As a New Yorker, I am constantly on the move. For “Un-Block The Music,” I am running from one interview to the next; one show to the next; writing articles; emailing; talking on the phone….you get the picture. Sometimes, I would just like to take a deep breath, sit still and concentrate on one project. Bruno Barros, Producer & CEO at Sonastério recording studio gets that desire for tranquility and creativity in a unique setting.
The studio is located 30 minutes from the city of Belo Horizonte and the Serra do Rola-Moça State Park, in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais. Sonastério is a play on words or a mix between two words: som (sound) + monastério (monastery), so it’s like a “Monastery for Sound” or a “Sound Monastery”. “The word ‘Sonastério’ translates really well the concept of the brand, the location of the house/studio and the atmosphere around it: A creativity retreat; Our slogan is ‘music enlightens’ because music is our religion,” Bruno told me.
The whole studio is a joint design project between famous architect João Diniz and Renato Cipriano of WSDG – that took about two years to complete. “We like to say that we are ‘carved into the mountains of Minas Gerais,’” Bruno says. “While the state is known for being home of great musicians and famous for producing great music, it didn’t have a top-level recording studio. The location was an easy choice to make, I live nearby where the studio is for almost my entire life and I know that it is surrounded by one of the most beautiful landscapes of Brazil.” He wanted a very peaceful and secure area for the studio, where musicians could come and just relax, focus on the music and nothing else. It is located inside a private condo, with a golf course and a recreation center (swimming pool, steam room, tennis and football courses, restaurant and more). This studio, he says, provides artists a unique experience: a place to escape every day life and dedicate themselves to their art.
While Bruno has been a musician since he was 14 years old, by the time he was 22 he knew that music production and the “backstages” of the music business was his calling. Át that point, he knew he would have to study abroad, so he attended the Musician’s Institute in Los Angeles and graduated with a degree in Music Business and Audio Engineer/Music Production. While he was working in a local production company, recording some artists and bands in Los Angeles, he decided to come back to Brazil “to elevate the music scene here. We are recording a lot of bands and artists right now because they know that our space and infrastructure is unique and they know that it will sound ten thousand times better than a home studio recording. The studio is truly a magical place to be, and the artists feel inspired to be in a place like this, so the location still counts a lot too.”
Some of the Brazilian artists and bands that Bruno has worked with include: Skank or Samuel Rosa, 14 Bis, Beto Guedes, Lô Borges, Aquiles Priester, Sideral, Leo Maia and also international artists and brands like: Joel Hoekstra (Whitesnake), Jorn Lande (Avantasia, League of Legends), Headspace (Meditation Company), VEVO, Avid and SoundOnSound.
Sonastério it’s not just a recording studio. “We are also involved in video and executive production for bands and artists, workshops and courses in the audio engineer and music production areas, events, listening parties, showcases, TV & Internet projects and much more!”
I asked Bruno the age-old question…analog or digital? “I choose the best of both worlds!! Nothing can beat an Analog Console, especially for recording! But with the technology and plug-ins available today, I prefer to do all the post production (editing, mixing and mastering) inside the box. We like working with both vintage and new gears, using the best of both worlds: analog and digital. That’s why we chose the SSL AWS 924.”
You can get the list of the studio’s equipment here: https://milocostudios.com/studios/sonastrio/equipment/
How did Un-Block The Music find out about this studio? It has been nominated for a Technical Achievement Award. This award is presented annually during The NAMM Show by the NAMM Foundation (a foundation that celebrates music education: https://www.nammfoundation.org).
TEC Awards recognize the individuals, companies and technical innovations behind the sound of recordings, live performances, films, television, video games and multi-media. Information on the voting period will be announced in November. The TEC Awards will return to The 2019 NAMM Show on Saturday, January 26, 2019 at the Hilton Anaheim Pacific ballroom ( https://www.namm.org/thenammshow/2019).
Also, I mentioned WSDG was involved in the design of the studio. That company has rich history of its own. If you want to learn more, go to: https://unblockthemusic.blog/2018/03/20/50-years-after-designing-jimi-hendrixs-electric-lady-john-storyk-is-stoked-about-the-future-of-recording-studios/
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