through the years
combining art & technology for over 3 decades
Trutone Records was founded as a part-time business in 1972 by Adrianna and Carl Rowatti. The company operated from a 10′ X 10′ basement room of Carl’s childhood home in North Bergen, New Jersey.
The services offered were cutting masters for vinyl records, on-location recording for local schools and churches, as well as custom record pressing.
In 1975, Trutone moved to Northvale, New Jersey, and became a full time operation. During this period, Trutone attracted the attention of Stanton Magnetics, a manufacturer of audiophile phono (and today’s DJ) cartridges who featured Trutone’s home mastering facility in a national advertising campaign.
Full page photos of the Rowatti family and the Northvale mastering studio appeared in Audio, High Fidelity, Stereo Review, as well as the Journal of the Audio Engineering Society, highlighting Trutone’s reliance on Stanton’s high-end cartridges to evaluate the performance of their mastering equipment.
In 1976 Trutone moved to its first commercial facility in Haworth, New Jersey. Trutone’s excellent reputation for disc cutting attracted an ever increasing number of labels, producers, artists and pressing plants.
With the introduction of the Compact Disc in 1984, Trutone’s mastering crew was kept perpetually busy creating masters for all three formats – vinyl, cassette and CD. After several expansions at the Haworth location, it became evident that Trutone would once again need a larger home.
In 1990 Trutone made a giant step from a small growing business to a firmly established enterprise with their relocation to a 15,000 sq foot facility in Hackensack, New Jersey. The new facility featured two spacious state of the art mastering suites, modern offices, a client lounge as well as a high speed cassette manufacturing facility and CD packaging plant.
To augment their in-house audio-video duplication/replication manufacturing, Trutone added an in-house design team to create exciting graphic themes for their custom cassette, vinyl and CD/DVD productions. With the death of the cassette and down turn in vinyl and CD sales, the Hackensack manufacturing/warehouse operation was closed in 2005 after 15 years and thousands of successful releases. All operations were centralized to the NYC, midtown location.
In late 1999, to fill the growing demand of their New York City clientele for quick, short-run, advance media copies, Trutone opened a storefront in NYC’s theater district, at 10th Avenue and 44th Street, and aptly called it Music on the Run. The store was outfitted with robotic CD-R and DVD-R copiers and in-cassette duplicators. An in-house design team created professional, custom graphic themes and colorful printed inserts.
The concept was an immediate success with local musicians, producers, writers and voice-over artist’s walking in to order, affordable, professional looking demos. In 2005 Music on the Run was relocated under the same roof as the mastering studios, 2 blocks away and video authoring and editing services were added.
In late 2003, Trutone relocated their Hackensack NJ mastering studios to the former home of the historic, fabled Record Plant Studios (321 West 44th Street NYC), where industry legends John Lennon, Jimi Hendrix, Simon & Garfunkel, Miles Davis, Aerosmith, Bruce Springsteen, Kiss (to name a few) made music history.
The historic site required major structural and acoustical updates and the Rowattis brought in renowned studio designer and architect, John Storyk to revamp the space. An extensive year-long renovation project was launched and in the fall of 2004, the Rowattis hosted a memorable grand opening party atop their rooftop penthouse with 300 industry pros helping them celebrate amidst the fabulous New York skyline!
Trutone sells their studios and lease to Sony Music Entertainment. In early 2008, after downsizing and closing their 54th street studio complex, Sony studio personnel went prospecting the midtown area for a mastering facility to house their displaced mastering crew. They were drawn to Trutone’s historic studios (previously operated by The Record Plant) and fell in love with their immaculately maintained, state of the art facility and top floor Penthouse space. Within a few months, Sony offered to buy out the Rowatti’s lease and in June 08 they took over the facility, including the Music on the Run space. Trutone’s Music on the Run and Replication Divisions were sold to 3rd parties shortly thereafter.
2009 - Today
After selling their studios to Sony Music Entertainment in mid 2008, Carl and Adrianna took up roots and moved Trutone Mastering Labs to a temporary location in a New York suburb, while embarking on plans to construct another mastering studio. Carl collaborated once again with friend and acoustician, John Storyk to recreate the look, sound and functionality he had created for their successful midtown studios. The Rowattis got to work immediately, Carl general contracting the construction and Adrianna handling the decorating and design.
In May 09, the new studio was officially opened and as anticipated, rates an A+ both acoustically and esthetically. Carl is as busy as ever mastering music, restoring old/problem recordings and continuing his specialty, cutting analog records for vinyl labels and pressing plants throughout the US and abroad. Clients book attended sessions with Carl regularly and thoroughly enjoy the laid back, country setting of the new studio.
The Rowattis attribute their longevity to their perpetual ability to reinvent themselves and to the multitude of loyal, satisfied clients they have served throughout their many years in the music industry.