Debbie Gibson at The Mix Palace in 1987
Mike producing his artist, Billy Falcon. One of Mike's artist who got signed to Columbia Records.
Mike on his Neve 8014 console in 1983
History Of The Mix Palace
The Mix Palace, formerly called The Music Palace, was originally started in my home on Long Island in 1977. As a owner/engineer/producer , I would listen to different records and always wonder why certain records sounded better than others. I always loved high quality sound, and that was the motivation behind my passion! In 1979 I built a mobile recording unit into a van to record local bands live, in auditoriums , bars and nightclubs mostly for free to gain more experience and knowledge . After years of doing this, I built a small studio in the basement of my home with semi pro equipment and started to record local bands in my area.
Frustrated with the quality of sound I produced back then , I took on several partners and purchased a Neve 8014 recording console. This purchase quickly launched my sound into a new league, and soon after The Music Palace became the most popular home studio in the long island scene.
In 1982 I started producing music with artist named Charles Caseus, as soon as I completed the record I inked a deal with Radar Records and they released it right away, That record got constant play on many of the R&B stations all across the country. The record was a jazz hip hop record featuring famous sax player Najee. In 1983 I produced another artist named Billy Falcon. And shortly after that I was able to secure a album deal for him on Colombia records.
In 1984 , I produced another artist, called Meekial, he was a writer/arranger and background singer for the group Kool and the Gang , and once I had my production sounding really good, I used my connection at Colombia and played the song for vice president Charles Koppelman who instantly gave me a major recording contract! Charles loved my song but needed the sound quality and mix to be up to major league status , so he asked me to hire well known DJ Jellybean Benetiz and mixer J Mark ( Madonna, Pet shop Boys, etc. ) and book a major recording studio in Manhattan so I could mix the song professionally ! Working with high calibra mixers in a great studio took my production to a new level! It was there I learned how important it was to use professional studios and mixers, especially when you are trying to compete with other major artists!
That deal ended when my artist started having creative differences between the label (Colombia). Even though a major deal was secured , my artist was not flexible enough for everyone involved to feel secure going forward. This was a turning point in my career. I realized no matter how hard I worked, if there were too many creative differences between the artist and the label,.... shit was not really going to fly.
Thats when I decided to return to my original passion which was recording and mixing ! Around the same time I became friends with Electric Lady Land Studio owners Hale and Alan Selby , who recently bought
the studio from Jimi hendrix. They taught me a lot about the business and I ended up buying there Neve 8068 32 channel recording console right after Billy idol finished his Rebel Yell album. This console was custom made for Electric Lady, and the only reason the Selby's sold it to me was to buy the larger Neve console with automation.
I used the 8068 console for a year, fully refurbished it, and sold it for twice the price I bought it for. Then I went back to Electric Lady Land studios and purchased the 56 input Neve 8128 console from there room C ,right after Ric Ocasak finished the Cars album Drive. Back then total recall was becoming a standard, and the Selby's ' were forced to keep up with the times and cater to client demands. I on the other hand had a small studio on Long Island and did not need to have the very latest equipment fashion sort of speak!
This console was too big for me to put in my home studio, it measured 13 feet long! So I moved the console into my first building, and bought 2 24 track tape machines, and became the first 48 track Neve studio on long island!
Clients such as Public Enemy, Run DMC, Notorious BIG , Bobby Brown, etc. were booking the studio frequently, But I knew my sound could be improved, so I invested 120K and bought the top of the line Studor A820 tape machines.
Soon after this new purchase , Ric Wake Production's came in to mix legend artists like Taylor Dayne, Hall and Oates, Dee Snider, Go West, Debbie Gibson,etc. Also coming in more was Public Enemy, actually Public Enemy loved the new sound so much they booked out my studio for 2 years straight, and it was during that time I mixed there biggest selling album , apoclyse 91 . It was the Neve 8128 recording console and 2 Studer A820 24 track tape machines that essentially launched my sound into major league status, which changed my business and my life!
During this time I became one of the busiest studio on the east coast, so busy Manhattan studio's started buying the same gear I had and started calling up my clients.
As business grew, I decided to move into a larger building and build my dream studio ! The Music Palace was built on the philosophy of no expense spared! In other words our goal was the build the absolute finest recording and mixing studio on the planet! Part of my philosophy back then was: "Build a incredible studio and they will come." To build this dream studio, designer Tom Hidley was hired. Tom was and still is known as the most advanced acoustic studio designer in the world especially because of his unique design philosophy of mounting the large monitors flush in 8 tons of solid concrete in the control room and building a huge building inside a building. My goal was to build a room whereby engineers could have a incredible neutral reference to judge there mixes on.
Our new location took a year to build, and before construction was finished word got around and other major studio owners caught wind The Music Palace was building a super major recording studio on Long Island, and they were concerned. They knew my influence on the Hip Hop community was huge, But this new location was not only able to accommodate hip hop artists, but also indie rock , pop , classical, jazz and blues. Famous studio owner Tony Bonjovi, who owned The Power Station located in NYC which is now Avatar Studios, visited my construction site while I was 6 months into it and said to me quote " what the hell are you building? This is insane." Tony realized the seriousness of this work being done and really was impressed. Coming from the worlds most popular recording studio owner was a treat, and soon after The Music Palace quickly became known for having the best sounding control room in the world!
When the Music Palace's new world class construction was completed, the book filled up quickly,and I had to turn away several major artists, due to being fully booked! But the major artists we were able to accommodate which are on this website enjoyed not only the quality of sound Music Palace was known for , but also the suburban experience .
Fast forward 27 years, The Mix Palace still remains the top recording studio in the tristate area. And I still remain very passionate about sound quality and I continue to research new and better ways to improve the audio quality of new music today!