Located in New York City’s Times Square, the appropriately named Penthouse Studio is located in the penthouse of 723 7th Ave, the former home of the Quad Studios complex.
Old-world elegance reimagined for the future
Between the shimmering silver fabric, Starlight Ceiling, and user-programmable color-changing lights, the studio projects the visual grandeur of a perpetual night-and-day vista, with daylight focused on the work area in the front, Starlight Ceiling in the rear evokes the sense of an open moon roof to view the night sky for inspiration. The rear wall also features a huge, wraparound client sofa upholstered in white Naugahyde upholstery with eye-catching crystals embedded in its pleats. Immensely comfortable and capable of seating a large number of guests and collaborators common to current production trends, the sofa evokes the old-school feel of a traditional leather sofa one would expect in an opulent penthouse while providing a modern aesthetic.
The live room was left largely intact from the original build for Quad Studios but was updated and tweaked with additional acoustic treatment. It’s also large enough to enable the studio to host special events, such as listening parties for label executives and reps.
The studio also hosts a number of amenities, such as a client lounge, kitchen, and access to a roof deck for a view of Times Square.
Build a futuristic design modeled after the bridge and flight deck of a 23rd-century space ship as depicted found in the annals of science fiction.
Stripping the room down to its studs, comprehensive acoustic measurements were taken until a balanced frequency response was achieved. Custom acoustic treatments include a labyrinth bass-trapping system, along with a custom overhead cloud, subsequently designed and created to fill in the voids found in the front wall and rear of the room. All of this took place before interior design elements were crafted.
Owners Jesse Rothman and Manny Acosta’s interior design directive was to create the luxurious feel commensurate with the expectations evoked by entering a penthouse in a New York high-rise, while at the same time, presenting an ultra-modern look and feel. To achieve this goal, Malekpour Design Group conceived the idea of a “moon roof” with the added visual appeal of a perpetual star-light night sky that you would expect to see from a viewport when traveling through space.
This led to the first design and implementation of the Starlight Ceiling, a fiber-optic lighting system unique to Malekpour Design Partners. To facilitate both artistic vibe and practical use, the rear of the control room features the Starlight Ceiling, while the front features a silver/white fabric. To complement the fabric, custom furniture, including workstation and producer’s desk were designed and built, featuring a breath-taking high-gloss white finish.
The gear chosen for The Penthouse is DAW-centric, featuring a maxed-out Mac Pro system with Apogee conversion. The recording front end features industry-standard Neve and Tube-Tech vocal chains and classic outboard, offering a producer everything necessary for world-class vocal and instrument tracking.
Monitoring, the all-important bookends of a studio signal chain is provided by an Augspurger Duo 15V-S218 mains finished in high-gloss Arctic White. The system boasts a whopping 7,000W of crystal clear, punchy Augspurger DSP-controlled power. The Penthouse is the favored room for numerous producers and engineers, such as Busta Rhymes and Rick St. Hilaire, thanks in large part to the Augspurger monitors, which can provide both a precise and intimate sound for mixing as well as a chest-thumping output when it’s time to crank up the party.
Chosen as a Mix Magazine “Class of ’17” studio, “Penthouse Manny,” as it’s known to friends and clients, remains one of New York’s hottest tracking and mixing suites.