Most known for its expansive clubs and electronic live music scene, Ibiza also attracts a number of high-profile international artists looking to put down tracks while enjoying the Mediterranean beaches. We chat with Sonic Vista Studios’ L. Henry Sarmiento II about Ibiza Rocks, recording top pop acts, and living on an island.
You’re originally from New York, why did you make the move to Spain?
I was living in San Francisco running Herbie Herbert’s studio (Sy Klopps Studios) for many years before moving to Ibiza. I felt that I wanted to make a new studio on an island and get away from the city life and the best island I felt that needed a professional working environment was Ibiza.
Has being in such an electronic musical mecca as Ibiza helped out the studio?
Before I even moved to Ibiza, I already had clients here. Since it’s the mecca of Electronic music it draws many artists even after dance and pop music merged and more artists started to come to Ibiza to perform (such as Lady Gaga, 50 Cent, Akon, etc…). When major artists are in Ibiza and wish to work, I get the phone call. Also, outside the summer season, artists like to come to the studio as Ibiza is a very inspiring place.
You work with Ibiza Rocks doing live recording as well, how have you seen the live music scene evolve in the past few years?
I have a remote recording rig that I record the Ibiza Rocks shows on and then mix them in my studio before they are sent off for the MTV show. In 2005 Ibiza Rocks started doing live shows and bringing major artists to the island to perform. Slowly there are more live shows happening on the island and this year the Hard Rock Hotel will open and will be another major venue for live concerts. I believe it is important to have a balance of live artists venues and DJ clubs to give more options for people to get entertained. Bring on the Talent!
What sort of artists have you had through your doors since you opened in 2004?
Lady Gaga, 50 Cent, Akon, David Guetta, Ne-Yo, Swedish House Mafia, Red Foo(LMFAO), Taio Cruz, The Ting Tings, Idris Elba, Andy Taylor, Sander Kleinenberg, Ms. Dynamite, Mousse T, Kelis, Paul Van Dyk, Priyanka Chopra, Goldfish, Eva Herzigova, Game of Thrones, HBO, and the BBC, to name a few.
Tell me a bit about your studio set-up.
Its a hybrid of the best in analogue and digital including Avid Pro Tools HDX, Burl Audio, Manley, Millennia, GML, Elysia, Thermionic Culture, Solid State Logic, Crane Song, TC Electronic, Akai, Softube, Waves, Kush Audio, sE Electronics, Dynaudio, Monkey Banana, Yamaha, Modulus and many others amazing brands.
Do you work with many Spanish artists or predominantly international artists?
I work with some Spanish artists but mostly my client base is very international based.
How have you seen the market for professional recording studios change in the past few years? Is there anything that might be unique to Ibiza or Spain in general?
The laptop has become such an important tool as many electronic artists travel nonstop and work on planes and hotels. But they still need to enter a professional studio environment to record and listen properly and focus without distractions.
What are your plans for the future?
Always expanding and providing inspiring and creative locations for artist/talent to make hits! I also just joined Miloco’s list of professional studios.