When Hurricane Sandy flooded television production music house Beach Street Music, located on the south shore of Long Island, owner Dave Catalano converted two spare rooms in his home into a studio, installed a Dual 15 Keyboard Workstation from Argosy Console, Inc., and continued working.
Ten months later, Beach Street Music, who has created music packages for NBC and CBS, is fully restored and renovated, and equipped with a variety of new equipment, including with a second brand new Argosy Dual 15 Keyboard Workstation.
The Beach Street facility is situated within a former carriage house that was built in 1902 and was relocated from the Gold Coast on Long Island’s north shore to Babylon in 1939.
When Sandy made landfall on October 29, 2012, the studio was inundated with three feet of salt water, destroying equipment and patchbays in the outboard racks, guitar stomp boxes, two drum sets and two Hammond organs.
“After the storm we had a beautiful striped bass right in the studio,” he reports. “But we’re still here, and we didn’t lose anybody.”
After studying the options for studio furniture, he says, “I was taken by what the Argosy console afforded me in terms of working space for something that’s not overly large. When I took those two rooms at home to use as a studio, I brought in the Argosy workstation, which I fell in love with.”
Replacing the building’s original oak wall panels was cost prohibitive, so Catalano renovated with a more modern vibe, at the same time replacing all the plumbing and electrical wiring. He also added a couple of iso booths and raised the control room floor to accommodate new studio cabling.
Catalano and the team moved everything back into the refurbished facility over the Labor Day weekend, including the second Argosy workstation.
“What really drew me to the Argosy Dual 15 Keyboard Workstation first and foremost was that it could accommodate an 88-note keyboard right in front of me,” says Catalano, who established Beach Street Music in 1995 and, with a roster of composers and musicians on both coasts, produces music for major broadcast and cable channels. “It accommodates my visual monitors as well as my audio monitors very well, and I have everything available without having to spin around to access everything. So ergonomics had a lot to do with it.”
Like Catalano’s console at his home studio, Beach Street’s new Argosy workstation includes twin 8RU bays, into which he has installed three ten-slot API 500VPR racks loaded with microphone preamp and signal processor modules from companies such as A-Designs/Erickson Montessi, API, Burl, Chandler, Grace Designs, JDK Audio, Lindell Audio, Radial Engineering and Rupert Neve Designs, plus three 96-point patchbays.
In addition to the three flat screen monitors — for the MOTU Digital Performer DAW — and Mackie Big Knob monitor controller positioned in the center of the workstation, Catalano has a pair of Genelec monitors located on top of each 19-inch rack bay.
The team working out of the Babylon studio comprises a core group of six composers and musicians, says Catalano. “We do more of the live performing with guitars and keyboards and drumming, and then we have a couple of guys on the West Coast that pretty much specialize in hip-hop and pop, and do more of the MIDI. I do more of the cinematic stuff, a lot of classic rock stuff, and anything with an overdriven guitar.”
Beach Street Music has created music packages for the four shows that NBC Universal produces out of its Stamford, CT studios, including “The Jerry Springer Show.” “We’re always doing work for CBS,” he adds. “We just did a couple of projects for MTV. We do a lot of syndicated and cable work. As far as prime time, it’s more news-oriented.”
Over the next 12 months or so, he hopes to expand Beach Street Music to also include a facility in Vermont.
“We’re probably going to open up two rooms, one for me when I’m up there skiing, because I’m up there all winter long.” In the New York area, the proliferation of home studios makes studio time very competitive, he comments. “Up in Vermont, I believe there is still plenty of demand for studio time, so I’m going to do two rooms up there—and I’ll probably outfit both rooms with Argosy console.”