At Sonic Vista Studios, the residential mixing, mastering and recording facility is in a 400-year old villa with breathtaking views of the sea, Argosy’s studio furniture has added to the ergonomics and comfortable studio vibe. Sonic Vista Studios features an Argosy Dual 15-803 Workstation and a customized 50 Series for Avid Control|24 in The Suite, the largest control room at the facility.
“When artists come into the room they feel special. The two Argosy desks — and also the ambiance of the room, of course — play a key part in the vibe; they feel connected to the room,” says L. Henry Sarmiento II, studio executive, owner and mixer.
Sonic Vista Studios regularly attracts a roster of A-list musical talent to write, record and relax at the high-end residential facility located in the hills of Ibiza overlooking the Mediterranean Sea.
Artists who have worked at the studio include Lady Gaga and Red One, 50 Cent, The Ting Tings, Kelis, and Swedish House Mafia, to name just a few. Carly Rae Jepsen and co-writer Red Foo (LFMAO) worked on her current hit, “This Kiss,” at Sonic Vista, as did Akon and David Guetta, who collaborated on “Play Hard,” a top 40 hit around the world.
The Argosy Dual 15-803 is the centerpiece of The Suite, housing a selection of digital and analog equipment conducive to the music production process in its two 19-inch rack bays, including pieces by Avid/Digidesign, Apogee, SSL, Waves, Alesis, Millennia Media, GML, and Manley.
Sarmiento purchased the Dual15 workstation for its ergonomics and design, he says. “I’m very detail-oriented when it comes to design and how it works with my body. Being in a studio is not the healthiest environment—I’m in a chair all day—and health is wealth. So it’s about how the design is going to work for the engineer or artist or client in the studio. For me, that’s the first reason I chose it, and will always choose Argosy.”
Argosy’s contribution to the working ambiance of a studio should also not be underestimated, Sarmiento believes. “Obviously we’re not dealing with large format mixing consoles any more. So there’s a psychological aspect when people come into the studio and see the Argosy workstation layout — everyone says, ‘Wow, who makes that?’”
As Sarmiento relates, Lady Gaga felt so inspired by the room that she elected to record her vocals seated at the Dual 15-803 while working on her hit single, “Alejandro.”
“She wanted to sit right next to the screen, at the workstation, with her laptop. She was sitting in the chair on the left wing of the 803, so I set the mic up, and she sang it right there. That Argosy has heard a lot of great stuff; if only it could talk!”
A second desk in The Suite, a 50 Series for the Digidesign Control|24, has been specially customized by Argosy. “I updated to the Avid Artist Mix for faders and put my Control|24 in Studio B, so I got Argosy to customize two racks to fit perfectly into the desk instead. Since the desk for the Control|24 has a deeper front bay area, it’s a really cool design with extra space for a keyboard,” he observes.
Sarmiento has been particularly impressed with Argosy’s customer service. “This company really, really cares about their clients; I respect that a lot. At the end of the day if you’re buying something and investing money in something for your workplace, you want to make sure that you have the right people at the other end supporting you on your mission to make great music. Argosy ties that great service together with their great products.”
Good support is to be expected when purchasing something costing a couple of thousand dollars, but the level of customer service was no less impressive when Sarmiento placed a small order, he says. “I received an email later to check that the order had arrived in time and that everything was fine — and we’re talking about $10 screws! That impresses me and makes me feel valued as a client.”