On the Drum

On the Drum – John Ihle Tracks at BB4

Want to know what a studio really has to offer? Then ask the drummer – as the quarterback of the band, it’s their job to hear all and see all.

Brooklyn’s new BB4 Studios has made a big impression on a drummer who definitely should know what’s up: John Ihle. A player whose career spans decades, his beats have graced many of music’s classic names onstage and in the studio: he’s joined Chuck Berry, The Drifters, Bo Diddley. The Crests, The Righteous Brothers, The Crystals, The Marvelettes, Michael Brown of The Left Banke, Paul Griffin, Ian Lloyd of Stories Ray Bennett of Flash, Moogy Klingman (Bette Midler, Utopia), John Ford of the Strawbs, Denny Laine from Wings/Moody Blues, and more.

Ihle was at BB four recently to record drum tracks for an Ian Lloyd project, and came away knowing that he discovered a valuable new audio resource in Brooklyn’s South Williamsburg neighborhood.

“I felt very comfortable at BB4 right away,” says the congenial Ihle. “I thought that the control room was beautiful. The vocal booth/overdub room was big enough to hold my drumkit, and we did several variations of setups to find the sweet spot for the overheads. My kick drum sounded amazing in there. And I love that lounge – I was perfectly happy sitting there between takes.”

BB4 has created a studio unique to New York City, executing an acoustically excellent environment that is optimal for both mixing and mastering. Designed by owner Rafael “Raf” Planten and Christos Tsantilis (P. Diddy, Mary J. Blige, Mobb Deep, Mos Def, Brandy, Big Pun, Queen Latifah, Patti LaBelle, Saigon), BB4 provides mixers, mastering engineers, producers and labels with an exciting option for perfecting projects. World-class recording capabilities for vocals and overdubs are also onsite.

For Ihle, the talent at BB four prove to be as outstanding as the tech. “I’ve always found Christos to be very knowledgeable about what he’s doing, and incredibly fast,” Ihle notes. “They’re very open and accommodating to your needs so that you can nail the sound you’ve got your head – as a musician, you couldn’t ask for more.

“When it came time to listen back in the control room, I thought it sounded phenomenal, and the drums were really punchy. They just exploded through the speakers, along with the rest of the backing tracks.”

A veteran player who seem more than his fair share of Studios across the borough’s, Long Island, in New Jersey, John Ihle sees BB four as a welcome, world-class addition to the list of local options. “People are going to like this neighborhood – it’s young and very hip,” he observes. “I went to some great coffee shops nearby, and that’s just the beginning. The studio adds to the creativity of the neighborhood – working at BB4 is a memorable experience.”

— BB4

Kiara Mudd