John Kilgore, a leading recording engineer/sound designer, and director of Masque Sound & Recording since 1986 has purchased the fabled studio from thirdrd generation owners Geoff and James Shearing. “This studio is one of the gems of the NYC recording scene,” Kilgore says. “The artists who have worked here run the gamut from Eric Idle and Gwynneth Paltrow to Mario, Mandy Patinkin, and the New York Philharmonic. We’ve established a remarkable reputation, and when the opportunity arose to carry on the tradition under my own banner, I couldn’t let it pass.”
Given its long run as studio of choice for the Broadway show community, the newly renamed John Kilgore Sound & Recording complex will maintain its ties to this vibrant niche, while continuing to expand its client base. “Recent months have seen us busy with Spamalot, The Glass Menagerie, Julius Ceasar and a number of other theatrical projects,” Kilgore says, “but we’ve always made a point of diversifying.” Other recent assignments include Disney’s upcoming Phil Collins’ Tarzan, an Alan Menkin project for Disney in Tokyo, and a series of recordings for Tony Benjamin, who’s worked with Destiny’s Child, Mario, and Beyonce. On the Transmigraton of Souls, (Nonesuch), an orchestral work by composer John Adams which Kilgore mixed last year, won three Grammys in February.
As he has in the past, Kilgore will host students of the 2005 Broadway Sound Master Classes at his eponymous studio. This year he will discuss sound effects on Wednesday, June 22, from 12:30 to 2 p.m. Kilgore's wealth of experience with such a wide variety of productions and artists ensure that his session is always sold out.
Having run the studio for almost 20 years, Kilgore is fully aware of the level of support Masque Sound has devoted to its operation. In 2002, the studio moved to a new location in The Film Center Building at 630 Ninth Ave. Designed by Francis Manzella and built by Chris Harmaty’s Technical Structures. The 5.1 facility features two Pro Tools™ HD Accel-equipped control rooms, one of which is currently occupied by producer Hal Willner, a live room with a Yamaha C6 Grand Piano, and a variety of amenities including a very popular Krups Orchestro expresso/cappuccino machine. A complete gear list may be found at www.johnkilgore.com.
“Survival in New York’s studio business requires a combination of technical and creative skills. You need well-maintained gear and an enthusiastic support team,” Kilgore says. “The recent closings of some of NY’s best-known studios have, in a bittersweet way, increased the opportunities for the facilities that remain. I am particularly fortunate to have an outstanding studio manager, Vera Beren, on my team. The professionalism she brings to the critical client support aspect of this operation assures me of our ability to continue to attract the level of discerning clients that have kept us busy since 1986.
Commenting on the change of ownership, Masque Sound VP Geoff Shearing remarked, “my brother James and I have a deep affection for this recording studio; it’s been a mainstay of our business since our grandfather co-founded the company in 1936. Our business plan calls for a concentration on live sound, broadcast services, custom wireless, new product development and, with the recent introduction of our new Masque Entertainment division, DVD production. Our decision to sell the studio was made significantly easier by the fact that John Kilgore will continue to be responsible for its operation. His recording, mixing, and management skills are integral components of the studio’s ongoing success. We are confident that our business and personal relationships will continue to flourish, and we look forward to working with him in the future. John will always be a member of the Masque Sound family.”