Why Rarefied Recording?

We realize you have many choices when choosing a recording studio in San Diego to work at. So what makes Rarefied Recording special?

To begin with, Rarefied Recording contracted the amazing Wes Lachot to design the studio. A musician, engineer, and producer himself, Wes brought nearly 30 years of studio design experience to the table when he put pencil to paper for Rarefied. The attention to detail required to design a recording studio like Rarefied Recording is astounding. You can see it in the angles of the Control Room and you can hear it when you’re sitting in the sweet spot. Hidden from sight are all sorts of design and construction techniques which insure excellent isolation, quiet yet effective air conditioning, and proper low frequency absorption. Rarefied Recording’s Control Room is built around the concept of a Reflection Free Zone which minimizes acoustic reflections from the room and allows the engineer to hear the speakers without coloration. With its large, soffit-mounted main speakers and an extensive diffusor system from RPG Acoustics, what you hear in the Control Room is about as accurate as you can get in any professionally designed room with an extra wide sweet spot and without feeling uncomfortably dead. When you’re trying to record, mix, or master, accuracy of sound is absolutely what you want and absolutely what you’ll get at Rarefied.

The studio also features two small Sound Locks which can be used to isolate small amps or vocalists and a moderate sized Live Room with a ceiling height over 10 feet. The Live Room features a unique set of acoustic panels on two of the walls. These “bi-fussors” have one side which is absorptive and another which is diffusive. Flipping the panels allows the Engineer to modify how reflective the room is. The Live Room also has a window wall which allows natural light to enter the room, an uncommon luxury for a recording studio.

To bring Wes Lachot’s design to reality, Rarefied Recording was built from the ground up by professionals and specialists. Ground up design means that no compromises were needed to conform the studio to fit inside an existing structure. From the extra thick, isolated slab with built in cable runs to the spring loaded ceiling, nothing was left to chance. Control Room framing and build-out/installation of all acoustic treatments was done by the skilled hands of Brett Acoustics. Audio wiring was carefully designed and painstakingly implemented by Canova Audio. The studio is even solar/battery powered! The results are a recording studio that is as beautiful as it is functional.

To match Rarefied’s structural prowess, the selection of gear was also judiciously curated. At Rarefied we believe that analog and digital tools both have their place. That’s why you’ll find a healthy selection of both types of gear. On the analog side you have an MCI JH16 2” 16 track loaded with transformers and refurbished by Chris Mara of maramachines.com, an AMS Neve Genesys 32 channel mixing board, and a wide assortment of pre-amps, compressors, equalizers, and reverbs (including a real plate!) from manufacturers such as API, Chandler Limited, Shadow Hills, Empirical Labs and Universal Audio. On the digital side you have Apogee and Burl converters, a super-fast Mac Pro, Pro Tools, and UAD/Slate/Soundtoys plug-ins. Not to stop there, the monitor section features a pair of Dynaudio M3A’s powered by Bryston amps and crossovers for the mains, a set of Neumann KH 310 A’s for the alternates, and a 3rd set of Avantones for checking your mixes on bass compromised systems. A strong collection of ribbon, dynamic, tube, and condenser mics from manufactures such as Neumann, Telefunken, Microtech Gefell, AEA, Coles, beyerdynamic, Josephson, Shure, Electrovoice, and Soundelux are also available.

Special mention must be made of the Neve Genesys console, which at this point in time is the only full sized Neve board available in a studio in the San Diego area. The Genesys carries down the sonic legacy of Rupert Neve’s famous circuits (1073 style mic pre’s and 1084 style equalizers), but also hosts a horde of modern features including fader automation, a DAW control surface mode, and total recall. Housed in a beautiful custom desk with a spacious and ergonomic center section, this modern Neve is truly a perfect fusion of old and new.

On the other side of the glass, Rarefied is equipped with a handful of choice instruments and amplifiers. There is a Boston baby grand piano, a Deagan vibraphone, a Hammond B-2 (with percussion upgrade), a Rhodes, a Wurlitzer, a Farfisa, a Premier drum kit, a Moog analog keyboard, and even a Theremin! Amplifier options include a Fender Bandmaster (black face), Fender Twin, Fender Harvard Reverb, Ampeg Gemini, an open-backed Traynor combo, a Sears Silvertone, and an Ampeg B-15N bass amp.

Stepping out of the studio you will find Rarefied to be just as accommodating. A detached lounge with a full bath and kitchenette provides a comfortable place to take a break, grab a cup of coffee or a beer, and take your mind off things for a bit with some Netflix or old school video games (NES, Sega Genesis, and Atari). Or you can chill outside just beyond the window wall of the Live Room so you can keep tabs on the action while you relax on the outdoor couch and catch some fresh air and San Diego sunshine. Hungry? Rarefied is within walking distance from North Park’s well-regarded 30th Street corridor with plenty of excellent restaurants, bars, breweries, and shops.

To rarefy means to make more complex, intricate, and rich. Consider Rarefied Recording a place where you can take your music to the next level with the creative and technical tools on hand that will impart inspiration and confidence. Please explore this website and get in touch if you’d like more information or a tour.