NYU Unveils New Audio Education Facility

Dec 17, 2009 2:39 PM


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The complex is distinguished by a 25-seat control room/classroom, which features a fully automated 48-channel SSL Duality Console, Lipinski L707 and L150 sub speakers and the first Dangerous Music Monitor ST/SR 10.2 surround installation in New York City. In addition to a live room large enough to accommodate a small orchestra, the floor includes several research laboratories, offices, a conference/seminar room and a large iso/drum booth. Multiple windows and a full line of sight provide natural light throughout.

photo of James L. Dolan 3-D Audio Research Lab

James L. Dolan 3-D Audio Research Lab

A unique research lab dedicated to 3-D audio experimentation is equipped with an innovative, reconfigurable grid outfitted with 16 Genelec speakers, two Genelec subs and multichannel miking, tracking and playback options. The lab is also said to have an extremely low (0.2-second) reverb time.

“The James Dolan Studio presented us with a number of inherent design challenges, which required inventive solutions,” comments WSDG co-principal John Storyk. “Paramount among these were three floor-to-ceiling steel building trusses unfortunately and permanently situated in areas, which impacted on our ability to situate the control and live room doors where logic dictated. A significant design effort and construction process was engaged to get these rooms to function at optimal level. This was one of the project's most demanding and ultimately gratifying solutions. As a teacher and frequent lecturer at many schools around the country, I am extremely aware of the need to provide students with sufficient workspace and visual access to instructors. Those issues were among our deepest concerns in developing this design program.”

WSDG systems integrator Judy Elliot-Brown emphasizes initial concerns over sufficient infrastructure to accommodate the massive conduit run throughout the ceiling: “The voluminous number of unwieldy cables coupled with the need to provide space for future technology and convenient access points for maintenance and systems upgrades required extraordinary preparation,” she says. “Our REVIT building information modeling software played an indispensible role in putting this intricate system together.”

WSDG associate David Kotch collaborated with Masque Sound on technology selection and integration. “The NYU Steinhardt complex required a huge number of tielines to accommodate its vast arsenal of technology,” Kotch says. “Systems include two separate 10.2 surround installations, a Dangerous Music ST/ST Monitor Controller for the recording studio’s critical listening environment and a Renkus Heinz multi-configuration speaker system for the large-screen, HDTV projector-equipped conference/screening room. Additionally, we stipulated universal Crestron Control to provide total touchscreen interface between audio and video systems throughout the complex. HD/SDI & Composite video routing systems, a Yamaha DME 64 Controller, two Soundweb London Blue 16 Processors and extensive microphone/speaker wiring enable students to use the Loewe Theater, conference room, research lab, reception area, offices, even bathrooms as live recording environments. Virtually the entire complex is directly linked to the main control room. Accommodating and engineering this system called for a herculean effort from the entire design and installation group.”

photo of people in James L. Dolan Recording/Teaching complex

Pictured in the James L. Dolan Recording/Teaching complex recording studio are, from left: James L. Dolan, president and CEO of Cablevision; Kristin Dolan, SVP of Cablevision Systems Corporation; WSDG co-principal John Storyk; Dr. Agnieszka Roginska, associate director of music technology; Tom Beyer, chief systems engineer/adjunct professor; and Dr. Robert Rowe, vice-chair, director of music composition. Pictured at far right is WSDG co-principal Beth Walters.

“We are confident that the James Dolan Recording/Teaching Complex at NYU’s Steinhardt School of Music and Performing Arts Professions marks a significant advance in our ability to prepare students for successful careers in the expanding field of music technology,” Professor Beyer says. “It is important to note that while previous generations have been primarily focused on the traditional arts of creating, recording and mixing music for theatrical, broadcast, film, television and radio productions, today’s professional music industry encompasses a considerably wider and more technically demanding curriculum.”

“A wealth of new fields ranging from forensic audio reconstruction to perceptual audio coding, virtual acoustics and videogame sound development are expanding current and future employment environment horizons,” Dr. Roginska concludes. “Computer science developments, new job titles and entire new fields of research are surfacing on an almost daily basis. The only way to prepare for this brave new world is through education. It was the teams’ intention that the Steinhardt School’s innovative Music Technology Complex will serve for many years as an invaluable training portal for our next generation of audio professionals.”

For more information, visit NYU's Office of Public Affairs, steinhardt.nyu.edu, www.gensler.com, www.wsdg.com, www.masquesound.com and Crestron Control Systems.

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