Despite a burgeoning production career in California, Roger Goodman couldn't help but think about his native Detroit from afar. Since moving to the Golden State and garnering Grammy nominations, the young music maker saw a change in the definition of the word "producer" and sought to find a return to form in his hometown.
"Every single person with a laptop became a producer overnight," Goodman says. "I wanted to get away from all of that, and kind of recreate what this really is, where it really came from and where it really started, and that's in Detroit, Michigan. People used to come up from up from the south, come out from the west, come from New York to record. People wanted to track with the producers in Detroit."
Sowing the seeds for a new recording studio based in Southeastern Michigan, Goodman began the arduous process of realizing his dynamic vision. The build began with Goodman and his crew tearing down an existing property, pouring concrete for each room separately and including a special absorption gel to eliminate all potential low vibrations. Taking every measure to ensure the perfect end result, Royal House Recording was a dream that turned into reality.
"I figured if I could build my own Fantasy Factory, people would be blown away by it," Goodman says, referencing pro skateboarder Rob Dyrdek's California-based skate mecca.
Throughout construction, Goodman teamed with studio designer Glenn Brown and Vintage King's Jacob Schneider to complete the build-out of the studio. For the main hub of Royal House Recording, Schneider and Goodman opted for a 48-Channel Solid State Logic Duality SE. Winning the team over with its sleek design and light build, the SSL console offered Royal House a more mobile and agile option to the large, stationary vintage desks in many recording studios.
"People won't be able to come here and say, 'They didn't have this' or 'they didn't have that' or 'this was mediocre, that was mediocre,'" states Goodman. "I relied on Vintage King to make sure that was the case, and in the past few months that we've been open, people come in here and are floored at the gear that we have, the setup and the arrangement. Just everything from the guitar amps, guitars, the outboard gear, the SSL console, and just the way the whole network is set up. And the room; how user-friendly it is, how producer-friendly it is."
The rest of Royal House Recording's gear lineup reads like a producer and engineer's wish list, as it was intended to by Goodman and Schneider. The team plotted a studio plan that featured a wide array of monitors (Barefoot Sound MicroMain27 Gen2, ATC SCM25A Pro Loudspeakers, Genelec 1032 and Yamaha NS-10), outboard gear (Neve 2264A CV, Empirical Labs Distressor EL8X-S, Retro Instruments 176, Retro Instruments Sta-Level, DBX 160 VU, API 2500 Bus Compressor), microphones (Royer R-121 - Matched Pair, Coles 4038 Stereo Matched Pair, Electro Voice RE20, AKG D 112, Neumann U 47 FET Collector’s Edition, Wunder Audio CM67) and much more.
"It was really an amazing opportunity to help Roger build his dream studio," Schneider says. "Roger really gave us the freedom to pick out the gear list. From the mic locker and front end, down to mixing and monitoring, this studio was built to cover anything that could be thrown at it."
With an overall design aesthetic focused on making clients extremely comfortable, Roger Goodman has truly created a music maker's paradise that breaks from the confines of the traditional recording studio. Packed with a gym, kitchen, lounge, garage, basketball court and outdoor patio, the Royal House Recording experience is one that provides off-site luxuries within a few steps of the studio and live room.
In terms of sonic sensibilities and the comforts of home, this new studio leaves nothing to be desired. That is, unless you're Roger Goodman. Always looking to improve his recording space, he has a constant craving to keep advancing forward and one particular addition is always on his mind.
"I’ve always wanted my own piano and that’s the one thing I don’t have," says Goodman, who took lessons as a child. "Most people would just stick a Yamaha in there, but I really want to take my time."