WESTLAKE VILLAGE, CA, November 2, 2010 — Long Island-based restaurateur, author and former punk rock and hardcore musician Peter Kalafatis has made his first foray into the recording studio business with guidance from Guitar Center Professional (GC Pro), the outside sales division of Guitar Center that focuses on the needs of professional users. GC Pro Account Manager Michael Yorky supplied Strong Island Studio with a substantial package of audio and video production equipment from such manufacturers as ADAM, API, Apogee, Avid, Neve and Solid State Logic. Yorky also enlisted the Malvicino Design Group, a Forest Hills, New York-based GC Pro Affiliate program member, to provide technical and acoustic design at the 2,000-square-foot studio, which is located on Long Island’s North Shore in the center of Smithtown, New York.
Kalafatis got involved in the 1980s New York punk and hardcore scene as a rebellious teenager and about 10 years ago returned to the family’s restaurant business alongside his father, who has a number of Greek language CD releases under his belt. The idea to build a recording studio came about after Kalafatis’ son, Dimitri, another musician, was badly injured in a motorcycle accident a few years ago. “Dimitri couldn’t work the restaurant anymore so we thought the recording studio would be perfect for him,” explains Kalafatis.
As a newcomer to the recording studio business, Kalafatis, who has been buying equipment from Guitar Center’s Carle Place store for many years, sought help from Yorky to set up Strong Island. “When I sat down with Mike he told me that he could help me from A to Z,” says Kalafatis. “He helped me choose the right equipment for what I was doing. I wanted to do something new, and it had to be a digital studio. My main purpose was really just to get my son and my friends into music and recording, and then think about the business aspect.”
Yorky called in GC Pro Affiliate Horacio Malvicino to help Kalafatis get the project off the ground and to manage the construction and installation. “Peter realized that it’s a lot more complicated than he had first thought,” comments Malvicino. “We went to see a couple of different places on Long Island and eventually found a place. His idea was to be able to record four or five guys at the same time, and also to have some support areas – a little lounge, and some storage. I did two or three different layouts and he picked one.”
Malvicino was able to share his years of experience as a studio designer and integrator with Kalafatis. “He would ask me, ‘Why is this better?’ I would say, at the level that we’re working it’s not really that something is better; there are just choices.” Eventually Kalafatis chose an SSL AWS 900 SuperAnalogue console, an Avid Pro Tools|HD Accel 3 system with six Apogee converters, ADAM monitors, and API 512 and Neve 1081 mic preamps, plus a variety of other high-end outboard equipment and microphones.
Malvicino continues, “We had a pretty intensive budget for the kind of place that we built, so he’s got pretty much all of the gear that you can find in any of the big studios. Once we got the equipment list we submitted it to Michael, who put it all together. While we were building the studio I was doing the pre-wiring of the studio. By the time the construction was done we went in for three or four days and got the place up and running. We did it all in about a month and a half, two months; it was pretty quick.”
Indeed, the only real challenge, according to Yorky, “was to bring Peter, who was not familiar with all the current technical aspects of a studio environment, up to speed. Horacio and I work seamlessly as a team. Peter’s zeal to get the project finished as quickly as possible, and his trust in Horacio and myself, made it easier to accomplish the installation and meet the timeframe goals that were set.”
Kalafatis has started work on albums by several of his friends since opening for business in July, and is also attracting local talent. “We’re starting to focus on tracking bands using the acoustics of the room and the great equipment. Then they can take their tracks and maybe take them to someone to mix it and master it for them. Some of them work in Pro Tools at home and want to track drums in a pro studio, then work on the rest of the stuff at their house,” observes Kalafatis. “So that’s the business that I’m trying to build.”
For more information, please visit www.gcpro.com.