Oktaven Audio is a recording studio in Mount Vernon, New York specializing in classical, jazz, and acoustic music recording. Designed by Francis Manzella, the studio features over 1700 square feet of recording area with a 42'X30'X13' live room and four available iso booths of varying size, a stunning Hamburg Steinway D 9’ concert grand, a beautiful New York Steinway D, a world-class collection of microphones, preamps and outboard gear, and a variety of amps and instruments. Less than a mile from the Bronx border, Oktaven Audio offers a wonderful-sounding, comfortable, and sophisticated atmosphere in which to record.
The 415 sq.ft. main control room houses a 32 channel API Legacy AXS mixing console; a Pro Tools HDX system with Burl, Ferrofish, and Apogee AD / DA conversion; full analog capability with a 24-track Studer A800 MKIII and Ampex and Otari 2-track decks; Dante connectivity throughout the studio; and monitoring by Barefoot, PMC, and Focal.
The 275 sq.ft B-room is built around a Studer 903 (36-input) mixing console, a Pro Tools HD system with Apogee AD/DA, and PMC monitors. This room, primarily used for editing and mixing, also serves as a large iso room with comprehensive audio and visual ties into the main rooms.
The studio also provides a very large lounge which can comfortably accommodate bigger ensembles. Oktaven is 30 minutes from midtown via Metro North from Grand Central, two blocks from the Mount Vernon West Metro North station and a 13-minute walk from the 2 train, and is easily accessible to the tri-state area by car with plentiful on-site parking.
Head Engineer and co-owner Ryan Streber is a Juilliard-trained composer (BMA 2001; MMA 2003). His broad knowledge of classical and contemporary music repertoire, history, and theory and years of experience working as a composer and engineer with some of NYC’s most talented and exciting artists and ensembles drives Oktaven’s particular focus on classical, jazz, and art music as well as its emphasis on maintaining a continuity between the technical and artistic sides of the recording process.
Studio Manager and co-owner Jessica Slaven is trained as a visual artist (BFA 2001, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago; MFA 2005, University of Pennsylvania). Jessica’s knowledge of the visual arts and design bring spatial and visual capabilities to the studio’s offerings. She's able to work with clients early in the recording process to create packaging design and art that is beautifully integrated with their music.
Engineer Charles Mueller studied classical guitar at Northwestern University (BM 2012) and music technology at NYU (MM 2016). He has engineered recording sessions at many top studios in Chicago and New York, and regularly works as a producer for rock and pop artists in Brooklyn, including his own indie-psych band, lakewhales.
Engineer Teng Chen studied recording arts and sciences (BM 2016), classical piano performance (BM 2016) and acoustical studies (MA 2016) at Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University. Before relocating to NYC, she was a recording engineer at the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, and spent her summers at music festivals in North America, such as the Banff Center (Alberta, Canada), and the Tanglewood Music Center (Lenox, MA), where she worked closely with the Boston Symphony Orchestra as a recording and live sound engineer.
Engineer Edwin Huet studied recording arts and sciences (MA 2017) and computer music composition (BM 2015; BA 2017) at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, where he engineered classical, jazz, indie rock, and experimental music - live and in the studio. He is a composer, performer, sound designer, and International Luigi Russolo sound art award recipient whose work spans electro-acoustic free improvisation, multichannel sound art, and interactive player pianos.
Oktaven (German for octaves) gets its name from Brahms. From about 1863 through the final years of his life, Johannes Brahms wrote entries in a small notebook which is now known as Oktaven und Quinten (Octaves and Fifths.)
Written purely for his own study and never intended for publication, Brahms’ basic purpose in assembling this manuscript was to document interesting and often subtle occurrences of parallel fifths and octaves (which are famously forbidden by the conventions of classical voice-leading) in the music of great composers before him.
Rather than marking Brahms a pedantic academic concerned with policing other composers' offenses, this little book is a document of Brahms’ obsession with musical craft, technique, and structure, illustrating his attention not only to problems of compositional tradition and practice, but also to questions of form, hierarchy, and hearing. (It’s no coincidence that Heinrich Schenker edited the 1933 facsimile edition of the manuscript.)
Brahms’ dedication to the continual advancement of his musical understanding and sensitivity, to the perfection of his craft, and also his humility and reverence before the achievements of those who preceded him are evidenced in Oktaven und Quinten, and this remains an inspiration to Oktaven Audio's goals and intentions.
Oktaven Audio’s name pays tribute to this model.