Audio Garden is a recording studio in Northern New Jersey, that has been around since 2000, created by engineer/musician Brian Yelinko.
A studio different from any other
Early in 2018, the studio started receiving a major renovation with the objective of becoming one of the best studios on the East Coast. We met up with Brian to get the history of how it all began, to get some insight on where it is going, and to find out what is going to make the studio different from any other.
MUSICXPLORER — Brian, give us the rundown on how Audio Garden all began.
Brian — In 1997 while working nearby at Showplace Studios I saw what was going on there, and it really amazed me at the awesome vintage gear that they had in their inventory. Most of all, I heard what Ben Elliott’s vintage gear sounded like. After experiencing that, I really got the bug to dive into vintage audio gear and to learn as much as I could to make my own studio. I started selling off assets of the business I had to acquire as much vintage audio gear as I could get my hands on. When I started Audio Garden back in 2000, I was well in to collecting vintage audio gear and figured it was time to start a studio of my own. I continued to collect vintage gear and expand Audio Garden through 2012, but we had some setbacks and really didn’t getting moving again until this past year. But the mission of collecting great gear didn’t stop!
How did you come up with the name Audio Garden?
Brian — I was on a skiing vacation in Vermont and the name just popped in my head as I was having a great Vermont beer, Long Trail Ale I believe it was, and then I went and bought every dot com that had anything that had the Audio Garden name in it that I thought we might need. I then trademarked the name since most all of the people I asked really liked the name Audio Garden.
What is going on with Audio Garden right now?
Brian — Audio Garden is currently going through a major renovation and our goal is to be different than other studios. Maybe even be one of the best recording studios on the East Coast, a place Artists should be looking forward to going. We hired John Edwards, a well known designer/builder to help create our studio and it’s looking like it will be pretty special. It should be completed by the fall.
You mentioned you have a lot of vintage gear. Are you going to have state of the art gear as well?
Brian — That’s a great question. We have over 150 really great and obscure vintage amps… Fender, Gibson, Marshall etc. including some newer amps too. We also have well over 150 vintage microphones like Telefunken, Neumann, AKG, Sennheiser, Coles, and RCA. Also some newer necessities like Royer and Shure, but mostly we have vintage equipment. But to answer your question, we have a pretty good selection of modern processing gear as well. We want the artist to be able to choose from a wide selection of gear to create their recording, utilizing the special gear that was available to artists they may have looked to for inspiration as well as keeping up with the current go-to-pieces.
What kind of recording consoles do you have?
Brian — We have a 32 channel Helios that will be going through a complete restoration and upgrade, and we recently procured Wally Heider’s UA 610 console that was used in his famous Hyde Street, San Francisco Studio C. In our new studio that’s under construction, we’re commissioning a 40 channel Neve 8088 console that Keith Urban and Sheryl Crow were looking at that I managed to get my hands on, as well as a 40 channel Trident A Range, and a tube Altec 250SU. Each of these consoles all made some really fantastic sounding records and we hope to do that and more for our Artists.
How are you going to get your name out there so that people know you have this great studio?
Brian — We prefer to gain attention through word-of-mouth referral, although we already have a lot of interested new and previous clients, so I think it’ll grow from there.
How is Audio Garden going to be different, how will it be a studio artists will want come to? What is your goal with Audio Garden once it’s completed with the renovations?
Brian — For starters, it will be different by not being a studio that is a strictly audio and rate centered, meaning we’re not going to be charging you an hourly rate for “x”, which is typically how average studios work. We want to be a studio that is customer focused, where artists come and get so much more value out of us than just a great recording. Our other main focus is to develop and produce new talent. We want to be a world-class-studio and have clients feel like they can trust us to give them exactly what they want, and and then deliver more. Our employees are going to be top-notch experienced professionals who are going to be as excited with the process and finished product as the artist will be.
We are also going to have great technicians who will be able to not just repair client’s equipment, but be able to correct design flaws, or upgrade their gear, beyond what the manufacturer can do. Terry Wayne is going to be our lead technician. He is basically a scientist in this field with an amazing amount of knowledge regarding audio and studio gear. Dennis D’Amico of I Do Music is our in-house producer partner that has worked many great names. We could talk about Dennis until the sun comes up and probably longer!
What are you going to be offering to the client that’s going to really want them to come to your studio, more than anybody else’s, how will it stand out?
Brian — We will have our own record label at Audio Garden, it will be secured so that no one unauthorized can download the Artist’s music and steal their creative works. Most importantly, we want the Artists to get the revenue they deserve out of their product. Something relatively new we are implementing is having cameras and live switchers in the studio so that the fans can watch the recording while its being made, to help the Artists engage their audience before the product is actually released. Artists will also have the video component for use in other ways if they want. It’s obvious that people want more interaction with the Artists these days so by being able to give them other product they want, be it vinyl records, studio out takes etc., the Artists can have more ways of being profitable and promoting themselves.
Describe Audio Garden in three words.
Brian — Audio Garden in three words, hmmm. I would say Artist Centered Productions or Artist Centered Video and Recordings. I guess that’s more than three words!