The New Control Room at Modern:
A Sneak Preview

Years ago I worked on a record at George Martin's AIR Studios, the old one on Oxford St. And was told a tale there about Paul McCartney not being able to book last-minute time at his fave Abbey Road mixing room. The story goes, McCartney decided to "clone" that control room in his London house. Not only did he match the board and gear and dimensions of the room, he had the Persian family come out of retirement to weave an identical rug, and made a faux window with the same view, including a tiny clock tower "in the distance" with a working clock! I thought of this story often when I'd call up, too late, to book time at the well-tuned control room at Overdub Lane, the personal studio of designer Wes Lachot.

One day, still thinking of the McCartney tale, I called Wes and asked him to just build me his exact control room in our old garage! Although in the end we built an essentially new structure that can work for tracking and overdubbing as well, the control room is almost to the inch a copy of this original Lachot room. And it sounds great! (Haven't duplicated the view or woven the rug yet, though.)

Chris Stamey -- in a joint venture with Scott Litt (R.E.M., Nirvana) -- began Modern Recording, an audio production facility based on a combination of the best of both audio worlds: vintage analog American tube and British transistor gear and a state-of-the-art digital workstation.

Located in the vibrant setting of Chapel Hill, NC, the studio was designed by Wes Lachot and features Wes's famously accurate control room construction.

Although originally conceived around the overdub and mixing stages of popular record making, Modern's rooms have found regular use for rhythm-section tracking as well. (Modern also has access to several other local facilities, if a larger space for ensemble performances is required.) Stamey, the studio's chief engineer and Pro Tools specialist, has over thirty years of experience in all aspects of record making, including those of musician, producer, composer, and arranger, and has recorded at many major international studios, among them Bearsville, Air, Ocean Way, Muscle Shoals, and Power Station (now Avatar).

Whether you're recording a CD from scratch or are simply in need of just the right overdubbing, digital editing, mixing, CD mastering, or production touches, Modern has the technology and the skills to do the job on time and within the budget.

Mic pres/equalizers:

  • Neve 1073s (the best)
  • Neve "Melbourn" board (33114s)


  • Neumann
  • Korby
  • AKG
  • Coles
  • Gefell
  • Peluso
  • Audiotechnica
  • Shure

    Compressors & Tubes:

  • Urei 1176LN
  • Gates SA-39 (eleven tubes)
  • DBX 160XTs
  • Valley People 440
  • Retrospec tube DI
  • Roland Space Echo

    Digital System:

  • Pro Tools 10
  • Apogee and RME convertors
  • lots of plugins
  • Neve board for analog summing


  • NS-10Ms/subwoofer
  • Dynaudio M3P big monitors
  • Bryston biamping


  • Oodles of vintage guitars
  • Tweed & blackface Fender amps
  • Vintage analog Minimoog
  • Farfisa organ
  • Steinway Baby Grand Piano
  • Wurlitzer A200
  • Harmonium from Pakistan
  • Acetone organ


  • $400 a day
  • $50 an hour
  • (as of 08/20)