Over the last 8 years as one of New York City’s busiest engineers, Jake Palumbo has earned a reputation for speed, accuracy, efficiency, & steering even the most out-of-control recording sessions to successful completion. He is the owner of SpaceLAB Recording Studios in NYC – an offshoot of his independent record label of the same name – located just blocks from Madison Square Garden, Penn Station, & 34th Street.
Jake Palumbo’s engineering career began in his Tennessee bedroom as a teenager with two stereo component cassette decks he bought from his grandmother. Unique in that both home audio cassette decks had separate left & right line inputs, he would record to one channel of the tape at a time; after both sides had audio, he would “bounce” the feed over to the 2nd cassette deck, then re-record THAT cassette back into the left or right channel of the 1st deck. freeing up one additional “track”, if you can call it that. Rinse & repeat, this might have been the most primitive multi-tracking known to man, but it planted a seed of audio experimentation in the young man.
After high school he began upgrading his setup, beginning with a Compaq computer he stole from his job at a Sears warehouse & a copy of Cool Edit Pro 1.0, & set up his primitive bedroom studio he named The SpaceLAB. With no resources but time on his hands, he began recording both himself as well as his local collaborators in an attempt to learn from scratch the process of recording, mixing & mastering a project to completion.
Upon moving to NYC in 2006 (and after a failed attempt to attend audio school), Jake landed an internship at Manhattan’s Progressive Music Studios in the legendary Film Center building in Hell’s Kitchen. Working as an unpaid intern for almost two years, vacuuming up blunt guts and candy wrappers while learning everything he could from the staff engineers, & practicing his skills after-hours in the empty studios, he was finally promoted to an engineering position, just in time for Progressive Music to close 3 months later.
Jake followed a trail of bread crumbs to Manhattan’s infamous 30th Street “Music Row” district, where through a few months of patient finagling (and an unemployment check), he landed a job as studio manager and staff engineer at the most infamous operation on the block, the now-defunct Play Studios. This 3-year tour of duty was Jake’s boot camp to the music industry to a large degree; it was within this 9-room facility that he honed a variety of technical, people, & survival skills; by the end he could not only side-chain parallel compression & find a track’s tempo in seconds, but he had gotten crash courses in other important areas of the music industry like handling a bounced paycheck, or how to wrestle a gunman out of the studio incident-free.
In 2011, having reached a fork in the road with his employer, and feeling as if he had enough clientele to strike out on his own & not starve to death, he rented his own studio space in the legendary Planet 2 Planet facility next door on 30th Street – former recording home of artists like Alicia Keys, Anita Baker, Madonna & many more. Like any new business things were fledgling to start, but SpaceLAB Recording Studios has earned a strong word-of-mouth reputation for atmosphere, sound quality & affordability, & keeps a full calendar with little to no advertisement.
Outside of owning his own studio for the last 5 years & his tour of duty at Play Studios, Jake Palumbo also had a two-year run as the day manager & staff engineer at the SSL-8000-equipped Uptime Studios, where he expanded his reach as an engineer working on live music, tracking & mixing for many classical pianists, musical theatre, 10-piece salsa bands, & even tap dancers. During this time his engineering work was featured on the pilot episode of CNBC’s The Profit.
To book studio time with Jake Palumbo, call (212) 643-4020 or email email@example.com