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Atomic Audio's new Tampa recording studio offers state-of-the-art technology

Earlier this summer, Mark Nicolich, the ears and mind behind Atomic Audio, constructed, mostly on his own, a new state-of-the-whoa, fully air-conditioned 4,100-square-foot recording studio and learning center in East Tampa.

The facility will not only give recording artists an accessible and comfortable option to elevate their profile but offer educational opportunities to young and/or budding musicians through private lessons and group projects. It includes a control room and playing space with acoustical sound treatments, isolation booths, lesson rooms and rehearsal spaces — which can be rented by the week or month — a Pro Tools HD system, security alarm and video surveillance.

With several full-service studios already in the area, the noteworthiness of Atomic's new-and-improved space has just mostly to do with Nicolich, the sort of hard-working guy local musicians want to see make good.

"Mark Nikolich is a stand-up guy," said Keith Ulrey, owner of the New Granada music label and promotions company. "He's an excellent engineer who's open to new ideas, suggestions, and his patience and ear go a long way." Ulrey, who's played in Zillionaire, Rec Center and other bands, said he's recorded every project he's been involved with over the past 12 years at Atomic Audio.

Nicolich started out recording punk and metal bands in the late '90s in a tiny, cramped space at a Stor-Ette facility on the seedy outskirts of Tampa, but word spread about the quality of his work and his easy-going demeanor. He's since been sought after by everyone from rockers to R&B artists to acoustic acts, country singers and rappers.

Now he has the space and bells and whistles required to expand Atomic's talent roster even more.

"I'm in a position now that I'm still young enough to do this and have the physical ability," Nicolich said.

Nicolich's reputation for his quality output precedes him. Whether he's working with the fiercely raging metal group Light Yourself on Fire or mellow, earthy singer-songwriter Christie Lenee, each artist sounds crisp with emphasis on the right elements. He may be highlighting a raw drumbeat or sparkly strum. Whichever it is, he captures individual instruments with appropriate emphasis and places them just right in the mix.

"It's a sharp and clean sound," said drum instructor Shawn Watkins, drummer of the Tim Version, one of the bands that Nicolich has recorded. "Best drum sound I ever had. He just nailed what I was going for."

Along with Watkins, other musicians on Atomic's teaching staff include Melissa Grady of Candy Bars (strings) and her husband, Joe Grady of Rocksteady@8 (bass, guitar and piano).

Lay down a track

We asked a few local musicians to recommend their favorite recording studios. Aside from Atomic, here were some that got the most mentions.

Zen Recording

Where: 3851 62nd Ave N, Suite I, Pinellas Park; (727) 525-1008, zenrecording.com.

Artists who've recorded there: Will Quinlan and the Diviners, GreyMarket, The Almost, Lush Progress, d'Visitors, Drew Street Mary, Ronny Elliott and the Nationals, Rich Whitely, Rebekah Pulley and the Reluctant Prophets

Mana Recording Studios

Where: 4705 95th St. N, St. Petersburg; (727) 399-7354, manarecording.com.

Artists who've recorded there: Cannibal Corpse, The Absence, Mena Brinno, Soilent Green, Six Feet Under, Underoath

Morrisound Recording

Where: 12111 N 56th St., Tampa; (813) 989-2108, morrisound.com.

Artists who've recorded there: Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Iced Earth, Seven Mary Three, Savatage, Deicide, Morbid Angel, Death, Demons and Wizards, Obituary

Red Room Recorders

Where: 6420 N Central Ave., Tampa; (813) 231-8701, redroomrecorders.com.

Artists who've recorded there: Andrew W.K., Gavin DeGraw, Fuel, Beauvilles, Psychotic Manatee, Genitorturers, Tracy LaBarbera, Porcupine Tree, Sister Hazel, Yo Majesty

Polysound

Where: Locations in Brandon, Tampa, St. Petersburg. See polysound.com.

Artists who've recorded there: Soulfound, Mr Bella, Trace of Day

Springs Theatre Inc.

Where: 8029 N Nebraska Ave., Tampa; (813) 915-0074, springstheatre.com.

Artists who've recorded there: Judy Tampa and the Bunko Squad

Atomic Audio Recording

3212 N 40th St., Suite 302, Tampa. (813) 245-7195, atomicaudio

recording.com.

Atomic Audio's new Tampa recording studio offers state-of-the-art technology 09/16/10 [Last modified: Thursday, September 16, 2010 5:52pm]

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