AES Section Meeting Reports

Conservatory of Recording Arts and Sciences - February 22, 2014

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As we walk up to this unassuming household with the high hopes, we gather and wonder what kind technologies and precise architecture was to behold once we figure out where this "Pyramid" is? We walked into to the backyard of this house and as we cross the fence we see a pyramid in the middle of this backyard. Walking up to this thing, there is no hint of an entrance directly on the pyramid until we see a shed off to the side of it. Their a man stood, next to his fire engine red (fill in blank) car.
This man's name was James Maras, and he was the owner of this Pyramid in the middle of this backyard. He began this adventure into the Pyramix Studio by pressing a button on the wall. All of a sudden a wall rose to revel a ramp that led underground. Just beyond it was Pyramix Logo. As we started walking down this ramp, it took a 180 degree turn and isolated us in this dark hallway. Down the hallway were beams of light coming from the ceiling and we felt like we were walking into a space ship control room.
On the other side of the hallway was the inside of the pyramid that we saw as we walked up. This room was the live room/studio and was filled with so much character. Things that made sense with the pyramid theme, like small wire pyramids, triangular paper weight, pyramid shaped rock salt lamps and other Egyptian themed items. Also all kinds of other wild things that didn't seem to make sense: 8 balls the size of tires, neon lights, huge light up chess set, an alien bust, etc. All these things created one very chill vibe throughout the studio. The kind of studio people would come very far to use.
Looks and vibe aside, the mere architecture of the studio was absolutely amazing. Sense it was built in a pyramid structure and all the walls were 45 degree angles and tilted inwards, it diffused the sound into nothing at the peak of the pyramid. Drums particularly sounded amazing in this space. This was a very wonderful learning experience for students at the conservatory because James allowed them to play the house drum set and hear the unique sound qualities themselves. There are even interchangeable wall diffusers, so that in case an artist is looking for a more reverberating sound, can have the option to do so.
We got to know James pretty well as he toured us around the studio. When we ask him, "What made you want to build this studio" he answered with "I went through the 60's pretty hard man," to lighten the mood. Then he continued to share his story from there. We learned that he was just a normal guy who mows his lawn, cleans his house and works over 80 hours a week in his underground pyramid, creating and mixing music. Oh and did I mention it was he built the entire thing himself from scratch?
At first, it was just a basement and then, all at once, he decided to turn it into a huge pyramid studio with a secret door entrance and a lot of strange themed quirks. The control room was built the smallest possible area to get an amazing sound to the mixer, but it also promoted a chill open atmosphere with the dark lighting and comfortable couches. "It started as just a hobby," said James "until my friends begged me to go public. 'You can't keep this all to yourself,' they said. The cat got out of the bag, and everything got real crazy."
The studio is completely up for freelance work and runs Pro Tools 8 which is fully loaded with all kinds of plug ins and goodies. Mics, studio, lounge, control room, couches, speakers, TVs... This place had everything you could ever need. Oh and a coffee machine upstairs for the intern/runner.
All in all we left this place feeling inspired, once again, for our journey that lies ahead. But we won't forget what this studio felt like. Hopefully the next one will be able to live up to this one.

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