Electric Kingdom Studios Opens in NY

Electric Kingdom Studios, a brand-new recording complex situated in Westchester County, just a half-hour north of New York City, is—to put it simply—like no other studio in operation today. The facility—conceived, designed and built to the specifications of multi-platinum producer, engineer, composer and recording artist Gordon Bahary—offers the unbeatable combination of the finest modern analog equipment along with a cozy, welcoming atmosphere.

Says Bahary, “We’ve made Electric Kingdom homey: Persian rugs, pianos, and warm, earthy colors. And there’s the convenience versus the city. Musicians have said ‘I can’t believe I can park in the driveway and put my guitar on my back and walk in and record.’ They see a hundred acres of adjoining woods. That’s the vibe. I made this studio for creativity. I engineer all the projects and work with producers and artists.”

The centerpiece of this magnificent private facility is a new Rupert Neve 5088 32-channel console, providing the highest analog audio quality available today. One of less than a dozen of this configuration in existence worldwide, this console was carefully chosen. It includes a 32-channel SwiftMix motorized fader system for complex mixes, working seamlessly with Pro Tools and other DAW’s. But, he adds, emphasizing the classic qualities that guide the aesthetic of Electric Kingdom, “The incredible 5052 EQ/mic preamps are my favorite ever, with the classic Neve sound we all love and more. You can dial-in the harmonics and textures of the 60’s, 70’s, or 80’s. The 5051 EQ/compressors are more of the same. The console runs on 96 volts which is high voltage, allowing for incredible dynamics and low distortion. The great Mr. Rupert Neve made this console a ‘greatest hits’ of all his lifetime’s work. It’s all about tone and beauty.”

Combining this top-tier console with 50 of the very best outboard EQ’s and compressors available, two spacious live rooms, a balanced Yamaha C7 Conservatory grand piano in impeccable condition, ATC 45A Studio Reference monitors, sought-after FET and tube microphones - makes Electric Kingdom the dream studio in which an artist can create. There is even the new Moog One - the most powerful analog synthesizer ever made by Moog.

But this collection of the finest recording equipment isn’t the full story. Every artist who chooses to record at EK will benefit from Bahary’s vast engineering and producing experience. “This studio is for rent only with me as the engineer,” he says, assuring prospective clients that their music will be handled at the highest level.

Gordon Bahary has worn numerous hats during his multi-decade career. Back in the early 1980s, as an artist/writer/producer he sold 7 million copies of his Billboard R&B Top 10 hit, “Electric Kingdom,” which was voted #8 song of all time in its genre by Rolling Stone —hence the name of the studio. He’s collaborated closely with such giants of the music industry as Stevie Wonder (two albums), Herbie Hancock and Ramsey Lewis, among many others.

He was asked by Wonder to be his staff producer for Wondirection/Motown Records. Bahary has also produced and engineered numerous recordings by a wide range of artists, and is currently scoring music for film and TV. His years in the business and diversity have given Bahary the ability to create the world-class studios that he now operates.

Walking into Electric Kingdom, artists and producers will immediately be overwhelmed by the sheer volume and quality of gear assembled for their use. Bahary handpicked equipment from many brands of recording consoles and put them in a rack. “You’ve got many flavors, plus the Rupert Neve Designs 5088, and a rebuilt MCI / Mara 24-track 2” analog tape machine for that unforgettable sound,” he says. (For a look at the full array of equipment on hand at the studio, please visit electrickingdom.com/gear.)

In particular, Electric Kingdom, which can comfortably accommodate up to 7 musicians, will appeal to artists working within the fields of jazz, rock, orchestral music, folk, and R&B. Although he is a pioneer of the synthesizer, Bahary’s heart also lies within the natural feel of acoustic-based music, particularly in this studio, which is designed to bring out the best in acoustic instruments. In order to best capture and enhance those sounds, he decided to stress analog “Class A discrete” gear when designing EK.

“Analog recording sounds warm. I think it reminds us of the great classic recordings, as it adds more harmonics and emotion to the music.” During the pandemic, music equipment manufacturers had one of their biggest years, as people were cooped up and compelled to create music at home. But the challenge with the classic home studio consisting of a laptop and a converter is it usually has little character; it’s often flat. I take those multi-tracks from artists and mix them through this magnificent facility, and it sounds like they recorded it here from the start. That’s what I’m offering in addition to the artist who wants to create an album here.”

Bahary—who has been an engineer for 40 years—calls his approach to recording at Electric Kingdom 'organic'. "The final result,” he says, “is the rich musicality that comes out of the older equipment designs but with new components. We’re bringing back the old, but with today’s clarity and dependability. It’s the purest reproduction of audio available, but with the soul intact.”