HomeStudio ToursResidential Studio Tour: Bacqué Recording Engineering
A view of the control room at Bacqué Recording Engineering.
In an undisclosed town in New Jersey, on a quiet tree-lined property, a studio can be found adorned with classic recording equipment, complemented by the expertise of an engineering staff from some of the most noteworthy Manhattan facilities.
With years of experience working at world-class studios like Sear Sound and Avatar, Luis Bacqué knew exactly how to design this latest iteration of his hidden musical domicile, Bacqué Recording Engineering.
“I’m all about balanced, focused and clear sound,” he told me. “Real wood, real stone, and controlled absorption makes this place acoustically friendly for most applications.”
Whether he or his regular second engineer Thom Beemer are recording, mixing, or mastering, Bacqué has all of his bases covered. A tango session followed by a string quartet? Not a problem. A little bit of jazz over the weekend? Bring it on. This self-made operation gets a taste of everything these days, and Bacqué isn’t shy about dishing on what makes the studio distinctive.

A robust vintage mic collection can be found inside.
Location: New Jersey

Date of Birth:
Opened in 2017, this is the studio’s third (and potentially final) location in the NYC metropolitan area

Facility Focus:
Recording, mixing and mastering, with the capability of supporting remote live and on-location recording.

Neighborhood Advantages:
 Birds, trees, air, and “the best Mexican food you can get in the New York metropolitan area”.
What They’re All About:
“I’ve been engineering in major studios in NYC and out of town for a long time,” says Luis Bacqué, “and now I’m also offering tracking, mixing, and mastering services at my own studio.
“I’m all about keeping the same standards of service found at major studios and, in addition, offering personalized customer attention in a boutique studio surrounded by trees.”
What makes Bacque Recording unique?
A stone- and wood-lined live room, with a unique mix of absorption and diffusion.
In my experience as a freelance engineer, I never found a mid-sized studio in NYC that didn’t compromise on many aspects of a major studio’s performance.
Even if there are nice rooms with impressive gear lists, they don’t offer the same customer service, setups, session planning, and so on.
Artists that can’t afford a place like Avatar usually end up in places that don’t offer the same type of service. I’ve also heard all kinds of horror stories from musicians: “The engineer was weird…We arrived and the setup wasn’t even close to done…It took 15 minutes for the engineer to do a simple edit…They overbooked…” and so on.
To guarantee that everything will run smoothly during the session, I always hire assistants that worked at Avatar or similar studios.
What do you love most about your control room?
Compatibility with the outside world.
What’s the most important aspect of running a successful studio?
The studio’s instrument list features a Yamaha C7 Conservatory Concert Grand and more.
I’ve always thought about my career as a professional, not as a businessman.
If you always do your best, your client list will grow through the years. It will take some time but that list will be rock solid.
With the bad reputation the music industry is having lately, lowering rates seems to be the way to go to be more competitive.
That’s not what I do. I actually think that keeping my rates according to the service I provide attracts the people that I enjoy working with: Artists that show the same deep respect for the process of creating an album that I show for their music. Believe me, you are not going to miss [working with] anybody who doesn’t want to pay you what you deserve.
Have you had any memorable sessions recently?
A vintage RCA 44
Composer Dario Eskenazi contacted me to do what seemed impossible: Mixing a full film score in two days.
It was a full orchestra recorded in Europe, small band pieces with different singers, more than 30 cues… We couldn’t do it in two days—it took us two days and a couple of hours!
The movie became the best-selling Argentine film of 2017. That shows you that mixing is easy when the music is well-composed, arranged, and recorded. You don’t need to spend weeks on something that was written, performed, and recorded properly.
Musicians are the best equalizers, compressors, and mixing consoles.
I remember having Nate Wood on Akiko Pavolka’s Late Parade album tracking. He took some time to tune the drums in a way that, combined with his performance, brought that kit to another level.
Check out “Moon Above” and you’ll see what I’m talking about. He blended perfectly with Matt’s killer upright bass sound. There was minimum processing on drums during the mix. He’s a beast.
What’s the most important gear in your studio?
I know this will sound funny, especially after looking over my gear list, but I must say I’m not a gear freak.
My definition of ”professional audio engineer” is “a person who is able to achieve professional results using professional tools no matter the brands or models, digital or analog.”
Another view of the main live room.
If an engineer tells me that he can’t get a great vocal sound because he couldn’t get his hands on that “Teleneumakg Elam-47 serial number C12,” I will probably doubt his skills.
Any time there’s some piece of gear that I find irreplaceable to do my job, I see that as my own flaw. For example, for most styles, I only feel 100% confident when I’m mixing with my NS-10s.
I don’t see that as “The NS-10s are the best monitors ever,” I see that as “I wish I could feel the same with whatever professional speakers any studio has, unfortunately, I can’t.” That doesn’t mean I can’t get a professional mix using other monitors, but it will probably take me more time and I won’t feel as confident during the process.
My setup is based on workflow and speed. I like to work fast, especially while mixing. I could do a similar mixing job in-the-box, but one thing is certain: It will be slower. I’ve found that my analog setup, plus mixing with assistants, is what works faster for me.
Secret Weapon:
Did I mention that Mexican restaurant around the corner?
For a complete gear list and more, visit:
Michael Duncan is a record producer, engineer, and writer who lives in NYC.

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