The Bunker: Brooklyn's hippest recording studio

The Audiophiliac visits the Bunker Studio and gets to watch the magic happen.

Steve Guttenberg
Ex-movie theater projectionist Steve Guttenberg has also worked as a high-end audio salesman, and as a record producer. Steve currently reviews audio products for CNET and works as a freelance writer for Stereophile.
Steve Guttenberg
2 min read
The Bunker Studio A Puppyknuckles

The Bunker Studio is a 3,000-square-foot recording studio in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, that's owned by a pair of musician/engineers, John Davis and Aaron Nevezie. I dropped by a few days ago as Nevezie was working with singer Rachel Platten, and watched her tune "Ask Me" take form.

Nevezie favors a mix of analog and digital gear to get the sounds he wants. Brad Williams played drums and added bass and deliciously weird electronic textures with an original analog Minimoog synthesizer. The vibe was relaxed, and Nevezie was open to exploring Platten's and Williams' ideas. The sound in the control room was great; I think we were listening over Westlake LC3w12 monitors. The Bunker Studio can do high-resolution digital (up to 192kHz/24-bit) on Pro Tools or pure analog recordings; mixes are mostly done on an analog console with vintage and new gear. The studio records rock, folk, jazz, and classical music.

The Bunker Studio's Aaron Nevezie Steve Guttenberg/CNET

I recently wrote about the jazz group Omaha Diner's fundraising project, and when they reached their goal they recorded their all-analog album "live" at the Bunker Studio. Maybe that's why the Bunker reminds me of studios from the '70s and '80s; the studio's large rooms and great acoustics are ideal for bands that just want to come in and play "live," and make recordings that capture their sound. Most bands that record at the studio learned about it from friends or word of mouth.

Nevezie has worked with Danger Mouse, the Black Keys, Questlove, Tune-Yards, Brad Meldhau, Vijay Iyer, Charlie Hunter, Wayne Krantz, Ben Allison, Jeremy Pelt, Steve Turre, Russ Titelman, Gary Katz, Justin Gerrish, and many more. He was nominated for an Emmy for his work tracking and mixing music for the documentary film "In a Dream."

The Bunker Studio rates start at $300 for 5 hours, and that fee includes an engineer; Nevezie told me some bands get everything done in a day. It depends on the music and how prepared the musicians are when they're recording. More involved sessions fees can run up to around $20,000.