MONTCLAIR, NJ -- What does the new normal of music production and recording look like in the time of COVID-19? David Amlen and Tony Drootin of Sound on Sound Studios, a full-service recording facility in Montclair, NJ, spoke with TAPintoTV Executive Producer Brian Brodeur about how they are safely getting back to business. 

Upon deciding to reopen, Amlen and Drootin walked through the facility and “laid out what is safe,” said Amlen, “both for our clients and also for our staff and ourselves.” The two developed safety protocols and procedures “based on CDC and local guidelines,” said Amlen, “and also common sense, which sometimes gets overlooked, unfortunately.” 

The two have set internal guidelines, such as no more than 10 people in certain settings and the ways in which musicians can be spaced apart. “Certain instruments are going to be handled differently in location to each other,” Drootin said. “Everything is going to be a situation-by-situation analysis.” 

Sign Up for Mountainside Newsletter
Our newsletter delivers the local news that you can trust.

Besides their physical space, they’ve also done research on the proper way to clean their equipment, such as their top-of-the-line microphones. “You can’t just spray them, you’ll destroy them,” said Amlen. Besides reevaluating the entire recording process in the time of COVID-19, the two had to consider logistics such as how musicians will get to the studio, safe locations where people can sit and relax, and even how and where clients can order food. “There’s a lot that goes into the coordination of all of it besides just the placement of the musicians in the room,” Drootin said. 

Amlen founded Sound on Sound Studios in Manhattan in 1986, but moved the facility to Montclair after three decades in the city. As people get back into circulation, he feels that being located in New Jersey will benefit business. People he knows, he explained, are “hesitant about the prospect of having to get on public transit, going to the city, getting into an elevator or in a building,” he said. “It’s very scary.” 

Sound on Sound is currently accepting clients and the two are “cautiously optimistic that the work will come and time will tell,” Amlen added. To learn more about the facility, go to the studio’s website, which describes their services, and even offers virtual tours: