8 months to complete with the help of a few friends. I did document the process with photos and some writing and I plan to put that documentation up here on the site when I find the time. The length of time to complete the build was extended because of many factors, but it was well worth the wait.
The studio is not like many of your typical recording studios. First of all, the studio is one big room. It’s a 24′x21′ space with an apex of the ceiling at 13 feet. There is no “control room” as the console sits to one side of the room while the “live room” or proper sits to the other side. I really like this way of working as it puts me in the same space as the other players and also makes it easier for me to work alone by engineering and playing at the same time. Also, the studio in not properly soundproofed and outside sounds and noises will on occasion find their way into the studio. Although important to many, this doesn’t bother me at all. I like the fact that I can still hear the world outside of my studio coming in at times. Especially the sounds of wind, rain, songs of birds and the occasional barking dog. The room is somewhat treated for standing low-end waves and high frequency flutter, though. The room itself sounds really great and I try to showcase it on many of the recordings that come out of the studio.
As you continue through this section of the site, you will find more information and photos pertaining to the studio I have dubbed, Zero Art Studio. If you would like more information about the studio or you want to possibly work in the space with me, please don’t hesitate to use the contact form to send me a missive. Also note that I can be hired as an engineer/producer of your project/album for reasonable rates outside of Zero Art Studio.
The console I chose for my studio is a 1973 MCI JH416B. This console is quadraphonic, transformer-balanced and contains the MCI 2001 op-amp and it sounds really incredible, especially for rock, experimental, noise albums. I’ve also had extremely good success with acoustic music. The console was bought from Randy Blevins here in Nashville and has been cleaned up really well. Factors in me choosing this desk were wide and varied, but the main reasons, beyond the fact that it sounds amazing, is that it doesn’t have a bunch of unecessary circuitry between the mic pres and the tape machine sends and it’s also really easy to mechanically work on.
I plan on recapping the console with time, I have recently recapped the complete console with Nichicon capacitors, and I’m planning on replacing all bulbs with LEDs very soon. I plan on installing Sage Electronics’ red and blue dot op amps on two channels of the quad buss and on a few channels on the console. These are fully discrete op amps and will give me the option to mix with the original 2001 op amps or the fully discrete red and blue dot op amps.
Beyerdynamic M88 (1)
Beyerdynamic MPC 67 (4)
Sennheiser 421 U4 (1)
Sennheiser 421 U5 (1)
Revox M3500 – rebranded Beyerdynamic M201 (1)
Sennheiser E602 (1)
Oktava MK-319 (1)
Oktava MK 012-01 w/ cardiod capsule and 10db pad (4)
Scott Dorsey Mod Oktava MK 012-01 w/ cardiod capsule and 10db pad (1)
Audix i5 (1)
Nady RSM-2 Ribbon (1)
Shinybox 23 Ribbon (1)
Marshall MCA SP1 – modded by Jim Williams at audio upgrades (1)
More to come…