Your studios on show! If you want your studio featured, simply upload a shot to the MusicTech Facebook page. This month, we check out an impressive, neat and bespoke facility in Israel…
MusicTech: Tell us about your studio?
Eran Barkat: Bat-Shlomo Studios is located in Israel in the countryside, 10 minutes from the beach. It’s in a very peaceful place surrounded by nature, and 40 minutes drive from the hectic life in Tel-Aviv.
MT: Give us a rundown of the gear in the studio…
EB: The studio’s equipped with some of the latest music and production gear, because it’s a relatively new setup. The main DAW is Pro Tools HD running on a 2014 MacBook Pro. We have a Presonus 16.4.2 mixer and interface connected via Thunderbolt. Preamps include a Lev Solutions Integrity II plus models from Urei and dbx.
We also have surround monitoring through a Tannoy system and, of course, a pair of Yamaha NS-10 monitors. We have a variety of mics from AKG, Shure, Sennheiser, RØDE, RCA and more. Since it’s also about the music (and post production), there’s a large range of musical instruments as well, including a Yamaha U-3 piano, Yamaha drumkit, plenty of keyboards, samplers and sound modules, as well as plenty of guitar amplifiers from Fender, Orange, Gallien-Kruger, Marshall and Ampeg.
MT: Do you use any other DAWs over and above Pro Tools?
EB: We do offer both Logic and Cubase as well, but we mainly use Pro Tools for the day-to-day work.
MT: What’s your favourite piece of gear in the studio?
EB: At the moment, it’s easily the clear and fine sound of the Lev Solutions Integrity II, because it’s great for just about any application you can think of: from recording vocals all the way through to guitars and drums.
MT: How much time do you get to spend in the studio on an average week?
EB: I just hope my wife never gets to answer that one, as she’d probably say ‘way too much’. I think it’s probably between 60 and 90 hours a week (and I’m afraid that is probably being conservative).
MT: What sort of projects do you work with in the studio?
EB: We concentrate on a mix of music production and post-production. We do a lot of Israeli primetime TV shows, such as the Israeli version of American Idol. We also do many other varied and wide-ranging recording projects: anything from musicals to one-song projects.
Mostly, though, when all is said and done, we just try to have as much fun as we can. It’s very much like a second home, so we might as well enjoy ourselves here.
MT: What’s next on your shopping list, gear-wise?
EB: A Neumann U 87 microphone and some Adam monitors.
MT: What is your dream piece of gear?
EB: As far as my absolute must-have gear goes, I have to say, I really don’t like this question – I think it’s a cruel one! I think most people in this industry will agree with me, there are so many great microphones, so much great outboard and so many software plug-ins out there.
Also the technology keeps advancing every day and every hour, so that there’s really no limit to the dreams of purchasing the next new pieces of gear for your studio. And that brings me neatly to your next question, about inspiring other musicians and studio owners…
MT: How did you know?! So, do you have any advice for aspiring producers and studio owners?
EB: Well, it’s not always all about the gear, of course, it’s all about the music and the soul of things – and it’s also about having as much fun and excitement as you can in life. When the song works, it works, no matter if you are recording it with an expensive boutique microphone or a really cheap one.
If the results hit you in all of the right places, you’re probably doing a good job, so don’t worry too much about it.