Home recording studio takes off

John Calamari, pictured above, has a state of the art recording studio capable of producing professional analog and digital. Photo by Patrick Rocchio

Whether you are an old pro musician or a new band just starting out, there is a recording studio in Throggs Neck that’s got you covered.

John Calamari’s home recording studio on Logan Avenue can match anything found in big-name studios in Manhattan, he said. It is a complete studio for musicians wishing to record in both analog and digital.

His company, Prism Productions, records all types of genres of music on Pro Tools HD and LE, high-end recording systems. He also has a partner that goes by the name Zent Keyz.

Calamari got his start in music in the St. Benedict’s Fife and Drum Corps where he participated in hundreds of parades and learned to play the snare drum at a very young age.

“It was an almost military vibe,” Calamari remembered of the corps. “It got me on the path to creating the home studio, which was mostly done through trial and error and a desire to learn about different equipment. I became interested in taking apart [recording equipment] and finding out how they work. I now work with and record all types of performers and genres.”

He started the studio after dee-jaying and working with public address systems. He now considers himself an expert on sound, and a collector of vintage equipment.

He has vintage recording equipment such as Moog Modular Synthesizers – the first electronic synthesizers dating back to the 1960s, and also 70 microphones going all the way back to the 1950s.

Calamari eventually purchased fully modern analog and digital recording consoles, and can record up to 98 tracks in his upstairs studio, which includes separate rooms for both vocals and instruments.

“It started out as a hobby for people like myself, but now big studios in Manhattan are shutting down because of the quality of high-end home studios,” Calamari said. “Celebrities like coming here because the atmosphere is subdued and they can just come here and play music without having to be concerned with any distractions.”

Calamari has worked with Three 6 Mafia, Kiesha Coles, Nine Inch Nails, as well as local bands Smif-N-Wessun, and Xela. He also scored and mixed the soundtrack for the film Graffiti is Dead. He said that the key to success as a sound engineer is helping the artists feel comfortable so they can do their very best work.

“As an engineer, you have to get comfortable with the artists and know what they are used to,” he said. “Once you do that, you can attack every area [of recording].”

Prism Productions prices range from $50 to $75 an hour for a solo artist to $100 an hour for a band. For more information, visit prismproductions.net.

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