A LEGACY THAT SPANS OVER TWO DECADES
Bay Eight is a staple in Miami’s music culture and a worldwide influence. Of all the recording studios in Miami, only a few have made a historical impact on the music industry like Bay Eight. This iconic recording facility is rich in history with a track record for producing armloads of awards and chart-topping hits.
Bay Eight is where stars are born and hits are made.
Born at the turn of the century, Bay Eight Recording Studios, formerly known as Midnight Blue Studios was founded by Grammy-award-winning producer and hit-maker Fabio’ Estefano’ Salgado.
Salgado was a colossal figure in the music scene during the turning point of Latin American crossover, producing platinum-selling albums and number-one hits for megastars like Shakira, Gloria Estefan, Jennifer Lopez, Ricky Martin, Thalia, and Enrique Iglesias.
In 2000 Estefano contracted architect John Arthur and award-winning mastering engineer Bret Lambert for the design and construction of his facility.
The two became a studio building powerhouse, with Bret’s experience and sonically keen ear perfectly complimenting John’s ability to turn an acoustical concept into a physical structure. This culminated in the creation of the recording studio that is now Bay Eight.
John Arthur was already a prolific studio crafter in his own right, responsible for the famous Circle House Studios B Room in Miami, Sean “Diddy” Combs’ Daddy’s House studios in Midtown Manhattan, and the Marley family’s Tuff Gong studios in Kingston, Jamaica.
Brett Lambert, who was already a highly accomplished mastering engineer, founded The Kitchen mastering studio which worked on over 2000 records including several that are RIAA certified Gold and Platinum.
Midnight Blue gained popularity between the years 2001 and 2007 as a recording facility responsible for numerous Billboard number-one hits that dominated the Latin music scene. The studio was highly recognized for Grammy award winners like “Cree en Nuestro Amor” and “Sentir” by Jon Secada, the bulk of Gloria Estefan’s “Mi Tierra” album, Paulina Rubio’s best-selling album, “Paulina”, and the album “Amar Sin Mentiras” by Marc Anthony. Midnight Blue was also the studio of choice for many A-list superstars like Ricky Martin, J Lo, and many more.
*Left* Multi-Platinum Song Writer and Two Time Grammy Award Winner Silvio Richetto in Studio A at Bay Eight Recordings Studios (Formally Midnight Blue Studios) poses with his 2001 Grammy Award for the best-engineered album.
Albums written, recorded and mixed at Midnight Blue Studios Miami.
In 2008, Bigram John Zayas, also known as DVLP, a record producer and songwriter from New York City (Eminem, J Balvin Lil Wayne), and Grammy Award-winning hip-hop producer and three-time DJ World Champion Marco “Infamous” Rodriguez-Diaz took over the facility and converted the space into their own private recording studio. Subsequently, the two would go on to sell the studio to DM Records, owned by David and Mark Watson one year later.
The Watson brothers repurposed the space as their music publishing headquarters and added a rehearsal room and video editing suite to the famous facility.
DM Records are most popularly known for licensing music out of the studio for many major television networks and ad agencies including companies such as Disney, New Line Cinema, ABC, Universal Pictures, and DreamWorks.
DM records used their new space to create original music scores and administer the rights to over 150 albums and singles that reached the Billboard charts, most notably the hit record “Whoomp! (There It Is)” by Tag Team.
After a split, four years later in 2012, Infamous would reclaim the facility on his own, this time using the entire space as his personal production studio.
With his extensive list of high-profile clientele credits and accolades, Infamous would use the studio to produce his A-list celebrity comrades.
Lil Wayne and Infamous worked very closely during this era. With Wayne as a Miami resident and infamous a Miami native, their relationship would only grow stronger over the coming years.
Bay Eight was the birthplace of hip-hop classics like “Curtains” with Meek Mill, John Legend, Nas, and continuous home for all of Lil’ Wayne’s Tha Carter projects. Most notably The Carter V. The facility also served as the studio of choice for Rick Ross’s Mastermind project in 2014.
In 2015, engineer and owner of Palm Pheon Music Publishing Matthew “Formatt” DeFreitas, took over the 1,700 sq. ft space and began the restoration and remodel of this historic facility, renaming it Bay Eight Recording Studios. The renovations were completed by Paul and Steven DeFreitas alongside acoustician Ross Alexander. Their goal was to maintain the integrity and history of the studio while adding to the acoustic performance and modernization of the facility.
Major upgrades included the installation of the highly praised SSL AWS900 console in Studio A, custom acoustic treatment modifications, updated fabric upholstery, custom interior finishes, and an emphasis on new technology integration for a seamless workflow in all three rooms.
2021 – present
In 2021 DeFreitas teamed up with Ross Alexander and Acoustical Components for their third renovation. The latest updates included a complete restoration and modernization of Studio A, renamed The SSL ROOM.
“The Room is over 20 years old, and the integrity of the buildout is like no other. Estafano put alot of money and thought into the original layout of this studio. This was an massive moderizain expansion. I wanted to bring the stuido up to date with all of the state of the art equipment and acoustic technology all while preserving Estafanos origionl vison.
The History is a driving force in this facilility Ross Alexander has the experience to take on a project like this. He has been the most sought after designer since the beginning of the recording studio boom started here in Miami and his expertise has been in demand all over the world. Hes built and redesigned classic studios like South Beach Studios and The Seati. Ross knew exactly what the facilty needed to be relevent but stay true to its Midnight Blue Sudio roots.
The Renovation included the installation of custom Augspurger Duo 15’s with matched 18″ subs. Aspect mood lighting and custom sound diffusion. Reinventing this relic into a modern start of the art room was terrific.
Renovations to the Apollo Room and Whisper Room are already in the works.
Stay tuned for more updates on the preservation of Miami’s most iconic recording studio.