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30 Years / 30 Studios is a new blog series highlighting some of the studios Vintage King has helped during our three decades in pro audio. We'll talk with studio owners, engineers, and producers about how they got their start, where they are heading, and all the gear they've picked up along the way.
Learn more about Vintage King's 30th anniversary here.
With all of the advances in recording technology over the years, the studio world seems to get smaller by the day. We create workspaces at home, send files to clients, take feedback over Zoom, and generally get the job done on our own time. That’s not the case with the Women’s Audio Mission.
For 20 years, the San Francisco-based organization has taught the next generation of female-identifying engineers and provided them with a masterclass on working together. Led by Executive Director and Founder Terri Winston, the spirit of WAM is one based on community building. How else do you explain a college club that started with 15 students in 2003 amassing 22,000 graduates?
This dedication to teamwork has helped the organization succeed and was on full display when Vintage King visited WAM in January 2018. Terri introduced us to the staff, who were all new WAM students at one time. After making their way through the course, they continued to engineer in the studio and educate incoming classes.
As part of our 30 Years / 30 Studios series, we sat down with Terri Winston and Studio Director and Lead Engineer Mary Ann Zahorsky to talk about what’s going on at WAM and what’s in store for the future. Let’s catch up with them now…
Can you tell us about some of the most memorable artists you've worked with over the years?
Mary Ann Zahorsky, Studio Director & Lead Engineer: We had the opportunity to work with Jazz artist Denise Perrier and her stellar band before she passed at the end of December 2021. It was a project to be released this year.
Other recent artists include Lalin St Juste, Amihan, Lil MC & Breathless, Dizzy Jenkins, and Meklit.
What sets your studio apart from other recording spaces?
MAZ: We have two control rooms with four recording spaces. All are interconnected, so there are many options for isolation or full ensemble in the same room. All but one of our recording rooms are treated and have a controlled sound, not too much reverberance. The fourth space is quite live, known, of course, as the Live Room. While we record digitally to Pro Tools, our consoles are analog Audient ASP8024, and our outboard gear is a mix of old-school analog and digital.
How has the industry changed since you first opened your doors, and how has your studio adapted to those changes?
MAZ: The most significant changes are moving to more home recording and digital vs. analog. We no longer have an analog recording device in the studio, and many people are working on tracks at home before they bring them into the studio. We have kept up with the new trends while retaining high-quality recording spaces and equipment.
How did you first become aware of Vintage King and what was your first experience working with us?
Terri Winston, Executive Director: Vintage King did a video feature on us a while back, which was a lot of fun!
What sets Vintage King apart from other pro audio gear companies?
TW: Vintage King is deep in the professional studio equipment infrastructure, so it reaches that market.
MAZ: Vintage King is also an excellent resource for older gear, which you can no longer find in common retail stores.
Looking back on the last 30 years, what are you most proud of or excited about in terms of your studio's history?
MAZ: We have been expanding the boundaries of the industry, empowering women and gender-expansive artists, engineers, and producers for 20 years as of 2023. We continue to teach and reach both youth and adults, creating a nurturing environment to create music and audio productions while maintaining and delivering high professional standards in the industry.
What are your plans for the future of your studio?
MAZ: WAM continues to deliver quality work and plans to expand our model of excellence by opening additional studio facilities in Nashville and Los Angeles.
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