SPONSORED: Sometimes the best businesses are the ones that never had any intention of being a business at all. T.J. Stone, the insanely talented comedic force of nature (Check Out his podcasts, they’re frighteningly brilliant) and co-owner of Brooklyn Podcasting Studio will be the first to tell you that his initial speakeasy style studio in a small boarded up Brooklyn storefront was “essentially a man cave” complete with booze, beer, a PS4, 2 flat screen TV’s and…some of the best recording gear known to man.
“I selfishly built the studio as an outlet for me and my creative friends to have a place where we could be ourselves, and be heard without restraint, without judgment and without limits.”
Like many, Stone had taken a stab at recording his own podcast at home but it was less than ideal, to say the least…
“Sure, it’s easy enough to buy a USB mic, stick it into your computer and start talking but
you’d be in the middle of an interview or a bit and out of nowhere, some maniac starts ripping your garbage apart and tossing it into the street looking for recyclables Or…you’re trying to make a poignant remark about your guest’s childhood and the guy across the street is screaming like an animal about the person who parked in his driveway, as 95 sirens and horns are honking and blaring down the avenue because a 9-year-old lit a bottle rocket that the raging neighbors thought was a terrorist attack.”
All of that motivated Stone to build his own studio. “From the second we started designing the studio, I knew I wanted the best equipment, the best sound and the best environment possible.” Stone built interior walls with the highest-grade sound absorbing insulation to cut out the noisy streets of Brooklyn. He had a beautiful custom broadcast desk made for him and his friends that easily seats up to seven people, with six microphone stations (headphone amps included) that house six RE-20 microphones (the best microphone in broadcasting). And all of that is connected to award-winning Universal Audio mic pre-amps that can add warmth to even the most cigar and whiskey infused voices.
Stone didn’t realize it at the time but he was inadvertently building the best podcasting studio in Brooklyn.
Even though the studio was largely a secret amongst him and his friends (the studio’s neighbors didn’t even know about it) the word spread quickly about the space.
“I was recording my own podcasts The T.J. Stone Show and Interviews with T.J. Stone as well as sitting in on some of my friend’s shows and the vibe and most importantly, the quality of the equipment and the awesome sound that we were capturing caught people’s attention.”
As word spread about the studio so did the popularity of T.J.’s podcasts. Within a matter of
months, T.J. was regularly breaking the top 50…25…and eventually the top 10 rankings on the iTunes charts.
“It was pretty incredible. As the shows gained popularity, so did the studio. At first it was friends, then friends of friends and then…it required actual planning and organization. It had to become a business. So, I did what all smart business people do, I turned to someone infinitely more intelligent and talented than I am for help, and to be my partner.”
Enter Josh Wilcox.
“Josh is the reason why anything I’ve ever done sounds good at all. He’s a gifted audio engineer who is adept at knowing all there is to know about audio but, that’s where it begins. Josh is also a producer who has engineered and produced countless podcasts and engineered and produced music for many musicians as well. He has a knack for understanding what people want to hear and taking your idea or concept and turning it into a reality”
Aside from Josh’s creative talents, T.J. is quick to point out how laser-focusedJosh is with
helping clients. “It’s rare to find someone that is as gifted as he is while also possessing the
patience and willingness to advise new and experienced clients every step of the way. Together we’re a dream-team but, we’re also driven by the love of what we do. We both wouldn’t be doing this if we didn’t enjoy helping others create interesting content.”
The story could easily end there but... just when the business was truly picking up, tragedy struck.
“I was on vacation in the Caribbean”, says Stone “and I got a frantic phone call from someone who was too loud and too frenetic to understand…I thought they said something about a fire but, I was sure it had nothing to do with me or the studio.”
Stone was technically right, it had nothing to do with him or the studio but everything to do with the apartments above the studio that were being destroyed by a 4 alarm fire.
“First and foremost, nobody was hurt and that’s incredible. Second, the fire was in the
apartments above us so, aside from water damage from the fire hoses, most of our equipment made it out alive.”
Josh was optimistic.
“We were super lucky, I couldn’t believe nothing was really damaged. I think most people would have viewed the fire as a bad omen, but I took it as a sign that the business was meant to survive… after seeing the damage to the building I said f**k it let’s find a new space to set up shop ASAP.”
“But ASAP instead took us months of searching all over Brooklyn until we finally got lucky and came across our new home at 187 Garfield Place, in Park Slope. Perhaps the bigger and more surprising bit of fortune is that most of their clients like Brooklyn Fishing Club, WBH Radio, Richly Melanated and The Martial Arts Mind Podcast and others stuck with them.
“I was really amazed and grateful”, says Stone. “But it’s a testament to how Brooklyn Podcasting Studio is different from other studios. We’re a family. You don’t just come here, say things into a microphone, pay a bill and leave. You walk into a welcoming, creative space with friendly, hospitable people that are here to co-create with you.”
“We wanted to offer more than just recording”, says Wilcox. “ A lot of studios just record people and then move on to the next person, we want to actually help you to Be Heard which is why we offer a free consultation, free promotion, and more. We feel like we’d be doing a disservice to our craft if we approached it in any other way. Especially in Brooklyn, there’s a lot of great voices and personalities that should be heard and what we ultimately aim to do is not only make sure that you’ll sound good but that you’re being heard by as many people as possible too”.