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Wednesday, Oct 03, 2012 - Check 1, Check 2 | Music & nightlife

Black Box Recording Studios changes owners

Golden Hill studio set to re-open as Iacon Sound in November

By Peter Holslin
Mario Studio Pic Mario Quintero
Golden Hill's Black Box Recording Studios is about to undergo some changes. On Monday, Black Box owner Mario Quintero handed the keys to the nearly 3,000-square-foot studio and rehearsal space over to new owners, engineer Frank Torres and promoter Sulo King.

Torres and King have renamed the space Iacon Sound Studios, and they plan to do a remodel to put in new floors, new ceilings and fresh coat of paint. But they want to maintain the same vibe Quintero gave it.

“I love the mojo of the place," Torres tells CityBeat in a phone interview. "I got to go there last night and meet the tenants that are currently there. We all got along really great.”

Since opening in 2005, Black Box has been a key part of the Mid-City music scene, offering studio and rehearsal space for countless bands, including big names like Transfer and Sleeping People. Quintero opened Black Box with his friend Mike Pereira, and they built the whole studio from scratch.

“We put up every fucking wall in that place," Quintero says. "I don’t ever want to do that again. Literally, it’s nine months, beginning to end, to finish all the construction.”

Quintero says he sold Black Box so he could focus on his career as an engineer and producer without having to worry about the costs of running a studio. Lately, he's been doing work at Big Fish and Phaser Control studios and mixing recordings at home. He plans to also work at Iacon.

“I’ve been kind of creatively wanting to move on a little bit, so I started working at other studios here and there," he says. “It’s a little heartbreaking to see it go. But I kind of forced myself to start separating [from] it when I made the decision.”


Torres says he hopes to open the newly refurbished Iacon space on Nov. 1, so long as the remodel stays on schedule. King will handle publicity; Torres will serve as an engineer—he recently got a bachelor of science degree for audio production at the Arts Institute of California, San Diego, and says his mixing and producing style will be a bit different from Quintero's.

“I’m a different flavor, obviously. No two engineers will mix alike," he says.

As for the name? Torres is a big Transformers buff, and Iacon comes from the original Transformers cartoon series. According to the Transformers Wiki,
Iacon is a walled city-state on the planet of Cybertron, and it serves as Autobot headquarters.
 
 
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