Saal3 is an iconic music recording space located in the unique location of Funkhaus Berlin. In a race to build the best sounding recording studio, broadcasting stations around the world put immense efforts into the construction of new studios after the Second World War. As an integral part of the competition, the Funkhaus by the river Spree shaped and defined some of the best-known audio standards of today.
The Funkhaus was built in an era where the most popular way of recording was using simply a mono microphone in the right position for the entire performance. The “one microphone recording technique” usually resulted in a large distance between the microphone and the musician, which makes the quality and characteristics of the sound in the room much more important than in modern recording environments with a “close microphone technique” and artificial ambience. I always dreamt of a place like this, a place where you can put a microphone farther away without making it sound like recording an unideal sounding bedroom.
In 2014 I was lucky enough to rent the Saal3 for 10 days to record the soundtrack to Sebastian Schippers’ movie “Victoria” and I fell deeply in love with the sound of that room. A dream arose to host this studio with a permanent recording setup to be able to write and record music there. In 2016 that dream came true and with the support of the new Funkhaus ownership, I organised an ambitious overhaul of the entire space. In just 12 months we turned a beautiful ruin into a highly effective and professional recording environment made for those who want to record acoustic or electronic sounds not compromising anything or anywhere. Since I was tired of messy, dirty, half working studios, I decided to create an environment where tone and workflow would inspire the entire place. And as big studios are not profitable anymore, I wanted to invest in something which would trigger other musicians to keep these temples of music alive. The Saal3 was not built to be profitable – it was an idealist’s dream of shaping the perfect space for any aspect of audio.
Saal3, amongst other recording studios at Funkhaus Berlin, was built between 1953-1956. It features a main recording room of 140 m2, a small recording room of 26 m2 and a mixing room of 30 m2. Optionally, the original “Hallkammer 1” (original Funkhaus reverb chamber) can be used, which is equipped with the traditional setup of 1 mono speaker and a stereo pair of neumann km83. An opulent workshop provides the tools to repair and fix instruments, recording gear or the vintage furniture on site.
We designed the entire workflow in Saal3 around a Berlin made custom danner board, which is fully modular and can handle up to 48 inputs. The board feeds a 8-track 1“ studer a80, also driving a parallel digital rig of 48 I/O, using just the best original classics to feed them, such as: neumann m50 (3x), m49 (2x) km56 (3x), km54 (2x), km84 (12x), dozens of historic ribbon and other interesting microphones from all over the globe. (see gear list)
There is a choice of over 50 high quality class A microphone pre-amplifiers, we basically own all EMT reverbs ever built, even though the reverb chamber beats them all. There is a large collection of incredible pianos such as a Yamaha CFX, not to forget about a custom made giant piano called the m450 (yes, it really is 15 feet high).
If you need some original analog sounds, you can use all types of tube amps, tape delays, guitars and synthesiser classics such as EMS VCS3, oberheim 4 voice, memorymoog, and dozens of other analog synths. If you need to add some processing you can use on of the 4 lang peq2 pultec eqs or the original tube pultec. If you are searching for a more rustic tone, we can check out the epic collection of mid-century tube limiters from the States. Or you simply enjoy a collection of celeste, historic pre-war tube keyboards you have never seen in your life. If you are looking for something without a cord, you should try our concert harmoniums or simply record that tambourin. Anyway, we believe we have everything to inspire you for years…in case there is anything missing – really, anything – we will rent it for your session days.
All our instruments and gear are regularly serviced and fixed. Instruments are tuned, calibrated to please the most maniac perfectionists. We like to go so far in terms of quality that we only accept payment from our clients when they were absolutely happy.
The deal we offer is care free. You just arrive and our team of engineers will set up your session. You can come with your own engineer or simply ask us to engineer your project. It can be one musician or twenty five of them. We support and favor music recording. Photo or video shoots will be charged at higher rates.
Please do not hesitate get in touch with us in order to receive gear lists, technical requirements and quotes. We look forward to hear about your project!
Lots of love,