Oberlin Conservatory of Music Launches Joseph R. Clonick Studio

Aug 1, 2011 4:31 PM


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The Oberlin Conservatory of Music in Oberlin, Ohio, brought together leading professional audio industry manufacturers to outfit its new world-class recording facility, the Joseph R. Clonick Studio, which also serves as a performance venue. To create the finest in recorded sound—and an unparalleled educational and pre-professional experience for its students—the Clonick Studio uses products from BAE; Ed Meitner of EMM Labs; Gotham; Grace Design; iZ Technology Radar; JL Audio; Mogami; Richard Schram and Parasound; Maurice Patist and PMC; Rupert Neve Designs; Gus Skinas and DSD; and Sterling Modular Systems.

photo of Paul Eachus

Oberlin’s Paul Eachus, Director of Audio Services, in the Joseph R. Clonick Studio

"The room was designed for surround sound, an immersive musical experience in which the music is captured with more depth," says Michael Lynn, Associate Dean of the Conservatory, who served as project liaison. "Oberlin wanted to offer students the experience of working within a real recording studio, to give them a shot at making a spectacular recording. The studio will afford our students free and direct access to high-level excellence in recording new music, old music, and everything in between."

The centerpiece of the control room is the Rupert Neve Designs (RND) 5088 console, a 24-track, discrete analog mixer outfitted with Tonelux Shadowmix fader automation. "The RND 5088 is distinguished by its neutrality and high headroom, both of which are critical in our jazz and classical applications," says acoustic consultant Dana Kirkegaard, of Kirkegaard Acoustic Design, LLC, of Downers Grove, Ill. "We selected the RND after carefully auditioning desks in Los Angeles; the great sound and solid feel of the console was critical in our decision."

Sterling Modular Systems Inc., a Pennsylvania-based company that designs and produces furniture for the audio recording and broadcast industries, built the custom console that houses the RND 5088. Oberlin's team chose Sterling's "Pro Series" system for its custom design and its ability to ergonomically integrate the RND 5088 console and accessories in a way that is thoughtful, attractive, and comfortable for the user.

"The selection of Sterling to build the custom console was based upon our desire for an array of analog outboard equipment within easy reach," says Kirkegaard. "Sterling offers a standard console for the RND 5088 and matching patchbays that are quite handsome and well built, and with excellent acoustic properties. We started with that design and modified the patchbays to serve as side racks; we then wrapped the console around the operator to facilitate access to the equipment. One of the features that puts the console design over the top is an automated monitor stand that raises and lowers a pair of Apple cinema displays at the touch of a button."

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