Fix It In The Mic: Sear Sound NYC

This very special episode of AEA’s Fix It In The Mic video series features a rare inside look at one of New York City’s most legendary studios: Sear Sound. Chris Allen, the studio’s chief engineer, invited us for a tour around the studio, talk some shop, and learn about his recording techniques in full detail.

Founded by Walter Sear in 1963, Sear Sound has been at the forefront of sound recording for decades. A collection of over 280 microphones including many rare and precious tube and ribbon mics, as well as a wide range of custom and modified sound equipment like the studio’s 60-channel Sear-Avalon with Flying Faders is just the tip of the iceberg of the stunning technical facilities in Manhattan’s Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood.

Chris Allen learned the art and the craft of sound recording from Walter Sear until his passing in 2010 and continues his legacy and his philosophy to engineering. The primary goal is to capture that spark that occurs in live performance and to transfer this to the recording medium. The ambience, the ‘feel’ of the studio is the most critical element. It isn’t equipment but it is the feeling that is imparted by Sear Sound’s staff, and Chris embodies that to the fullest. In our video, he shares some of his best-kept secrets for drums and bass recording, in addition to talking about some of his most favorite mics in the extensive locker.

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