San Diego is home to many studios, but few are of the caliber of Rarefied.
The studio, owned and operated by Chief Engineer, Roy Silverstein, was built from the ground up from meticulous plans commissioned from Wes Lachot, one of the world's top studio designers. Ground up construction means that few compromises had to be made in its build out which was carefully crafted by Tony Brett of Brett Acoustics with audio wiring assistance from Thom Canova of Canova Audio.
While modest in stature, the studio delivers sizably in both function and performance. Every conceivable type of music has been done here. All are welcome to bring their talents.
Rarefied features a Control Room, Live Room, and two sound locks that double as iso booths. The studio also contains a comfortable lounge and a lovely outdoor patio. The location is private with an intimately warm atmosphere and also is within walking distance of North Park's well known amenities including various restaurants, bars, breweries, and nightlife. The studio's vibe takes a nod from both the 1970's and the mid-century modern style with an autumnal color scheme of browns, oranges, and reds and lots of wood to make one feel relaxed and cozy.
The Control Room is centered around a 32 channel Neve Genesys console, complete with a custom desk designed and built by Brett Acoustics. The desk's center section features an integrated computing workstation allowing the engineer to remain in the sweet spot while operating the recording software, but never far from the faders and knobs of the console. The Genesys is inarguably the "crown jewel" of the studio offering both the hefty sonic imprint that Neve is known for, but also modern features such as total recall, DAW control, and analog automation conveniently controlled via a standard Pro Tools plug-in.
For those who truly want a more old school touch to their recording experience and sound, the studio has a 1979 MCI 2" 16 track tape machine available, refurbished by Mara Machines in Nashville, TN. Otherwise, the Apogee and Burl conversion options compliment the Neve's soundprint masterfully.
A wealth of outboard gear sits in a credenza directly behind the engineer. Various pre-amps, compressors, eq's, reverbs, delays, and other processors await you and are readily accessible via a tiny telephone patchbay system. The workflow is optimized around the Neve console, but any type of arrangement can be conjured up as needed.
The main monitoring system features soffit-mounted Dynaudio M3A's powered by Bryston amplifiers. These are more than just a means to providing an impressive playback volume. They truly are meant to be the main speakers in the studio and with the help of Wes Lachot's design they operate with the room to provide a very accurate picture of what's happening with your music. The sweet spot is designed to be a "Reflection Free Zone", reducing the influence of the room on what you are hearing. However, several other monitoring options are available to double check the translation from system to system.
Rarefied's Live Room is equally impressive with a host of instruments at your disposal at no extra charge. These include a Boston baby grand piano, Hammond organ, Fender Rhodes, Wurlitzer electric piano, and a set of Deagan vibes to name a few. Various guitars/basses, amps, and pedals are also available. There's even a real plate reverb! Ceiling height is about 12 feet and the room is large enough for a small band to play comfortably together. Two of the live room walls feature flippable acoustic panels to vary the sound between more contained or more lively. Another wall even has a set of windows if you want natural light during your session. The soundlocks can operate as isolation booths or two large gobos can help provide some separation between instruments when tracking live.
The microphone selection continues the theme of both old and modern featuring both classics and new takes on all of the microphone types (tube, condenser, ribbon, and dynamic). Rarefied is proud to own vintage originals of both the Neumann U47 and U67 as well as a couple RCA ribbon mics and older models from Schoeps and AKG.
Rarefied has a premium air conditioning system to keep you comfortable while you work. It includes a UV light air scrubber to remove pollutants, bacteria, and even certain viruses. And you can feel a little better about all the energy you're using because the studio is solar powered with a battery system as well to keep most sessions running on green energy.
The aforementioned lounge is also air conditioned and features a futon couch, television, Apple TV system, video games, a kitchenette, and a full bathroom. You'll find the walls adorned with framed copies of many releases worked on at Rarefied. Will yours be next?
San Diego, CA 92104, USA