Sear SoundAEA fix it in the mic

Sear Sound

An inside look at one of New York's most legendary studios
Listening Room

AEA Fix It In The Mic - Sear Sound

This very special episode of AEA's Fix It In The Mic video series features a rare inside look at one of New York City's most legendary studios: Sear Sound. Chris Allen, the studio's chief engineer, invited us for a tour around the studio, talk some shop, and learn about his recording techniques in full detail.

Founded by Walter Sear in 1963, Sear Sound has been at the forefront of sound recording for decades. A collection of over 280 microphones including many rare and precious tube and ribbon mics, as well as a wide range of custom and modified sound equipment like the studio's 60-channel Sear-Avalon with Flying Faders is just the tip of the iceberg of the stunning technical facilities in Manhattan's Hell's Kitchen neighborhood.

Chris Allen learned the art and the craft of sound recording from Walter Sear until his passing in 2010 and continues his legacy and his philosophy to engineering. The primary goal is to capture that spark that occurs in live performance and to transfer this to the recording medium. The ambience, the 'feel' of the studio is the most critical element. It isn't equipment but it is the feeling that is imparted by Sear Sound's staff, and Chris embodies that to the fullest. In our video, he shares some of his best-kept secrets for drums and bass recording, in addition to talking about some of his most favorite mics in the extensive locker.


As a very special treat, Roberta Findlay, the studio's manager, joins us for a lovely piano performance while Chris explains his go-to grand piano recording setup consisting of an AKG C24 and an AEA R88 stereo ribbon. We also get to hear a mono AEA NUVO N22 ribbon mic as an additional center channel in the recording. Listen to the isolated tracks in our "Listening Room" player or download the high-res files on the left!

Thanks to Sear Sound and their incredible staff for hosting us and making this a very memorable visit!


Music: Filou - "Impressions"
Mixed by Philip Lütz