A project nearly five decades in the making has come to fruition for East End Arts.
The nonprofit arts organization announced the opening of a new recording studio at its downtown Riverhead Carriage House, which will allow musicians from across the East End and neighboring towns to record on professional equipment.
The new control room is complete with a Midas Venice 24 mixing console and an iMac computer equipped with the industry standard Protools recording software and connects to the current space where musicians play.
“Having a recording studio here at the school is educational for our students,” said EEA education director Diane Giardi. “They are able to hear and understand how audio is manipulated. It’s a creative process.”
Ms. Giardi said a recording studio was part of the original plan when the Carriage House was built in the early ’70s. The project never gained traction and, as years passed, funding for it never materialized.
That finally changed in November, when the nonprofit secured partial funding for the $10,000 project from The Joel Foundation, which helps fund musical endeavors through legendary piano man Billy Joel.
The facility has been named The Jesse F. Sherman Recording Studio in honor of a young Riverhead man who had attended East End Arts and died at a young age. His family was driving force behind the project. His mother, Paulette, donated equipment from her son’s private studio, where he used to record music.
“We wanted to give back to the community,” Ms. Sherman said. “It’s going to help a lot of people.”
The EEA studio, which features a full range of new microphones and outboard gear, will be open to the public for use by appointment, Ms. Giardi said. Riverhead native Noah Gorman will run the studio as sound engineer. The 24-year-old said he’s been involved with East End Arts for about seven years. He studied audio at BOCES and attended Pennsylvania Academy for Media Production.
Mr. Gorman said that although there are other recording studios in the area, none is as readily available to the public as the East End Arts space.
“I think it’s all just going to be great,” he said. “I know a lot of people who are already excited.”
Ms. Giardi said she’s already received calls inquiring about the studio — many from students who need to record demos to send to colleges.
Bill Sperl, an audio production teacher at Eastern Suffolk BOCES, also had a hand in creating the new studio. He gave his students a project centered on listing all the equipment that would be needed, as well as making design recommendations.
“Long Island is a hotbed of talent and maybe that next superstar will come out of the new studio at EEA,” Mr. Sperl wrote in an email. “We are all very excited about future collaborations between EEA and the audio production class at Eastern Suffolk BOCES.”
A two-hour minimum reservation will be required. Rates for East End Arts members are $45 an hour or $320 for a full day of recording. For non-members, the cost is $65 an hour and $480 for the day. Half-day prices are $160 for members and $240 for non-members.
A public ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held Friday, April 21, from 1 to 3 p.m. Guests can talk to Mr. Gorman, listen to a demo and learn about the equipment.
“We are so grateful to everyone involved in making this a reality,” Ms. Giardi said.
Photo: Sound engineer Noah Gorman at the new East End Arts recording studio last Tuesday. (Credit: Krysten Massa)